Grünauer Restaurant (101 West 22nd Street) presents an early Oktoberfest celebration Friday, September 28, and Saturday, September 29, sponsored by the beermaker Hofbrau, in two tents outside the historic freight house. Expect traditional German food and drink, 4 p.m.-midnight both days, and a variety of live entertainment (including polka dancing). Admission costs $10 and includes a Hofbrau draft.
Another early Oktoberfest is held in downtown Lee's Summit Friday, September 28 (5–11 p.m.), and Saturday, September 29 (9 a.m.–11 p.m.) featuring a biergarten, arts and crafts booths, and a carnival. Three stages feature live entertainment. Admission is free.
Shawnee's German-American Club presents its Oktoberfest Friday, October 5 (5:30–11 p.m.), at the Shawnee Civic Centre (13817 Johnson Drive) featuring the Alpen Spielers German Polka Band and the Blautaler Schuhplatter Dancers. Food and beverages will be sold and admission is free.
Parkville puts on its annual Parktoberfest Saturday, October 6 (noon–9 p.m.). Festivities in English Landing Park (the most scenic Oktoberfest site in the metro) include an early morning pet parade, food vendors, a beer garden, and live music. The Elders take the stage at 7 p.m.
About three hours outside KC is 175-year-old Hermann, Missouri, the quaint river town where it's all about the wine. The hamlet puts on Oktoberfest activities every Saturday and Sunday in October, with area vineyards offering wine tastings, and plenty of entertainment and food besides. The town's Arts & Crafts Festival kicks the month off October 5 and 6 (at Hermann Middle School). "The Artists of Wine Country Walks and Talks" follow on October 13 and 14, and Deutsch Country Days at Luxenhaus Farm (near Marthasville) happen October 20 and 21.