Top 10 Oktoberfest Party Ideas for Beer-Loving Friends
If you love beer and fun dressing up, there’s no shortage of both when it comes to Oktoberfest party ideas.
Oktoberfest is the world’s largest beer festival, held every October in Munich, Germany, from mid to late September to the first week of October. The festival lasts 16 to 18 days, attracting more than 6 million people every year. Yep, and a lot of beer gets drunk in that time; in 2018, 7.5 million liters were consumed.
Oktoberfest party ideas are great to have for late summer parties, also for fans of drinking parties looking for something a bit different. Here are some Partycurrent things to do to get into the Oktoberfest vibe.
Dress like they do in Bavaria
Get the look
Bavaria is the state of Munich and Lederhosen are the traditional dress here for men. These are knee-high pants with suspenders, which you’d wear over a short-sleeved shirt and knee-length socks. Traditionally they were made of leather and were a form of workwear, you don’t have to buy leather Lederhosen to get into the spirit of things. There’s a national pride about wearing Lederhosen, they certainly give you a look.
Get the dress
The Dirndl dress originated in Austria in the 19th century as the dress uniform of working women. It consists of a bodice, blouse, full skirt and apron all rolled into one. You can accessorise a Dirndl with a waistcoat, a shawl or a scarf.
Get the hat
Alpine hats are soft brimmed hats with a feather on the left hand side. These are lightweight and comfortable and compliment a Lederhosen well, though even just wearing them with normal jeans is okay.
Oktoberfest party ideas for vibe
Though the 3rd largest city in Germany, Munich is the capital of Bavaria which is the second-largest German federal state. This means Bavaria has its own flag, identity and culture. So why not decorate with this in mind?
You can use a colour scheme of black and yellow throughout, the colours of the Bavarian flag, using balloons. You can create a beer tent in your home with a white sheet, by hanging the sheet from your ceiling with the corners tied to the wall.
You could also add a fun fabric Oktoberfest photo booth to you party with face cut-outs, perfect for drunken photo moments.
Activities you can throw include:
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 everyone into the spirit of drinking, with a few classic German drinking tunes. Create a lyric sheet of each song, so each person can learn the words. Here’s 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 the Bavarian Schuhplatter Knee Dance:this is such a crazy yet energetic dance that involves slapping your knees, hips and heels in a set of jarring moves. If you study this video or screen it during your event, you can try and rope in willing participants for a dance:
Oktoberfest party ideas for the drinks
The beer is obviously the highlight of this party. Some of the specialist beers for Oktoberfest include Victory FestBier, Hofbräu Oktoberfest and Spaten Oktoberfest.
It might be difficult to find such beer outside of Germany so you don’t have to be so precise. In the US, some brewers there have adopted the name ‘Oktoberfest’, which Munich companies are not happy about (since ‘Oktoberfest Beer’ and ‘Munich Beer’ are registered trademarks). But I won’t tell anyone if you decide to use these American versions at your event!
Whatever beer you use, what better way to drink it than in the 1 liter beer glasses they use at Oktoberfest, known as Masskrug. These are 8 inches tall or 20 centimetres and are the original Oktoberfest mugs imported from Germany.
Oktoberfest party ideas for food
Why not use Oktoberfest as an opportunity for a German dinner party featuring some of its best cuisine?
I’m a big fan of their cheese soup (Käsesuppe) which is sometimes served outside in the winter months from a food truck and is served with bread. Germans take their gulasch seriously so this is another must-have dish.
Germans are known primarily for sausage (they love their pork) and soups. You could try a variety of sausage such as bratwurst and currywurst. Potato also features in their food such as bratkaroffeln. Stock up on bread rolls, pretzels and five seed bread if you can and make up plenty of salads and sliced cheeses.
Now you’’ve got a few Oktoberfest party ideas to choose from, you’ve got a unique theme you can enjoy in the late summer as well as something to spice up drinking parties. If nothing else, drinking the beer out of those Oktoberfest mugs will be an experience you can’t afford to miss.