Updated Aug. 16, 2017, by Manon Blackman.
Raise a stein and celebrate the largest festival in the world — right here in Chicago! The autumn celebration of Oktoberfest, which originated with the Royal Wedding in Munich in 1810, is now observed all over the world. Ring in fall with traditional German music, cold beer and samplings of Bavarian food at the city’s top locations. Prost!
5500 Park Place, Rosemont
Directly affiliated with Munich’s original Hofbräuhaus, this German microbrewery is celebrating Oktoberfest from Sept. 15 to Oct. 29. Guests will enjoy traditional Bavarian-German music and dancing, “Oktoberfestbier” brewed on site and even keg-tapping ceremonies featuring celebrity guests. Plan a visit to experience delicious German dishes and freshly roasted cinnamon-sugar nuts. For the full Oktoberfest experience, customers who visit on Friday and Saturday nights can participate in a stein-holding competition, also known as the “Masskrugstemmen contest.” For more information and a list of daily menu specials, visit hbchicago.com.
Downtown Oak Park (Marion Street and North Boulevard, south of Lake Street)
On Sept. 15 and 16, head to downtown Oak Park for the annual Oaktoberfest celebration. Admission is free, and guests will experience local and seasonal dishes, craft beer and wine, and live music on both nights. Kids can also join the festivities on Saturday in the Kids’ Root Beer Garden, which will feature games and activities for the younger crowd. For the music lineup and more information, visit oaktoberfest.net.
1429 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago
Founded by German immigrants in 1992, St. Alphonsus hosts an authentic Oktoberfest celebration and fundraiser every September. From Sept. 29– Oct. 1, enjoy handmade bratwursts, craft beer and live music. The admission price is $5 before 5pm and $10 after, which will benefit St. Alphonsus Church.
KinderFest will take place on Saturday and Sunday, and kids of all ages can participate in activities. Additionally, Craft Beer Night will be on both Friday and Saturday — participants will get to try 20 tastings from breweries around the country. For more information and a full schedule of events and performers, visit oktoberfestchicago.org or follow Oktoberfest Chicago on Facebook.
2215 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago
Join St. Benedict in celebrating its 52nd annual Oktoberfest. The festival will be held Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, and guests will enjoy free admission. Set in the St. Benedict Courtyard, the event will feature live performers, authentic food, and, of course, beer. Bring the whole family and take part in carnival rides all weekend. For more information, visit stbensoktoberfest.com.
1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe
Join in the Garden’s Oktoberfest celebration at Autumn Brews on Oct. 12 and enjoy a seasonal tasting of select beers. Tickets purchased on or before Oct. 11 are $25 for members and $30 for non-members. The Garden encourages guests to buy tickets in advance, due to the event’s popularity. Guests will receive a wristband, tasting glass and tasting sheet at check-in at the McGinley Pavilion. Purchase tickets here.
Want to take a vacation? Try…
Downtown Lake Geneva
Music, food, local artwork and craftsmen, pony rides for the kids, and tons of dining and shopping specials make the picturesque lake a great weekend getaway for Oktoberfest. To make it extra special, check in at one of the local resorts like Grand Geneva for scenic views from your villa and spa treatments.
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