Things to do in New York City: Experience Oktoberfest in NYC September 18 2017

Things to do in New York City Oktoberfest NYC

Just because you aren’t in Munich, it doesn’t mean that you can’t join in the autumn fun that is Oktoberfest. Whether you live in New York City or are just visiting, finding a place to celebrate Oktoberfest during late September/early October is one of the best things to do in NYC. While all of the German restaurants and bars in NYC do something in celebration of this boozy, brat-filled festival, there are some events that just might be a little better than others. The team at New York Nightlife has compiled information on two of the most popular activities and food and drink experiences related to Oktoberfest that include beer, pretzels, beautiful women in Dirndl costumes, men in Lederhosen, festive music and more in New York City that you may want to try.

Oktoberfest NY—Watermark Bar

Things to do Oktoberfest Watermark Bar

One of the most-popular events for Oktoberfest isn’t your typical restaurant or bar experience.  It is an actual festival called OktoberFest NYC that takes place on weekends from Friday, September 15 through Monday, October 2.  This annual event is sponsored by the Watermark Bar and people may enjoy steins of beer, traditional German music and food, games and fun activities for the entire family, though drinking activities are limited to adults 21 years-old and up.  One of the events that is popular at this event is the heavy stein holding competition for strong people.  This festival takes place on Pier 15 at 78th South Street, New York, NY 10038.  Tickets are available online and these events are known to sell out, so you will want to get your tickets in advance.  Some tickets are free or you can prepay for all-you-can-drink specials, but you are still advised to reserve your space. Also the views are spectacular.  Check it out. 

Zum Schneider—Munich on the East River

Zum Schneider is a popular Bavarian Bierhaus and German restaurant with two locations.  One in the East Village in NYC ( 24-20 FDR Drive Service Road East New York, NY 10010) and the other is a road trip away in Montauk—both have Oktoberfest activities, however the tented festival in Manhattan is considered by some to be the only traditional Oktoberfest in New York City.  It is called Munich on the East River.  The team at Zum Schneider hosts a warm up party that takes place from 1pm on Saturday, September 23 and goes through the following Sunday until midnight.  Admission is free and they feature many Oktoberfest imported beers on tap.  

And then from Friday September 29 through Sunday October 8 is the big event.  Weekday festivities begin at 5 PM and go until 10 PM in the tent, but there is an after party that is only a ten-minute walk away at the actual restaurant.  Weekend events begin at noon, with Sunday events going until 8 PM and Saturday events going until 10 PM.  These events are not free.  The music is one of the main draws of this annual event.  Tickets are already sold out for popular weekend days.  The prices vary from $28-100, not counting extra money needed for food and beer.  As a restaurant/bar,  Zum Schneider is known for being cash only, but this event accepts credit cards.  Tickets are available online, with a few general admission tickets available at the door.   Dressing up in German-inspired costumes is encouraged. Oompah! 

Here's a video of the fun you can have at Zum Schneider's Oktoberfest:


  • No backpacks or large bags allowed
  • On weekends, reserved seating is separated into two sessions 12-4:45 PM and 5:15-10 PM.  Early reservations are expected to vacate their seats in time for the evening guests to be settled.
  • All Exits are final
  • No smoking in the tents

Tip:  If you want to find a local place in New York doing something for Oktoberfest or your chosen activity ends up being sold out, Google or Yelp "German Bar" pr "Oktoberfest" and your zip code some good options will come up.  Check out their websites or give them a call for more information. One way or another, you will be able to celebrate Oktoberfest in New York City if you want to. 

[Featured Image Zum Schneider NYC German Restaurant & Biergarten]