We all know Chicago is a hoilday town. Yes, we live for the season: the lights, music, and… how could you not talk about the brilliant holiday pop ups in Chicago every year that bring the north pole to our Windy City? Here are nine of the best pop ups we’ve gathered in and near the city for those of you looking for a cool date idea, a family outing, or to show a visiting friend around. By the way, don’t forget to check out our list of Chicago holiday lights and light fests too!
‘Mistletoe’ at Mordecai
3632 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60613
Upon entering Mistletoe, visitors will feel as if they are entering a holiday storybook (take a look yourself!). Delivering more than just festive decorations, the experts at Mordecai have curated an exclusive holiday cocktail list that features both contemporary & vintage creations, with their “Keep The Change, Ya Filthy Animal!” winter-inspired old-fashioned being a must-try. Mordecai’s full dinner menu & standard cocktail list will also be available.
With Mistletoe being a part of Winterland at Gallagher Way, those visiting can also take advantage of nearby festive activities, such as Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville and Gallagher Ice Rink, among others!
Chicagoans can experience Mordecai’s ‘Mistletoe’ throughout the holiday season, beginning on Friday, November 18th. Due to the demanding popularity Mistletoe brings each year, reservations are required, and groups of 1-6 can reserve two-hour blocks on Tock, Thursday through Saturday.
Lumberjack’s Lodge at Smoke Daddy Wrigleyville
3636 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60613
‘Tis the season for festive cocktails, cozy bonfires, and ugly sweaters! Smoke Daddy is kicking off the holidays with LumberJack Lodge as it takes over the Wrigleyville location! So, grab that sweater Aunt Betty was so proud to give you back in 2016, and head on over for great food and delicious drinks among friends. The lumberjack-themed pop-up is bringing the winter cabin to the city!
From dramatic ceiling canopies full of garland and ornaments to woodland backdrops with a 7-foot brown bear, the only thing missing is a bone-chilling snowstorm…but living in Chicago, anything is possible. So come hide at Lumberjack’s Lodge before the storm hit, quench your thirst with sensational holiday cocktails, and satisfy your appetite with comforting, stick-to-your-ribs bites!
Winter Garden at Pendry
230 Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60601
The rooftop rosé destination Château Carbide underwent a seasonal transformation into a Winter Garden escape, perfect for relishing in the stunning city views from the comfort of one of the private, urban winter lodges. The transformed space features roaring personal fireplaces and cozy plush seating where guests can enjoy a menu of winter-inspired light bites, as well as seasonal craft cocktails in collaboration with the award-winning sparkling mixer brand, Fever-Tree.
The seasonal menu offers a winter-focused selection of craft cocktails ranging from warming hot sippers to cold, festive drink options. Standouts include the warm Ski In, Ski Out, a Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey-based libation, with fruity and floral Earl Grey-Infused Hot Apple Cider, a bit of amaretto and a dash of Angostura bitters, topped with torched cinnamon and an orange peel.
Christmas Inn at Hubbard Inn
110 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654
Hubbard Inn, Chicago’s premier three-story dining and nightlife destination in the heart of River North is transforming into “Christmas Inn,” to celebrate the holiday season. Starting December 1 through December 25, Christmas Inn will feature over-the-top festive décor, daily activiti4es and happy hours, seasonally themed parties and more for all to participate in. Featuring a special winter happy hour offering $1 oysters, $7 select martinis $7 hot Christmas cocktails, $30 charcuterie boards, guests can also enjoy different holiday programming such as Holiday Trivia Tuesdays, Tini-time Thursdays, Christmas Inn Ladies Night, and more.
A Very Harry Christmas at Replay Lincoln Park
2833 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
Chicago’s favorite pop-up bar has brought back by popular demand A Very Harry Christmas pop up, running now through January 1, 2023. All Witches, Wizards, and Muggles of Chicago are invited to step back into the Hogwarts winter wonderland which features all new photo worthy moments throughout the space, along with weekly Harry Potter themed trivia, an extensive cocktail menu, an exclusive one night only magical speakeasy featuring a burlesque show, a House Cup competition, plus an Art Fair and much more. All games are free, with no reservations, tickets, or tokens required.
Icy Christmas at LG’s Bar & Kitchen
1525 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60610
Starting Wednesday, November 23rd, diners can stop by LG’s Bar and Kitchen for the first Icy Christmas! This sparkling giveaway will feature jewelry prizes ranging from a pair of Kate Spade pearl earrings, a Kendra Scott layered necklace to a classic Tiffany & Co. diamond necklace. With every purchase of a holiday-inspired drink or karaoke session, bar goers will receive up to four raffle tickets each Wednesday night to have the chance to win the prize of the day and be included in the final drawing on December 21st.
21 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60610
Division Street’s favorite bar is getting a holiday makeover! The Lodge Tavern—already known for its cozy winter cabin feel— is transforming into a holiday wonderland complete with twinkling lights, wreaths, garland, and more. From the holiday menu, guests can choose from festive rifs on classic cocktails like the Skrew-Dolph, Mule-Tide Greetings, Mai Tai-Dings, Ebenezer’s Old Fashioned, and more. And for those looking to warm their bellies, The Lodge Tavern will offer a hot cocktail menu featuring the Ho Ho Hot Toddy, Irish You A Merry Christmas, St. Nick Cider, and more.
23 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654
Hot chocolate, Christmas trees, giant gift boxes, and holiday decors. Jojo’s never fails to impress when the holiday season comes. JoJo’s Winter Wonderland is its latest immersive dining experience, inviting you to rock around the 17ft. Christmas tree to your favorite holiday tunes, or cozy up with a Hot Chocolate and friends in one of JoJo’s private igloos. The festive (and heated) patio setting is the perfect place to escape the cold and enjoy JoJo’s decadent milkshakes, holiday cocktails, and delicious diner.
Christmas Tree Lot at Big Star
551 N Ogden Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
This Holiday season, Chicago’s honky-tonk hangout, Big Star, is giving their iconic outdoor patios new life! The OG Wicker Park and brand-new West Town Mariscos locations will be slinging tacos, margs, and now trees with Christmas tree lot pop-ups on two weekends only: Dec. 3-4, and Dec. 10-11. Reservations for pre-order open soon with more details forthcoming on the Big Star websites and social, however guests are welcome to pop over for a warming, stiff bourbon, a smattering of tacos, and a peruse for the perfect pine to purchase day-of.
3635 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60613
Bumper cars on ice, light display, a Christkindlmarket… if these hit the spot, you need to get your tickets for Winterland right now! Moving the ice rink into the famous Wrigley Field, this year’s Winterland is on a completely different level compared to the previous years. If you’ore coming here, better plan a whole day to explore the rides, artisan goods, and installations. Then, after a long day diving in and out of the Christkindlmarket, hop over to a restaurant nearby to wrap up your day with some delicious food and tasty drinks!
Ski Village at Buffalo Creek Brewing
360 Historical Ln, Long Grove, IL 60047
Beer, bonfire, log cabin.. now we’re just waiting for that snow storm to hit! Okay, maybe not really. But BCB is turning their Biergarten into an Alpine ski village this year, and that “almost” makes us look forward to the snowing days. Featuring fresh winter brews and their all time favorites, alongide small bites and shared plates, Ski Village is the perfect place to catch up with fams and friends over winter festivities.
Featured Image: Mordecai