As we turn the page on September and enter October, we welcome all things fall: pumpkins, pumpkin spice lattes, Halloween, and sweaters, there’s also another reason to celebrate October in New York City: Oktoberfest!
If you’re looking to partake in a stein of your favorite beer and perhaps some bratwurst or a larger-than-your-head-sized pretzel, here is a list of some great spots to get your lederhosen on in New York City this month:
A popular German restaurant and beer garden on the East Side hosts its annual Oktoberfest Tent –Munich on the East River for the fourth year in a row from September 29-October 8. Here you’ll find live entertainment, plenty of German beers on tap and an overall fun time.
CityKinder will be held at Paulaner on the Bowery on October 1. This family-friendly affair features a Bavarian Buffet, arts & crafts, and prizes for the best-dressed attendee. And, of course, beer will be flowing here as well.
Oktoberfest Under the Manhattan Bridge
An event put on by the Dumbo Business Improvement District right at the archway under the Manhattan Bridge. The event takes place October 6 and 7 and features polka music, plenty of food and arts and crafts, all in a pop-up beer tent right under the bridge.
On Pier 15 along the East River is a great way to celebrate the cooler weather outdoors while sipping on some frothy German beers.
It’s practically Oktoberfest any day of the week at Radegast Biergarten in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We have no doubt they will be celebrating Oktoberfest in style at this popular German beer hall.
Right in Midtown East is another popular spot to bring out your inner German and celebrate Oktoberfest this month. This year they will be hosting the after party for the 60th annual German-American Steuben Parade, which marches down Fifth Avenue. Tickets for the Grand Stand for the parade, at 79th Street, are only $15.
Oktoberfest is a tradition that began in 1810 in Munich, on October 12, to be exact, when Prince Crown Prince Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig, married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen.
The wedding was such a big affair that villages of people in Munich were invited to celebrate in the festivities with the Royal Family in lush fairgrounds. A parade was held to honor the Prince and Princess, leading to what is now considered a big part of Oktoberfest celebrations.
The festival lasted six days, culminating in a horse race in honor of the newlywed couple. The grand affair was so popular that the people of Munich decided to repeat the event the following year, hence beginning an annual tradition that, despite it being canceled for different reasons a few times, has lasted hundreds of years.
Today, the event is still held every year at the same fairgrounds as the first festival, known as Theresa's meadows, or Theresienwiese. Beginning in mid-to-late September until the first week of October, the event lasts for 16-18 days. Roughly 6 million people from all over the world come to celebrate the tradition in the place where it all began.
Over the course of days, guests imbibe in liters of Oktoberfest beer, liters in the millions in fact, while indulging in pounds of traditional German food. Revelry and fun ensue during the festival, another ode to the original Oktoberfest, with horse races and parades and more. Unsurprisingly, it is the world's largest beer festival and fair.
Can't make it to Munich to celebrate? Never fear. There are plenty of places to take in the revelry of the German festival here in New York City. Get out there and take in an Oktoberfest or two before the month is over. It’s a great day date to spend with a special love within the crisp, autumn air that will be fun and casual in a festive atmosphere.