Germans love Oktoberfest, when they celebrate beer with friends old and new at long outdoor tables and eat pretzels and bratwurst amongst some of their other traditional fare. People from all over the world travel to Bavaria to enjoy authentic German cuisine amongst German natives during this famous festival. Even in you can’t be in Germany to drink beer and eat German cuisine, you can have just as much fun here in the Chicago area with some of the special events that are coming up. Here are some of the places that you can enjoy the excitement and culture of Oktoberfest right near you.
John C. Kluczynski Federal Plaza
230 S. Dearborn St.
Chicago, IL 60604
Dates: Sept. 11-13, 2013
One of the best events in the city is Berghoff’s Oktoberfest, which is held at the John C. Kluczynski Federal Plaza. Live performances, food and beer are all part of the festivities. Admission is free, but Berghoff restaurant also offers a prepaid VIP package for groups of 20 or more in which you can enjoy an all-you-can-eat-and-drink buffet of bratwurst, potatoes and beer. Come down and enjoy authentic German music from the Johnny Wagner Band as well as many other great performers.
Downtown Oak Park
Marion St. between Lake and North Blvd.
Oak Park, IL 60302
Dates: Sept. 20-21, 2013
Specialty microbrews, seasonal foods and zucchini races will be just some of the eats and entertainment at Oaktoberfest in September in Oak Park, IL. Have a soft drink in the root beer garden on Saturday while you listen to live music at this lively Oktoberfest event. There will be live music by Amanda Shaw and Great Divide among many others and family fun throughout the weekend.
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523 S. Webster St.
Naperville, IL 60540
Dates: Oct. 5, 2013
Enjoy live music as well as German beer and food at the Oktoberfest in beautiful Naperville. Plan ahead for family activities from noon until 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 5. Day-of-the-event tickets are $15 for adults and seniors, $10 for youth ages four to 12 and those under four years old are free. Relax and have a fun day out with your friends and family while enjoying a local Oktoberfest event.
Shoreline’s Beer, Brats, and Boats Oktoberfest Cruise
Shoreline Sightseeing Cruises
600 E. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60601
Date: Sept. 27, 2013
Want to enjoy Oktoberfest in a whole new way? Make your transition into fall with a beautiful cruise on Lake Michigan and enjoy seeing the Chicago Skyline from a new perspective. The cruise will serve German food and Oktoberfest beer from a menu created by Paulina Market, while you indulge in a relaxing trip on Lake Michigan. This 21-and-over cruise departs at 7 p.m. and returns at 9 p.m. from Gateway Park at Navy Pier.
Glendale Heights Oktoberfest
101 E. Fullerton Ave.
Glendale Heights, IL 60139
Dates: Sept. 12-22, 2013
Need even more time to enjoy Oktoberfest? Glendale Heights’ Oktoberfest runs from September 12 until the 22, so you have 11 days to enjoy a terrific outdoor festival with pony rides, a petting zoo and, of course, German beers and food. Glendale Heights’ Oktoberfest is covered with a huge tent, so even if it rains, you can still enjoy this wonderful Oktoberfest. The hours are Monday to Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturdays from noon until midnight and Sundays from noon until 10 p.m. Adults are $8 and children under 10 are free.
Angela Hazen lives in Oak Park, IL. She has worked as a model in Chicago and studied broadcast journalism at Columbia College Chicago. She has traveled to Europe on several occasions, and keeps her readers up to date with local and international style, shopping, fashion and beauty trends. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.