‘Tis the season for holiday pop-up bars. Some of Chicago’s favorite bars and restaurants have temporarily transformed their space into full-blown winter wonderlands. Expect over-the-top decorations, seasonal cocktails, festive food specials, and plenty of photo opps at holiday-themed bars all around the city. And don’t wait — many of these seasonal extravaganzas disappear after the new year.
Celebrate the season at these festive Christmas and holiday bars and pop-ups in Chicago.
Santa Baby Christmas Bar
Nov. 17, 2023 – Jan. 5, 2024
If you want to go all in on the holidays, why not celebrate at this over-the-top Christmas experience? Santa Baby at Bamboo Club in Wrigleyville features extensive decor in every inch of their space, from twinkling lights outside to ceilings crowded with glittering ornaments inside. And the boozy holiday drinks are just as extravagant — get cocktails like the Merry Mojito, Jingle Juice, and spiked hot chocolate and egg nog in individual and jumbo shareable sizes. Plus, check out weekly events like holiday trivia and themed paint and sips.
Book your table for inside the multi-level bar area or check out the tented patio outfitted with heaters. Make your reservations here.
8 Crazy Nights at The Graystone Tavern
Nov. 22, 2023 – Jan. 7, 2024
8 Crazy Nights, Chicago’s first Hanukkah-themed pop-up, is returning to The Graystone Tavern in Lakeview. The event will take over the bar and the enclosed, weatherproof patio, which will both be decorated with dreidel ornaments, lighted menorah decor, a photo booth, and more than 8,000 blue and white lights.
A special food menu includes traditional Jewish favorites like latkes, matzo ball soup, brisket platters, and boozy jelly donuts. There’s also a playful drink menu with cocktails, beers, and shots.
Ms. and Ms. Claus at Dorothy
Nov. 24 – Dec. 27, 2023
Dorothy, the lesbian cocktail lounge in the West Town neighborhood, will be hosting its Ms. and Ms. Claus holiday-themed bar takeover this winter. The subterranean space will be decked out with festive decor, including Christmas trees and string lights, and offering a curated menu of seasonal cocktails (last year’s favorites include Santa Slay and Make the Yuletide Gay) and fun holiday events.
Winter Wonderland at JoJo’s Shake Bar
Now through Jan. 14, 2024
In River North, JoJo’s Shake Bar has launched their expansive Winter Wonderland pop-up, decking out every inch of their space in festive decor. Try their over-the-top holiday shakes and Santa-approved cocktails, like the giant Polar Espresso Martini and Santa Sangria. Plus, check out special themed events like Holly Jolly Mixology Classes and Gingerbread House Decorating. Reservations are now available.
Tinseltown at Pink Squirrel
Nov. 29 – Dec. 30, 2023
This cocktail spot in Logan Square, an homage to Midwestern bar culture, totally transforms itself for the holidays. Tinseltown at Pink Squirrel includes wall-to-wall decorations for a truly immersive experience, along with a full menu of festive treats that includes shots, cocktails, punches, and milkshakes.
Guests are also invited to build their own gingerbread houses or play a few rounds of duckpin bowling. Make reservations for bowling lanes and holiday events in advance.
A Very Dandy Holiday at The Dandy Crown
Dec. 1 – 31, 2023
A Very Dandy Holiday bar is back by popular demand at The Dandy Crown. Cocktails are the main draw at this West Town spot, where the award-winning bartenders will be serving up a series of themed drinks all season long. Expect festive glassware, immersive decor, and plenty of yuletide cheer.
Mistletoe at Mordecai
Nov. 17, 2023 – Jan. 6, 2024
Mistletoe at Mordecai, the annual Christmas pop-up at the upscale cocktail bar in Wrigleyville, is all about the picture-perfect decorations and the holiday-inspired drink menu. The selection, which includes both vintage and contemporary options, includes creations like Gingerbread Milk Punch, a Winter Old Fashioned, and the Saturnalia made with sherry, rum butter, and toasted almond. Make your reservations now, tables tend to book up fast.
Rudolph’s Holiday Winter Igloos
Nov. 18, 2023 – Jan. 18, 2024
Enjoy sweeping city views and tons of holiday cheer at Rudolph’s Rooftop. Located on the 22nd floor of the LondonHouse Chicago, this seasonal pop-up includes features festival menu items, hot and cold cocktails, cozy heated igloos, holiday décor, and back-drops for capturing photos. Not to mention the stunning views of the Chicago River and the surrounding city all lit up for the holidays. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book your tables and private igloos.
Lakefront Lodge at Harry Caray’s Tavern
Nov. 19, 2023 – February 2024
The Lakefront Lodge at Harry Caray’s Tavern on Navy Pier offers all the cozy comforts of a winter cabin, with views of the snow-dusted lake and surrounding city. The festive experience includes a warm indoor space, private curling rink, outdoor fire pits with s’mores, a hot chocolate bar, a specialty drink menu, bourbon tastings, and more.
Happy’s at the Chicago Athletic Association
Nov. 24 – Dec. 30, 2023
Head to the historic Chicago Athletic Association in the Loop for Happy’s Bar, their annual Christmas pop-up bar. Billed as “an over-the-top explosion of holiday cheer”, Happy’s is taking over the ground floor of the historic hotel for the sixth year. Patrons will be greeted with cozy winter cocktails and bar bites, favorite festive tunes, and lots and lots of glittering lights.
Jack Frost Christmas Pop-up
Dec. 3, 2022 – Jan. 1, 2023
This outdoor winter extravaganza has something for all ages, from picking out the family Christmas tree to sipping boozy holiday drinks. Jack Frost Christmas Pop-up in Fulton Market invites guests to enjoy carnival games, ice skating, axe throwing, bumper cars, music and lights, seasonal drinks, and more. Plus, there are plenty of fun photo ops scattered throughout the decked-out space.
Get your tickets for admission and activities in advance.
More Christmas bars and holiday pop-ups in Chicago
- World’s Largest Snow Globe at Offshore Rooftop (Nov. 29 – Feb. 29)
- A Very Dandy Christmas at The Dandy Crown (Dec. 1 – 31, 2023)
- Bar Humbug at Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago (Nov. 24 – Dec. 30, 2023)
- Elf’d Up at Stretch Bar & Grill (opens Nov. 3, 2023)
- Reindeer Games at Headquarters Beercade River North (opens Nov. 16, 2023)
- Frosty’s Christmas Bar (Nov. 18 – Dec. 31, 2023)