10 holiday pop-up bars to celebrate the season

Let’s face it, the holiday season can be stressful for parents. You’re trying to see holiday attractions, you’re buying gifts for everyone and hopefully fitting in some self-care. While making your list (and checking it twice), set some time aside and enjoy a jolly cocktail at these holiday-themed bars in Chicagoland.


Elf’d Up


When: Through Jan. 10


Where: 3484 N. Clark St., Chicago


Cover: None


If you watched Elf a million times at home, you know Buddy the Elf knows how to spread Christmas cheer. This pop-up bar is centered on the energized elf—and you can expect to see Buddy on Thursdays-Fridays! They’re even serving Buddy’s Breakfast Pasta with pasta, maple syrup and all the sweets you can imagine.


Frosty’s A Christmas Bar


When: Through Jan. 4


Where: 809 W. Evergreen Ave., Chicago


Cover: Tickets start at $15


Frosty’s knows how to deck the halls with three floors of Christmas decorations that cover every nook and cranny. The Instagram-worthy decorations certainly make the experience worth it. While you are there, enjoy special cocktails, singing Santa shows and visits from Santa’s friends. Tip: Visit during off-peak times to avoid large crowds.


A Very Harry Christmas Pop-Up


When: Dec. 6-Jan. 5


Where: Replay Lincoln Park, 2833 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago


Cover: None


Harry Potter fans will apparate to the latest pop-up at Replay Lincoln Park. The arcade bar is known for its pop culture pop-ups and we love the Harry Potter twist for the holidays. Plus, you need to get cocktails inspired by the founders of Hogwarts—what house are you in?

Photo Credit: Megan Amman


8 Crazy Nights


When: Through Dec. 31


Where: 3441 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago


Cover: None


Graystone Tavern is celebrating Hannukah with thousands of blue and white lights, lighted menorah decor, Mensch on a Bench and more. This pop-up will have specialty cocktails and they also serve Jewish foods including delicious latkes and vodka-infused jelly doughnuts.


The Reindeer Room


When: Through Dec. 28 (Thursdays-Saturdays)


Where: Tack Room, 1807 S. Allport St., Chicago


Cover: None


If you’re looking for something a little more classy for Christmas, stop by The Reindeer Room. They’ll still have holiday decorations and specialty cocktails, but there’s also live Christmas music on the piano. Be sure to make a reservation for the Reindeer Room Jazz Brunch, where you’ll hear a live band playing music from A Charlie Brown Christmas and other holiday classics.


Santa Baby


When: Through Jan. 5


Where: 3505 N. Clark St., Chicago


Cover: None on select dates or tickets start at $10


Here’s another pop-up that feels like Christmas threw up all over (and that’s not a bad thing). Santa Baby has weekly specials to make your experience even more magical including Movie Mondays—holiday movies, of course!— and Christmas Karaoke on Thursdays. Check their website to see more special events.

Sippin’ Santa


When: Through Dec. 31


Where: Cortland’s Garage, 1 N. Vail Ave., Arlington Heights


Cover: None


If you don’t feel like making the trek to the city, here’s a holiday pop-up bar located in the ‘burbs. Tiki and Christmas combine to bring you a tropical Santa bar covered with palm trees and ornaments. It will make us forget about winter a little bit when we’re taking a sip out of their tiki holiday-themed cocktails.


Yippee Ki Yay


When: Through Dec. 31


Where: 2202 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago


Cover: None


Yes, “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie and now it’s a Christmas pop-up bar at The Sixth! You’ll get to drink themed cocktails, of course, but only true fans will spot the references throughout the bar. And they’ll also make great photo opportunities.


The Christmas Club


When: Through Jan. 5


Where: 3460 N. Clark St., Chicago


Cover: None


Known as the original Christmas pop-up, The Christmas Club is certainly worth the stop if you’re doing a holiday bar crawl in Wrigleyville. You’ll enjoy two floors of Christmas decorations, visits from Santa and other holiday characters. Don’t forget about their special drinks — we recommend Cousin Eddie’s Eggnog, which is served in a souvenir mug.


Miracle at Sable


When: Through Dec. 24


Where: 505 N. State St., Chicago


Cover: None


If you need a break from holiday shopping downtown, stop at Sable to experience their “Miracle” pop-up holiday bar. Their decorations and cocktails will get anyone in the holiday spirit. But if you really love the holidays, you’ll dominate at their Monday Night Holiday Trivia!


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