Dessert

Updated: The Best Holiday Pop Ups at Dallas Restaurants and Bars

Royal 38 is transformed by a million little sparkly lights.
Royal 38 is transformed by a million little sparkly lights. Royal 38
You know what would be a true Christmas miracle? A pop-up bar where crafty types wrap all your presents while you sip a refreshing drink. We vote for that pop-up.

Alas, until that miracle comes to fruition, here are some other fun pop-ups around Dallas for the holidays. For many of these spots, you'll want to snag a reservation soon.

We'll update this list as more events roll in.

St. Nick's Suite Escape at The Virgin Hotel

1445 Turtle Creek Blvd
Through Dec. 25

Virgin Hotel Dallas is taking reservations for its holiday speakeasy, Saint Nick's Suite Escape, for the 12 days of Christmas. Santa-approved cocktails will be served along with the requisite Instagram opportunities. It cost $10 to reserve a spot, but that money will be credited to your bill upon entrance.

Midnight Rambler

1530 Main St. (Downtown)
Through Dec. 24

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A cocktail and white elephant exchange at the Midnight Rambler is what everyone needs this holiday season.
Lauren Drewes Daniels
Carrying on this tradition from last year, this swank bar beneath the Joule Hotel has some Christmas gifts (or perhaps a lump of coal) they're stashing behind the bar. Think of it as a white elephant exchange a la Midnight Rambler: for $50, customers buy a big white box and in it could be any number of things including gift certificates for more drinks, a lump of coal or a stay at The Joule or some merch. It adds some fun to an evening out. Last year, this was a riot.

Miracle at Royal 38

2301 N. Akard St., No. 210 (Victory Park)
Nov. 9 – Dec. 31

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The second floor of Royal 38 is a holiday wonderland.
Royal 38
For the fifth consecutive year, Royal 38 in the Victory Park area is creating a holiday wonderland. This year the large enclosed and weatherized patio is a tribute to Whoville, while the bar area is a more elegant Christmas room and the upstairs bar is a bit more "kitschy." Choices are what you get here. Christmas mood options. Royal 38 also has a special food and drink menu, with some beverages served in tiki-style glassware. Yum.

Sippin' Santa at HIDE Rooftop

1928 Greenville Ave.
Nov. 11 – Dec. 24

After relocating from Deep Ellum to Greenville Avenue this year, HIDE is hosting a Sippin' Santa pop-up on its large rooftop bar. This tropical-themed pop-up will serve pizzas from the restaurant downstairs, which we recently got a first look at, and more themed-cocktails, including the namesake Sippin' Santa with Demerara Rum, Amaro, lemon, orange and a gingerbread mix. HIDE has a slew of holiday tiki-like glassware, as well, which you can purchase. The Mersanta is now at the top of our list.

Miracle on Commerce at The Adolphus

1321 Commerce St. (Downtown)
Nov. 17 – Jan. 28

The Adolphus is once again hosting a winter village at its rooftop pool area. Tuesday through Saturday guests can sip boozy holiday cocktails in cozy winter cabins. There will be live music, s'mores and "Croque Monsieur winter soldiers." The village is open Tuesday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 3 p.m. to midnight. See the full menu of treats here. Reservations are highly recommended; general admission tickets are $10 each.

St. Henry at The Henry

2301 N. Akard St.
Nov. 23 – Jan. 2

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The Henry will have a whimsical winter holiday scene on its rooftop.
Kathy Tran
The Henry is pulling out the nice eggnog glasses for the holidays. Through the end of the year, guests can have nog on the rooftop of this Victory Park restaurant. It's touted as an "exclusive holiday getaway ... and a festive experience that will take your breath away all night long." Check out the menu of specials like a Spiced Pear Cosmopolitan and Whiskey and Doughnuts. There are three specialty desserts on the menu, including a triple chocolate torte topped with an espresso anglaise. Naughty and nice all in one. Make reservations in advance if it's a special date. The rooftop wonderland opens at 4 p.m. every day. There's no cover, but St. Henry staff will collect a $6 donation per person for the North Texas Food Bank.

The Tipsy Elf

308 N. Bishop Ave. (Bishop Arts)
Nov. 25 – Dec. 23

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The Tipsy Elf will pop up at this spot adjacent to Paradiso.
Lauren Drewes Daniels
Debauchery is the theme at this holiday getaway in the Bishop Arts District. From a press release: "A very merry and ever so tacky Christmas spirit greets you as you step into this holiday haven for its third year of fun and festivities." The wonderland has seized more territory and now expands into nearby sister-concept the Mermaid Bar. OG Elf-luencer, Larry, is an emcee of sorts at this pop-up. There are different themes on different nights. Mrs. Claus, better known as Gloria Devine, will host Drag Bingo. Check Instagram or the website for updates for what exactly is going on each night. The Tipsy Elf is open from 5 p.m. to midnight Wednesday through Friday and 3 p.m. to midnight Saturday and Sunday. (Party tip: call ahead or somehow make sure the Elf is open before heading over because it also hosts private parties.)

Holidays at The Village

5605 Village Glen Drive
Throughout December
The Village is hosting a whole slew of holiday events throughout December. There are ornament-decorating sessions, a holiday music bingo and a present-wrapping station. On Dec. 10 Santa on the Square starts at 5:30 p.m. with holiday music, festive sips, candy vendors and the big man in red himself. Check the Village Events page for full details on all the events. And, no, you don't have to be a "Villager" to attend. Everyone is welcome.

Miracle Live! at Texas Live!

1650 E. Randol Mill Road, Arlington
Nov. 25 – Dec. 24

Texas Live! near Globe Life Field is hosting an over-the-top, tinsel-infused pop-up, Miracle Live!, daily starting at 5 p.m. through Dec. 24. This pop-up at the Miller Tavern (inside Texas Live!) will have holiday-themed cocktails served in themed mugs and glassware (sensing a theme here) available for purchase to benefit the Seva Foundation, a nonprofit eye-care organization. There will be different themed nights, like boozy cookie decorating classes, ugly sweater parties, holiday karaoke and more. Reservations for Miracle Bar are now open.

Igloo Pop-Up at Texican Court

501 W. Las Colinas Blvd., Irving
Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 25 – Dec. 30

On Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 30, Texican Court, a boutique hotel in Las Colinas, will transform its large courtyard into an igloo-style pop-up filled with sparkling lights, holiday decor and photo opportunities. On Sunday, Dec. 11, look for complimentary cookies, cider and hot chocolate, along with an appearance from Santa and Rudolph. From 5 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 8, you can take your best furry friend for pictures with Santa, as part of the hotel's annual Santa Paws event.

Leela's Wine Bar

1914 Greenville Ave. and 2980 SH TX-114 (Trophy Club)
Leela's Wine Bar closed down for a couple of days to transforms the space into a disco wonderland. And it's quite amazing. They have a menu of 12 new holiday cocktails for the season. We've long been fans of their martini espresso, and now they have a Polar Express. They take reservations for the Trophy Club (but not Greenville).

Santa’s Hall at Trinity Groves

3011 Gulden Lane, No. 109
Thursdays through Sundays, through Jan. 1

ArtPark, the large courtyard adjacent to the many restaurants that make up Trinity Groves, will host a Christmas pop-up from Dec. 1 through Jan. 1. The fire pits will be toasty and the holiday drinks will be lit. Hopefully, anyway. Check TrinityGrove's Facebook page for more details.

Holidays at Trick Pony

2823 Main St. (Deep Ellum)
Through Dec. 24

What we like about Trick Pony (other than its small super-secret bar in the back called Pony Tail) is that it's not a one-trick pony. They've got lots of tricks up their hooves here. This bar essentially thrives on changing faces every few months. And throughout December, you can bet your Spanx they'll be immersed in holiday naughtiness. 


Navidad at Las Almas Rotas Mezcaleria

3615 Parry Ave. (Fair Park)
Through early January

Every year this wonderful mezcaleria near Fair Park drenches itself in holiday spirit with special offerings from the kitchen, plus seasonal cocktails. Currently, the space is bedazzled in tin foil, red lights and star pinatas. How could anyone go wrong here? Check Las Almas Rotas' Instagram for updates on exactly what they'll be serving each day and week: a surprise element.


The Worthington Renaissance Hotel

200 Main St. (Fort Worth)
Through Dec. 17

Downtown Fort Worth is always a spectacle during the holidays with the big tree in the square and casual honky-tonk vibes. Nearby, The Worthington Renaissance Hotel is hosting events in the lobby lounge every weekend through Dec. 17. They'll have boutique vendors and a book by Celestina Blok for her new book, 100 Things to Do in Fort Worth Before You Die. Check Instagram for more details. 
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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.

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