Oktoberfest kicked off early in the Chicago area, with many celebrations taking place in early to mid-September. Latecomers to the festivities don’t have to miss out, though. There are still several activities that extend through the month of October offering a taste of beer, brats and hearty German fun.
The Oktoberfest celebrations at Hofbrauhaus last through October 29, so you have plenty of time to stop in. You’ll find live music and games to keep the festivities going. From 4 p.m. on, dirndl-clad waitresses will serve up German specialties that change by the day.
Plan your visit on a weekend to witness the ceremonial keg tappings complete with a celebrity keg tapper, Bavarian and German flag bearers, and a rousing celebration as the beer starts flowing. Make your reservation in advance to guarantee a seat.
On October 14, the German American Heritage Center will have cultural music, food, and drink in honor of Oktoberfest. Stop in to browse unique vendors, participate in a raffle and try your skill in the beer stein holding or tuba blowing contest. The Donauschwaben Jugendgruppe German Youth Dance Group will perform at 5:30 p.m. and the Johnny Wagner Band plays at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door, with free admission for children 16 and under.
Less than 15 minutes from our Springs at Weber Road apartment community, and just over half an hour from Springs at Orchard Road, this celebration is a convenient pick. You’ll find the Romeoville Oktoberfest at Edwards Hospital Athletic & Event Center on October 14. Come hungry because this event includes hot pretzels, piles of brats and all the fixings. Live music and raffles add to the fun. VIP admission is $69 and includes five raffle tickets and early admission at 6 p.m. General admission is $49 with gates opening at 7 p.m. All guests will receive 16 beer tickets, a free festival mug and a complimentary bratwurst, pretzel, coffee, water and soda.
On October 23, the Starved Rock Lodge is hosting a delicious German meal from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Duseldorfers German Band will provide live music as guests enjoy a buffet including sauerbraten, knockwurst, spaetzle, German potato salad and more. Tickets are $25 for the buffet only or $40 for the buffet, beer tasting tickets and a stein.
Thursday, October 26, another Oktoberfest celebration will take over the German American Heritage Center from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The event, hosted by the Frankfort Chamber of Commerce, will include entertainment from Ed Wagner’s Lustige Blaskapelle. This is an excellent opportunity for fun and networking. Tickets are $30 for Frankfort Chamber members and $35 for nonmembers. Admission includes two drinks and authentic German food.
How will you celebrate Oktoberfest in the Chicago area? Share your favorite spots in the comments section below.