Just because Oktoberfest celebrations around the world have been cancelled or moved to remote versions doesn’t mean that you and your family can’t still celebrate the German Fall Fest this year. I might be a day late (traditionally Oktoberfest starts in September and ends the first Sunday in October—which was actually YESTERDAY) but honestly you can enjoy a fun, socially-distant Oktoberfest at home any time this Fall. Here’s how.
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Bust out the Lederhosen
Even if you aren’t German, one of the best ways to fake it is to dress the part. Traditionally, Lederhosen is worn at Oktoberfest events around the world and is accepted as both work wear AND leisure wear. And if there was ever a year when you want to wear something that is acceptable for working at home, 2020 is it!
Don’t want to go all out? No problem! Blue and white are traditional colors, so scoop up a checkered shirt, fun Prost-themed graphic tee, or a Tyrolean hat to add some Bavarian flare to your outfit. Ladies can also put braids in their hair or wear a braided headband to showcase Oktoberfest style.
Deck the Halls
Oktoberfests are typically held in beer halls or under tents with flags and other banners covering the rafters. Since we have a pergola we hung blue and white pennant flags and decor from it, but there are tons of other fun and colorful ways you can decorate for your Oktoberfest at home (I mean, this kit has EVERYTHING you need!).
Focus on the Food
While Oktoberfest might be a beer festival, that doesn’t mean that the food should be overlooked. Whether you put out a massive spread or limit the menu to a few items, there are tons of great, traditional German foods to choose from.
Bratwurst, schnitzel, sauerkraut, roast chicken and pork, potato pancakes, and everyone’s favorite—Bavarian pretzels—are great options and surprisingly easy to prepare. I highly recommend thinking OUTSIDE the plate (as cute as it may be!) and filling the holes in Bavarian pretzels with fruits, nuts, and cheeses. Not only is it a great presentation, but it is also a great way to mix unique sweet and savory flavors.
Stock the Bar
Beer is the traditional drink of Oktoberfest, and it is best to have a WIDE variety of types to appeal to everyone’s palate—especially those who aren’t traditionally beer drinkers. Some suggestions:
- Oktoberfest varieties (duh)
- Pale ales
- Red Ales
Don’t forget to pick up some steins to serve your Oktoberfest brews—not only will they add to your décor but they will also help with some fun Oktoberfest games, too! I mean, how gorgeous is this Belgian stein?!?!
Play Some Games
One of the reasons why I wanted to have an Oktoberfest at Home this year is because it is just plain FUN and is one of those events that gets adults acting like kids. There are tons of simple yet amusing games that you and your friends will undoubtedly become engrossed in. Some options:
- Yodeling competition (mimic the traditional Bavarian yodel, but with your own spin on it, of course!) with or without Oktoberfest trumpets
- Beer stein holding competition (completely fill a beer stein, hold it out in front of you, and try to keep it elevated the longest without spilling a drop)
- Chess matches (put a tipsy twist on your chess match by downing a beer every time one of your pieces is captured)
- Play “STUMP” aka Hammerschlagen (since set up is a bit complicated, you can check out the rules here).
Keep in mind that I am an Irish and Polish girl writing this, which should empower you to have any type of Oktoberfest at Home that you desire. Just remember that Oktoberfest is really all about coming together (while maintaining social distance!) and having a good time. And if you are looking for the best Oktoberfest in Chicago, I HIGHLY recommend Hofbrauhaus Chicago–check out my review here.
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