The Local newsletter is your free, daily guide to life in Colorado. For locals, by locals. Sign up today!
Sometimes, even the Christmas spirit gets tired of all the cheer, goodwill, and the overall Tiny Tim-ing happening this time of year and needs a drink. Enter: Christmas bars. The Scrooges might call them gimmicky, overhyped, hipster wonderlands serving overpriced, mediocre drinks—and while they’re not exactly wrong, there is so much more magic to the not-so-humble Christmas bar, if you only let yourself believe.
Luckily, we do choose to believe in drinking Rum, Rum, Rudolphs out of Santa’s nether regions. We believe in assaulting our senses with clashing wrapping paper patterns and kitschy holiday tunes on repeat. We believe in fake snow (and lots of it). We believe that every single holiday tree, snowflake, and candy cane should be crammed into small spaces and that every drink that touches our lips should involve a Christmas pun. We believe that the Christmas spirit is in these bars, uniting us in our love for everything merry and bright (and eggnog).
Here, 16—yes, 16—Denver-area Christmas bars you need to know about.
The OG Christmas bar franchise returns to Denver with four locations, plus a tiki takeover. This is where you’ll drink eggnog out of mugs made to look like Santa’s pants and maybe even something out of a Santa-hatted T-Rex. While the drink menu is standardized across the almost 200 Miracle franchises, it’s up to each local spot to go big on the fake snow and inflatable reindeer.
- Miracle at Union Station (November 23–December 24; Monday–Friday, 4 p.m.–12 a.m.; Saturday–Sunday, 2 p.m.–12 a.m.)
- Miracle at the Eddy (Golden; November 23–December 30; Sunday–Thursday, 4–9 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, 4–10 p.m.)
- Miracle at The Rouge (Greenwood Village, November 22–December 30; Tuesday–Thursday, 4–10 p.m.; Friday, 4–11 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. and 4–11 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.)
- Miracle on Main Street (Louisville; November 22–December 24; daily, 4–10 p.m.)
- Miracle’s Sippin’ Santa Tiki Room is once again at the Arvada Tavern (November 23–December 30; daily, 5–9:45 p.m.)
We finally found a brewery that’s entrepreneurial enough to get in on the lucrative Christmas bar market. The taproom plans to make a big splash in its holiday debut, hosting events like a mini Santa Con, an Elf on the Shelf Hunt, and a Krampus Christmas Party, not to mention a Hanukkah showroom and dangling Christmas trees from the ceiling.
Details: 4526 Tennyson St.; December 1–31; Monday, 3–9 p.m., Tuesday–Thursday, 3–10 p.m., Friday–Saturday, 2–11 p.m., Sunday, 12–9 p.m.
More wintry than Christmassy, Bezel Lodge on the 16th Street Mall is a classier alternative to the Santas and snowmen that populate your typical Christmas bar. That is, assuming you consider made-for-Instagram chairlift photo opps classy. The ski-lodge-themed decor includes fuzzy blankets, heat lamps, and that chairlift, plus hot cocktails to keep you warm.
Details: 1550 Court Pl.; now–January; Tuesday–Thursday, 4–11 p.m.; Friday, 4 p.m.–12 a.m.; Saturday, 5 p.m.–12 a.m.
Down sleigh shots in the hotel’s Fireside Bar & Grill, which will be transformed into the winter wonderland. Stop by on the weekend to enjoy the boozy Hot Cocoa Bar.
Details: 200 Inverness Dr. West, Englewood; November 25–December 31; Tuesday–Sunday, 4–10 p.m.
If Mele Kalikimaka is more your Christmas vibe, there’s no better spot than Snowdrift, where you’ll find fire-torched cocktails, an icy igloo beach bar, and snow-capped palm trees. Because nothing says tropical Christmas more than sipping on an eggnog piña colada while watching a Slutty Santa drag show.
Details: 218 S. Broadway; November 29–December 31, Tuesday–Thursday, 5–11 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, 4 p.m.–12 a.m.
Sometimes you just need to trade jolly old St. Nick for a child-eating, half-demon monster. The satanic tiki bar is not for everyone, but if a Back Door Santa cocktail sounds pretty good and you’re open to using a photo with Krampus for your annual Christmas card, this could be the holiday bar for you.
Details: 5350 W. 25th Ave., Edgewater; December 2–31; Tuesday–Thursday, 5 p.m.–12 a.m.; Friday, 3 p.m.–2 a.m.; Saturday, 2 p.m.–2 a.m.; Sunday 2 p.m.–12 a.m.
Just how over-the-top is Hidden Denver’s Nightmare Before X-mas-themed Tinseltown bar? It’s so festive that even the bar staff is outfitted in holiday costumes. Taking over the second floor of Zeppelin Station, it’s a darkly beautiful Christmas vibe fit for Tim Burton.
Details: 3501 Wazee St.; November 26–December 30; sessions on Wednesday at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., Thursday–Friday at 5:30, 7:30, and 9:30 p.m., Saturday at 11 a.m., 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 p.m., and Sunday at 11 a.m., 1, 3, 5, and 7 p.m.
Christmas dreams do come true, if yours is to take a shot of Rumchata peppermint bark and tequila out of a cookie. This holiday season, the modern Mexican restaurant’s Boulder and LoHi locations are offering the shots and mistletoe margaritas (in addition to items from the regular menu) from outrageously overdressed bars.
Details: 1801 Central St. and 901 Pearl St., Boulder; now through early January; daily, anytime during regular business hours
These two Ballpark bars have something for everyone seeking something a little offbeat. The first-floor Honor Bar (formerly Fuel & Iron) is doing a spooky take on the holidays with a “Baby We’re Dead Inside” pop-up, while the mezzanine-level Hell or High Water Tiki is transforming into “Jolly Old Saint Dick,” complete with phallic-themed cocktail menu (yes, really).
Details: 1526 Blake St., December 2–31; Tuesday–Thursday, 5–11 p.m., Friday–Saturday, 5 p.m.–1 a.m., Sunday, 3–11 p.m.
For those who are a little more discerning with their holiday-themed cocktails, head to Suite 6A inside the Ramble Hotel, where Death & Co.’s annual Holiday Suite takes over once again. Wintery drinks, festive bites, and merriment will ensue.
Details: 1280 25th St., December 1–26, Wednesday–Sunday, 5 p.m.–close