Even if you can’t make it to Munich, you can still celebrate! Plan an Oktoberfest Party at home with these Oktoberfest Theme Party Ideas! All you need is Beer, food music and some fun decorations to get everyone in the mood!
You can go big… and rent a tent, hire a band, and tap a keg or two…. Or go a little smaller… decorate the patio, put in some CDs and bring in a case of beer. Either way, your guests are sure to appreciate the German Gemuetlichkeit . Traditionally Oktoberfest begins in September, and runs the 16 days before the first Sunday in October, but if it’s your party, you can have it any time you want!
Quick Look at the Contents
What is Oktoberfest
The original Oktoberfest was a wedding celebration for King Ludwig I and his bride, Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghause on Oct. 12, 1810. Citizens of Munich were invited to celebrate on the Theresenwiese. There were horse races, and beer and wine tastings to mark the event. The next year, the horse races and celebrations were repeated to in homage to the king and queen, and a tradition was started. Within a few years, carnival attractions were added, and the city took over the management of the event. It was also decided to move Oktoberfest back into September, to take advantage of better weather.
Every year the Oktoberfest Celebrations grow, and although many people think it’s all about the beer, the truth it, Oktoberfest is meant to be a festival for everyone with Carnival games and rides, as well as beer tents.
When hosting your own Oktoberfest, be sure to include fun games and activities… for the kids, and the young at heart.
Plan An Oktoberfest Party
Begin by planning out how many people you want to invite. Is it going to be a large party? Or a smaller more intimate gathering of friends? This way you can figure out if you need to rent tables and chairs, set up a tent, or just use the furniture you have. Remember, if you have to rent or buy furniture, you want to have that arranged well in advance! Also, if it’s a bigger party, you may consider hiring some help… either a professional caterer or a few teenagers who need money.
Oktoberfest Theme Party Ideas
Oktoberfest Invitation Ideas
Send out invitations early, either by mail or email, and get those RSVPs! Let people know what sort of party it is… whether you are inside, or out in a beer garden.
Bier Tent? Biergarten?
If you have the space… and a lot of friends… a Bier Tent might be a fun way to get everyone in the mood (and keep your party from being rained out!). Decorate the tent with Blue and White banners to give it an authentic look. If you don’t want to set up a tent… how about re-creating a Biergarten? Tables with benches on either side make the space feel like Germany. You can cover the tables with a blue and white checked cloth, and even some fun centerpieces. Be sure to hang a sign or two!
Beer (What Many Consider the Centerpiece of all Oktoberfests)
and other Drinks..
In Munich, only beer brewed within the city limits is allowed to be served at Oktoberfest. This limits the offereings to Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu,Löwenbräu, Paulaner and Spaten. Of these, only Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu, Paulaner and Spaten Oktoberfestbier are shipped to the United States. Now… how authentic you want to be depends on you (and your budget). If there is a brew that you and your friends prefer, by all means, serve it! If you can get a keg… wonderful! But if all you can find are bottles, that’s fine too.
Don’t forget to say “O’zapft is!“ when you tap your keg! (or pop the cap on that bottle)
Serve the Beer in liter Steins… or something smaller. This is also a great time to show off your Stein collection. Let people bring their own if they want!
1 Liter HBGerman Bayern Coat of Arms Engraved Beer SteinGerman Bier Fest Engraved Beer Stein with Ornate Metal LidDimple Stein Beer Mug – 19.00 Oz (2 Pack) ChefcaptainBeistle 54832 Beer Stein Centerpiece, 113/4-InchWeihenstephan German Dimpled Beer Stein Mug 1 Liter2.7 Liter Das Boot Glass Beer Stein – Huge 92 Ounce Capacity – Largest Glass Beer Boot AvailableGerman Flag Glass Beer Stein with Pewter Lid and Shot Glass
For non-Beer Drinkers, prepare a Bowle or Raddler
Bowle a sort of punch made with wine and fruit.
Radler a mix of soda/lemonade and beer
Serve Sodas like Fanta or mix up some Apfel Schorle (a carbonated apple juice)
Traditional Oktoberfest Food Recipes
What are the traditional foods served at Oktoberfest?
(click the names to get the recipes!)
Pretzels…. Big, thick and delicious Pretzels, perfect for soaking up beer!
Obatzda.… cheese spread
Brathandel/ Roasted Chicken... In Munich you get Half a Chicken! You can cut it smaller
Steckerlfisch… Grilled fish on a stick
Schweinehaxe... Ham Hock
Brat Kartoffel / Fried Potatoes… crispy and good
Knoedel... potato dumplings
Kaese Spaetzele…. a cheesy noodle dish
Sauerkraut…. perfect with sausages- Don’t just serve it straight from the Jar! Drain it, rinse it a bit, then cook it on the stove top with a little (ok, a lot) of White Wine, bacon and some cloves.
Rotkohl or Blaukraut / Red Cabbage... warm and tangy. You can even make it cold as a salad.
Apfel Strudel…. Apple Streudel
Apfel Kuchen.… Apple Cake
Cheap Oktoberfest Decorations-
Oktoberfest is a very Bavarian tradition, so stick with the Blue and White Checkerboard colors. Banners, tablecloths and napkins would set the scene well. You don’t have to break the bank… these cheap Oktoberfest Decorations will make the space look festive at low cost.
Oktoberfest Table RunnerOktoberfest Haus Oktoberfest Bavarian Flag Check Table Cover 54 x 108 InchesOktoberfest Centerpiece Party Accessory (1 count) (1/Pkg)Beistle 120 Foot Oktoberfest Bavarian Check Flag Pennant BannerBeistle 57643 Welcome to Oktoberfest Sign Banner, 5-Feet by 21-InchBeistle 54243 Oktoberfest Pennant Banner, 10 by 12-Feet, Blue/White/YellowOktoberfest Sign CutoutsOktoberfest Party Canopy Party Accessory (1 count) (1/Pkg)
Oktoberfest Music CDs-
Happy German Festival music is ideal for your home Oktoberfest! If your party is big enough, hire a local band to play (but be sure to hire them early, German bands are in high demand this time of year) Otherwise, stock up on a few CDs of party music, both in English and German.
German Beer Drinking & Merrymaking Songs: Featuring Music From The Octoberfest In MunichOktoberfest / BeerfestGerman Drinking SongsOktoberfestOktoberfest in GermanyOktoberfest LandlerOktoberfestDrink, Drink, Drink! Oktob
Every 30 minutes you want the whole group to stand up and sing “Ein Prosit!” then drink
“Ein Prosit, Ein Prosit, der Gemütlichkeit.”
“Ein Prosit, Ein Prosit, der Gemütlichkeit.”
“Oins, zwoi, drei g’suffa!”
And it’s always fun to have space set aside for a dance floor!!!
Oktoberfest Party Game Ideas
Standard backyard carnival games are appropriate … especially if you have kids present. Put out a Cornhole game or Ring Toss. We love Indiaca at our house, but it might be too active for drinkers…. (great for kids though)
Some good Oktoberfest contests-
Stein Holding Contest
- Line everyone up. Each participant is given a Stein full of beer, and must hold it out straight in front of them. The last one able to hold the beer up (without bending the arm) WINS.
Stein Relay Race
- Set up a race track… maybe add an obstacle or two. Divide the participants into teams. Each team gets a Stein of Beer (or water if you don’t trust them with good beer). This is a relay race, so the first person on each team takes off and goes around the obstacle, while holding the stein. When they come back to the start, the next person on their team goes. The team who goes fastest, but spills the least beer, WINS.
Wearing Lederhosen and a Dirndl isn’t required, but it is kind of fun. Encourage those guests who own them to wear them.
You could provide hats for guests to wear…. both serious and silly.
Beistle 207097 German Alpine HatForum Novelties Men’s Deluxe Adult Oktoberfest Costume Hat, Green, One SizeBeistle 60917 Felt Oktoberfest Peasant HatBeistle 66214-25 25-Pack Oktoberfest Hi-HatsPlush Beer Mug Hat Party Accessory (1 count)Headscarf w/Braids Party Accessory (1 count) (1/Pkg)Beistle 60289 Alpine Hair Clip
Beads and Pins make a fun take home gift for your party.
Oktoberfest Beads-Of-Expression (2/Card)Oktoberfest Party Buttons (asstd designs) (5/Pkg)Beads w/Oktoberfest Mug (internet friendly) Party Accessory (1 count)216 Oktoberfest Labels/Stickers for Hershey’s Kisses Candies – Party FavorsOktoberfest Party Favor Beer Bottle Stein Lid
Above all… Oktoberfest is meant to be FUN! Have a party that you and your friends enjoy! You don’t have to have the most fabulous space… it doesn’t have to be huge. People love to come together and celebrate…
If you invite them, they will come!
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