Although warm Texas temps may not make it feel like December, Austin is ready to celebrate the season big. Light shows illuminate the city skyline and holiday markets are all over town to help you find the perfect gift for loved ones. Even Austin’s nightlife scene gets festive with a number of pop-up spots to toast to the season! Grab your ugly sweater and treat your elf to a good time at one of these holiday themed bars.

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Best in Snow at TLC

For the first time ever, the Christmas spirit is taking over TLC. With specialty cocktails, cookie decorating, a holiday arcade, festive movies, sparkling lights, a snow machine and much more, Best in Snow is the perfect place for everyone his holiday season. Reservations are suggested to secure your spot and the pop-up is open from November 29 to January 1.

Get Lit at Kitty Cohen's

We love that there’s a place for everyone to celebrate this season! Kitty Cohen’s “Get Lit” Hanukkah pop-up runs December 1st through the 31st, so there’s plenty of time to stop by throughout the holiday season. Take pictures with the festive decorations or play a game of dreidel with friends while you sip on a Shabbos Spritz. 

Large holiday wreath hanging on exterior of Gibson Street BarCourtesy of Gibson Street Bar.

Gibson Street Bar

Head to Gibson Street Bar for great drinks and an over-the-top decorative display. From the larger-than-life decor to specialty crafted cocktails, this South Lamar stop always celebrates holidays in style.

Island of Spices at Zanzibar

Spice up your holiday season and celebrate in Spice Islands style at Zanzibar in Downtown Austin. Explore the native flavors through a selection of curated cocktails featuring hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and more. Stop by throughout the entire month of December for this unique holiday experience.

Bar decked out in Christmas decor at Lalas Little Nugget
Courtesy of Lala's Little Nugget

Lala’s Little Nugget

Lala’s little nugget raises “spirits” year-round. Grab a drink and take in wall-to-wall decor (including the bathrooms and ceiling!), whether you’re in town for the season or want a taste of the holidays in July.

The Lodge at Hotel Van Zandt

Ever sipped cocktails in an igloo in the heart of Texas? Hotel Van Zandt has transformed their 4th floor pool deck into a winter wonderland complete with igloo cabanas and themed cocktails. The Lodge will be open from Thursday through Sunday throughout December with the exception of Christmas Eve with igloo rentals starting at $100.

Lineup of quirky holiday cocktail mugs and glasses on decorated bar top.
Miracle on 5th Street. Credit Eric Medsker

Miracle on 5th Street

Located in Austin’s Warehouse District, The Eleanor is completely transformed during the month of December. Look for the candy cane striped entrance next door to the Roosevelt Room to enter the extreme Christmas display. While you're there, snap a pic on Santa's throne and try a curated Christmas cocktail, like the Snowball Old Fashioned. Miracle on 5th Street is open November 16 through December 27th.

Mozart's Holiday Light Show

View a stunning and immersive light display at Mozart’s Coffee Roasters, just on the bank of the Lake Austin waters. Sip on great coffee and listen to live music as lights dazzle in the sky and reflect on the water. Once you’ve got your fill of lights and caffeine, stop at their Bavarian marketplace for a treat on the way out. There’s plenty of time to stop by and enjoy this spectacular display from November 9 through January 6.

Naughty or Nice at Upstairs at Caroline

Have you been good this year? Regardless of the answer, the immersive holiday activation at Upstairs at Caroline is sure to be a good time. Surround yourself with festive decor, sip on themed cocktails and get into the holiday spirit.

Bartender garnishing a glass with a printed surfing santa
Sippin' Santa. Courtesy of Consumable Content.

The Nightmare Before Moxy

Inspired by Tim Burton’s iconic 1993 film, Moxy Austin is bringing an equally spooky and festive celebration to Central Austin. Grab a warm churro from Zombie Taco, cozy up with a blanket and get ready for Sandy Claw’s Cinema showing a holiday movie night every Wednesday in December.

Rudolph's Roadhouse

Stop in at Lefty's Brick Bar to experience Rudolph’s Roadhouse and see how Santa’s helpers have a good time. This over-the-top interactive pop-up features themed cocktails, outrageous decorations adorning the bar and merry mayhem all December long.

Sippin' Santa at Nickel City

This hometown dive bar is serving up tiki-Christmas cocktails like the Kris Kringle colada and azul navidad. Sippin’ Santa at Nickel City is what we all imagine a mild Texas winter to taste like.  

Snow Much Fun at Edge Rooftop

Seldom does snow fall in Austin, but at Edge Rooftop at JW Marriot it falls every hour on the hour! Be transported to a winter wonderland as you sip on festive drinks, roast s’mores and listen to live music high above the city streets. Don't miss this unique holiday experience open from November 24 to December 25.

Rainbow colored Christmas trees with neon lights lining the Austin Motel pool deck.
Austin Motel. Credit Jackie Lee Young

Tinseltown at Wanderlust Wine Co.

Downtown urban wine bar Wanderlust Wine Co. is transforming into a festive Tinseltown for the holiday season. Tickets include entry to the bar and a cocktail! 

Ugly Sweater at Fairmont Austin

Dust off your favorite ugly Christmas sweater and celebrate the season on the 7th floor rooftop at Fairmont Austin. Have yourself a classic cup of nog and enjoy holiday-themed bites in this kitschy Christmas pop-up. And who knows, from your rooftop view you might even catch Santa and his sleigh flying across the sky.

Uptown Sports Club

Let the colored lights and vintage trinkets take you back in time this Christmas at Uptown Sports Club. Bask in the nostalgia of a retro-style Christmas full of throwback decor reminiscent of a Griswold Christmas vacation. Open through December 31st, taste the special hot cocktails like the Gin n Ginger, an apple cider and apple jack brandy cocktail. 

Imagee of a hand holding out a cocktail in a glass shaped like a reindeer head and antlers.
Yule at Azul. Courtesy of Giant Noise. 

Winter Wanderland at Austin Motel

Looking for a cheerful holiday experience as colorful as Austin? Visiting Austin Motel’s neon rainbow pop-up is a must. The boutique motel’s vintage pool and courtyard will be decked out with trees, rainbow lights and weekly film screenings with some of the holiday’s best movies. Carol along with Drag Mrs. Claus and taste specialty cocktails from their holiday drink menu. 

Yule at Azul

The highest rooftop bar in Austin sits atop the Westin Austin Downtown and is cheers-ing to a happy holiday this year with delicious drink specials and festive holiday decor. Cozy up with blankets at the rooftop pool deck bungalows and marvel at the illuminated Austin skyline.

Looking for a spot to refuel after a spirited night of holiday bar hopping? Check out our guide to the Best Brunch in Austin for your post-party breakfast meal.