Prost! As the leaves begin to change color and autumn settles in, you know it’s time to celebrate Oktoberfest – the world’s largest beer festival! But Oktoberfest is much more than just beer. It’s a celebration of Bavarian culture, food, music, and more. And the best part? You don’t have to travel all the way to Germany to experience it.
We’ll be exploring some crazy-fun Oktoberfest activities for seniors, students, and everyone in between. Whether you’re planning your fun event for your team or family and friends—this article is all you need. Let’s get started!
What is Oktoberfest?
Oktoberfest is a traditional German festival held annually in Munich, Germany, and celebrated worldwide. It typically runs from late September to the first weekend in October.
It originally began in 1810 to celebrate the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. It has since evolved into a festival representing Bavarian culture.
Nowadays, Oktoberfest is a fun festival where people participate in a variety of activities and events. It’s a great time for HR teams to organize events that bring employees together.
Top 15 must-try Oktoberfest activities, events, and ideas
To get started with your Oktoberfest party activities, we’ll first dive into some popular activities, games, and ideas that you can incorporate into your celebration.
Oktoberfest activities for adults
Let’s start with some of the fun Oktoberfest activities that you can have with friends and family, or the employees of your company.
1. Stein Holding Competition (Masskrugstemmen)
While it looks simple, the stein-holding competition is a tough—yet super fun activity for everyone to participate in. Grab a few beer mugs, fill ‘em up with beer or water and you’re ready to start!
Here’s how it’s done.
- Participants stand in a row, each holding a 1-liter stein filled to the brim with beer.
- With arms fully extended and parallel to the ground, the goal is to hold the stein for as long as possible without spilling any beer or bending the arm.
- The last person standing with a straight arm and minimal spillage is declared the winner!
2. Barrel Rolling Race (Fassrollen)
Unleash your inner competitive spirit with the exciting Barrel Rolling Race, or Fassrollen. This Oktoberfest party activity is a true test of speed and skill as you race to roll a beer barrel to the finish line.
Here’s how to participate.
- Teams of two are formed, with each team being given a standard-sized beer barrel.
- The race begins with one team member rolling the barrel using their hands, guiding it along the designated course.
- Once the barrel reaches the halfway point, the second team member takes over and continues rolling the barrel to the finish line.
- The first team to successfully roll their barrel across the finish line is declared the winner.
3. Pretzel Tossing Game (Brezelwerfen)
Add a twist of fun to your Oktoberfest activities with the Pretzel Tossing Game, or Brezelwerfen. This Oktoberfest activity, is perfect for all ages and guarantees laughter and enjoyment.
Here’s how it’s played.
- Participants are paired up and stand facing each other, about 6-8 feet apart.
- One person holds a pretzel, while the other holds a traditional Bavarian walking stick or Stecken.
- The goal is for the person with the pretzel to toss it onto the Stecken, held horizontally by their partner.
- Each successful catch earns a point, and the pair with the most points after a predetermined number of rounds is declared the winner.
4. Polka Dance-Off
No list of Oktoberfest activities would be complete without a traditional Polka Dance-Off! Get ready to show off your footwork and twirl your partner around the dance floor.
Here’s how to join the fun.
- Find a partner to join the other dancers on the dance floor.
- The band (or on speakers) will play a lively polka tune, and you need to showcase your best polka dance moves.
- Judges will be watching and scoring each couple based on their footwork, enthusiasm, and overall performance.
- The couple with the highest score will be crowned the Polka Dance-Off Champions!
5. Sausage Eating Contest (Wurst-Essen-Wettbewerb)
In the mood to serve some food this Oktoberfest? Why not host a sausage-eating competition? Among the various Oktoberfest games, indulge in Bavaria’s finest sausages and test your appetite with the exhilarating Sausage Eating Contest, or Wurstessen. Buy some traditional German sausages, get a few participants, and you’re ready to start.
Here’s how to participate.
- Ask participants to gather around a table, ideally a long table. Each with a plate piled high with traditional German sausages.
- At the sound of the whistle, your participants begin eating as many hot dogs as possible within a specific time limit. Usually 1-5 minutes.
- The participants must eat the sausages using only their hands and mouth, no utensils allowed.
- The one who consumes the highest number of sausages in the set time becomes the Wurstessen Champion.
6. Oktoberfest Trivia Challenge
Test your knowledge of Oktoberfest and German culture with the Oktoberfest Trivia Challenge. This engaging Oktoberfest activity is perfect for groups of friends or coworkers.
Here’s how it’s played.
- Participants form teams of 3-5 people.
- A moderator asks a series of questions related to Oktoberfest, German culture, history, and beer.
- Teams have a limited amount of time to discuss and write down their answers.
- After all the questions have been asked, the moderator reveals the correct answers.
- The team with the most correct answers is declared the winner and takes home bragging rights!
7. Stein racing or Beer run (Bierlauf)
Show off your balance and agility with the thrilling Stein Racing, or Bierlauf. This Oktoberfest party activity combines speed, skill, and the love of beer for a truly memorable experience.
Here’s how it’s performed.
- Participants line up at the starting line, each holding a stein filled to the brim with beer.
- The objective is to race towards the finish line while holding the stein without spilling any beer.
- Participants must balance the stein with one hand and are not allowed to touch the beer or use their second hand to stabilize the stein.
- The first participant to cross the finish line with the least amount of spilled beer is declared the winner.
8. Schuhplattler Dance Lesson
Immerse yourself in Bavarian culture by learning the traditional Schuhplattler dance. This lively and energetic dance is a staple at Oktoberfest celebrations.
Here’s how to participate.
- Join a dance class or workshop led by an experienced Schuhplattler instructor.
- The instructor will teach the basic steps and moves, including clapping hands, stomping feet, and swaying side to side.
- Practice the dance steps with a partner, following the instructor’s guidance and the rhythm of the music.
- Once you’ve mastered the basics, gather with other dancers to perform the Schuhplattler together, showcasing your new skills and enjoying the festive atmosphere.
9. Log Sawing Competition (Holzsägen)
Channel your inner lumberjack with the Log Sawing Competition, or Holzsägen. This traditional Oktoberfest activity, Holzsägen, is both challenging and entertaining, making it one of the best Oktoberfest games for younger audiences.
Here’s how it’s done.
- Participants form teams of two and are provided with a log and a two-person saw.
- The log is placed on a sawhorse, and each team member takes a position on either side of the log, holding the saw.
- At the start signal, teams must work together to saw through the log as quickly as possible.
- The team that saws through their log the fastest is declared the winner and earns the title of Holzsägen Champions.
10. Oktoberfest Costume Contest (Trachtenwettbewerb)
Embrace the spirit of Oktoberfest by dressing up in traditional Bavarian attire and participating in the Oktoberfest Costume Contest, or Trachtenwettbewerb. This activity is a fantastic way to showcase your style. It’s also the perfect activity for participants of all ages.
Here’s how to take part.
- Dress up in traditional German clothing, such as lederhosen for men and dirndls for women. Don’t forget to accessorize with hats, scarves, and other Bavarian-themed items.
- Register for the costume contest at the designated event location.
- Contestants will be called up on stage individually or in groups to showcase their outfits.
- Judges will evaluate each contestant’s attire based on authenticity, creativity, and overall presentation.
- Winners will be announced in various categories, such as “Best Lederhosen,” “Best Dirndl,” and “Best Group Costume,” and will receive prizes and bragging rights.
11. Devil’s Wheel (Teufelsrad)
While this isn’t an activity you could bring in to your family or office celebrations, Devil’s Wheel is a fun and thrilling Oktoberfest activity that people of younger ages can enjoy!
Find a place that has the Devil’s Wheel and purchase tickets for your participants to enjoy.
- Step onto the large, circular spinning disc.
- As the platform begins to spin, maintain your balance and avoid being thrown off.
- The ride operator may add extra challenges, such as inflatable obstacles or sudden changes in the spinning direction.
- Compete with fellow riders to see who can stay on the platform the longest, or simply focus on enjoying the dizzying fun.
12. Beer Pong Tournament (Bierpong-Turnier)
Put your beer pong skills to the test in a festive Oktoberfest Beer Pong Tournament, or Bierpong-Turnier. This activity combines friendly competition, teamwork, and the art of beer drinking for a fun-filled experience.
Here’s how to participate.
- Form a team of two players and register for the beer pong tournament at the designated event location.
- Each team sets up its cups filled with beer on a table, arranged in a triangular formation.
- The objective is to throw ping pong balls into the opposing team’s cups. When a ball lands in a cup, the opposing team must drink the beer from that cup and remove it from the table.
- The game continues until one team has eliminated all of the other team’s cups.
- The winning team advances to the next round, where they will face off against other victorious teams until an overall winner is crowned.
13. Yodeling Contest (Jodelwettbewerb)
Show off your vocals with an Oktoberfest Yodeling Contest, or Jodelwettbewerb. This fun and lighthearted competition is sure to bring laughter and entertainment to both participants and spectators.
Here’s how to join in.
- Register for the yodeling contest at the designated event location, or gather a group of friends and create your own contest.
- Take turns stepping up to the microphone and showcasing your best yodeling skills.
- Judges or audience members will rate each performance based on vocal ability, enthusiasm, and overall entertainment value.
- The contestant with the highest score will be declared the Yodeling Champion and may receive a prize or simply bragging rights.
- Enjoy the camaraderie and good-natured fun that comes with this traditional Oktoberfest activity.
Oktoberfest activities for kids
While a few of the activities from the adults list can also include kids, the two Oktoberfest activities below are the perfect ones for kids.
1. Gingerbread Heart Decorating (Lebkuchenherz verzieren)
Get creative and craft a delicious, personalized souvenir at an Oktoberfest Gingerbread Heart Decorating workshop or Lebkuchenherz verzieren. This Oktoberfest activity is perfect for all ages and offers a tasty way to celebrate the festivities.
Here’s how to create your masterpiece.
- Purchase a plain gingerbread heart from a vendor or join a gingerbread heart decorating workshop.
- Use icing pens or tubes in various colors to write a message or draw a design on your gingerbread heart. Popular messages include “Ich liebe dich” (I love you), “Oktoberfest,” or a friend’s name.
- Feel free to add additional decorations, such as edible glitter, sugar flowers, or candy shapes, to make your gingerbread heart unique.
- Let the icing dry, then attach a ribbon to the top of the heart so you can hang it as decoration.
- Show off your creation and enjoy the sweet taste of your Oktoberfest gingerbread heart.
2. Bavarian Hat Making (Bayrischer Hutgestaltung)
Unleash your creativity and immerse yourself in Bavarian culture by participating in a Bavarian Hat Making workshop, or Bayrischer Hutgestaltung. This activity asks participants to create a one-of-a-kind hat that they could only wear comfortably during Oktoberfest!
Here’s how to make your own hat.
- Gather the necessary materials (felt hats, feathers, pins, hatbands, and other decorations). Alternatively, you can make an origami hat as in the video.
- Start by choosing a traditional Bavarian felt hat in your preferred color and size.
- Customize your hat by adding a decorative hatband, either a traditional Bavarian pattern or a design of your choice.
- Adorn your hat with feathers, pins, and other embellishments to showcase your personality and style.
- Wear your Bavarian hat proudly during Oktoberfest festivities and enjoy compliments on your unique creation.
Raise a Stein to an Unforgettable Oktoberfest Adventure
As the vibrant hues of autumn sweep in, there’s no better way to embrace the season than by celebrating Oktoberfest with these exciting activities and games. From traditional Bavarian dances to thrilling competitions, these experiences are sure to create unforgettable memories for you, your family, and your friends.
And when it comes to organizing the perfect Oktoberfest event, look no further than Evey Events – the ultimate Shopify app for seamless event ticketing and management. With Evey Events at your side, you’ll be able to craft an authentic and unforgettable Oktoberfest experience that will leave your guests craving for more. Prost!