Oktoberfest Guide

Milwaukee Oktoberfest Guide 2023

By Barry Houlehen

Gemütlichkeit (gəˈmytlɪxˌkaɪt) noun. warm cordiality; agreeableness; friendliness; congeniality.

It's time once again to dust off your Alpine hat, get those lederhosen and dirndls out of storage, and head out for some Wisconsin-style Bavarian blue-and-white-checkered Oktoberfests.

They're all over the greater Milwaukee area so there's no excuse not to hoist a few steins, have a brat and a pretzel, sing a few Ein Prosits, and take a spin on the polka dance floor this year!

Cedarburg Oktoberfest

Photo courtesy Festivals of Cedarburg

Bavarian Bierhaus Oktoberfest

Thursdays through Sundays Sept. 1-Oct. 8
Bavarian Bierhaus

Photo courtesy Visit Milwaukee

This is the big one: six four-day weekends (Thursday through Sunday, except opening weekend) of Oktoberfesting at Old Heidelberg Park at the Bavarian Bierhaus in Glendale. It can get busy Friday nights and Saturdays so if you want a seat, be sure to reserve a picnic table (links on their website). Get your fill of German beers, the best bands and food including Usinger's sausage, schnitzel and doner kebab plus Friday Fish Fry and plenty of polkas and Ein Prosits at Milwaukee’s oldest Oktoberfest.

  • Free admission Thursdays and Sundays
  • Fridays $5, Saturdays $10 (discount available with their app)
  • Open 4 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 11 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays
  • Tables reservations (table of 8): Fridays $10, Saturdays $40

Milwaukee Oktoberfest

Friday–Sunday, Oct. 6 – 8

The Downtown fest at Cathedral Square is back for three days in October with free admission and lots of German beer and food from Kegel’s Inn. They have pre-sale drink packages for beer and food specials available on their website, a full lineup of German music, and must-see events like the brat eating competition, Miss Oktoberfest competition, cornhole tournament, and of course, the weiner dog beauty pageant.

  • Free admission
  • $2 wristband to consume alcohol (proceeds go to Music in the Park)
  • Friday, 4–11 p.m.
  • Saturday, 11 a.m.–11 p.m.
  • Sunday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

Germantown Hunsrucker Oktoberfest

Saturday–Sunday, Sept. 23– 24

Where else would you find a great Oktoberfest than in a place called Germantown? This two-day fest has free admission and parking and an entertainment schedule of nonstop polka music and German dancers plus accordion favorites Copper Box. Don't miss the Dachshund Dash (benefitting the Washington County Humane Society) on Saturday and the car show on Sunday.

  • Free admission and parking
  • Saturday Noon – 11:00 p.m.
  • Sunday Noon – 7:00 p m.

Cedarburg Oktoberfest

Saturday–Sunday Oct. 7–8
Cedarburg Oktoberfest

Photo courtesy Cedarburg Oktoberfest

Downtown Cedarburg

The only Oktoberfest in the area to feature a Glockenspiel Cuckoo Clock Show, this Ozaukee County fest also has craft beers from the local Fermentorium brewery as well as 3 Sheeps from Sheboygan (bring your own stein or buy one at the fest), as well as wines from Cedar Creek Winery. It's in Downtown Historic Cedarburg, which they'll have set up for German bands and dancers, German food and desserts, and a marketplace with vendors and artists.

  • Free admission
  • Saturday 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • Sunday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m

Elm Grove Oktoberfest

Friday–Saturday Sept. 15–16

For some Waukesha County gemütlichkeit, this Friday-night-Saturday Oktoberfest offers some fun competitions, a beer-wine-cider-seltzer tent, a fun run, food trucks and live music. Events include the always popular stein hoisting competition, keg rolling, log sawing and stein races.

  • Friday 5–10 p.m. (Fun Run 3:30 p.m.)
  • Saturday 4-10 p.m.

Oktoberfest at the Schwabenhof

Friday–Saturday Sept. 22-23

The Schwabenhof is a year-round German-themed venue in Menomonee Falls with a beer hall and a spacious biergarten. It's the home of the United Donauschwaben of Milwaukee, a cultural organization that promotes German language, sports, food and customs, and especially dancing. So their Oktoberfest offers an authentic atmosphere with, of course, plenty of German beers, music and dancing.

  • Free admission, rain or shine
  • Friday and Saturday 4:00. – 11:00 p.m.


Saturday Sept. 16

Hey, dogs like German festivals too! Maybe they can't hoist pints, but they sure like to get together with their dog buddies while their humans have fun, and that's what they'll find at Estabrook Park Beer Garden on the North Shore. There will be agility and lure courses for the pups and fine beer for their peoples, and it's all for the benefit of the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission. Bring your dog!

  • Noon - 5 p.m
Estabrook Beer Garden

Saint Augustine Oktoberfest

Sun. Sept. 24

Saint Augie’s in Bay View is one of those churches that hold really fun church festivals. Sure, the other fests have stein hoisting contests, but do theirs have the Milverine and alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic? Didn't think so! Plus their food offerings have some serious German comfort food: beef rouladen with spätzle and red cabbage, apple streusel, German potato salad, and of course, brats, franks and pretzels. For all your polka needs, Jeff Winard and The Squeezettes will be on hand.

Our Lady of Lourdes - Milwaukee Oktoberfest Artisan Fair

Friday - Sunday Oct. 13 – 15

It’s a church Oktoberfest that’s also an art show and raffle and it features live music including polka, Friday fish fry and more..

Our Lady of Lourdes Milwaukee Oktoberfest Artisan Fair
Potawatomi Show Me the Money
Potawatomi Show Me the Money
Racine Zoo Jack O'Lantern Nights
Racine Zoo Jack O'Lantern Nights