Fun and merriment await at suburban Oktoberfests
Boots of beer, stein-holding contests and spaetzle. Yes, it's already Oktoberfest time in the suburbs and Chicago. So if you're a fan of authentic German food, beer and music, grab some friends, put on your best German garb and head out to a local celebration.
Here are some Oktoberfests for your calendar:
Oktoberfest at Schnitzel Platz
11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday (closed Tuesday) and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, from Friday, Sept. 6, to Saturday, Oct. 26, at 729 North Ave., Glendale Heights. The longtime German restaurant offers a special seasonal Oktoberfest menu, plus entertainment and more. (630) 942-9900 or schnitzelplatz.com.
5 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, and noon to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, on Orchard Street, in front of the Metra station, Itasca. The 12th annual fest includes German food such as spaetzle, bratwurst, pork dinner, pretzels and more, plus music from the Ed Wagner Band at 7 p.m. Friday and the Johnny Wagner Band at 7 p.m. Saturday. Purchase German hats for $2 to benefit Itasca charities. Free admission. Oktoberfest 5K starts at 9 a.m. Saturday at Usher Park. Advance registration required. itasca.com/499/Itasca-Oktoberfest.
5 to 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7; and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, at Virginia Mary Hayter Village Green, 5510 Prairie Stone Parkway, Hoffman Estates. Enjoy authentic German food and traditional music from The Mike Schneider Band, The Johnny Wagner Band, Mike Knauf's Musikmeisters and more. Of course there will be lots of beer and fun contests such as stein hoisting, stein carrying and wiener eating. Plus, there's a kids' area featuring a climbing wall, inflatables, face painting and more. Free. www.hoffmanestates.org.
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. 12, through Sunday, Sept. 22, at Camera Park, 101 E. Fullerton Ave., Glendale Heights. Expect German food prepared by Chef Wolfgang from Schnitzel Platz and German beer imported from the Hofbräu Brewery in Munich. Entertainment features strolling "Oompah" music, a pumpkin patch and vendors selling German products. The fest will take place rain or shine. Free; $5 for adults after 4 p.m. and free for kids 16 and younger. glendaleheightsoktoberfest.com.
Keg-tappings are always a fun time during Oktoberfest at Hofbrauhaus Chicago in Rosemont.
- Courtesy of Hofbrauhaus Chicago
Hofbräuhaus Chicago's Seventh Annual Oktoberfest Celebration
Hours vary from Friday, Sept. 13, through Thursday, Oct. 31, at Hofbrauhaus Chicago, 5500 Park Place, Rosemont. Gather some friends and head to Hofbräuhaus to enjoy nightly entertainment, celebrity keg-tapping ceremonies, freshly brewed Oktoberfestbier, German food specials featuring schnitzels and sausages and more. On Friday and Saturday nights during Oktoberfest, diners can participate in the famous "Maskrugstemmen" stein-holding contest. Free admission. Reservations suggested. (847) 671-2739 or hbchicago.com.
Rotary Club of Palatine's Oktoberfest
5 p.m. to midnight Friday, Sept. 20; noon to midnight Saturday, Sept. 21; and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, at Towne Square, Slade and Smith streets, Palatine. On Friday, a blessing and tapping of the ceremonial keg kicks off this tented festival featuring authentic German music, food, beverages (German and craft beer and wines) and more. Saturday is family day, featuring a family bike ride, face painting, a magician, bubbles, music, dance performances and more. Free. palatinerotary.com.
St. Peter Oktoberfest
3 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at St. Peter Lutheran School, 111 W. Olive St., Arlington Heights. An authentic German Oktoberfest with brats, beer and polkas. There will be games and prizes, German music and a late-night band. Admission is free; food and drink tickets available for purchase. (224) 387-3825 or oktoberfestah.com/.
Mike Kinnerk, left, of McHenry and Ron Stuckwisch of Johnsburg participate in last year's stein-holding contest at Community Oktoberfest in McHenry.
- Courtesy of Joe Nanez
Community Oktoberfest and Arts and Crafts Show
Noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at Petersen Park, 4300 Petersen Park Road, McHenry. The McHenry Sunrise Rotary hosts its annual Oktoberfest at a new location. Enjoy live German music from Die Musikmeisters at 12:30 p.m., Sugar Highway at 4 p.m. and Infinity at 7 p.m., along with an arts and crafts show from noon to 6 p.m., food, beer and more. Admission is $5 for ages 13 and older. www.rotary-oktoberfest.com.
Two Brothers Oktoberfest
Noon to 10 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, at Two Brothers Roundhouse, 205 N. Broadway, Aurora. Besides lots of Two Brothers beer, there will be German music, authentic German food, stein-holding and lederhosen/dirndl contests and more. (630) 264-2739 or twobrothersbrewing.com/event/two-brothers-oktoberfest-2019/.
Batavia MainStreet Oktoberfest
5 to 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29, on North River Street, between Spring and Wilson streets, Batavia. This annual event features German food, music, chicken dance, yodeling, entertainment, dance performances and beer. Show off your strength at the official Sam Adams stein-hoisting contests starting at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Join the Brat Trot 5K at 11 a.m. Saturday. Family Day on Sunday features "wiener" races, pony rides, face painting, puppet shows and music. Free admission. downtownbatavia.com/oktoberfest/.
5 to 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28; and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29, at St. Alphonsus, 1429 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago. This popular Bavarian party in West Lakeview welcomes fall with brats and German food, Friday and Saturday night craft beer tastings, a weekend Kinderfest and more. Music on two stages: Rod Tuffcurls at 8 p.m. and Polkaholics at 8 p.m. Friday; 16 Candles at 8 p.m. and Trippin Billies at 8:15 p.m. Saturday; and Wedding Banned at 2:30 p.m. and Polkaholics at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. $50 admission includes 20 samples, a souvenir glass and a pretzel necklace. Buy tickets at eventbrite.com/. oktoberfestchicago.org/.
Hofbrauhaus Chicago in Rosemont will be buzzing with German music throughout September and October for Oktoberfest.
- Courtesy of Hofbrauhaus Chicago
East Dundee Oktoberfest
5:30 to 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27; 1:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28; and 11:30 a.m. to the end of the Bears game, Sunday, Sept. 29, at 310 N. River St., East Dundee. Features German food, a beer garden, a corn maze, a scarecrow contest and more. Headliners include Ethan Bell Band at 6 p.m. and The Boy Band Night at 8:30 p.m. Friday and the Jonny Wagner Band at 2 p.m. and Semple at 8 p.m. Saturday. Free admission. www.facebook.com/eastdundeeoktoberfest/.
Oktoberfest, Grape Stomp and Pig Roast
Noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29, at Lynfred Winery, 15 S. Roselle Road, Roselle. Two days of German sing-a-longs, grape spitting, grape stomping and cork tossing. Plus, nosh on roasted pork, German potato salad, grilled bratwurst burgers, apple strudel, German chocolate cake and more. Did we mention that there are costume contests, with prizes for Best Lederhosen and Best "I Love Lucy Stomping Grapes" costume contests for kids and adults? $10; free for kids 13 and younger. lynfredwinery.com/.
Oktoberfest in Wheeling
3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Performance Pavilion at Heritage Park, 201 Community Blvd., Wheeling. Wheeling Park District's Oktoberfest features German food, beer, music and merriment. Enjoy German and domestic beer and bratwursts along with entertainment by IPA (International Polka Association) Tribute Band and 7th heaven. Free admission. wheelingparkdistrict.com.
Marmion Academy Oktoberfest
5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, at Marmion Academy, 1000 Butterfield Road, Aurora. Enjoy Bavarian food, beer, silent auction and performances of the Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos at the 21-and-older event. Tickets are $60 at marmion.org/.
East Lake View Neighbors Oktoberfest
3 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29, at Murphy's Bleachers, 3655 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago. Gather your friends and head into the city for a pig roast, German food and beer, wine, music, a silent auction and more. Proceeds benefit local charities. Tickets cost $30 in advance and $35 at the door. brownpapertickets.com/.
Westmont Lions Oktoberfest
4 to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Metra station parking lot at 31 W. Quincy St., Westmont. Fill up on Oktoberfest food and Oktobeer, plus enjoy music featuring Freeze Dried Band at 7 p.m. Friday and South Side Exiles at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, a car show and a craft show. Free admission. Running for the Cause 5K and Fun Run starts at 8 a.m. Saturday. Fee: $35. Proceeds benefit programs for those with hearing and vision loss as well as diabetes. oktoberfestwestmont.com/.
Oktoberfest in Naperville
5 to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. The 10th annual Oktoberfest features traditional German music from the Polkaholics at 8 p.m. Friday and rock from Wedding Banned at 8 p.m. Saturday. Of course there will be German beer and cuisine under a heated tent. Also, check out the pumpkin carver, Oktoberfest pinball, a stein-holding contest at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, a pretzel-eating contest at 5 p.m. Saturday and kids' activities from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. Online ticket sales end at noon Thursday, Oct. 3. Tickets will be available at the door. $15; $10 for kids 4-12; free for members and kids younger than 4. napersettlement.org/.
Island Lake Oktoberfest
6 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, Oct. 4-5, at Water Tower Park, 429 W. State Road, Island Lake. Food, German and American beer, music, games, crafts, vendors and more. Music by Jimmy's Bavarians Band at 7:30 p.m. both days and entertainment by Those Funny Little People. Free. www.villageofislandlake.com.
German beer will be flowing at Buffalo Creek Brewing during Oktoberfest on Oct. 5.
- Courtesy of Buffalo Creek Brewing
Oktoberfest at Buffalo Creek Brewing
Noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at Buffalo Creek Brewing, 360 Historical Lane, Long Grove. Owner/brewmaster Mike Marr will be crafting authentic German-style beer to serve alongside Bavarian specialties such as brats, potato salad, strudel and more during the fest. Plus, there will be live music from the Hirsch German Band, contests such as Hammerschlagen (nail-driving contest) and stein-holding, as well as barrel rolling, hayrides, horseshoes and other free family contests and raffles. Free admission. (847) 821-6140 or buffalocreekbrewing.com/.
Octoberfest in Wheaton
2 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at DuPage County Historical Museum, 102 E. Wesley St., Wheaton. Fall celebration features music from Alpine Thunder at 2 p.m., Chemically Imbalanced at 4 p.m. and Vital Signs at 6 p.m., a beer garden, a variety of food vendors and a children's area. Free; $5 donation accepted to benefit the DuPage County Historical Museum Foundation. wheatonparkdistrict.com/events/octoberfest/.
Mount Prospect Fall Festival and Oktoberfest
4 to 11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, for Oktoberfest and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, for the family-friendly Fall Fest, at Emerson Street and Busse Avenue, Mount Prospect. Friday features Oktoberfest beer, authentic German food, dancing and music from Phenix German Band starting at 6 p.m., while Saturday offers hayrides, a trick-or-treat candy line, pumpkin decorating and more. Free admission. mpdowntown.com/oktoberfest-info/.
Legions of Craft Beer Fest
Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, inside Six Flags Great America, 1 Great America Parkway, Gurnee. Sample craft brews from 35-plus breweries plus samples of wines and craft cocktails. Enjoy live music and thrilling roller coasters, too. All proceeds benefit local veterans at the Gurnee American Legion and Lake County Honor Flight. Festival tickets cost $30; a valid season pass, membership or one-day ticket to Six Flags is also required. gurneelegionsofbeer.com.