Oktoberfest Party Ideas and German Theme Party

Two Beer Mugs filled with Beer with Oktoberfest Logos
Celebrate Fall and German Heritage with a fun Oktoberfest Party!  Oktoberfest is the perfect party to sample various beers, listen to fun upbeat music and to enjoy good food with family and friends. This is also a great theme for Bachelor Parties, Male Birthdays and Sporting events as well.   Birthday Party Ideas arrow Oktoberfest Party Supplies

Oktoberfest Collage with couple in German outfit, Pretzel, Beer picture, German Sausage Meal, Sauerkraut, German Potato Salad

Oktoberfest Party Plan

Oktoberfest Facts:

  • Oktoberfest is a 16 day festival held in Munich, Germany every year, from late September to early October.
  • Large amounts of German food and beer is consumed every year during the festival.
  • In 2007, the Oktoberfest in Germany attracted 6.2 million visitors.
  • The colors of Oktoberfest are white and blue, the colors of the flag of Bavaria, Germany.
  • The colors of the flag of Germany are yellow, red and black.

German Birthday Facts:

  • It is believed by some that the Birthday Cake started in Germany where it was shaped like a baby swaddled in clothing, commerating the birth of Jesus Christ.  Many of the birthday symbols originated from Germany – birthday cakes, birthday candles and party celebrations.  Source: 1, 2.

Germany Country Facts:

  • Capital: Berlin.
  • Population: 82 million (2008).
  • Famous Germans: Albert Einstein, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Beethoven.
  • Most popular meat: Pork.
  • National alcoholic drink: Beer.
  • Most popular sport: Soccer (Football in Europe).

Birthday Party Invitations Ideas line divider

Party Invitation for Oktoberfest - Mug of Beer
Party Invitation for Oktoberfest - Mug of Beer with a Pretzel on the side
Party Invitation for Oktoberfest - Party Beer with Crab on Beach
Party Invitation for Oktoberfest - German Oktoberfest Ready Made Invitation

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Oktoberfest Party Invitations

  • German Postcards. Get postcards from vintage stores or antique stores.  Make color copies of them and cut out to make your own postcards. Another option is to get German costumes and make postcards of yourself to send out as invitations.
  • Oktoberfest Beer Mug. A symbol that reminds us of Oktoberfest and its festivities, is the beer mug.  Get beer mug invitations and send them to your guests to let them know you are planning an Oktoberfest party.
  • German and Oktoberfest Mini Flags. Stick German Toothpick Flags and Oktoberfest flags on colored cardstock and write “Sie sind herzlich eingeladen” which means “You are cordially invited” on a strip.  Paste the strip in the middle with the flags in an “X” fashion.
  • Oktoberfest Invitations. Get these ready-made invitations with Oktoberfest blue and white diamond colors, beer stein, and pretzels.  Just fill in party details and you are good to go!
  • Oktoberfest Printables.  You can also download our free printables and create your own Oktoberfest invitation.  Jazz it up by adding a blue card stock background or send off as is.  Simple and easy!

Simple German Wording for Invitations and Daily Conversations:

  • “Sie sind herzlich eingeladen” – You are cordially invited.
  • “Ein Prosit” – Toast!
  • “Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!”Happy Birthday!
  • “Viel Glück!” – Good Luck!
  • “Wilkommen!” – Welcome!
  • “Wie geht es dir?” – How are you?
  • “Gut, danke!” – Good, thank you.
  • “Guten Tag” – Good day.

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Oktoberfest Party Decorations

Photo credits: Beer in a row, Oktoberfest Cloud Tent, Oktoberfest Streamers Tent, and  Fraulein in dirndls.
All others by www.toppartyideas.com (c) 2009.

  • Oktoberfest colors. White and light blue are the colors of the flag of the state of Bavaria, the largest state in Germany.  Get table cloth, plates and party supplies in white and blue, either solid colors or diamond pattern.  Another option is to use colors of the German flag, and decorate the party in red, black and gold.
  • Oktoberfest Banner. Get an Oktoberfest banner welcoming your guests to the party in either the Bavarian white and blue colors or the colors of the German flag.
  • Oktoberfest Centerpiece. A simple centerpiece to put together – get a dinner plate, place a beer stein in the middle.  Fill the stein with fresh flowers and add in small Oktoberfest or German flags.  Fill the plate around the stein with lots of large fresh pretzels.  Place on the party table with an Oktoberfest table cloth.  An instant simple, yet effective Oktoberfest centerpiece!
  • Oktoberfest Tents. During Oktoberfest, large tents are set up and each one decorated according to their own theme and colors.  If you don’t have enough space indoors, set-up a pop-up tent or pop-up canopy in your back yard or function space to mimic the Oktoberfest celebration and decorate with blue and white streamers, balloons, or themed gossamer.  For a party indoors, hang an Oktoberfest canopy over a dining room table for an instant mock Oktoberfest tent-look without the effort.  Made of light weight 3-D paper and easy to set up with tape.
  • Beer Tasting Table. Set up a table with a line-up of the beers available for tasting.  For each one, put out a place card out with the name of the beer, origin, and any other trivia you may know about the beer and brewery.
  • German Travel Posters. Get posters from travel agencies to put all over the party room.  Another option is to take out the pictures of a German Calendar and use those instead.  With scrapbook paper, stickers and embellishments you can make a border and add in details.
  • Custom Beer Labels. Get various local beers if Oktoberfest beers are not available in your area and put on your own custom beer labels with your name.  These labels are made of exceptional quality and makes a fun custom party idea.  Another idea would be to use the custom labels for a Bachelors party, Birthday party or Retirement party.  For an Oktoberfest party, for example, you could have the labels printed -  “Mike’s Bierhaus”.  For a Bachelors party, for example the label could be – “Mike and Friends”.  And for an Over-The-Hill Birthday party, a fun label could be – “Downhill Decline”!
  • Easy Centerpiece Ideas.  For more DIY centerpiece ideas, go to our Oktoberfest Centerpieces page.

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Oktoberfest Party Favors - hat, beaded necklace with small mug, beer glass with Oktoberfest Logo

Oktoberfest Guest Arrival and Introduction

  • German Greeting. Greet guests as they arrive with the words “Wilkommen!” which means “Welcome!”.
  • German Titles. Address all men and boys as “Herr _____ ” (Mr.).  Likewise, address the ladies or girls as “Fraulein _____” (Miss) and for married ladies, address as “Frau ______” (Mrs).
  • German Music. Play German Folk Songs, Oktoberfest music or German Pop music to get guests in the mood when they arrive.
  • Oktoberfest Banner. Place a banner at the entrance to greet guests and to let them know which location the party is at.  Add in blue and white balloons or the colors of the German flag.
  • Oktoberfest Signs. Put German Oktoberfest signs up all over the party area so people know where to find things when they arrive. Some useful and fun signs in the the all-in-one packet kit are: “Biergarten” (Beergarden), “Oom Pah Band” (Music Band), “Pretzel Stand”, and “Freibier Morgen” (Tomorrow’s Free Beer).
  • Green Alpine Hat.  Give each guest a green Alpine Hat or Beer Beads.
  • Beer Stein Standee. Get a large Beer Stein Standee and place at the entrance.  Let each guest take a snapshot next to it holding a mug of beer and print out as favor or keepsake.

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Oktoberfest Party Crafts

  • German Paper Star. Make German paper stars using colored paper strips.  Make sure you have lots of pre-cut strips before hand.
  • Coloring Pages. Print out German coloring pages for the younger crowd.  Just add crayons.
  • Oktoberfest Beads. Get colored beads in Oktoberfest or German flag colors.  Let guests make their own beads.  Add funny pendants so guests can choose which fits their personality the best.  Great ice breaker for large parties.
  • Sit Upon Seat. Make sit-upon seats with your guests and use them for outdoor parties.  Perfect solutions if you want to have an informal party outdoors with picnic blankets, tents and outdoor fire.  Try to find fabric in the blue and white theme colors.

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Oktoberfest Party Recipes

Oktoberfest German Meal - Sausage, sauerkraut, bread, potato salad, pickle
Salted Pretzel with coarse sea salt
Oktoberfest Potato Salad
Oktoberfest Apple Butter

  • Sausage. Serve several kinds of sausages so if there is a preference regarding meat type or flavoring, guests can choose.
  • Pretzel. Make this delicious soft, buttery pretzel in large size with coarse sea salt.
  • Sauerkraut. Cabbage in Brine is a favorite side dish at Oktoberfest celebrations.
  • Bratwurst. Another famous sausage to accompany a mug of beer.
  • Potato Dumpling. German’s version of a dumpling made with potatoes.
  • Potato Pancakes. Same as the Jewish Latkes where shredded potatoes are fried in batter.  Serve with apple butter.
  • Apple Butter. Delicious on hot bread, roast pork or potato pancakes.  Recipes and pictures for apple butter here.
  • Potato Salad. Add small chunks of apples in your traditional potato salad for sweetness and crunch.
  • Cheese Noodles. Homemade egg noodles or store bought cheese noodles are a favorite among kids and adults.
  • Roasted Chicken. Put chicken or Cornish hen on the rotisserie grill or oven.  Marinate with coarse sea salt, cracked pepper and garlic about one hour before cooking.  Brush chicken with olive oil and bake at 325 F for 1.5 – 2 hours.
  • Pork Roast. Pork is the most favorite meat in Germany, and it is therefore often seen in many types of dishes.  Make this delicious roast pork with maple and mustard glaze for your Oktoberfest celebration.  This pork roast recipe delivers a very moist, sweet and salty pork and will be a hit at your party!
  • Bierock.  A traditional German bread bun with meat and cabbage filling.  Great as appetizers or main dish and can be made ahead of time.  See complete bierock recipe.

Oktoberfest German Meal - Sausage, sauerkraut, bread, potato salad, pickle
Roasted Pork with sweet maple mustard glaze
Oktoberfest Potato Pancakes or Latkes
Oktoberfest Sauerkraut - Cabbage in Brine

Some Oktoberfest Beers

  • Mendocino Oktoberfest Beer (CA)
  • Flying Fish Beer (NJ)
  • Victory Festbier Beer (PA)
  • Harpoon Octoberfest Beer (MA)
  • Stoudts Oktoberfest Beer (PA)
  • Beck’s Ocfest Beer (Germany)
  • Paulaner Oktoberfest Beer (Germany)
  • Pete’s Wicked Oktoberfest Beer (TX)
  • Samuel Adams Oktoberfest Beer (MA)
  • Ayinger OktoberFest Märzen Beer (Germany)

Birthday Party Cakes Ideas line divider

Oktoberfest Party Supplies - Beer mug with logo and Oktoberfest Plate with pretzel printed and blue and white colors

Oktoberfest Party Cakes and Desserts

  • German Chocolate Cake. Another popular cake of the German heritage.
  • Black Forest Cake. Delicious chocolate cake with chocolate shavings, whipped frosting and cherries on top.
  • Apple Strudel. Apple Strudel is perfect when the weather turns cooler and when Fall starts, around the Oktoberfest celebration.
  • Apple Coffee Cake. Great traditional dessert that goes great with tea, coffee and even beer!
  • Cinnamon Pretzel. Just like the salted pretzel but instead dip in melted butter, then into cinnamon brown sugar mix.
  • Black Licorice. A favorite candy for Europeans and Germans. Licorice dates back to the early times of man.  During the Middle Ages, crusaders brought licorice back to England. Many years later, a monastery in Pontefract, England began producing licorice candy. History lives on today in these yummy Licorice Pontefract Cakes. Soft and chewy, their rich black licorice flavor is blended with a hint of molasses for a distinct taste that`s never too sweet and always satisfying. Each piece is stamped with an old-world mark of authenticity…. a picture of the Pontefract Castle itself!
  • Beer Cupcakes.  Make beer cupcakes with Guinness Stout Beer! Form them into beer barrel shape for an added fun element.

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Oktoberfest Party Props, Beer mugs steins, beer balloons and Oktoberfest banner, Oktoberfest picnic with pennants, plates, hats, picnic basket

Oktoberfest Party Games and Activities

  • Alphorn Karaoke. Get long tubes of PVC piping with a curved pipe attachment on the end, and paint them light brown to look like wood.  Have guest take turns playing the mock Alphorns karaoke style.  See who can guess the name of the tune they are playing. Tip: Instead of buying PVC piping we have also found long 25 foot cardboard rolls from carpet stores.  A great way to help recycle materials and the best thing was, it was free!
  • Kazoo March. For kids, give each a kazoo and little alpine hat and go on a little parade.
  • Ein, Zwei, Drei,… Halt! (This game is just like Red-Light-Green-Light.)   How to play: Line up kids in one line and one child, is deemed “the caller” stands with his/her back to them, about 30 feet away.  This person then counts in German from one to three “Ein” (One), “Zwei” (Two), “Drei (Three) and kids need to try to quickly reach the position where the caller is standing without getting caught.  Then caller says “Halt” (Stop) after counting, and turns around quickly.  All kids must then freeze and hold as still as possible.  Anyone caught moving, goes back to the beginning of the line.  Whoever reaches the caller’s position first, gets to be the next caller.
  • Beer Stein Race.  Contestants hold as many filled beer steins and race from one to the other to see who can fill the bucket the most in a period of time.
  • Beer Barrel Roll Race. Use actual beer barrels or kegs and see who can roll it the fastest across a lawn, uphill, or across some obstacle course, etc.
  • Pretzel Making. Kids of all ages (even adults) love playing with bread dough and what more fun activity than to form their own custom Pretzel!   Award prizes for the funniest, the biggest, smallest, most misformed, etc.  Let the dough rise about 1 hour before the party starts so it would be ready when guests arrive.  Get out all the toppings and let them decide whether they want coarse salt, cinnamon sugar, sugar sprinkles, chocolate sprinkles, etc. on top.  Another option is to get a Pretzel Kit with all the ingredients and equipment needed.  Tip: Cut out parchment sheet for each guest and have them write their name in one corner with edible ink (marker) so that after baking, you will know which pretzel belongs to who.
  • Giant Chess. Chess is a popular sport in Germany and chess championship tournaments are held every year. If you are having the party outdoors, like most Oktoberfest parties, set up a large giant Chess set for guests to play with and organize your own tournament for that day. The fun part is having to move the giant chess pieces around.  Perfect photo prop for pictures as well!  Guarantee fun for young and old.
  • Beer Checkers. Set up a checker tournament with a beer chess set.  Whoever gets to conquer the opponent get to drink the beer in the mini beer mugs. See who is the last one standing!
  • Beer Tasting. Get several Oktoberfest beers, local beers and even beer from kegs to see which one has the best taste and have a vote for e.g. “Best Beer of The Smith’s 2009 Oktoberfest”. Replace some of the ordinary beer labels with your own custom beer label e.g. “The Smith 2009 Brew” and see if the beer connoisseurs can figure out what it is.  More beer tasting party ideas.
  • Home Brew Beer. Learn to make home brew beer and see what it tastes like.  Have beer tasting contest to see who can brew the best beer.  Don’t forget prizes, the main prize could be e.g. a mug from your own Oktoberfest logo.
  • Yodeling Contest. Hold a yodeling contest to see who can yodel the best.  Give out Oktoberfest awards and/or prizes.  Start off the yodeling contest with this knock-knock joke:

“Knock, knock.”
“Who’s there?”
“Little old lady.”
“Little old lady who?”
“I didn’t know you could yodel!”

Birthday Party Favor Ideas line divider

Oktoberfest Party Favors

Oktoberfest Favor - Blue Bead Necklace
Oktoberfest Favor - Light Up Mug
Oktoberfest Favor - Mug and Bead Necklace
Oktoberfest Favor - Green Alpine Oktoberfest Hat

  • Apple Butter. For a home-made touch, make apple butter in small containers with custom hang tag for your guests as favors.
  • Blue Oktoberfest Beads. Get bulk beads and give them out as favors.
  • Oktoberfest Mug Beads. Similar to the plain beads but with a mini Oktoberfest beer stein.
  • Light Up Beer Mugs. Let guests use these mugs and take home as favors.  Great for evening parties in the crisp, cool Fall weather when it gets dark earlier!
  • Green Alpine Hat. Green Alpine Hat are a must for an Oktoberfest party!  Dress up your guests and let them take home as a party favor!
  • Chocolate Pretzels. Wrap few chocolate pretzels in a cellophane bag tied with blue and white ribbon as party favor.
  • Ice Cubes Chocolates. A German imported candy that is very popular in Europe and would make a great party favor!
  • Beer Favor. Give out beer bottles with your own custom labels as party favor.  There isn’t a better way to remember an Oktoberfest party!

Oktoberfest Apple Butter
Oktoberfest Favor - Custom Beer with Labels
Oktoberfest Favor - Chocolate Pretzels
Oktoberfest Favor - Jam with custom labels

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