Oktoberfest party ideas: group of friends in Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is a big hit with guests looking to enjoy delicious beer, toast with friends, and relax to a backdrop of lively sounds. Throwing an event to celebrate this traditional Bavarian moment is one of the most memorable ways to spend your time together. 

The best Oktoberfest parties are those that mix great food, drink, company, and entertainment. Get inspired by some of our most-loved Oktoberfest party ideas — including party decor, activities, and, of course, food and drink. 

Set the Scene With Oktoberfest Party Decorations and Decor

Oktoberfest party ideas: Lederhosen Invitation

Design: Shari Margolin Design

Oktoberfest is such an exciting event to decorate for. You can opt for the traditional theme or choose a more contemporary take on this Bavarian holiday. Here’s how to style your space for a fantastic celebration. 

Embrace the Oktoberfest Color Scheme

Traditionally, Oktoberfest colors are inspired by Bavaria and the stunning Bavarian flag — with blues and whites aplenty. Feature this color scheme at your get-together for an authentic take on this fun event. 

Embrace that famous Bavarian blue and white checkerboard scheme across your party decor. It works great for tablecloths, bunting, and streamers — and you can also use it for balloons, reusable tableware, signage, and more. 

Backyard Tents or Indoor Draping

It’s common to see Oktoberfest celebrated in big tents outdoors in places like Munich, Germany. Bring some of that Biergarten (beer garden) atmosphere to your space with tents or tent-inspired decor. 

Rent a large white tent for your backyard party if you’re hosting outside, or transform your indoor space into a faux tent by draping fabrics across your ceiling. Use the tents as a home for serving your beer and snacks, with plenty of seating for your party guests to get cozy and mingle. 

Oktoberfest Banners

Create or invest in an Oktoberfest banner that welcomes your guests and sets the tone for an impressive bash. Let your party guests know they’re arriving at something special with this great Oktoberfest party idea. 

We love the look of having an Oktoberfest banner that showcases the Bavarian flag or German flag. It’s a great way to nod to the heritage of this popular event. Set your banner up by the entrance to your get-together, or use it as the perfect backdrop for a DIY photo booth. 

German Postcards and Themed Wall Art

With its gorgeous mountainous backdrops and pretty scenery, it’s no surprise that many Oktoberfest party ideas bring a touch of alpine atmosphere to life. Do the same at your Oktoberfest party by placing postcards from Bavaria and Germany on your walls, alongside other themed wall art. 

Look for authentic vintage postcards on online auction sites, print your own out at home, or use modern versions for a more contemporary twist on the theme. If postcards aren’t your thing, look for German wall art instead that celebrates all things beer and Oktoberfest. When you’re done with your party, you can always reuse these as home decor or store them away for next year’s event. 

Beer Steins as Party Decor

It wouldn’t be an Oktoberfest party without plenty of beer steins. They’re the best vessels for your beer tasting, but they also make great party decor for your Oktoberfest bash. 

Look for traditional, ornate beer steins to use as centerpieces or to decorate your beer tasting area. Display them alone, or fill them with flowers to add some bright colors to your tables. 

For a more contemporary take, switch out traditional stone versions for glassware and fill them with dried flowers. To add a touch of whimsy to your event, have a beer stein cutout made for your guests for photo ops.

Add Fun Games and Entertainment to Your Oktoberfest Party

Oktoberfest party ideas: Prost! Invitation

Design: Signature Greenvelope

Oktoberfest is a fabulous opportunity to get together with friends, drink, and get merry. Weave in some of these Oktoberfest party ideas, and you’ll have the kind of event that people can’t help but enjoy. 

Set Up a Dance Floor

Besides the beer, Oktoberfest is all about music and dancing. Give your guests plenty of opportunities to cut a rug by setting up a dance floor at your party venue. 

If you have the chance, go all out with a hardwood floor area, disco lights, and an impressive sound system. If not, a simple designated space in your backyard works great too. Set up a playlist of traditional Bavarian music, or keep it modern with your favorite songs from today. 

Hire a Live Band

Whether you have a dance floor or not, this is one of those must-have Oktoberfest party ideas that we love. Hire a talented local band to come and play at your Oktoberfest get-together and provide the ultimate soundtrack to your event. 

Create a real beer festival atmosphere by inviting multiple bands, singers, or performers to your event. This works great for a milestone fall birthday party or if you’re hosting an Oktoberfest event on behalf of your company. Find a band that plays warm and cozy guitar hits, or open up the stage for an eclectic mix of performers instead. 

Beer Stein Relay Race

Carrying a full beer stein is tricky by itself, but running a relay race with one can present an interesting challenge. Add some laughter and plenty of mishaps to your event with this easy Oktoberfest party idea. 

Ask your party guests to get into teams and set up a relay race in your backyard or an open space. Cheer your teams on as they compete to be the first to carry their stein past the finish line, with the most amount of beer still left in their glass. 

Yodeling Contest

Yodeling is a popular pastime in Bavaria, which makes it an ideal addition to your Oktoberfest celebration. Have your guests battle it out to see who’ll be crowned the best yodeler. 

As it’s a super unique skill, most people don’t know how to yodel at first. Have everyone make their best go at it, or send them a how to yodel instruction video in advance with your online invitations so they can get their performance-ready. 

Crafting Corner

Sometimes your guests will just want a place to relax, unwind, and enjoy some quiet time — even at an Oktoberfest event. Set up a creative crafting corner as a space for people to take a break or try a new skill. 

Make a station where people can pick up crafting materials and look over DIY instructions on how to make things like a traditional German star or decorate their own beer stein. Download some printable coloring pages and themed word games too, as a relaxing way to spend some time between beer races and dancing. 

Serve an Oktoberfest Menu of Tasty Foods and Drinks

Oktoberfest Classics Invitation

Design: frau brandt

So many delicious German foods complement that Oktoberfest must-have — beer. Take a look at some of our favorite food and drink ideas to serve up at your celebration. 

Beer Tasting Stand

Oktoberfest is almost a giant beer tasting event itself, but it’s a great idea to have a dedicated area where people can sample beers before they ask for a full glass from the keg. 

Create a welcoming space where your party guests can try out different traditional German beers, alongside other European favorites. Have taste-testers vote on which is their favorite Oktoberfest beer, or ask them to guess which they think they’re drinking based on the taste. 

This is also a wonderful opportunity to encourage your guests to try some beautifully unusual combinations with different flavored sodas, syrups, or juices. 

Soft Pretzels

Tempt your party guests to pick up a doughy, warm treat like a freshly baked soft pretzel. Bring this classic German appetizer to your Oktoberfest party for the ultimate sweet or savory snack. Bake your own at home using this soft pretzel recipe, or hire a food truck to supply your guests with their snack fix. 

We love the idea of setting up a toppings and dips station for your guests, where they can choose what to put on their soft pretzels. Bring in savory favorites like sour cream, honey mustard, and ranch dressing. Add in some sweet toppings too — like cinnamon sugar, chocolate sauce, and applesauce. 


Treat your party guests to another traditional Oktoberfest dish with some sauerkraut. This side dish is made from fermented, thinly sliced cabbage and works great alongside tasty German mains. 

You can make your own sauerkraut in a Mason jar at home or buy some from the store. For a colorful twist on the classic, swap out your usual cabbage for a red cabbage instead — or serve up both and ask your guests to tell you which they love most. 

German Sausage

When you’re looking for a truly traditional dish to serve at your Oktoberfest party, you can’t go wrong with German sausage. It works great alongside beer, plus you can easily customize your meal with different sauces and toppings. 

Consider all the different German sausages you could try — including bratwurst, knackwurst, and frankfurter. If you’re not sure which to serve, opt for a classic bratwurst since it goes great with sauerkraut. Alternatively, buy some of each variety and give your guests the ultimate choice of which hot dog they’d prefer. 

Apple Strudel

Any great party needs a delicious dessert, and your Oktoberfest celebration is no exception. For a party favorite, try apple strudel. 

The classic apple strudel is made with spiced apple and wrapped in a deliciously buttery pastry. Serve it warm or cold, as either a main dessert dish or a mini bite-sized treat throughout the day. To finish the dessert, top it with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar and serve alongside ice-cream or covered with vanilla sauce. Yum! 

Impress Your Guests With These Oktoberfest Party Ideas

Start planning for your ultimate Oktoberfest event by taking your excitement, guest list, and venue and sprinkling in some of these fun party ideas. Embrace these Oktoberfest-themed party plans and transform your get-together into a mini beer festival to rival those held in Munich.