Things to Do This Weekend: Oompah at Local Oktoberfests

Big Bear, Anaheim, and Huntington Beach get into the stein-centered, Chicken-Dance-tastic swing.


What to Know

  • The Phoenix Club's famous Oktoberfest revels each weekend from Sept. 16 through Oct. 23 in Anaheim
  • Big Bear Lake's festivities will dance each weekend through Nov. 5; fall-like weather and changing leaves up the atmosphere
  • Old World in Huntington Beach will keep the Oktobervibes strong every Wednesday through Sunday through Nov. 5

Oktoberfest Season: Making for Munich? You can, if you'd like to raise a stein of foamy brew in a centuries-old beer hall. But SoCal spots are revving up the accordions and welcoming lederhosen-clad revelers for several weekends of classic German bands, savory brats, and traditional beers. Check times and hours, of course, and admission policies, then kick up your heels for the Phoenix Club in Anaheim, Old World in Huntington Beach, and Big Bear Lake. Each spot will celebrate for several weekends to come, with the last two spots pushing through to early November.

Coastal Cleanup Day: No one needs to alert anyone to the fact that we're a rather sandy, foamy, kelpy, and oh-so-surfy spot, thanks to all of that incredible coastline (and lovely lakeshores and riverbanks, too). Keeping all of that sand sparkling, though? It's takes work, but a pitch-in day is just ahead. Sign up for the California Coastal Commission's annual volunteer event, pick a water-adjacent area near where you live, and devote a few hours on Sept. 17 to de-littering all of that splendid sand.

Sounds of Sandoval: Enjoy a Master Class with the legendary musician Arturo Sandoval during this two-day celebration at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy. Debbie Allen will lead a Salsa Dance Class on Sept. 17, truly a celebratory session to remember, while Mr. Sandoval will present a concert that evening for fans who'd love to experience a live show by the acclaimed Grammy winner. Prices vary by event, but there are some combo ticket options available for those who'd love to savor dance and music over several hours.

Bring Back West 3rd Street: Sauntering between Fairfax and La Cienega Avenues, all while popping by shops, stopping for a cool refreshment, and spying some public art, the sort of pieces that uplift and cheer? West 3rd has long been a star on the city street scene and a centerpiece of the Beverly Grove neighborhood. You can give the vibrant stretch further vibrancy by visiting from Sept. 16 through 18, where specials and deals will abound, all to "Bring Back West 3rd Street." Chicas Tacos, Bedhead Pajamas, and so many gems are on the participating list; check it out now.

Dino Fest and Spider Pavilion: Telling the difference between a T. Rex and a tarantula? Not too much of a brain-tickler, usually. A dinosaur, after all, is quite large and tarantulas are not, all in all. So finding your way to Dino Fest, a one-day festival, and Spider Pavilion, a multi-week happening, while calling upon the Natural History Museum on Sunday, Sept. 18? Make no "bones" about it: It can happen, easily. Read up on tickets, entry times, and everything to know now, and, again, keep in mind that the prehistoric party is only on Sunday while arachnids will rule for several weeks to come.

Danish Days: Solvang's biggest weekend is ahead, a town-wide whimsy that will include parading, fooding, sipping, shopping, sightseeing, and a giant LEGO-building competition. Oh yes: The obsessed-over Æbleskiver Breakfasts are back on Saturday and Sunday, though saying these meals are "obsessed-over" might be downplaying people's deep devotions for the fluffy pastry. The windmill-laden location is also known for Julefest at Christmas, but this is the big fall kick-off for the Santa Ynez Valley.

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