FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Oktober-Best: Inspired by Bavaria, but Made in America

by Elyse Glickman

Oct 4, 2019

Suncadia Resort

Travel Tips

Oktoberfest events can start as early as August and are often considered perfect foundations for adult parties dedicated to beer and other food traditions originating in Germany. However, when you get down to the original definition of Oktoberfest as they apply to American culture, they celebrate the fruits of that year’s harvest season and are family-friendly to the core.


Oktoberfest in Germany began in 1810 as a sprawling, five-day wedding reception in honor of groom Crown Prince Ludwig, staged for hundreds of the Bavarian royal family’s closet friends. Festivities included horse racing and entertainment along with an endless flow of food and beer. While it evolved into one of Munich’s great tourist attractions, it is perfectly timed for German-American families throughout the United States to roll out the proverbial barrels and celebrate the joys of the fall season. Furthermore, as roughly 20 percent of Americans claim German ancestry, and many of them look to connect to their roots in a festive way each year, cities and towns of every description throughout the United States stage events that show how traditions brought to the “New World” have become regionalized in different ways and accessible to people of all backgrounds.


Although towns and cities in Wisconsin, Illinois (famously the site of the Oktoberfest parade scenes in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), Indiana and Ohio are synonymous for Oktoberfest festivities given the deep roots and agricultural traditions set down by German immigrants over the country’s history, there’s always a fresh crop of interesting ways to celebrate peak fall season in a few less obvious places and settings.

LA Farmers Market, Oktoberfest


Chicago, IL

Foodies can follow in Ferris Bueller’s footsteps and head down to Dusek’s Board & Beer, Oct. 6, the historic Thalia Hall in Chicago’s Pilsen opens a neighborhood free-to-enter “Blocktoberfest,” which features a variety of different craft beers for purchase (for the parents, of course) curated by Dusek’s, along with German-inspired delicacies from executive chef Michael Galen. The restaurant’s adjoining equestrian-themed cocktail bar, Tack Room, will transform into a fun kids zone filled with kid-friendly activities such as face painting, coloring and a gourd ring toss.


New Orleans

New Orleans Oktoberfest takes place Oct. 4–5, 11–12 and 18–19 at the Deutsches Haus Center, across the road from Bayou St. John at City Park. The annual celebration brings Bavarian festivities to the Bayou for three weekends, through the lens of the city’s famed joie de vivre with German culture, cuisine and family fun. Fest-goers can expect a host of authentic German foods, live music, dances and children’s activities including arts and crafts, games and performance.


Essex County, New York

Oaktoberfest, the annual upstate New York festival at the Oak Mountain Ski Area, is an authentic nod to the famous Munich Oktoberfest. This year, it happens Oct. 6, with live music, craft vendors, a delicious German buffet, a bouncy house, magic show, disc golf and mountain biking.


Mesa, Arizona

Every Thursday through Sunday in October, guests can enjoy the Annual Pumpkin and Chili Party at Schnepf Farms, a fourth-generation German family farm in the neighboring town of Queen Creek, Arizona. The family-friendly festival includes many attractions such as hayrides, a petting zoo, two corn mazes (one smaller four-acre and one 10-acre, celebrity-themed maze), pig races, live music, a BMX show, vintage amusement park rides and more. Visitors can enjoy endless chili and corn bread, as well as treats from the Farm Bakery, and pick the perfect pumpkin for carving from the farm’s pumpkin patch.    


LA Farmers Market, Oktoberfest


Los Angeles

The Original Farmer’s Market serves up its annual Fall Festival the weekend of Oct. 12–13, with German and international flair and Hollywood style. One of the market’s oldest annual traditions encompasses live music, a petting zoo, arts and crafts, a pie-eating contest, seasonal foods and excellent weather the whole family can enjoy as it has for decades.


Suncadia Resort, Cle Elum, Washington

On Oct. 5–6 and 12–13, the 14th Annual Suncadia Resort Harvest Festival at the base of the Cascade Mountains celebrates the vibrant colors and the crisp 50–60-degree temps synonymous with the Pacific North West. Kids’ activities include a hay maze and hay pyramid, Pumpkin Patch, farmers and arts-and-crafts market, petting zoo, pony rides, pumpkin archery, wagon rides, food trucks and face painting.

Suncadia Harvest Fest. Photo: Suncadia Resort


Greater Williamsburg

Outside our nation’s capital, the historic hamlet offers several Halloween-inspired spins on the festival. On Oct. 25–26, Colonial Williamsburg guests are not only treated to the area’s preservation of early American living and lush fall foliage, but Halloween chills on Duke of Gloucester Street with evening programs, ghost tours, spooky carriage rides, museum talks and special events. Once the kids are tucked into bed, the kids-at-heart can partake in GhostoberFest,  at the Cannon Tap Room at Brass Cannon Brewery, which takes place during the entire month of October. The Halloween-themed weekends feature small, spooky batch beer releases, additional music nights and discounts for folks who show up in costume.


Insta Feed
Jul 12, 2024

Best Destinations for Sea Vacations with Children

Family travelers have begun taking advantage of a new type of travel: the sailing vacation. Sea-based vacation company Dream Yacht Worldwide is spreading the word that sailing vacations are great for families as no sailing experience is necessary and they might be more affordable than people assume.

United Continues Its Global Expansion

United Airlines keeps soaring to new heights, recently announcing another expansion of its leading global route network. The airline added new non-stop flights between Newark (EWR) and Marrakesh (RAK), Morocco; Tokyo (NRT) and Cebu (CEB), Philippines; and Houston (IAH) and Medellin (MDE), Colombia. That’s not all: United also plans to increase flights to popular worldwide destinations including Hong Kong (HKG); Seoul (INC), South Korea; and Porto (OPO), Portugal. Following the recent agreement to increase flights between the U.S. and Chinese governments, the airline now adds four weekly flights from Los Angeles (LAX) to Shanghai (PVG).

Destinations / North America
Jul 11, 2024

Don’t Miss This Banana Split Festival in Pennsylvania

Family travel lets you explore so many exciting things, from outdoor adventures to games in the car on family road trips, but sometimes we have the most fun when we simply take time out to enjoy a good old-fashioned festival. And this coming August, Robindale Great American Banana Split Celebration is the place to do just that.

Jul 11, 2024

Enjoy Family Wellness Programs at Sattva Land this Winter

Introduce kids to wellness tourism on family travel. Adults often escape to a spa or retreat to reset, and with wellness travel on the rise, this retreat in Belize offers an experience for the whole family.

Travel to Madrid with the Family and Find Activities to Keep Everyone Happy!

If life were a city, it’d be Madrid. Sometimes it can be quite the challenge to find a destination just right for the whole family. Different tastes and ages make agreeing on where to go seem impossible. Unless, of course, the destination you have in mind is Madrid. With all of its new immersive museums, musicals, soccer stadiums and monuments like Royal Palace, anyone who suggests coming to the capital is sure to get a unanimous yes!

Jul 11, 2024

7 Riga, Latvia, Destinations for Family Travel

It’s time to start dreaming of your next family trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Riga, Latvia, with us.