Munich's Oktoberfest is hailed as the world's largest beer fest. But you don't have to cross the globe to enjoy beer, brats and German music.
Local restaurants and festivals are hosting their own celebrations. So grab a beer stein at any one of these suburban Oktoberfest events.
10th Annual Itasca Oktoberfest: 4 to 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, and 3 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, at Orchard Street, downtown Itasca. German food, music, a Kids' Korner with kids' activities and more. Performers include The Tempos and the Johnny Wagner Band. Free admission. German hats will be sold for $2; proceeds go to the Itasca Walk-In ministry and the Itasca Food Pantry. itasca.com.
Hoffman Estates Platzkonzert Germanfest: 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, at Virginia Mary Hayter Village Green, 5510 Prairie Stone Parkway, Hoffman Estates. German-themed open-air celebration with authentic German food, beer, entertainment and activities. Free admission. hoffmanestates.com.
Fourth Annual Rauetoberfest: 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, at Beyond Stable Farms, 11129 Route 176, Woodstock. Traditional German music and food, Kinderfest with a root bier garden (until 6 p.m.) and more. Admission is $5; free for kids 8 and younger. Event is sponsored by the Raue Center for the Arts in Crystal Lake. (815) 356-9212 or rauecenter.org.
Sixth Annual Glendale Heights Oktoberfest: 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 5 p.m. to midnight Friday; noon to midnight Saturday; noon to 10 p.m. Sunday, from Thursday, Sept. 14, through Sunday, Sept. 24, in Camera Park, 101 E. Fullerton Ave., Glendale Heights. Event features authentic Oktoberfest Bier imported directly from the Hofbräu Brewery in Munich, as well as beer from the oldest Brewery in the world, Weihenstephan Hefe Weiss Bier. Dirndl-dressed servers will serve a meal, followed by an assortment of Austrian and German pastries. Vendors will offer German products, including steins and hats. Entertainment includes Oompah music. Free; $5 for adults after 4 p.m.; free for kids 16 and younger. glendaleheightsoktoberfest.com.
Fifth Annual Hofbräuhaus Chicago Oktoberfest: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday; 11 a.m. to midnight Thursday; and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, from Friday, Sept. 15, through Sunday, Oct. 29, at Hofbräuhaus Chicago, 5500 Park Place, Rosemont. Events include authentic nightly Bavarian entertainment, freshly brewed Oktoberfestbier inspired by the original Hofbräuhaus in Munich, daily food specials served by Dirndl-clad waitresses, celebrity keg-tapping ceremonies, games, music and more. Free admission. (847) 671-2739 or hofbrauhauschicago.com.
Rotary Club of Palatine Oktoberfest: 5 p.m. to midnight Friday, Sept. 15; noon to midnight Saturday, Sept. 16; and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17, at Slade and Smith streets, Palatine. Tented event features German music, food, beverages and activities. Family Day is Saturday, Sept. 16; activities include face painting, balloon-art, children's games and more. Free admission. palatinerotary.com/oktoberfest.
Pollyanna Brewing Company's Oktoberfest: 3 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, at Pollyanna Brewing Company, 431 Talcott Ave., Lemont. Celebration includes beer, bratwurst and bands. Food provided by Weber Grill. $10 admission fee includes a souvenir mug. (630) 914-5834 or pollyannabrewing.com.
Two Brothers Oktoberfest: Noon to 9 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17, at Two Brothers Roundhouse, 205 N. Broadway, Aurora. Annual festival celebrates the beginning of Oktoberfest in Germany and the release of Two Brothers' Oktoberfest lager, Atom Smasher. Enjoy German food, live German Oompah music from The Happy Wanderers and Jimmy's Bavarians and a stein-holding competition. Free admission. (630) 264-2739 or twobrothersbrewing.com.
Noon Whistle Brewing Oktoberfest: Noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, at Noon Whistle Brewing, 800 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard. New beer releases throughout the day, music from Super Oberkrainer, a sausage-eating contest, food trucks and games. Lederhosen and dirndls are encouraged. Free admission. (630) 376-6895 or noonwhistlebrewing.com.
Oak Brook Park District Oktoberfest: Noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, at Central Park, 1500 Forest Gate Road, Oak Brook. Softball tournament, live music, food, beer, children's activities and more. Free. (630) 990-4233 or obparks.org.
13th Annual Vernon Hills Oktoberfest: 3 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, at the Vernon Hills Metra Train Station, 75 E. Route 45, Vernon Hills. Free hayrides, kids' crafts and pumpkins (while supplies last). The Lincolnshire/Riverwoods Fire Protection District will feature a fire truck display. Other highlights include live music, balloon sculpting, food and more. Free admission. (847) 367-3700 or vernonhills.org.
17th Annual Oktoberfest Chicago: 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30; and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1, at St. Alphonsus, 1429 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago. Celebration features beer, food (including handmade bratwurst), German bands, games and more. Admission is $5 before 5 p.m.; $10 after 5 p.m. Free for active military staff and veterans (with proper military ID). oktoberfestchicago.org.
Lynfred Winery Oktoberfest, Grape Stomp and Pig Roast: 3 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1, at Lynfred Winery, 15 S. Roselle Road, Roselle. Two days of German sing-a-longs, food, grape spitting, grape stomping and cork tossing. $10 entrance fee; free for kids 13 and younger. lynfredwinery.com.
Marmion Academy Oktoberfest: 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, at Marmion Academy, 1000 Butterfield Road, Aurora. Event features German food, live music, Oktoberfest-style beer and wine, a silent auction and more. Performers include Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos. Activities take place under a tent in the Battaglia Center parking lot. $40. For ages 21 and older. Register at marmion.org.
Batavia Oktoberfest: 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, on North River Street, in downtown Batavia. Traditional Oktoberfest event featuring authentic German food, music, entertainment and beer. Free admission. downtownbatavia.com.
Naper Settlement Oktoberfest: 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6; noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, at Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. Traditional German music, beer and food, under a heated tent, with family-friendly activities. $10-$15; free for kids younger than 4 and Naper Settlement members. napersettlement.org.
Mount Prospect Downtown Merchants Association's Oktoberfest: 4 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 13-14, at the intersection of Emerson Street and Busse Avenue, Mount Prospect. Entertainment in a heated tent, traditional German fare and beverages. Performers include the Phenix German Band and the German dance group Noch Einmahl. Kids' events run from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, and feature pumpkin decorating, hayrides and more. Free. mpdowntown.com.