Best Local: Welcome Fall like a Chicagoan with Oktoberfest

Nothing screams fall to Chicagoans like copious amounts of juicy bratwurst, giant steins of ice cold beer, men in suspenders and woman in lace up bodices. That’s right, Oktoberfest is here.

As fast as the mayor in Munich can say “O’ zapt is!” (“It’s tapped!”), Germans have toasted Autumn with enormous portions of food, drink and dance since 1810. For Chicagoans, and those of you temporary locals, you don’t have to travel to Munich to join in the fun. There are various festivals going on throughout the city and surrounding suburbs. While staying at one of our Corporate Suites Network locations, the festivities are only a CTA, Metra or taxi ride away.

St. Alphonsus’ Annual Oktoberfest (Sept. 23-25, Southport and Wellington): If it’s tradition you’re looking for, the sponsor of this festival, St. Alphonsus Church , was founded by German immigrants in the 1800s. They celebrate their roots by filling the streets of South Lakeview with brats, beer and live German music for three nights.

Germany’s Best and Oktoberfest (Sept. 23-Oct. 10, Navy Pier) Hold on tight to your stein while you polka yourself right along the southeast end of Navy Pier. From the people who brought you Christkindelmarkt , this festival bring all the tradition aspects of Oktoberfest while focusing on modern German business, culture, travel and arts.

Naper Settlement Oktoberfest (Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 523 S. Webster St, Naperville) Kids love Oktoberfest, too! This popular festival is hosted by the Naperville Heritage Society and offers an entire day (Saturday, Oct. 1st) of kid activities. There’s plenty of live music, ranging from German rock bands to traditional polka bands. Word on the street is there Bavarian pretzels are some of the best Oktoberfest eats.

Mirable Oktoberfest (All of Sept. and Oct., 3454 W. Addison Street) Nothing beats a meal of encased meats washed down with an enormous boot of beer . At Mirabell restaurant, they celebrate not only Oktoberfest, but National Sausage Month . Try the Schlachtplatte, a traditional favorite that consists of nothing but meat, including kassler, bratwurst and thuringer.

So ladies lace up your dirndls and men stick a pheasant feather in your Bavarian green hat, Oktoberfest is here. Browse the above celebrations to find out which one suits you best, or go crazy and attend them all.

If you’re staying at MetroLoft in Arlington Heights...Check out Oktoberfest at Saint Alphonsus Liguori School and Parish. How to Get There: 15 minute car or taxi ride via US-14 E.

If you’re staying at Lincoln Meadows in Schaumburg…Check out John Barleycorn’s Oktoberfest @ Schaumburg. How to Get There: Six minute car or taxi ride via N. Meacham Rd. and National Pkwy.

If you’re staying at Forest Pointe in Lake Bluff…Check out the Gorton Center Oktoberfest. How to Get There: 10 minute car or taxi ride via IL-176 E/Rockland Rd and N Green Bay Rd. One hour walk via North Shore bike path.

If you’re staying at City View at the Highlands in Lombard…Check out the St. Peter’s Parish Oktoberfest in Skokie. How to Get There: Drive or take taxi to Lombard Metra Station. Take Metra towards Harvard, getting off at Irving Park Metra. Walk to Irving Park and Keystone terminal, then take the bus towards Skokie Courthouse, getting off at Skokie Blvd and Cleveland.