Believe it or not, the holidays are here, and so it’s now time for aptly themed restaurants, bars, and events. These pop-ups are springing up all over the region to fill our souls with joy, food, and spirits (of the boozy kind)—but only for a limited time. Whether you’re looking to enjoy just a tiny bit of holiday spirit or are craving an immersive, I-want-it-all experience, there’s something for everyone.
Here are some of the holiday-themed bars and pop-ups you can check out this month in NoVA and beyond.
The ultimate winter wonderland party is back at the Clarendon Ballroom in Arlington with multiple levels of festive decorations, lights, and holiday-themed drinks, like Christmas cookie-flavored “Ornament Shooters” and the popular “Jingle Juice Punch” made with White Claw. The pop-up party will be open Friday and Saturday nights and have a rotating schedule of DJs, with plans for a Bad Santa Christmas party on December 18. 3185 Wilson Blvd., Arlington
The weather outside may be frightful, but inside this Spanish tapas restaurant, it’s nothing but delightful with its sparkly white holiday takeover. Grab an “Eggnogtini” or “Cinnamull” and spend the evening chatting with friends amid hanging ornaments, twinkling lights, and beautifully designed, snow-inspired branches cascading from the ceiling. While you’re there, see if you can spot the resident Pamplona bull with its very own holiday upgrade. 3100 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington
Through January 2, Nationals Park (1500 S Capitol St. NE, Washington, DC) has transformed into a magical evening experience, complete with the world’s largest light maze, an illuminated ice-skating trail, holiday village and vendor market, kids play area, and, of course, Santa. The 21-plus “Star Experience” includes general admission to Enchant and access to an exclusive bar with holiday décor, appetizers, drinks, and a birds-eye view of the maze. To add even more holiday magic to the experience, consider staying the night at the Hilton Washington DC Capitol Hill (525 New Jersey Ave. NW). Its “Winter Wonderland” package includes tickets to Enchant and a stay in the presidential suite that’s been decked out in wintry décor, including a pop-up igloo in the living room. Or check out the “It’s A Wonderful Life” holiday suite at Hotel Washington (515 15th St. NW), where you can surround yourself with everything that makes the holidays so joyful and cozy, like a custom, kid- and adult-friendly Belgian hot chocolate or eggnog bar, Christmas cookies, and a curated selection of classic holiday books and DVDs.
The Sushi Bar in Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood closed for good on December 7, with plans to reopen as a Christmas-themed pop-up bar dubbed “Joy on the Avenue” the week of December 13. Owner Bill Blackburn told ALXnow that the spot will serve holiday wine, beer, and cocktails, as well as light appetizers, and be open through December 31. 2312 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria
A new restaurant and live music venue, Earp’s Ordinary, has temporarily taken over the Zandra’s Taqueria space in Old Town Fairfax Plaza, while construction continues on its permanent space on Main Street. This month, the pop-up will be in full holiday vibes with festive decorations and spirited cocktails like a “Home for the Holidays” old-fashioned, “Holly Jolly” gimlet, and spiked hot cider. On December 23, Earp’s Ordinary will host a holiday variety show with comedian Winston Hodges and singer Laura Farrell. 3950 University Dr., Ste. 210, Fairfax
Ever want to enjoy an evening in a giant snow globe? Well, you can this holiday season at Cantina Bambina, located at DC’s waterfront District Wharf. The bar will have holiday-themed snacks like “Christmas Crack” and jalapeño pimento cheese, as well as hot drinks like Peanut Butter Hot Cocoa and fun, festive cocktails. 960 Wharf St. SW, Washington, DC
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