Category Archives: Attractions & Events

O’zapft is! Find Your Oktoberfest in California

This Saturday, September 16th, it’s official: It’s Oktoberfest Time!

At 12 noon (CET), Munich’s mayor will tap the first Oktoberfest-beer-barrel and exclaim “O’zapft is” !  And the ‘world’s largest beer festival’ can begin!

But you don’t have to fly to Munich to get into Oktoberfest mood. We have quite a few choices to celebrate Oktoberfest here in California, too. If you live in Northern California or Southern California, you for sure will find some Oktoberfest festivity even close by your neighborhood.

We highlighted a few ‘Oktoberfests’, that we thought might peak your interest.  Check them out below!


Souther California

PHOENIX CLUB – Anaheim SoCal

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The Phoenix Club in Anaheim features Orange County’s oldest and most authentic Oktoberfest.  OKTOBERFEST 2017 will take place every weekend Sept 22-Oct 29!

Join the party and enjoy authentic delicious German food (including Schweinshaxen and bread dumpling), Great selection of Imported German beer on tap, Polkas and Prosts in our 12,000 sq. ft. Festzelt and an acre of Biergarten. “We will have you Partying like a German!”

Traditional bands play every day!  Our Schuhplattler perform Saturdays and Sundays. The special events on the first weekend include the Official Keg Tapping Ceremony and the Opening Parade.

SHOOTING GALLERY: Our Phoenix Schützen (traditional air rifle club) will have their rifle range open to the public on Saturdays (6:00 PM) and Sundays (1:00 PM) Oct. 1 – Oct 29.

PONY RIDES: Our Neighbors at the Del Rio Stables and Equestrian Center will host $5.00 Pony Rides for the kids all Sundays in October.·         

Choo-Choo: Sundays are family days, free choo-choo rides noon to 4pm, free balloon artist one noon to 4pm

ADMISSION:  $10  -Adults on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Phoenix Club members with card $5 –  under 18 enter FREE!

WHEN: Sept. 22 – Oct 29, 2017

WHERE: 1340 S. Sanderson Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92806

Special Music Entertainment: Various bands will perform. The local band The Express Band, Alt Rosenheim Schuhplattler and Goassischalzer from Bavaria, Germany; Musikapelle Rottenbuch from Bavaria, Germany and Odenwäder Dirndljaeger from Bavaria, Germany


Oktoberfest at JEANETTE’s EDELWEISS in Newbury Park

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Jeanette’s Edelweiss is starting Oktoberfest the original way. Like in Munich also here Oktoberfest is rung in by the official tapping of the first beer keg. Instead of the mayor of Munich it will be the Consul General of Germany, Joerg Neumann, who will perform the traditional ceremony on Saturday, September 16 at 4pm.

Oktoberfest Season at Jeanette’s Edelweiss will be from 9/16/17 – 10/29/17 and Jeanette’s Edelweiss Polka Band will play polka and authentic German Oktoberfest tunes. Live Oktoberfest Tunes and International Music with Festmeister Hans & Accordion Diva Gigi will be part of it as well. Prepare yourself for lot’s of dancing, fun & Oktoberfest games and the following seasonal events:

Every FRI & SAT – 5 pm: Munich style Oktoberfest Party with Fun, Games and Live Music by the Jeanette’s Edelweiss Polka Band featuring Festmeister Hans.

Every Sunday 4 pm: Family Fun Oktoberfest. Kids Oktoberfest with Gigi & Festmeister Hans. Games & Fun for the family.

Every Thursday 5 pm: Oktoberfest Party!

Besides Oktoberfest entertainment be ready for a real German culinary feast. Jeanette’s Edelweiss features authentic German cuisines by renowned German Chef Rocco Suckert from Cologne, Germany. Everything from German brats, Schnitzel, Sauberbraten, Ham Hocks, Rouladen and of course Pretzels and Gingerbread hearts can be yours! And you’ll have the choice of 12 imported German beers on draft.

WHEN: Sept.16 – Oct. 29, 2017

WHERE: 2160A Newbury Road, Newbury Park

Admission: FREE  – But Advanced Reservations are Recommended!  Reserve your table: info@JeanettesEdelweiss.com (or 805-498-7300).


EL CAJON Oktoberfest – San Diego County’s oldest and most traditional Oktoberfest

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The German American Societies of San Diego invite to their yearly traditional Oktoberfest! Two weekends full of authentic foods and original entertainment.

Come and enjoy authentic German food, such as bratwurst, ox-on-the-spit, potato salad, potato pancakes, sauerkraut, red cabbage, pretzels, and a variety of German pastries. There will be  a great selection of German beers and liquors, and soft drinks and water, to enjoy with your friends and family!

Listen to the original group “The Guggenbach-Buam”, who came all the way out from Baden-Württemberg, Germany. These talented, entertaining musicians dress in traditional clothing, and play a variety of German music, just as you would hear in the beer gardens in Bavaria. Enjoy songs such as the chicken dance, polkas and waltzes, and all the famous beer-drinking tunes. 

Watch traditional folk dancing performances, compete in our numerous games and contests, check out vendor and craft booths, and treat your kids to their own Kids’ Zone! Bring your family and friends to El Cajon and experience a real German Oktoberfest!

Admission:   $10 Friday and Saturdays; $5 Sundays.

WHEN:  Sept. 29, 30 and October 1 & October 6, 7 and 8, 2017

WHERE: German American Societies, 1017 S. Mollison Avenue, El Cajon, 92020


NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

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Oktoberfest at ESTHER’s GERMAN BAKERY in Palo Alto

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Esther’s German Bakery is celebrating  its 10th annual Oktoberfest !

Oktoberfest – Kick off is around noon on Saturday, September 30th.

Outside on the front patio you’ll see the food tent serving the Oktoberfest menu and plenty of tables for trying the seasonal Oktoberfest beers.  If you like more shade, check out our ‘Biergarten’  in the back.

For entertainment Esther’s German Bakery will have a favorite local German band playing festival songs from 3:00 – 8:00pm. Traditional German beer games are on the plan all night long. Come and meet some neighbors and celebrate Oktoberfest the traditional way!

On Sunday, in case you missed Saturday’s main event, the bakery will be hosting their Hangover Brunch. Both the front patio and back biergarten will be open. It’ll be back to the daily menu then, but you’ll still have plenty of seasonal beer choices and tasty German treats, and German music will of course welcome you inside. Make it an Oktoberfest weekend!!!

WHEN: Oktoberfest Day is on Saturday Sept.30 with the ‘Hangover Brunch’ following Oct. 1, 2017

WHERE: 987 N San Antonio Rd, Los Altos, CA 94022

Entrance: Free


SCHUG WINERY – SONOMA – The Oktoberfest serving wine!

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Beer is not your thing, but you love wine? Try the Oktoberfest (Wine-Fest) at Schug Winery in Sonoma. Owned by a German family, Schug Winery is proud to invite to an Oktoberfest of their own kind. The winery was founded by Walter Schug, who came to CA in the 60’s to make wine European style.

Overlooking the Sonoma Valley you’ll be sipping Federweißer and enjoy plenty of traditional Oktoberfest entertainment. Get ready for Polka and accordion music, raffles for adults and children, a photo booth, Bean Bag Toss and more, while indulging on German specialties like Zwiebelkuchen, German cucumber salad, potato salad, German apple strudel, sausages, and of course fresh pretzels.

Children will love the Arts & Crafts tables and will go home with a free pumpkin! Special: Polkageist West is lined up for our live music.

WHEN: Sept 30 from 11am- 3:30pm

WHERE: 602 Bonneau Road in Sonoma, CA 95476.

Entrance: $50 (kids 12 and under free!)   – Ticket link : http://www.schugwinery.com/


OAKLAND NATURE FRIENDS – Oktoberfest 2017

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Die Naturfreunde Oakland invite to their yearly Oktoberfest in Oakland on October 1st, 2017!

It’s their biggest festival of the year!  So, get ready for fun Oktoberfest entertainment while taking in stunning views of the Bay area. Authentic German food, beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase throughout the day.

Entertainment:

MUSIC & DANCING: The Bajuk Trio with the Schuhplattler Dancers performing a variety of German and Austrian folk dances. Music starts at 1pm. Let your dance out!

OTHER ACTIVITIES: horseshoes | board games | candy roulette | playground | or just lounge in our alpine-style sun chairs soaking up the wunderbaren views of the SF Bay!

ADMISSION: $15 per adult (free for kids under 14). (Discount code “earlybird” available for a limited time.)

BUY TICKETS online or show up early to ensure entry!

PLEASE BRING CASH: Cash is the preferred method of payment. We do not accept debit cards or checks at the Oakland Nature Friends Club on the day of the event. There is no ATM on the premises.

PARKING: Parking in the ONF lot is free but fills up quickly so arrive early. However, there is plenty of additional parking on Joaquin Miller Drive. We provide a free shuttle bus service (1PM to 5PM every 15 minutes) that will drive guests from the intersection of Butters and Joaquin Miller (near the fire station) to the festival grounds and back again. 


MORE OKTOBERFEST:

Placerville Oktoberfest – Sacramento

Come Dance Zee Polka at the 7th Annual Placerville Oktoberfest on Historic Main Street Placerville

Placerville, CA, September 8, 2017—Come dance zee polka at the 7th Annual Placerville Oktoberfest on historic Main Street in Placerville on Saturday, September 16th from 3-8pm—presented by the Placerville Downtown Association.

WHEN: September 16th, 2017

Entrance : FREE


Oktoberfest at GACC – German American Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco 

For the fifth time the German American Chamber of Commerce will bring Germany’s most famous fest to the Bay Area.

Enjoy a night of delicious German food andOktoberfest beer, provided by Ludwig’s German Table.   Blow Musik! will set the right tone with their traditional Bavarian polkas and our headliner Bayern Maiden will rock the house once more!

WHEN: September 28th, 2017, 5pm-10pm
WHERE: Fort Mason, San Francisco

Admission: Buy your ticket online 


 Oktoberfest at Los Lagos Golf Course
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LLGC in partnership with Gordon Biersch is bringing Munich’s famed festival to the San Jose community for all to enjoy!!  Live German music, dancing, traditional food, and beer!
Band: The Deutscher Musikverein  (SFgermanband.org)
WHEN:Saturday, October 14, 2017, 05:00pm – 09:00pm
WHERE: Los Lagos Golf Course, 2995 Tuers Road, San Jose, CA 95121
ADMISSION: $20.00 includes food, 2 beer samplers, and music! Tickets online at www.playloslagos.com under Event Registration.

Enegren Brewing Oktoberfest in Moorpark
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Enegren Brewing Co. features authentic German Food with BIGGER BETTER PRETZELS and German music all day long with the German band Hazelnuss-Das Music .  Make sure to get there early for the official barrel tapping of our Oktoberfest Märzen Lager and to get your limited edition steins!
WHEN: Saturday October 7th: 11am – 10pm
WHERE: 444 Zachary St, #120, Moorpark, CA 93021
ADMISSION: Free

Oktoberfest in Downtown Los Angeles

Oktoberfest DTLA is not your traditional Oktoberfest. You’ll find local breweries and California beers, but you can also still grab an authentic German Beer from Paulaner, the #1 Oktoberfest beer in the world! Food varies from traditional bratwursts and pretzels to Thai-Mexican fusion.  Lot’s of music entertainment: Music ranges from awesome local bands like The Tom Nolan Band and rockabilly groups to beat boxers, with Hazelnuss Das Music band closing both nights to get everyone dancing to some awesome Oktoberfest tunes.

WHEN: October 21 & 22, 2017 (12pm -18pm)

WHERE: Pershing Square, 532 South Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013

ADMISSION: General admission is Free, and all ages are welcome. Tasting packages will be available for sale, but you’re free to come and just enjoy the music as well.


Oktoberfest at Old World Huntington Beach

WHEN: Sept. 10 – Oct. 29, 2017

WHERE: 7561 Center Ave., Huntington Beach

Admission: $7-$25 tickets online or at the door


Oktoberfest at Alpine Village Torrance

WHEN: Sept 8 – Oct 28, 2017

WHERE: 833 W Torrance Blvd, Torrance, CA 90502

Admission: $10- $60 tickets online or at the door


Images: Copyright ©All Images are property of the respective organization, Phoenix Club, Jeanette’s Edelweiss, German American Societies of San Diego, Esther’s German Bakery, Schug Winery, Oakland Nature Friends.

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Last Days of Summer. Catch’em While You Can!

First day of September…and summer is over. Well, not officially. While the real change of season is still a few weeks away, I am sure you can sense a slight change in the air already, too.

Come Labor Day, and summer is clearly turning into just a warm memory. Schools are back in session, most of us are back at work and beaches are blissfully empty.

Pretty soon it’s Oktoberfest time rather than beach time. Yes, Oktoberfest season starts in California already as early as September 8th!

Before saying good-bye to summer 2017, treasure these last few nights of warmth and sunshine.

Should you spend time at Universal Studios this Labor Day weekend, don’t leave the theme park before you have seen the magical light show at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It is really mesmerizing!


Image & Video Credits: ©CaliforniaGermans


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Body Worlds: PULSE – Getting to Know Your Body Inside Out

 

Gunther von hagens’ Body Worlds: ‘Pulse’ – Getting to Know Your Body Inside Out

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Feeling somewhat uneasy we were standing in front of the California Science Center recently, ready to enter Gunther von Hagens’ Body Worlds exhibition “PULSE”. We have prepared ourselves well and read almost anything available out there about the show, about Gunther von Hagens, his plastination process and about the process of putting the show together here at the CaliforniaScienceCenter.

Since we had our teenage son with us we wanted to make sure that he as well as us completely understood what we were about to experience. My husband in fact was very hesitant at first about bringing him along since the show’s displays contain bodies of deceased humans that went through Gunther von Hagens invented preservation process called plastination.

All our worries however were put to rest very quickly upon entering this amazing show.

Gunther von Hagen’s Body Worlds PULSE – an incredible journey through your body

Right at the beginning of the show you are greeted by a movie that totally hit home with us.It demonstrates how our busy lives have a profound effect on the quality of our lives, making us receptive to all kinds of modern diseases: high blood pressure, obesity, depression, you name it. Too much stimulation and an overload of information that we modern human beings are constantly exposed to puts our modern life under a lot of stress and finally at risk. The speed that forces us to do more, better and faster becomes increasingly more inhuman.

This movie is the preamble to a rewarding show that explains in detail what is essential for us to keep our bodies healthy and functional.  Ultimately it encourages us to think about how we can develop a healthier pace of life for ourselves.

Impressive displays, exceptional information and in-depth videos guide you along the journey through your body.

The entrance to the various displays starts with one of Gunther von Hagens plastinated bodies holding his skin folded over his arm like an overcoat. Info boards teach you about the skin being our heaviest and largest organ that has vital functions. Next the visitor learns about the skeleton and sees first hand how fractures, implants and prostheses look like. As you move along “through the body” you’ll learn about the central nervous system and see stunning displays.

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In one von Hagen isolated a whole body’s central and peripheral nervous system and instead of a traditional skeleton one sees a “skeleton of nerves”. Amazing!

The various muscles in our bodies are a topic of one section, other sections are dedicated to each of our organs, to nutrition and to the demonstration of what certain diseases do to our body. From heart to intestines to liver and lung and more… you get to know your body inside out!

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A big section is dedicated to the heart explaining its difficult and intensive job. With the help of videos and informational boards we learn how a heart attack builds up within our body far before it actually happens.

The impact of smoking is impressively presented with a shockingly pitch black smokers lung on display that looks like a lava rock. This particular display like so many others certainly make you think about how you are treating your own body and how it may look like if exposed like these displays.

Speaking about the displays. Our initial worry was about our reaction to the plastinated bodies. Gunther van Hagens’ invention of preserving the human body and his quite artistic displays have been quite controversial for years. Many were initially appalled just by the pure fact that these displays were actually showing deceased humans.

We found that the whole show including the displays were put together and presented very esthetically. We were intrigued and captivated throughout. I can’t think of any other exhibit that brings you in such close encounter with your own body. We were awed and so were many other visitors we observed. From families with much younger children than our son, to a group of doctors, who were teaching their college class right on site.

In conclusion I can only say that we were absorbed by this exhibition and didn’t feel time going by. There was so much to see, explore and learn!

Body Worlds: PULSE is on display at the CaliforniaScienceCenter through February 20, 2018 .

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Images: ©CaliforniaGermans

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The Beauty of Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA)

Walking Through Downtown L.A.

– A Report in Pictures –
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Los Angeles, a fascinating city and a dream destination for many, has so much to offer. Beautiful beaches, legendary Hollywood, famous Universal Studios, iconic Muscle Beach at Venice, eclectic art, amazing museums, delectable restaurants…just to name a few highlights.

For sure L.A. is not only an exciting city for newcomers and tourists alike, but also for us expats living here it is worth dedicating a summer vacation to exploring Los Angles and beyond.

So here we go.

My family loves Downtown L.A. (DTLA). Be it Olvera Street the often called “birthplace of Los Angeles”, Chinatown , Little Tokyo, the contemporary art museum MOCA or THE BROAD museum and of course the Grand Central Market, which is always a must for us when we are in DTLA.

Needless to say our latest trip to DTLA started out right here and should end here as well with some delicious ice cream before heading back home.

Energized, after having had lunch at Wexler’s Deli indulging on their pastrami sandwich ‘The OG’, my son’s favorite, we make our way to the Grand Central Library.

Shortcut Along Angels Flight

There is a great short cut to South Grand Avenue by climbing the stairways alongside the Angels Flight funicular, which is right across from the Grand Central Market’s exit on Hill Street.

On South Grand Avenue we pay a short visit to MOCA, glance at The BROAD, (which is closed on Mondays) and take in the fabulous architecture of the Disney Music Hall before we continue our path to the library.

More art along the way!

Arriving at the corner of South Grand Ave / 5th Street we are finally met by one of Los Angeles architectural and historical landmarks, The Central Library!

The original library of 1926, the Goodhue Building, is an early example of Art Deco. The Tom Bradley Wing was added as a modern addition in 1993 and features most of the library’s collection today.

The Goodhue Building houses the Children’s and Teen department, which we always enjoy visiting.

Upon entering via the Rotunda with its Zodiac Chandelier one feels transported into a different time.

Have we entered Victorian era England or have we teleported into a Harry Potter movie?  Not sure, but it’s beautiful!

On our way out we make sure to walk through the atrium of the Tom Bradley Wing to get back into modern times.

Back outside on 5th Street we realize that we happen to stand right across of L.A.’s famous skyslide which is attached to the top of the US Bank skyscraper. Definitely nothing for the faint-hearted!! So I am quickly moving on pulling my mesmerized son with me down the street to The Last Bookstore on 453 S Spring Street.

The Last Bookstore, an eccentric book store that engages every book lover with tons of books, art galleries, hidden reading sanctuaries and a book labyrinth.

Even if you are not interested in books per se, this bookstore is a must! And if it’s only to inhale the L.A.vibe !

Enough books for today! We are heading back to the Grand Central Market and the Bradbury Building, which happens to be directly opposite of the market’s entrance on S. Broadway.

Not promising anything extraordinary from the outside the Bradbury Building fascinates once you walk through the narrow entrance lobby. Letting our eyes feast one more time on an L.A. architectural landmark, we are walking into the five-story building and are met with an amazing, light-filled atrium brimming with staircases in ornate ironwork and two wrought-iron ‘bird cage’ elevators. The Bradbury Building has been featured in many movies, the Blade Runner being one of them.

Together with the Central Library and the Union Station, the Bradbury Building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places .

For everyone still seeking adventure, you could move on to see much more here in Downtown L.A. – After all L.A.’s Union Station is not far away and famous theaters like the Theatre at the ACE Hotel are just down the road.

My son and I, however, called it a day and we went back to the Grand Central Market to reward ourselves with a delicious ice cream and an interesting coffee concoction. The drink called Business and Pleasure at G & B actually consists of three drinks! Iced almond-macademia milk cappuccino, carbonated iced tea and an espresso shot. Give it a try next time you visit Grand Central Market!

Prost! Cheers! À votre santé!

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Images: All Rights reserved ©CaliforniaGermans

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Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS now open at CaliforniaScienceCenter, Los Angeles

BODY WORLDS’ new exhibit PULSE has opened at the California Science Center and will be on display until February 2018. The exhibit is “a convergence of aesthetic anatomy, health and wellness”. Visitors can learn and actually see how a body reacts if a person lives an unhealthy lifestyle versus a healthy one. They can for example visually witness how the body inside gets impacted by certain lifestyle choices, like excessive smoking; or what obesity can do to our bodies’ health.

Gunther von Hagens and ‘Plastination’

A special plastination technique invented by controversial German anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens in 1977 makes it possible to dissect a body to show various structures and systems of human anatomy in a way that, to date, has not been possible otherwise. Originally von Hagen’s technique was used for medical purposes only. He did however became very controversial when he was preparing his first ‘Body Worlds’ show in Japan in 1995, in which he showed full body specimen in lifelike poses. The exhibition ‘Body Worlds’ has stirred many intense emotions and opinions ever since, but has also opened up a revolutionary scientific understanding of our bodies. Despite all its controversy, ‘Body Worlds’ has attracted  37 million visitors in its exhibitions all over the world.

In 2015 ,after many legal battles, Dr. Gunther von Hagens opened his own museum in Berlin, MeMu – MenschenMuseum.

An exhibition of immense educational value

In the past ‘Body Worlds’ has even been called a freak show, but over time people have come to realize  what revolutionary insights ‘Body Worlds’ is offering us all into our own functioning of our bodies. “Body Worlds: Pulse will bring together anatomy and the latest health and wellness findings in a visually compelling and highly entertaining and informative exhibition. ”

More than 200 plastinated specimens will be on view at the California Science Center — including whole bodies, body configurations, translucent slices, and organs, as well as 3D displays . The exhibition is curated and presented in galleries that feature the various systems of the body.

Tickets can be purchased online at:  https://californiasciencecenter.org/body-worlds-tickets

To get an idea of what visitors will experience, we encourage to watch KTLA‘s video of the exhibition in Los Angeles:

 

Credits:KTLA, California Science Center.      Image: By Pattymooney (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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