Good riddance to summer. Fall is almost here.
In Philadelphia, that means Oktoberfest parties, and plenty of them. As a beer-obsessed city, this is a special time of year for us. When else can you hoist a stein all day long and not look as if you might have a problem?
Foodwise, we're looking forward to gorging on German fare such as bratwurst, sauerkraut, and potato pancakes. Even the dreaded pumpkin spice-laden items of the season seem enticing. After all, it has been many months since nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove crossed our lips in combination, and time has dulled our hatred of their overuse.
Autumn, however, doesn't officially start until Sept. 22, so we have a little bit of time before fall gets into full swing. Which, of course, gives you just enough time to start planning your fall festivities.
Break out your lederhosen, and check out our list of Oktoberfests and other fall parties.
Spruce Street Harbor Park celebrates the start of fall with two weekends of family-friendly, autumn-themed fun that includes pumpkin carving, apple-cider pressing, a petting zoo, and live music. The park also will have a rotating menu of local, seasonal cocktails and beers for mom and dad.
11 a.m. Sept. 14-24, Spruce Street Harbor Park, 301 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd., pay-as-you-go.
Frankford Hall and Fette Sau have joined forces once again to welcome fall with a block party that will take over Frankford Avenue for a day of traditional German food and beer. For entertainment, be on the lookout for pony rides, German dancers, and music from the Ja Ja Ja's and the Mad Beatz Drumline.
Noon Saturday, Frankford Hall, 1210 Frankford Ave., pay-as-you-go.
More than 70 breweries will make it out for Newtown's annual beer festival this year, including favorites such as Bell's, Avery, Stone, and Founders. More local breweries — Yards, Weyerbacher, Dogfish Head, and Evil Genius — also will be on-site. Music, meanwhile, will come from Aces High and Plan 9.
12:30 p.m. Saturday, The Stocking Works, 410 S. State St., Newtown, $45-$75.
Brauhaus Schmitz shuts down the 700 block of South Street for the ninth year running with its annual Oktoberfest, which features a Bavarian buffet, 10 German beers on draft, oompah music, German dancers, and more. And if you think you can drink, try your hand in the festival's "Liter Lift" competition — but be careful, those steins get heavy.
Noon Saturday, 700 block of South Street, pay-as-you-go.
If you like your pilsner with a side of puns, check out the Philadelphia Zoo's OktoBEARfest, in its first run this year. More than 50 breweries will have beers available, including Levante Brewing, Fegley's Brew Works, Sterling Pig, and Kurant Ciders. Look for bites from food trucks such as The Cow and the Curd, Pbon's Fresh Phood, and PieStand.
5 p.m. Saturday, Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 W. Girard Ave., tickets: $55.
Celebrate the legend of Oktober the Oktopus with live music, rides, and rootbier for the kids.
Sept. 22 to 24, Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, and Oct. 6 to 8, Morey's Piers, 3501 Boardwalk, Wildwood, N.J., pay-as-you-go.
This three-hour Oktoberfest party is good for those on the go who still want to welcome fall with some traditional German tastes. The evening's menu includes dishes like sauerkraut, brezen, and wurstl, as well as a sampling of German beers. Organizers encourage attendees to wear lederhosen for a night of polka and dancing.
6 p.m. Sept. 22, International House Philadelphia, 3701 Chestnut St., tickets: $10-$15.
Bratwurst, sauerkraut, pretzels, potato pancakes with apple butter, and plenty of beer are all on the menu for this traditional-style Oktoberfest in the Philly 'burbs. Live music from the James D. Oompah Band and the O'Fenders will keep folks dancing, and face painting and crafts will keep the kids entertained.
2 p.m. Sept. 23, McCloskey's Tavern, 17 Cricket Ave., Ardmore, tickets: $1 for 21+ wristband (pay-as-you-go), $50 for VIP.
Back for a second year, UpToberfest Oktoberfest hits the Uptown Beer Garden to celebrate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig I and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen, king and queen of Bavaria from 1825 to 1948 and the reason for the first Oktoberfest. Join in with bratwurst, currywurst, and potato pancakes, plus a list of special German drafts and domestic seasonals.
Noon Sept. 23, Uptown Beer Garden, 1735 JFK Blvd., pay-as-you-go.
Victory Brewing takes over the taps at Alla Spina for a weekend-long Oktoberfest celebration with German food, beer specials, live music, games and prizes. If you fail at the Brauhaus Schmitz stein-lift competition, don't worry — you'll have a chance to redeem yourself at Alla Spina.
4:30 p.m. Sept. 29-Oct. 1, Alla Spina, 1410 Mt. Vernon St., pay-as-you-go.
OK, so it's mostly a music festival with tunes from the likes of The Commonheart and RFA, but this is Sly Fox, after all. Aside from the music, check out food and beer from the brewery, plus a massive KanJam disc game tournament that is sure to get serious. (Play along or just play a few rounds after; it's up to you.)
Noon Sept. 30, Sly Fox Brewery, 331 Circle of Progress Dr., Pottstown, pay-as-you-go.
2SP, Bullfrog, Saint Benjamin, Tired Hands, and more than 100 other local and national breweries will have beers available for Kennett Square's annual outdoor beer festival. This marks 20 years running for the fest, so expect a blowout including live music, food options, and plenty of vendors.
Noon Sept. 30, Historic Kennett Square, 106 W. State St., tickets: $50-$85.
Xfinity Live! is known for its seasonal festivals, and its Oktoberfest is no different. More than 125 breweries will have some 250 beers on offer, and tickets include unlimited sampling. Food trucks, games, live DJs, and other entertainment will also be available to keep the day moving smoothly.
3 p.m. Sept. 30, Xfinity Live!, 1100 Pattison Ave., tickets: $45-$60.
East Falls residents, this one's for you. Castle Ringstetten — also known as the Undine Barge Club's boathouse — will host its second Castle on Tap event, which features a beer garden stocked with craft beer, seasonal German bites from Homespun food truck, and live music from The Duke Brothers and Rawk U.
4 p.m. Sept. 30, Castle Ringstetten, 13 Boathouse Row, tickets: $10.
If you ever wanted to drink in a mall parking lot in style, King of Prussia is the place to do it. More than 100 beers will be available from breweries such as Brooklyn Brewery, Tröegs, Free Will, and Coppertail Brewing. Food will come from Fogo de Chão, Duck Donuts, Shake Shack, and The Halal Guys.
5:30 p.m. Oct. 5, noon and 6 p.m. Oct. 7, King of Prussia Mall, 160 N. Gulph Rd., tickets: $15-$75.
Running five years strong, this year's Roxtoberfest features local beers paired with food from eateries like the Tot Cart, Mom-Mom's Polish Food Cart, Smokin' Tacos, Side of the Road Jerk Chicken, and others. Seasonal music will come from several groups, including local polka outfit Polkadelphia.
Noon Oct. 7, Ridge Avenue in Roxborough, pay-as-you-go.
Hitting its 12th year in 2017, the annual Midtown Village Fall Festival attracts about 50,000 guests each year. The festivities once again include food, drink, live music, and vendors to welcome fall around 13th Street in Center City.
Noon Oct. 7, Midtown Village, pay-as-you-go.
A multiday festival, Dilworth Park's fall celebration combines a traditional Oktoberfest party with the Made in Philadelphia Fall Market for several days of autumnal celebration. The result? Seasonal food, beer, cocktails, entertainment, and swag, all right in the heart of Center City.
5 p.m. Oct. 11-15, Dilworth Park, 1 S. 15th St., pay-as-you-go.
Head back to South Street in October for Bloktoberfest, Graduate Hospital's annual fall party. In its seventh year, the festival takes over South Street from Broad to 18th Street, and benefits neighborhood programs focusing on public safety, green spaces, and education.
Noon Oct. 14, South Street West, pay-as-you-go.
Back for its second year, 23rd Street Armory's Oktoberfest party features four sessions across two days, with the goal still being to mimic a traditional Munich Oktoberfest. Chef Jeremy Nolen of Brauhaus Schmitz will provide food, and German beer will come from Hofbräuhaus. Brahaus regulars The Heimatklange band will provide musical entertainment.