Oktoberfest, the world’s largest beer festival, officially began on Sept. 19 in Munich, Germany. Inspired by the festivities that followed a royal wedding in 1810, Germans and tourists from all over the world spend two weeks carousing and eating to their hearts’ content. For those in New York City who cannot make it to the festival’s birthplace, smaller Oktoberfest celebrations are being held all across the city at various venues through Oct. 4.
78 South St.
For the past two weekends, the Watermark Bar has offered a selection of German beer, brats and pretzels to enjoy on their terrace, which has spectacular views of Brooklyn. The events are free and family-friendly, so while the adults enjoy a cold brew, children can be kept occupied with face painting, ping pong or cornhole. At night, live music and light-up tables replace the picnic-style seating. There is even a heavy stein holding competition for the athletically-confident.
General manager Illinca Munteanu talked about the venue’s popularity suggesting that over 5,000 people attended just last weekend, going through 55 kegs of beer. Munteanu predicts that the turnout for next weekend will be even bigger. Tickets are available online and cost $50 for a two hour unlimited drinking package.
Zum Schneider’s Munich on the East River
24-20 FDR Drive Service Rd East
For those who prefer to attend a more traditional Oktoberfest celebration, head over to Zum Schneider. The Bavarian bierhaus offers several varieties of German beer served in liter steins, as well as traditional accompaniments such as roasted almonds and pretzels. If the food and drinks don’t convince guests that they’ve been transported to Munich, the restaurant’s lederhosen-wearing staff and extensively decorated tent certainly surely will. Hours are 4 to 10 p.m. on Friday and noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday the weekends of Oct. 2 and 9. General admission tickets are $25 and can be purchased online or at the door.
3159 Flatbush Ave.
Oktoberfest has also found its way into Brooklyn. On Oct. 3, Aviator Sports will be hosting an outdoor cornhole tournament as part of their Oktoberfest festivities. While traditionally known as a backyard party game, cornhole actually has its roots in 14th-century Germany. The tournament will be accompanied by live music courtesy of Oompah band, DIE SPITZBAUM, games and beer. The event runs from noon to 4 p.m. Tickets, which cost $40, can be purchased online.
Sunnyside Garden Park
48-21 39th Ave., Sunnyside, Queens
Finally, for those who want to include the little ones in their Oktoberfest celebrations, look no further than Sunnyside Garden Park. On Oct. 3 from 12 to 5 p.m., the members-only park will open its doors to the public. Activities include a food festival featuring wine, beer and bratwurst, an arts and crafts fair, and a pumpkin patch. Admission is free.
A version of this article appeared in the Sept. 28 print edition. Email Nikki Link at [email protected]