Early Oktoberfest celebrations featured tree climbing, barrel-rolling, and geese-chasing contests–fun!–but not much beer. What? Today’s Oktoberfest is all about the beer. And also meat platters, drinking songs and cleavage. Many guys would say it’s the perfect party. If you are ready to get your Lederhosen on, we have everything you need for a good time.
This is a great party to hold outdoors or in a big hall for a traditional Biergarten vibe. And also, less beer spilled on your floors. Decorating for this party is simple and casual. Cover long tables in traditional blue and white checkered tablecloths and prop silverware and napkins in wooden crates or straw baskets. Fill ceramic vases or glass beer pitchers with simple arrangements of daisies, sunflowers, or stalks of wheat. Hang some Bavarian flags and banners on the wall, run a few strings of lights over the tables and you’re done.
Find the items mentioned above, from our online partners.
Oktoberfest Pull-down Cutout
BIERGARTEN Beer Garden Sign
Oktoberfest Sign Banner
Oktoberfest Waitress Dress
German Biergarten Beer Sign
Beer Gnome Lawn Ornament
Glass Das Boot Beer Mug
German Alpine Hat Adult
Oktoberfest Sign Cutouts
Men’s Bavarian Costume
Oktoberfest Party Pack for 8
Free Oktoberfest Sign
Download this free PDF here.
Plan on sporting some Lederhosen (guys) or a Dirndl (ladies) if you are serious about Oktoberfest. And while the guys will look adorably silly in leather shorts with suspenders, the ladies will look hot, hot, hot in their flattering, yet low cut, dresses and sweet milkmaid braids. For less commitment, just add a jaunty Alpine hat to any peasant-style top.
This rich fall menu will warm your belly and goes great with beer (which is key). You can fire up the grill or save time with a visit to your local barbecue joint.
Soft Pretzels & Dip
A perfect hot-from-the-oven appetizer that guests can nibble on while they sip beer and mingle. You can warm up pre-made pretzels (or pretzel bites), or be brave and bake your own to serve with a variety of dipping sauces.
German Sausage Platter
Putting together the perfect sausage platter is not hard but requires the right ingredients. Start with a traditional bratwurst and add in a selection of German sausages such as weisswurst or bockwurst (ask your butcher). Add in savory condiments such as sauerkraut and spicy mustards. Finish with potato salad and hearty, dense bread on the side.
These sweet, tasty cookies are decorated with warm wishes or romantic sayings and sold in stalls throughout Munich during Oktoberfest. They are often hung on ribbons to be worn around your neck. Possibly to keep your hands free for your beer. They also look great on the dessert table and make nice take-home gifts for guests. You can order these from your local bakery or bake your own with a recipe from hungrylittlegirl.com.
Look for the traditional Marzen style beer, developed for Oktoberfest, or other good quality German beers. Buying them in kegs will lend a nice beer hall feeling, but glass bottles can also be displayed on ice in large metal or wooden bins. The main point is not to run out. (Or get ready for a “B double E double R UN, beer run…”)
If you’re planning a big event and have the budget for a traditional Oompah band, it’s a good splurge. If not, no worries. We’ve put together a fun Oktoberfest Playlist with a combination of classic polkas, drinking songs, and beer-themed songs (“Beer, Beer Beer,” “I Like Beer,” so many great beer songs!).
Spotify members can listen now (or download the free app here).
The Chicken Dance
For some reason this dance is THE dance of Oktoberfest. Probably because it can be done reasonably well even if you are extremely drunk. Also, it’s very entertaining to watch your drunk friends flap their arms and dance around like chickens. Everyone is happy! If you need a refresher, check out this very dorky but helpful instructional video for the basic steps. Actually, they’re all basic – it’s not exactly ballroom dancing.
Ready to light a fire under your friends and family? Pit brother against brother with these tests of strength, endurance, and sobriety. Screaming, shouting and taunting from the fans are an important part of the contest. Award beer-themed gold medals to the winners.
This is traditionally done with a Das Boot Beer Glass but any pint glass will work. Line up your competitors, fill their glasses, and start the countdown. First one to finish is the champion.
Beer Strong Man (or Woman)
Every competitor gets two large mugs of beer to hold at chest height. Whoever can hold them up the longest is the winner.
Create a starting line and finish line. Fill a beer glass or two for each competitor. You can decide on the rules: first one across the line without spilling, or whoever crosses the finish line with the most beer left in their glass wins.
Sound fun? Start planning your own Oktoberfest celebration now – Das Boot isn’t going to drink itself. Be sure to take lot’s of pictures for our Party Gallery.