Oktoberfest in Münich, Germany is the largest festival on the planet. In 2015, more than six million people from all over the world attended the 16-day annual celebration, consuming more than 7.7 million liters of the world’s best beers. Food, festivities, and fun for everyone makes this one-time royal wedding celebration a bucket list to do. But, if hopping a plane to Germany isn’t in this year’s game plan, don’t worry. There are plenty of activities throughout the region to quench your thirst.
German-Americans are one of the largest immigrant populations in the US, so it makes sense the tradition has been carried on with much fervor. Oktoberfest in the tristate area, which begins in mid-September and runs through October, is a great way to be German for a day. Eat and drink authentic German food, beer, and wine. Polka dance to traditional music by bands clad in Bavarian garb or take an Oktoberfest fun run. Activities for kids, parades, and shopportunities make these celebrations a full blown family affair.
What’s more, many of the local communities and businesses donate some or all of their proceeds to support local charities and other alcohol-free events. Some even offer discounted admission for designated drivers. Here are a few of the area’s most popular that put community first. Prost!
Oktoberfest at Tysons’ Biergarten
Saturdays & Sundays
Starting on September 17th with an Octoberfest Kickoff party featuring live music, german beer reps and tastings, kids corner, contests, free giveaways and more, every weekend at Tysons’ Biergarten will have a different theme ranging from: Local Craft beer festival, German BeerFestival, #OneWorldFestival (beers from all over the world), Bourbon beer and Barbecue festival and more.
8346 Leesburg Pike, Tysons, VA 22182
St. Benedict’s Oktoberfest
Friday, September 16 – Sunday, September 18
St. Benedict Parish has a strong German tradition; many of the charter members were German brewers. Steeped in tradition, parish members bring authentic food, music, and beverages, and even their own Christkindlmart to the community. The three-day event has lots of activities for kids and parents alike, all for a good cause. Proceeds provide direct and indirect scholarships and financial aid to Saint Benedict Catholic School, Benedictine College Preparatory, and Saint Gertrude High School.
St. Benedict Parish
N. Sheppard Street
Saturday, September 17, 1 – 6pm
Admission: $35 – $60
Enjoy more than 300 of the globe’s best craft beers at DC’s largest beer fest including local debuts, autumn seasonals, cask ales, and barrel-aged brews. Local food trucks, live music, and fun and games provide entertainment throughout the day. Proceeds benefit arcadia.org.
1300 First Street South East
H Street Festival
Saturday, September 17, 12 – 7
Hosted by H Street Main Street, a nonprofit dedicated to an H Street renaissance, the H Street Festival is one of the largest neighborhood festivals in the District. Going on its 11th year, the Festival celebrates H Street restaurants, shops, and local artists and musicians who come together for a day of entertainment and fun. Organized by volunteers, this event benefits small businesses on H Street.
Between 4th and 14th Streets, North East
Saturday, September 17, 12pm
Being at the Biergarten Haus during Oktoberfest is almost like being at Theresienwiese in Munich. For a taste of Bavaria on Capital Hill all year round, this is the place to go. Oktoberfest at the Biergarten Haus kicks off in conjunction with the H Street Festival. The ceremonial keg tapping Munich style starts things off, along with samples of Marzen brews to go around. Throughout the Oktoberfest season, Biergarten Haus features beers from Munich’s Oktoberfest such as Paulaner Oktoberfest, Spaten Oktoberfest, Warsteiner Oktoberfest, Hofbrau Oktoberfest, and Weihenstephan Festbier. Live German music and Oompah bands also make appearances throughout the season.
1355 H Street North East
Das Best Oktoberfest
Saturday, September 24, 11am – 5pm
Admission times and prices vary.
Designated driver tickets available for a reduced price.
Beer, brats, and bands … but first, run! Das Best kicks off with a 21 and over run—5K or a 1 Mile Beer Run, your choice—and plenty of liquid hops and barley to quench your thirst during and after. Live music, beer games, and competitions will make this a memorable event for years to come. Run registration ($59) is open until Tuesday, 20 September, or until race capacity is met. A portion of the proceeds go to Spirit of Hope Chlidren’s Foundation.
300 Waterfront Street
Saturday, September 24, 12pm–6pm
Join us as we turn the Market Square into an outdoor Biergarten! Enjoy a selection of the region’s top IPA and Oktoberfest beers including the tapping of our Hitzig Frau Oktoberfest Lager, grilled fare, and live music at this family-friendly event!
Mad Fox Brewing Company
444 West Broad Street, Suite I,
Falls Church, VA 22046
Blue Ridge Highlands Oktoberfest & 5K Trail Race
Saturday, October 1, 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m
Race registration: $25; $15 for children 13 and under
Festival admission: $5; Free for children 13 and under
Kick off your Oktoberfest with a 5K Trail Race at Westlake Towne Center. Afterward, enjoy some special Oktobertfest brews from Sunken City Brewery while eating brats and listening to The Mountain Top Polka Band. All proceeds benefit the Smith Mountain Lake YMCA.
Smith Mountain Lake
84 Westlake Road
Saturday, 1 October, 11am – 10pm
Sunday, 2 October, 11am- 6pm
Online admission: $7 adults, $4 children, 2 and under: free
Same day admission: $10 adults, $5 children, 2 and under: free
Partake in bratwurst, festive beers and wines, dancing, music, and events for kids, all in support of Frederick County charities. Spearheaded by the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek and the Rotary Club of Southern Frederick County, this cultural event helps raise thousands of dollars for area non-profits.
Frederick Fairgrounds E-ventplex
797 East Patrick Street
Saturday, October 1, 11am – 7pm
Vienna’s free, family-friendly Oktoberfest features live entertainment on the town green, a beer and wine garden, plenty of food, a shopper’s marketplace, and lots of children’s activities. Presented by the Vienna Business Association, proceeds support First Night Vienna, an alcohol-free New Year’s eve celebration.
Historic Church Street
Between Center and Mill Streets
All You Care to Taste
Saturday, October 8, 12 – 6pm
Admission times and prices vary
Designated driver tickets available for a reduced price
Baltimore’s All You Care to Taste event features more than 150 different international, domestic, and local beers, wines, and Schnapps. Live music, games, and contests are ongoing throughout the day. This event does not cater to children, however a portion of the proceeds go to Spirit of Hope Chlidren’s Foundation.
M&T Bank Stadium Lots
1101 Russell Street
Friday, 21 October, 6 – 11:59pm
Saturday, 22 October, 3 – 11:59pm
$12 65 & older
$12 Active military, National Guard & Reserves
$12 Advance purchase
Free admission for children 15 & under
Come out and celebrate Richmond’s 48th annual Oktoberfest, Virginia’s oldest, most authentic festival. Eat German food and drink a variety of German and domestic beers. Dance to polkas, waltzes, and American standards. Watch the Grand March and crowning of the Oktoberfest Queen. Plenty of live music, shopping opportunities, and children’s activities including crafts, face painting, and games. The Deutscher Sports Club, a German-American social club, helps organize this event to help maintain German customs and traditions in the “new world.”
Old Dominion Hall
Richmond International Raceway
600 E Laburnum Ave
Oktoberfest at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens
Saturday, October 29, 11am – 4pm
$11 for seniors 55 and up
$8 for children 3 – 12
Free for children 2 and under
What could be better than viewing the glorious fall colors in a botanical garden while eating local food and drinking
beer from the Center of the Universe Brewery? Doing it all while supporting a local charity. Bring canned goods
donations to help support FeedMore and you’ll be doing more than feeding your Oktoberfest buzz.
Ginter Botanical Gardens
Barrel & Bushel – Crowlers are on Tap
Come taste more than 25 exclusive seasonal craft beers and pumpkin ales at Barrel & Bushel and take home some Crowlers! At B&B we can ‘can’ your favorite beers on tap! Proudly featuring Virginia brewers, including Hardywood, Evolution, and AleWerks. And for a limited time, we’ll be pouring the B&B signature beer!
Barrel & Bushel
7901 Tysons One Place
Tysons Corner, Virginia