It’s time to don your lederhosen or dirndl — Oktoberfest celebrations are happening all over the Bay Area this month and into October. The Bavarian festival may have gotten its start in Germany, when King Ludwig I married Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen in 1810, and the citizens of Munich were invited to celebrate in front of the city gates, but the two-week extravaganza since grown to become an annual global phenomenon. Raise a stein to celebrate the season — Bay Area-style — with brats, bier, polka and pretzels and get your chicken dance on at one of these Oktoberfest events near you.
Featured Photo: Campbell Chamber of Commerce
When: 12:00, Sept. 24
Where: Woods Island Club, 1 Avenue of the Palms, Treasure Island, San Francisco
Cost: $25, or $10 for club members; includes a limited-edition stein and two beers
Take a five-minute ferry ride from Downtown SF to take in the views while celebrating Oktoberfest at Woods Island Club brewery’s Treasure Island outpost. Enjoy a German brass band, brats and a special beer release.
More info: woodsfest.eventbrite.com
Park Chalet Oktoberfest
When: 6pm to 9pm, Oct. 7
Where: Park Chalet, 1000 Great Highway, San Francisco
Cost: $40, including a limited-edition stein and 1 liter of beer; private tables available for an additional fee
At its annual Oktoberfest event, Park Chalet channels a Bavarian village with authentic German music and beer poured into custom steins, plus a stein-holding contest. Sample Oktoberfest fare or order from the regular menu.
More info: parkchalet.com
Oktoberfest by the Beach
When: 4pm to 11:30pm, Oct. 15
Where: United Irish Cultural Center, 2700 45th Ave., San Francisco
Cost: $25–$30, including Table reservation (limited time only)
When it comes to holidays associated with drinking beer, we’d bet on the Irish to know how to celebrate, so we’re betting the Oktoberfest event put on by the United Irish Cultural Center of San Francisco is sure to be a good time. Enjoy authentic German food and drink and music and dance performances in a large outdoor beer hall and garden.
More info: irishcentersf.org
Flagship Taproom Cotati Oktoberfest
When: 2pm to 10pm, Sept. 24
Where: Flagship Taproom, 8099 La Plaza, Cotati
Cost: Free admission
At its annual Oktoberfest parking lot party, the Cotati location of Flagship Taproom will be serving up more than10 different German beers in pints, liters and 2-liter boots, along with Bratwurst (there’s even a vegan option) and pretzels with homemade beer cheese. Listen to live music and Complete in yodeling, liter mug-holding and costume contests, too.
More info: flagshiptaproom.com
When: 12pm to 5pm, Oct. 15
Where: Marin Museum of Bicycling, 1966 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Fairfax
Cost: $35–$50, including a keepsake glass, and all proceeds benefit the Marin County Bicycle Coalition and Access4Bikes and their efforts to expand Marin County’s network of bike lanes, pathways and trails
Sample 30 beers from 15 local brewers, see bikes and gear from 35 different exhibitors, hear live music and enjoy family activities at this Oktoberfest-inspired event celebrating biking and beers. Make the most of the day by joining a morning road, gravel or mountain bike ride before the event, and visit the Marin Museum of Bicycling while you’re there.
More info: marinbike.org
When: 5pm to 10pm, Sept. 23–24
Where: 261 N. 2nd St., San Jose
Cost: $130 per table, includes entry for six to eight adults
Ludwig’s makes it easy for groups to attend its annual Oktoberfest extravaganza with an entry fee that includes a table reservation for up to eight people. A traditional Oktoberfest menu including Schweinshaxe, Nuernberger Sausages and baked chicken will be on offer, along with a DJ and live music and costume and stein-holding contests.
More info: ludwigssj.com/events
Oktoberfest Downtown Redwood City
When: 5pm to 9pm, Sept. 21–25
Where: Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway St., Redwood City
Cost: $10–$17 for all ages, and $16–$27 21+, including a commemorative stein and a beer or soda drink ticket; six-person table reservations for $255
Redwood City’s Courthouse Square is transformed into a Bavarian beer-drinking playground at the city’s annual Oktoberfest event. With 1,100 feet of family-style bench seating, there’s plenty of space for all to enjoy traditional German live music and dance performances, contests and of course, brews, brats and pretzels.
More info: redwoodcity.org
Campbell Chamber Oktoberfest
When: 10am to 6pm, Oct. 15; 10am to 6pm, Oct. 16
Where: Downtown Campbell
Cost: Free admission; advance drink ticket and package purchases available
Historic Downtown Campbell plays host to this family-friendly Oktoberfest celebration put on by the Campbell Chamber of Commerce. The event boasts 100 artisan booths, five stages of live music featuring German, rock and roll, R&B, blues and country music; a community stage with performances by local talent; food vendors; wine tasting from local wineries; and a beer garden serving Gordon Biersch beer, Bavarian pretzels, German food vendors and a stage with live German music. Sign up early for the stein-holding contest.
More info: campbelloktoberfest.com
OktoberFest Los Gatos
When: 12pm to 5pm, Sept. 25
Where: Civic Center Lawn, Los Gatos
Cost: Free admission
Benefitting local TV and radio station KCAT Public Media, Los Gatos’ Oktoberfest event kicks off with a “tapping of the keg,” followed by German music and beer; stein-holding contest and beer pong tournament; and plenty of brats, spaetzle and pretzels in the festival tent’s beer and wine garden.
More info: kcat.org
When: 11am to 7pm. Oct. 1, 10am to 5pm, Oct. 2
Where: Dimond District, Fruitvale Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard, Oakland
Cost: Free admission
Oakland’s historic Dimond District is throwing a two-day, seven-block Oktoberfest street festival complete with four stages of live music; traditional German food including pork schnitzel, bratwurst, bread dumplings, braised red cabbage and fresh-baked strudel from prominent Bay Area chefs; hundreds of clothing and craft venders; and more than 200 craft beers on tap from local brewers including Altamont, Drake’s, Laughing Monk, Federation, HenHouse, Line 51, South City Ciderworks. Families are welcome too, with attractions including a root beer garden serving up root beer floats aplenty. Dining hall seating with German food platters is also available with advance reservations.
More info: oaktoberfest.org
Walnut Creek Oktoberfest
When: 12pm to 7pm, Oct. 15
Where: Civic Park, 1375 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek
Cost: Free admission
Head to Downtown Walnut Creek for the town’s annual Oktoberfest celebration featuring live entertainment, music, dancing, gourmet food, dozens of artisan vendors and a beer garden with dozens of craft beers and wine. Families will find kid-approved activities in the Kinder Platz Kids Zone.
More info: walnutcreekdowntown.com