So you’ve always wanted to celebrate Oktoberfest, but, aside from saving for a round-trip ticket to Munich, you don’t know where to go. We’ve got you covered. Here’s where to head in New England to fill your stein and get your schnitzel on.
For the uninitiated, Oktoberfest is an annual two-week festival of beer, food, music, and general fun and games — think keg tosses and other feats of strength — held each year in Munich, Bavaria, in Germany. The fest has inspired Oktoberfest celebrations around the world — including many in New England this weekend and later this month.
Imagine you’re in the Bavarian alps at Mount Snow Resort’s 20th annual Oktoberfest Oct. 7 and 8. You might hop a scenic ride to the summit, sample from some 25 German and domestic breweries, taste authentic German fare, or browse the arts and crafts show. Kids can paint pumpkins, sling apples, and toss schnitzel among other games, while grown-up games include a keg toss, yodeling contest, and horseshoe tournament. And get this: Runners can gulp and gallop at Mount Snow’s 6th annual Gulp and Gallop 5K Beer Run Oct. 7. Starting at the base area, runners will make four laps — with each lap, they have a choice of drinking a cup of beer or a cup of water. “Crazy outfits are highly encouraged,” according to the web site. Race: 9 a.m., $15-$20. Fest: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Kids 6 and under free. Tickets from $20 for non-drinker; $40 drinker. 39 Mount Snow Road, West Dover, Vt., 800-245-7669, www.mount snow.com
The strong can enter the keg toss; the steady can try slacklining, and the steady and strong can enter the Samuel Adams Stein Hoist Competition — attempting to hold a full beer stein with a straight arm parallel to the ground for as long as possible — at Attitash Ski Resort’s 20th annual Oktoberfest in Bartlett, N.H., on Oct. 7 and 8. Imbibe in the Biergarten, sample authentic German fare, and dance to Bavarian music. Kiddies can head to the Kinderplatz tent for crafts, face painting, and games, or try the giant inflatable obstacle course. Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Under 21 free on Sunday. Advance tickets from $7 for under 21, $10 at the door. (Under 21 free on Sunday.) Tickets $15 online, $20 at the door for 21+. Special packages available. GPS: 104 Grand Summit Road. 800-223-7669, www.attitash.com.
Serious about your brews? Enroll at Sam Adams Beer College at Loon Mountain’s White Mountain Oktoberfest Oct. 7-8 in Lincoln, N.H. Ride the gondola to class, where brewery professors will school you on all things hops — and assignments include tasting beer. ($30) The fest is rounded out with more beer and brats, live oompah music, and Instagram-worthy views of the White Mountains in all their leaf-changing glory — #foliage #leafpeepers — plus plenty of Oktoberfest games, including a stein hoist, keg toss, kiddie root beer keg toss, partner pretzel toss, and water balloon launches. You might arrive early for mountaintop yoga on the summit of Loon Peak (gondola ride at 10:15 a.m. both days, $20) or grab a partner for the “Stein-Carryin’, Keg-Rollin’ Relay Race,” in which you’ll roll kegs around hay bales then hurdle more bales while carrying steins. Free admission. 60 Loon Mountain Road. 800-229-5666, loonmtn.com
The hills are alive with the sound of music at Wachusett Mountain’s Oktoberfest Oct. 21 and 22 with two live German bands and traditional dancing plus pie-eating contests, German food, beer, craft vendors, a farmers’ market and contests. (Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Advance adult tickets from $5; kids ages 6-12, $3-$5; under 5 free.) The weekend before, check out the mountain’s AppleFest Oct. 14-15, where activities include foliage skyrides, mountainside barbecue, pony rides, climbing wall, and some 50 craftsmen and farmers’ market booths. 499 Mountain Road, Princeton. 978-464-2300, www.wachusett.com.
Celebrate in a Vermont brewery at Harpoon Octoberfest with oompah music, bratwurst and, yes, fresh brews Oct. 7 and 8. (Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. $15. 336 Ruth Carney Drive, Windsor, Vt., 802-674-5491, www.harpoonbrewery.com.)
This last one’s too fun not to mention: Sunday River’s Fall Festival Oct. 7-8 features the 18th annual North American Wife-Carrying Championships. Yup. Wife-carrying. According to wife-carrying.org, the event traces to 19th-century Finland. The first modern wife-carrying event was held in Finland in 1992, and the North American Championship started in 1999. According to Sunday River’s site, their 278-yard-long obstacle course is built to “international specifications” and includes log hurdles, sand traps, and the “widow maker” water hazard. The winning pair earns her weight in beer and five times her weight in cash. This year’s field is full, but you might want to go just to see this. (It takes place Oct. 7 at 11 a.m.) The two-day fest also includes a wine-tasting tent, Bloody Mary tent, craft fair, live music, cornhole tournament, scenic lift rides, mountain biking, zipline tours, climbing wall, disc golf, pony rides, and more. (15 South Ridge Road, Newry, Maine, 800-543-2754, sundayriver.com.)Lauren Daley is a freelance writer. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She tweets @laurendaley1.