Tempting as it may be to high tail it out of the country and head over to Germany for the real deal, there’s no need to stress out over air fare for an Oktoberfest celebration abroad when there are so many right here at home. Here are nine places to celebrate Oktoberfest.
1. Morey’s Piers
Get your bier on the pier this year. (We had to). Head to Wilhelm’s Beer Garden, home to the Oktoberfest festivities, for ice cold German draft beer along with local and domestic imports and wine, as well as plenty of German fare such as fried pierogies, large Bavarian pretzels, Bavarian bacon skewers, cheddar bratwurst and bacon knockwurst sandwiches on a pretzel roll. Better yet? Your kids can head to the Rootbier Garden to carve pumpkins and decorate cookies. It’s a win for all. The event takes place Oct. 4 through 6 and 11 through 13. Located at 5427, 3501 Boardwalk in Wildwood. Go to MoreysPiers.com.
2. Icona Avalon
Head to Icona in Avalon on Oct. 19 for an Oktoberfest celebration that mixes all your German favorites like giant pretzels and bratwurst with live entertainment and dancing on the sand (entertainment includes music from Sean Loosh, DJ Josh Van Dyke and Black Dandelion), this is the perfect locale for sampling new beer selections. Plus, live entertainment and games for the kids. Located at 125 79th St. in Avalon. Go to Icona.com for more .
For one of the best local traditions around, head to Smithville on Oct. 5 and 6, where you’ll experience an entire village dedicated to Oktoberfest celebrations. With authentic autumnal food, beer, music and plenty of vendors in on the action, this is one Oktoberfest Celebration you don’t want to miss. Located at 615 E. Moss Mill Road in Smithville. Go to HistoricSmithville.com.
4. Watering Hole
For a Halloween-esque spin on Oktoberfest, head to Hellephant at The Watering Hole. Get there on Oct. 12 for a two-stage music festival with themed stages, German menu, costume contests and more. The music lineup includes Tangela, The 1940’s, The Surf Jerkz, Devil’s Godsent, The Looms and so many more. Located at 6494 Weymouth Road in Mays Landing. Go to Watering Hole on Facebook .
5. Kindle Oktoberfest
Head to the 1st Annual Oktoberfest Community Event at Kindle Auto Plaza on Oct. 5, which will benefit the HERO Campaign. Get there for rides, food, games, beer and live entertainment featuring The Brandon Ireland Band and Subliminal Message. Located at Bayberry and Stone Harbor Blvd. in Cape May Court House. Go to Kindle Auto Plaza on Facebook for more.
For a long-term Oktoberfest celebration — one that’s in its 40th year — head to Gregory’s. While the official Oktoberfest keg tapping happened last week, there is a special German menu served Fridays through Mondays through Oct. 28. Think sandwiches — bratwurst, liverwurst, roast pork or sauerbraten — as well as dinners like Rahm Schnitzel, Wiener Schnitzel, Southern German Sauerbraten, Jagerschnitzel, and more, including a selection of draft and bottled German beers. Located at 900 Shore Road in Somers Point. Go to GregorysRestaurantAndBar.LetsEat.At.
7. Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall
Looking for lots of Oktoberfest beers from German brewers Paulaner, Benediktiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Weihenstephaner, Spaten and Warsteiner, as well as pumpkin beers from Weyerbacher, Breckenridge, Spellbound, Southern Tier and Conshohocken, as well as Downeast Pumpkin Cider? Then head to Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall on Oct. 5 and 6, where, in addition to the beer selection, you’ll get to nosh on a selection of German-inspired dishes. Located at 133 S. Tennessee Ave. in Atlantic City. Go to TennesseeAvenueBeerHall.com for more information.
8. Garden State Beer Company
Head to Garden State Beer Company on Oct. 12 for pumpkin spice and everything nice, specifically fall beers, music from Barbara Lin Band and a food truck. Located at 247 E. White Horse Pike in Galloway. Go to Garden State Beer Company on Facebook.
9. Mickey and Minnie’s
For the most authentic German food around, head to Mickey & Minnie’s Inn, where every day is an Oktoberfest celebration. While their kickoff to Oktoberfest was in September, their German menu — think all the schnitzels and bratens — is served from 11 a.m to 10 p.m. daily. Located at 733 W. White Horse Pike in Cologne. Go to MickeyandMinniesInn.com for more.