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Ascension day bank holiday: Beer, beats, and beyond

Ascension Day, Vatertag, Christi Himmelfahrt: whatever you call it, a day off in Berlin demands a celebration.

Another bank holiday is just around the corner – and there’s a lot to do in the city. Photo: Imago/Jürgen Held

If you’re new in Germany, you may be surprised to learn that here, Ascension Day (‘Christi Himmelfahrt’) isn’t just a holiday celebrating Christ’s return to heaven after his resurrection – it’s also Father’s Day (‘Vatertag’ or ‘Herrentag’). 

For Berliners, the two-for-one holiday calls for booze, bro-time, and other fun ways to make the most of the long weekend. So, here’s our guide to the best events to look forward to this Ascension-slash-Father’s Day, from family fun to concerts and clubbing. It’s what Jesus would have wanted. 

Organ music at Konzerthaus

The Konzerthaus is arguably the most noteworthy building in Gendarmenmarkt. Photo: Imago/Shotshop

The organ-duo Markus and Pascal Kaufmann cordially invite classical music fans to an hour-long organ concert this Ascension Day. Listen to renditions of the works of Antonín Dvořák, George Gershwin, Gustav Holst, Aram Chatschaturjan, and more ring out in the hallowed halls of the Konzerthaus.

  • Konzerthaus Berlin Gendarmenmarkt 2, Mitte, details

Sonnenhut & Klapperklatschen Open Air

Finally, open air season! Photo: Imago/agefotostock

Looking for a less ecclesiastical-sounding concert? The Werderaner Tannenhof will be hosting open air electro performances this Father’s Day, featuring an exciting lineup of international artists including Grace Thompson, Patric Scuro, Karl Knartz, and none other than French techno-legend Matt Sassari. Dance the day away and release your inner party-animal at the afterparty in the barn!

  • Sonnenhut und Klapperklatschen Open Air Werderaner Tannenhof, Lehniner Chaussee, Werder (Havel), details

Biermarkt Henningsdorf

Drink if you love Jesus. Photo: Imago/Panthermedia

We all like to poke fun at Germans, but credit where credit is due: They brew a mean beer. And you can browse and taste an eclectic assortment of regional as well as international ones at Biermarkt Henningsdorf this Ascension Day. Pair your favourite brew with delicious street food, live music, and early-summer excitement!

  • Biermarkt Hennigsdorf Postplatz, Hennigsdorf, details

Punk & Disorderly

Let’s get punk and disorderly! Photo: Imago/Pop-Eye

Move over, Jesus, there’s a more important celebration in store this Ascension Day: The 20th annual Punk & Disorderly music festival. 

To commemorate the momentous occasion, Astra Kulturhaus will be rocking out Thursday through Saturday with punk artists like Perkele, Cockney Rejects, Peter & The Test Tube Babies, Mark Foggo, Special Duties, Chaotic Dischord, and many more. 

You can get tickets for a specific day, or be really hardcore and book for the whole weekend. Either way: Get ready to rock!

  • Punk & Disorderly Festival Astra Kulturhaus, Revaler Str. 99, Friedrichshain, details

Flusspiraten Open Air

All aboard the party-boat! Photo: Imago/Zoonar

Want to party like a pirate? Say ahoy to your concert-captains René Bourgeois and Miss Roxy for a day of wild abandon on the water! Shake a peg-leg to a treasure-trove of techno on the riverbank or be one of the lucky few to hit the deck of the MS Miss Roxy for a cruise down the Spree. 

  • Flusspiraten Open Air Richtershorn, Grünau; MS Roxy Pier Friedrichshagener Str. 3, Köpenick, details

Children’s theatre performances

Take your family to the theatre for Father’s Day. Photo: Imago/Design Pics

For dads looking for more wholesome activities than day-drinking this Father’s Day, why not take your little ones out to the theatre? For fairytale fun, the three little pigs will be taking the stage at Tempelhofer Feld on Thursday in an imaginative and interactive musical rendition by director Stefan Kreißig.

Would your kids rather see real-life barnyard animals? Beloved animated character Yakari and his trusty steed Kleiner Donner (portrayed by an actual Appaloosa) will come to life at the Zentraler Festplatz in Reinickendorf as part of their Germany-wide tour. Watch the beginning of their unbreakable bond unfold on stage in a performance that’s fun for the whole family!

  • The Three Little Pigs Luftschloss Tempelhofer Feld, details
  • Yakari und Kleiner Donner Zentraler Festplatz, Reinickendorf, details

“Hör Invites Dekmantel“ at Else

Dance the night away at Else. Photo: Imago/Tom Maesla

In collaboration with Amsterdam’s Dekmantel Festival, Else is throwing an 18-hour party this Ascension Day, featuring international artists like Anthony Rother, Eversines, Mary Lake, Mohajer B2B Rachel Noon, and Nene H to keep you dancing until the sun comes up! The venue fills up at night, especially the indoor areas, so be sure to get night-tickets in advance.

  • Hör Invites Dekmantel Else, An den Treptowers 10, Treptow, details

Party against patriarchy

Party at the Plötzensee! Photo: @mei_niya

Want to party at the Plötzensee? Then leave those restrictive gender roles behind! “H̶e̶r̶r̶e̶n̶t̶a̶g̶ lol” is a diverse and inclusive counterpoint to the patriarchal overtones of Father’s Day and Ascension Day. Join artists like Toe Knee, Winnie G, Spritzgirlz, and Gigi Basso as they provide musical support for the creation of a new, more holistic tradition.

  • H̶e̶r̶r̶e̶n̶t̶a̶g̶ lol Strandbad Plötzensee, Nordufer 6, Wedding, details.

Weekend at Birgit’s

The Schleusenufer is in for a wild weekend. Photo: Imago/Jürgen Held

Get a head start on the holiday festivities at Birgit, where Enzio, Lisbird, freedomB, Nikklaas, Javier Anxiety, Gabs Layton, and many more will be bringing the beat Wednesday through Sunday so you can dance til you drop. Get ready for a wild weekend!

  • Birgits Himmelfahrt Schleusenufer 3, Kreuzberg, details

Zartcore at Beate Uwe

Cosy club night at Beate Uwe. Photo: Zartcore

Looking for a cosier club night? Beate Uwe is offering a safe haven for partygoers who don’t need eardrum-bursting beats or darkroom debauchery to have a good time. Swing by Thursday night and enjoy some rhythmic house and chill vibes at Berlin’s first queer downtempo-party, ‘Zartcore.’ 

  • Zartcore Beate Uwe, Schillingstr. 31, Mitte, details

Make A Move at Ritter Butzke

Members of Make A Move. Photo: Make A Move

Former Kreuzberg street musicians of the band Make A Move are ascending to the stage at Ritter Butzke on Thursday. Expect bombastic brass sections, rap interjections, and a bracing bassline that’ll have you bouncing along all night.

  • Make A Move Ritter Butzke, Ritterstr. 26, Kreuzberg, details


Ready, aim… Photo: Imago/Wirestock

Nothing says male bonding like shooting at each other, and with the special deals on offer this Father’s Day, it’s even harder to resist those manly urges. For example, dads can get a free drink at Go Paintball Adventure Park on the 18th – if they can prove they actually have kids. You can also bring your own paintballs if you wanna be that guy, provided they’re biodegradable. 

  • GO PAINTBALL ADVENTURE PARK Gladowshöher Str. 3, 15345 Garzau-Garzin, OT Garzau, details.


Revier Südost is a beloved fixture of Berlin’s club scene. Photo: Imago/Emmanuele Contini

Is one day not enough to pack in a sufficient amount of partying? Then peel yourself up off the bar on Friday and head over to Revier Südost for a second round of raving. The HOME AGAIN Festival goes from Friday evening to Monday morning – that’s 65 hours of dancing to the tunes of 49 different artists. 

In addition to music, the programme also includes talks, light shows, masterclasses, and street food to keep you going through it all. Be sure to get tickets well in advance, because it’s gonna be packed!

  • Home Again Festival Revier Südost, Schnellerstr. 137, Schöneweide, details

Boats and beer gardens

Crack open a cold one at Berlin’s beer gardens. Photo: Imago/Jürgen Held

Finally, Berlin’s beer gardens are back open for business – and there are a lot of them. So whether you’re raising a glass to your earthly dad or our heavenly father, you’ll have plenty of places to enjoy the unbeatable combination of warm sun and cold beer on this Ascension-slash-Father’s Day. 

Need another kind of refreshment on your day off? Cool down at one of the city’s many waterside spots, or escape the hustle and bustle of Berlin on a pedal boat.

This article has been adapted from the German by Seraina Birdsey.