Pop-up bars, much like pop-up shops, are limited time experiences. So when I say “pop-up bar,” take that as a sign that you have just a short time to visit it. And during the holidays, you have several ridiculously festive holiday pop-up bars in Omaha to choose from. Hope these help you get into the holiday spirit.
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UPDATE: This post was published in November 2022 and was updated for this year’s holiday season in November 2023. I’ll update the post as more locations are announced.
2023 Holiday Pop-Up Bars Around Omaha
A holiday pop-up bar is a temporary establishment that opens for a brief period, typically during the holiday season, to offer a unique and festive experience to patrons. These pop-up bars are often characterized by their elaborate holiday-themed decorations, which can range from whimsical Christmas settings to over-the-top retro decor. These spaces often offer special menus for just that window of time that include seasonal drinks, cocktails, and sometimes food items that align with the festive theme.
The atmosphere in a holiday pop-up bar is designed to be immersive, typically featuring themed music, special lighting, and sometimes interactive elements like photo opps or live entertainment. These bars are popular for their novelty, making them sought-after destinations for those looking to celebrate the season in a fun and unique way.
The downtown Omaha cocktail lounge, Mercury, has revealed this year’s theme for the holiday season: Don’t Stop Believing. The bar is decorated festively, and the menu includes themed drinks served in fun glasses.
One of the first festive pop-up bar in Omaha this holiday season is Frosty’s, which promises to be “crashing into your holiday plans like a tipsy reindeer” starting Nov. 17. Frosty’s is the temporary bar set up in Social, 1009 192nd St., Elkhorn, Neb. Social is known for their creative speciality cocktails so you know this Christmas pop-up bar is going to be worth visiting. Drinks include the Toasted Snowman and Christmas Margarita.
Tip: Order the Snowy Night Cocktail and they’ll donate $1 to charity.
For most of the year, Sagreto is a speakeasy in the Blackstone District. During the holidays, it’s taken over with Christmas cheer for its Blitzen: A Holiday Pop Up, and it opens Nov. 17. Find Blitzen at 3910 Farnam St., Suite B.
Secret Park, 3207 Leavenworth St., is a fairly new bar in Omaha, and this holiday season, they’re transforming into Christmas In The Park Holiday Pop-Up starting Nov. 21, 2023. They promise seasonal drinks, holiday decor, and an igloo.
The bar’s regular hours are Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday from noon to 2 a.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. No word on if the holiday pop-up will have different hours.
Dandelion is known for its popular pop-up dining experiences featuring different chefs around Omaha. This year, they’re trying something new: Naughty & Nice Pop-Up Bar at Venues at the Granary, 5500 Granary Plaza, Ralston, Neb. It will open on Nov. 22, 2023 and run through Dec. 23. Doors open at 5 p.m.
The pop-up will have a holiday cocktail menu, a full food menu, and a hot chocolate food truck. As for unique decor, this place will have a Christmas tree lot with “real snow.”
Max & Joe’s, a Belgian beer tavern at 3576 Farnam St., is once again becoming the pop-up bar, Under the Mistletoe, in 2023! Starting on Nov. 22 for a little sneak peek, the festive holiday hang-out will be open official starting on Black Friday. It will be open Thursday through Saturday* from 6 p.m. to midnight through Dec. 31. *It’s open for one Sunday night, which is New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31.
Enjoy the sights and sounds of the season with custom holiday-themed cocktails, plus the full menu from the Ale House Grill. Seating is limited and will be first-come-first-sat. No reservations.
Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel’s annual Holiday Hut Pop-Up opens Nov. 22 with its cozy setting and themed cocktails. It’s open in November on Fridays and Saturdays from 4 to 11 p.m. and in December on Thursday to Sunday from 4 to 11 p.m. The hotel is located at 302 S. 36th St.
Tip: Pair a visit to the Holiday Hut Pop-Up with nearby pop-ups Under the Mistletoe and Blitzen!
There are fun events planned at The Holiday Hut and the hotel this year:
- Dec. 6, 7 to 7:30 p.m. – Holiday Cocktail Class at The Holiday Hut
- Dec. 7 at 5 p.m. – Wine & Vinyl in The Cottonwood Room
- Dec. 9 at 9 a.m. – Santa Run with Blackstone District
- Dec. 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Holiday Gifts Artisan Market
- Dec. 17 from noon to 2 p.m. – Holiday High Tea in the Schimmel Ballroom
More Omaha bars with festive holiday decorations
Not all bars go all out with themed-everything, but they still deck the halls. Here are a few more bars to visit that aren’t necessarily holiday pop-up bars, but are bars none the less:
- Rudy’s, 8503 Maple St. (it’s kinda how you remember your grandparents basement being decorated)
- The Trap Room, 733 N. 14th St.
- Kamp Blackstone, 3618 Farnam St., announced their stellar decor on Dec. 1, “enough razzle dazzle to make even Clark Griswold approve.” There are seven holiday themed cocktails, a new ice shot, and a holiday photo wall.
- Anna’s Place, inside the Indigo Hotel, 1804 Dodge St., is said to have a pop-up planned for Dec. 17, 2023
Restaurants in Omaha with the best Christmas decorations
Want to dine surrounded by Christmas cheer? Word on the street is that these restaurants have some top-notch (or over-the-top) holiday decor:
- Deviled Egg Co., 18111 Q St., Suite 102
Obviously, there are more. I’ll update this list as more recommendations come in! Leave a comment if you know of a place!
Looking for more holiday fun?
Once you’re done with your festive cocktails, here are a few more ways to celebrate the holidays around the Omaha metro.