These Oktoberfest party ideas help rescue any fall calendar in need of party fun. With them, you’ll…
- Become friends with Oom-pah music
- Learn how to celebrate beer through song
- And enjoy traditional German food… and beer!
You’ll also be joining millions of people in Oktoberfest, a world-renowned 16-day beer festival held in Munich, Germany.
This event runs from late September to the first weekend in October.
Oktoberfest party ideas – invitations
Set the scene with these ideas.
Welcome to Munich invites — Glue an image of the Germany flag to white card, so the flag fills all of it. Then glue to it symbols related to Munich. These might include shop signs, landmarks and scenery.
Ask your local print shop to make copies. Add your party details to the blank side.
Beer Can/Bottle Collage invites — This pretty much says it all. You can buy these pre-made or do it yourself, combining web images on your computer, then printing.
To give it that Oktoberfest touch, add a bit of German party wording on the bottom. Like:
- ‘Sie sind herzlich eingeladen’ (You are cordially invited)
- ‘Ein Prosit’ (Toast!)
Oktoberfest dressing up
Fancy dress is a must!
Make sure everyone knows they’re to attend, wearing traditional clothes related to Bavarian culture (Munich, the city hosting Oktoberfest, is in Bavaria).
- For the guys, that means ‘lederhosen’, very short leather shorts held up by suspenders.
- For the ladies, it’s the ‘dirndl’, a low cut dress with an apron (like the girl in the above photo). Women also get to braid their hair.
Give everyone a list of stores where they can hire/buy their clothes.
Oktoberfest party ideas – decorations
Color palate — You’ve a choice of two here. There are the Bavarian colors of blue and white, or the red, blacks and yellows of the German flag.
Think about the size of your space, when making your pick.
Dark colors can dim a small space but make a large space feel intimate. Bright colors, on the other hand, create a more airy feel.
- Flags and balloons — Hang from your ceiling and along walls in your colors
- Tableware — Again, based on your palate. Use the darker color as the base, with plates and napkins in the lighter
- Pictures of Bavaria — Print and laminate photos of the Bavarian country and people in traditional dress
- Create a beer tent effect — If you’re partying indoors, use a white bed sheet, hung from the ceiling with their corners held tied to the wall.
- If you’re partying outside, do the same or hire a tent
- Music — Play a selection of traditional Oom-pah music in the background.
Oktoberfest party ideas – activities
Bavarian Dancefloor — Create a playlist made up of different German music — from Bavarian folk music to Oom-pah to Krautrock bands like Kraftwerk.
Give everyone kazoos so they can join in.
German Drinking Song Singalong — Accompanied by a guitar or accordion, get into the spirit of drinking, with a few classic drinking tunes. Create a lyric sheet of each song, so each person can learn the words. Three examples:
- “Der Mai Ist Gekommen” – celebrates the world and life around you
- “Bayern, Des Samma Mir” – celebrates the drinking of beer, the German way
- “Bien Her” – song about keeping the beer flowing… and flowing.
Hold a Best Outfit Contest — Have your guests vote on who has made the best effort with their Bavarian outfits.
Learn Bavarian Dance — If your budget stretches, you could hire an instructor in Bavarian Dance – and have everyone learning a few steps. Better yet, check out this video for inspiration:
Oktoberfest party ideas – food… and beer!
Break out traditional Oktoberfest food when it comes to your menu.
Start with potato soup as your starter and continue with these,
- Hot German potato salad
- Hot pretzels with salad
- Black forest gateau
- Apple strudel
With so much beer choice available (more than 40 different beers at the actual Oktoberfest), the mind can boggle at what to choose. To help inspire you, here are a list of the most well-known and best considered beers:
- Spaten Oktoberfest
- Hofbräu Oktoberfest
- Victory FestBier
- Lefthand Märzen Oktoberfest
- Paulaner Oktoberfest Märzen
- Weinhenstephaner FestBier