Oktoberfest Party Ideas- Plan An Oktoberfest Party!
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 Oktoberfst party supplies/ 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!
This Oktoberfest Arch is a GREAT way to welcome guests!
What is Oktoberfest?
A little history first to put the celebration into perspective… In October of 1810, Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. All Bavarians were invited to celebrate with Festivities (mostly horse racing) in the Theresenwiese (a meadow renamed for the event). It was so popular, that they celebrated again the next year! and the next…. and the next. (The powers that organize these things made the wise decision to move the event to September, to take advantage of better weather).…. Except for years of War or Cholera, Oktoberfest has been celebrated every year since then.
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-schorr, 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.
Learn more about Oktoberfest Beer HERE–> What is Oktoberfest Beer
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!
For non-Beer Drinkers, prepare a Bowle or Radler
Germans LOVE to mix up their drinks… yes, they even mix soda or juice with beer! (don’t scoff, it’s delicious!)
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)
For more German Mixed Drink ideas Click HERE–>German Mixed Drinks
Get some Oktoberfest Food Menu Ideas Here
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 or bread dumplings
Kaese Spaetzele…. a cheesy noodle dish
Kartoffel Salat / German Potato Salad.… cold or warm
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
Looking for more delicious Oktoberfest Recipes? The Oktoberfest Cookbook from All Tastes German is loaded with recipes and Ideas for Traditional Bavarian Foods. You will find great recipes for Salads, Dips, Desserts and Main Dishes perfect for your Oktoberfest Party.
For more great German Cookbooks in ENGLISH, click here–> German Cookbooks in English
Oktoberfest Party Supplies/Decorations
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.
More Elaborate Oktoberfest Decorations
Do you plan to host Oktoberfest every year? Why not pick up a few decorations that will last… and will make your space extra special! Like an Oktoberfest Fabric Bunting
Wall Mounted Bottle Opener with Vintage Hans Oktoberfest Beer Can Cap CatcherBIERGARTEN (Choose Color) Rustic Shabby Chic Sign Wall Welcome German Hanger Willkommen Oktoberfest Home Garden Custom Accent
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. Click HERE –> for the Most Popular Oktoberfest Songs
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!”
Oktoberfest Party Game Ideas
When hosting your own Oktoberfest, be sure to include fun games and activities… for the kids, and the young at heart.
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.
Oktoberfest Photo Booth
An Oktoberfest Photo Booth is an easy thing to set up, and it’s sure to be a hit with the crowd. Just put up an Oktoberfest Photo backdrop, add a few of these props, and let everyone take photos! Order them already printed… or download at the last minute!
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.
Beads and Pins make a fun-take home gift for your party.
Melesh Adult Felt German Alpine Bavarian Oktoberfest Hat Cap (M)Beistle 60289 Alpine Hair ClipOktoberfest Stein Party HatBeistle 50949 Oktoberfest Beads with Keg Medallion, 40-InchBeistle 57268 Beads with Oktoberfest Mug and Banner Bead, 39-Inch
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!