Is there anything better than the holiday season in one of the great American cities? While city sidewalks bustling with holiday shoppers, streetlights pinned with wreaths, and retail window displays full of wholesome scenes all make Christmastime in Philadelphia a magical experience, the magic doesn’t end there. Once Thanksgiving is over, Christmas pop-up bars start popping up throughout the city. Many of Philly’s best bars transform into winter wonderlands full of festive cocktails. Check out the eight best Christmas pop-up bars in Philadelphia happening this year!
116 South 12th Street, Philadelphia, PA
This holiday pop-up bar in Midtown Village stays open until 2 a.m. from Monday through Saturday all throughout the holiday season. Holiday enthusiasts know Tinsel for its over-the-top takes on popular holiday movies, dramatic displays, and fun seasonally themed cocktail glasses. This year, patrons can enjoy fanciful libations served in snow-globe cups.
The Uptown Express Christmas Bar Event at Uptown Beer Garden
1500 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA
Locals know all about this Beer Garden’s annual holiday pop-up event. This year, this celebrated Philadelphia staple is taking guests on a tour through everyone’s favorite holiday classics with a train-themed experience that makes stops at all of the warm and fuzzy Christmas memories from your childhood! Hang out with Santa and Rudolph in a wonderland of shiny and bright interactive displays. When you’re done posing for photos in front of extravagantly lit trees, settle in for a spiked hot cocoa or sweet cocktail served in a Santa boot!
Alpine Heights at Assembly Rooftop Lounge
1840 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA
While this ski-themed pop-up event is perfect for getting cozy ahead of the holidays, you don’t need to rush to get here because Alpine Heights actually runs through the end of February. Step into a modern ski lodge in the heart of the city to enjoy comforting winter ales, festive food, fire pits, and warm blankets set against the backdrop of the bar’s incredible views! There will even be a special menu that’s been reimagined for winter to warm guests up with help from fondue, flatbread pizzas toasted in an outdoor oven, and a tartiflette dish that hails from the French Alps. While enjoying this pop-up ski lodge, guests can rest their ski poles for a while to enjoy cozy cocktails with names like the Alpine Antidote and Chalet Have Another? If you come on an especially chilly night, don’t miss the warm cocktail called the Honey & Smoke.
Yule Whiskey Lodge at Butcher Bar
2034 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA
Butcher Bar is bringing back its Yule Whiskey Lodge pop-up event for another season! Open seven days a week through the end of the holiday season, Yule Whisky Lodge will envelope Butcher Bar’s patio and whiskey garden in a whimsical winter wonderland! Get cozy on rocking chairs set before a beautiful mantel adorned in reindeer antlers and holiday decor as you wait for your slice of Black Forest cake to be served! The cozy cocktail menu features the Yule Mule, Winter Paradise, Ron Swanson Special served with jerky, and mulled wines that pair beautifully with a hearty menu of German holiday favorites that includes house-made sausages, roasted bone marrow, and smoked bacon.
1210 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA
It’s the time of year when everyone’s favorite German beer hall in Fishtown transforms into a cozy holiday lodge. Throw on an extra layer and a scarf to be able to sit on the outdoor patio to savor spiked cider and s’mores kits over a fire pit. Frankford Hall will host Santa from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. during all weekends in December.
McGillin’s Olde Ale House
1310 Drury Street, Philadelphia, PA
You can be pretty certain that the Ghost of Christmas Past is roaming around Philadelphia’s oldest bar during the holiday season! This ale house dating back to 1860 is decked out with classic holiday decor all throughout December. With thousands of lights twinkling against hundreds of bows, patrons can easily pick up the holiday spirit while giving the slow sip to an eggnog martini, Mistletoe Mule, or Poinsettia Punch. You can also bet on the roaring fire going long past the time when conversations run out! A visit for a holiday cocktail at this Midtown Village bar is the perfect excuse to try the famous McGillin’s shepherd’s pie made with slow-cooked chopped sirloin, simmered vegetables, and whipped mash potatoes.
Craftsman Row Saloon
112 S 8th Street, Philadelphia, PA
Located in the heart of Philadelphia’s historic Jeweler’s Row, Craftsman Row Saloon is known for hosting one of the best holiday pop-up events in the city! Nestle in among strings of lights and garland to enjoy a Gingerbread Margarita. If you’re feeling especially festive, the Ornamentini that’s served in an ornament will hit the spot. Craftsman Row Saloon is also serving up a creation the chef calls the Christmas Dinner Burger that features two smashed patties, cranberry, and sweet potato on a potato roll.
Sparkling Pink at the Ritz-Carlton
1400 South Penn Square, Philadelphia, PA
Pink takes over the Christmas season until Dec. 31 at this glitzy, upscale event at one of Philly’s prettiest hotels. With an ambiance described as a “pink speakeasy” by its organizers, Sparkling Pink at the Ritz-Carlton goes all out with floor-to-ceiling tinsel, miles of garland, and trees full of pinker-than-pink ornaments. Each reservation for this event designed for ages 21 and up includes 75 minutes of fun, a welcome cocktail, and complimentary “light bites.”
For more recommendations on where to eat and drink in the city, check out our Philadelphia page, here!