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.
Monmouth Park Racetrack, Oceanport
Chill out at the German beer garden, listen to live music and eat your way through the plethora of food trucks ready to whet your appetite. If you show your spirit by wearing lederhosen, you’ll receive free grandstand admission.
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).
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
During the day, your kids can enjoy the Kinderfest, but when the sun goes down, this event becomes adults only. Take the time to dig into all-you-can-eat German food, dance along to the live music and indulge in beer and wine.
Chubb Park, Chester
Enjoy this annual autumn festival with family-friendly activities and games. The little ones can jump in bounce houses or ride a pony while parents can enjoy live music and authentic eats like bratwurst, sauerkraut, apple strudel and of course, German beer. The best part? All proceeds go to charity.
Veterans Park, Highlands
German and Bavarian culture meet for Oktoberfest at Veterans Park, serving up traditional bratwurst, potato pancakes and other delicious foods. The kiddos can have their faces painted, enjoy the bouncy house and watch polka dance performances. Don’t forget, there’s plenty of beverages for the over 21 crowd to enjoy as well.
The Heart of New Brunswick City Center, New Brunswick
Who doesn’t love live music, dancing, contests and craft beer? Join the community for the Oktoberfest celebration and check out the local businesses and vendors while you enjoy drinks from the beer garden. Parents, don’t worry, there’s pumpkin decorating, balloon twists and face painting for your little ones.
Turtle Back Zoo, West Orange
Come out and try the multitude of seasonal beers at this Essex County zoo. This event is only for those of legal age, so after you leave the kiddos at home, celebrate with traditional music, local foods and a peek at the craft vendors.
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 overindulge and peruse the craft show.
Forest Lodge, Warren
Venture to the Forest Lodge for this celebration of German-American foods and traditions. The Kids Corner is sure to catch the attention of your younger crew (think amusement rides, inflatables and carnival booths), while parents can enjoy classic German foods, desserts and beers. The Lodge has something for everyone in the family, so this is a great place to enjoy the seasonal festivities.
112 Eisenhower Pkwy., Livingston
Sink your teeth into international fare from 15+ food trucks. There’ll be a stocked biergarten, carnival games and inflatables, a live DJ, live bands and craft vendors to visit. Don’t miss taking the kids to sand art and amusement rides.
215 Uncle Pete’s Rd., Trenton
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.