The holidays are officially here and what better way to make your spirits bright than by sipping festive beverages at a themed pop-up bar?
In recent years, a growing number of bars have gone the way of Clark Griswold, decking the halls with an almost unfathomable number of holiday lights, endless strands of garland and ornaments that glitter. All the while the bartender shakes and stirs up a plethora of seasonal beverages — both hot and cold — for revelers looking to indulge on holiday cheer.
There are now so many in and around Denver, we broke this year’s down by theme. Here’s where to drink and be merry, whether you’re looking for classic Christmas vibes, a winter getaway or a holiday haunting that would give Scrooge nightmares.
miracle, perhaps the best-known holiday pop-up bar, returns to Colorado this season with five locations along the Front Range. Staff at the Terminal Bar at Union Station (1701 Wynkoop St., Denver), The Eddy Taproom & Hotel (1640 8th St., Golden), Rouge Wine Bar & Patio (7939 E Arapahoe Rd., Suite 190, Greenwood Village), Cousin Pat’s Pub & Grill (451 S St. Vrain Ave., Estes Park), and /pôr/ Wine House (701 Main St., Louisville) have decked the halls and stocked the bar for all your holiday needs. In addition to buying festive libations, like the Christmas policy and Snowball Old-Fashioned, guests can purchase thematic glassware they come in. Trust us, these shot-sized Santa mugs are the gifts that keep on giving.
Dates vary by location. Reservations required. Find more information at miaclepopup.com/locations.
Forget coal. Denverites who make their way to The Naughty List (2400 W. 32nd Ave., Denver) this year are treated to festive cocktails like flaming eggnog and other revelry designed to celebrate the problem (adult) children.
Open through Dec. 31. Find more information at naughtylistdenver.com.
McGregor Square is adding a festive twist to the phrase “slay all day” with the pop-up Sleigh Bar, which has transformed Milepost Zero (1601 19th St., Suite 150, Denver) into a holiday destination. In addition to clever cocktails like Gin-gle Bells and The Polar Espresso, this pop-up features regular events, including drag shows, karaoke, Christmas movie trivia and screenings, ice skating and more.
Open through Dec. 31. Find more information at milepostzero.com/sleigh-bar.
So sugary seasonal cocktails aren’t your thing? Head to Calls to Arms Brewing Co. (4526 Tennyson St., Denver), which is serving holiday cheer and pints of beer under the moniker Big Holiday Energy. Expect to find stockings hung by a faux fireplace, a Hanukkah display, and tinsel dripping from nearly every corner of the taproom as you participate in daily scavenger hunts, advent calendar contests and celebratory events, such as drag shows, a Krampus costume party and an ugly sweater night.
Open through Dec. 31. Find more at facebook.com/events/858760131825181.
Leave the chill of winter at the door when you step inside Sippin’ Santa, the tropical-themed holiday pop-up taking over The Arvada Tavern (5707 Olde Wadsworth Blvd., Arvada). Drinks here, like the Kris Kringle Colada and Island of Misfit Toys, aiming to transport visitors to sun-kissed days on sandy shores without the need for a plane ticket. Guests can also buy the glassware at this Miracle spinoff, so save room in your luggage for souvenirs.
Open through Dec. 31. Reservations required. Find more information at arvadatavern.com/sippin-santa; make reservations at exploretock.com/arvadatavern.
Adorned with fake snow and holiday lights, Adrift, one of Denver’s best tiki bars, celebrates the season as SNOWDRIFT. When it’s cold outside, SNOWDRIFT warms up patrons with bowls of flaming punch and other boozy beverages featuring seasonal ingredients like cranberry, thyme, and cinnamon. Stop by during special events, including ugly sweater contests and drag shows, for an extra shot of celebration.
Open through Dec. 31. Find more information at adriftbar.com.
Santa Claus isn’t the only one who’s coming to town this time of year. Krampus, the half-goat-half-demon monster of lore that punishes misbehaving children at Christmastime, comes to the 13th Floor Denver haunted house (3400 E 52nd Ave., Denver) during Krampus: The Fright Before Christmas. For two days in December, locals can extend the spooky season with a tour through this haunted holiday attraction, capped off with festive cocktails at the 13th Floor’s “shriekeasy.”
Open Dec. 16-17. Tickets cost $29.99-$79. Find more information at 13thfloorhauntedhouse.com/krampus.
Jump into the frame of Tim Burton’s beloved dual-holiday classic at Tinseltown: The Nightmare Before Xmas-themed pop-up bar at Zeppelin Station (3501 Wazee St Suite #100, Denver). Fans join Jack Skellington the Pumpkin King as he sows Christmas chaos by posing for pictures with scenes from the film and enjoying a few adult drinks along the way.
Open through Dec. 30. Tickets cost $13. Find more information at explorehidden.com/city/denver/list.
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