Extra Fun Around Wisconsin's Oktoberfest Events

Double the fun during Oktoberfest weekends by squeezing in some extra autumn action, like fall foliage boat rides, wine tasting, hiking, and more. Bring your friends and meet some wild animals up close or pick up some fresh apples from a nearby orchard. Lederhosen not required!  

La Crosse 

Nicknamed “Das Beste” for a reason, Oktoberfest USA provides all the best German ingredients from polka bands to clinking beer steins. But that’s only the start of the fall fun in this region.

The radiant trees along the Mississippi are begging to be seen this time of year. Go by boat on the La Crosse Queen Cruises, or go by car and follow the Great River Road. Or simply drive to the top of nearby Grandad Bluff for a spectacular tri-state view with an accessible lookout so everyone can enjoy.

New Glarus

America’s Little Switzerland comes alive during its annual Oktoberfest celebration. Hosted by New Glarus Brewing Co. under a massive tent downtown, the free event offers live music, brats, chainsaw carving, wagon rides, and much more.

If you’re still thirsty and curious, visit the popular brewery for a friendly and fascinating tour. For something a little sweeter, head to the Hawks Mill Winery for a refreshing sampling of their local wines with clever names such as “Currantly Single” and “Alpaca Punch”. Looking for a more active activity to bring you up close to fall color? Cycling fans will love biking the 24-mile Sugar River State Trail that includes access to New Glarus Woods State Park.

Chippewa Falls

This Oktoberfest kicks off with a Golden Keg Procession from the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, famous for its German-style beer. After that, you’ll be busy with four stages of live music, dancing, entertainment for kids, singalongs, a sheepshead tournament and last but not least, a sauerkraut eating contest.

More fun awaits at Bushel and a Peck, where you and the crew can pick your own apples from more than 30 varieties in their orchards or go straight to the bakery for a pie, caramel apple, or an apple cider slushie. Looking for something a little stronger? Stop in at Dixon’s Autumn Harvest Winery for a 6-pack of Grandpa Mac’s Hard Apple Cider. More family fun can be found at Irvine Park and Zoo, a free 300+ acre park with walking trails, historical bridges, and wild animal enclosures.


Willokommen ("welcome") to the rich heritage of the Germantown Hunsrucker Oktoberfest! Held at Dheinsville Historic Park, an 1840s crossroad settlement of German pioneers, it offers classic German dishes, traditional live music, a classic car show and the Dachshund Dash. 

Keep it festive with a visit to the nearby Bast Bell Museum, with its quirky collection of more than 5,000 bells. Top off the day with a scenic drive to the Holy Hill National Shrine of Mary, where the kaleidoscope of autumn colors will take your breath away. 


Just 20 miles north of Milwaukee, the quaint historic city of Cedarburg is known for its festivals, and Oktoberfest is no exception. The savory smell of sausages floats through the air, including wiener schnitzel, currywurst and bratwurst. Polka dancing is encouraged on the special wood dance floor. Compete in a German Spelling Bee from Ault to Zither (A-Z).     

Explore the 25 unique shops and restaurants that make up the Cedar Creek Settlement, with a stop and sip at the award-winning Cedar Creek Winery. Delve straight into the history of the textile mill town at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts and bring home something unique (and soft!) from a local artist. Finally, step back in time with a visit to the Cedarburg Bridge in Covered Bridge Park, the sole survivor of Wisconsin’s original 40 covered bridges, for a perfect fall photo-op. 

Lake Geneva

Everything’s better by the lake, including Oktoberfest! This family-friendly event features pony rides, bouncy houses, German music, brats, potato pancakes and cider doughnuts.

Enjoy the fresh lake air and fall colors by walking part of the 21-mile Geneva Lake Shore Path with its glimpses at stately homes and gardens. Get right on the water for dinner or a fiery sunset with Lake Geneva Cruise Line.

For crisp, crunchy apples and fresh autumn air, take a short scenic drive to Hafs Road Orchard. Choose from more than 50 varieties and indulge in a hand-dipped Honeycrisp caramel apple or bring home mulling spices to enjoy for cozy nights in with family and friends.   

Subscribe for the inside scoop on Wisconsin's festival scene, and find events near you in our directory!

This entry was posted in Tours Breweries Fairs & Festivals