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Put your passport away: Oktoberfest is coming to you this year. Check out these fairs and festivals in NJ for more food, live music and a few pints. Many offer activities for the kids so they can celebrate the season, too.
September 17 – October 10
Mariner’s Pier, Wildwood
Mountain Creek Resort, Vernon
This fest is more than just 100 varieties of beer and cider and authentic German food. Think pony rides, a petting zoo, reptile and bird shows, a bounce house, sack races and more for the kids, plus a lumberjack contest, hay bale toss, stein holding contest and more for adults (in addition to Mountain Creek’s regular attractions like the Mountain Coaster).
Main Street, Hackettstown
American Legion Hall, Leonia
Make sure you try this fest’s biergarten and chow: brats, pretzels, schnitzel and more. There’s plenty of entertainment and fun for the whole family. Plus, kids 12 and under are free.
Our Lady of the Lake School, Verona
This year, in place of the annual Oktoberfest and Kinderfest under the big tents, there will be a Food Truck Festival! As in past years, there will also be a Beer Garden, games for the kids, live music, a 50/50 and a Tricky Tray! Oktobertruck will take place from 12 – 5 pm in the Our Lady of the Lake’s parking lots on Montrose Avenue. This event is family-friendly.
Veterans Park, Highlands
The feel-good spirit of the annual Oktoberfest is modeled after the traditional Munich, Germany Oktoberfest with an emphasis on eating, drinking and being merry while providing something for everyone. Authentic German food, live music, dancing and other great entertainment will be part of the Highlands Business Partnership’s Annual Oktoberfest celebration taking place in Veterans Park on Bay & Shrewsbury Avenues from 2 – 9 pm. Admission and parking is free.
Historic Smithville, Smithville
With over 100 crafters, an international food court, music, kids activities and more, Historic Smithville has pulled out all the stops. In addition, the town’s 60 shops, carousel ride, train ride, paddle boats and antique arcade will be open as well.
The Duck Pond, Demarest
This festival mixes traditional German food with Korean delicacies, with all proceeds benefiting the Demarest Nature Center. Kids can enjoy inflatable games or go for a canoe ride while adults sample brews and peruse the craft show.
Veterans Park South Side
Check out Mercer County’s largest German event featuring food, beer and a pig roast. The kiddos won’t be bored either—the crafts, games and music are sure to grab their attention. Lederhosen is recommended, but not required. A portion of the fest’s proceeds will go to charity. Rain date is October 24.