Santacons, bar crawls and holiday pop-up bars in CT for the 2022 holiday season

As the holiday season approaches, themed events and bar crawls are returning as well. Connecticut cities host events like SantaCon and ugly sweater contests out in the streets and into the bars. SantaCon in particular is a nationwide event that brings Mr. and Mrs. Claus costumes to bars all around the U.S. 

Additionally, Connecticut boasts holiday pop-up bars that turn their interiors into a winter wonderland for customers to enjoy a drink.

Here are the holiday pop-up bars and themed crawls in Connecticut this year.

Holiday Bar Crawls

Dec. 17

Colchester is hosting its first ever SantaCon this year on Saturday, Dec. 17. The event will be held at Hop Culture Farms & Brew Co. 

The event is planning to have a Santa race up to our hop fields and back starting at 12 p.m. followed by beverages and a bonfire from 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Colchester SantaCon also encourages participants to make donations of for this year's Holiday Collective, which will be accepting unused non-expired products that are not provided by government assistance programs such as: personal hygiene products, body soap, shampoo, diapers, bathroom supplies, feminine hygiene products, deodorant, cleaning supplies, pet food, paper products (tissues, toilet paper, napkins, paper towels) and cosmetics.


Dec. 17
Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl

Hartford’s Ugly Sweater Bar crawl will be on Dec. 17 starting at 1 p.m. Tickets to this Hartford crawl grant participants free entry into all participating bars, drink specials and more. Venues for the crawl have yet to be announced. More information and tickets can be purchased here.


Holiday Pop-up Bars

Nov. 22 to Dec. 24
Miracle Pop-Up Bar
Riley's By The Seawall, Stratford

Miracle's tropical "Yippie Ki Yay," with three rums (Barbados, rhum agricole and overproof) highlighted by pineapple juice and ube and coconut orgeat. 

Miracle's tropical "Yippie Ki Yay," with three rums (Barbados, rhum agricole and overproof) highlighted by pineapple juice and ube and coconut orgeat. 

Courtesy of Miracle / Melissa Hom

Riley’s by the Seawell in Stratford will be home to the worldwide Miracle Christmas pop-up cocktail bar concept from Nov. 22 to Dec. 24, which features holiday decor, music and special Christmas-themed cocktails to celebrate.

Each participating location serves a festive drink menu, with cocktails like the Christmaspolitan (vodka, elderflower liqueur, lime, rosemary, spiced cranberry sauce); Elfing Around (mulled wine reduction, prosecco, gin, grapefruit shrub, aromatic and orange bitters) and the Jingle Balls Nog, with cognac, cream sherry, almond milk, cream, egg, vanilla and nutmeg. 

The Miracle event dates back to 2014, when Greg Boehm, owner of Mace in New York, transformed his cocktail bar into a holiday destination with "over the top" decorations in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The following year, Miracle expanded to four locations, and it's now a global concept, with pop-ups all over the U.S. and in Canada, Europe, Asia and Central America.

At the end of this year’s season, Miracle will donate 10 percent of all proceeds from the sale of signature glassware to the Seva Foundation, a global nonprofit eye care organization that works with local communities around the world.


Dec. 16
Big Little Takeover Holiday Party
Mohegan Sun

The Casino Royale drink at Novelle at Mohegan Sun.

The Casino Royale drink at Novelle at Mohegan Sun.

Courtesy of Novelle

Mohegan Sun's novelle nightclub features two nights of its Big Little Takeover Holiday Party on Dec. 16, with live music and a DJ, premium drinks and exclusive access to a RumChata bar, and a holiday buffet with carving station and dessert spread. Tickets are $75 per person.

12 Days of Christmas
Conspiracy, Middletown

Churro Old Fashioned from Conspiracy in Middletown

Churro Old Fashioned

from Conspiracy in Middletown

Ryan Lavine, Connecticut Magazine

At Conspiracy in Middletown, the cocktail bar starts its annual 12 Days of Christmas pop-up 12 days ahead of the holiday, introducing a dozen themed drinks. "We...deck the place out like crazy, and play nothing but Christmas tunes for the entire 12 days," said co-owner Mark Sabo in an email.

The menu features Christmas coquito, "yum yum nog" in regular and vegan versions and a "Rudolf Fizz" with carrot-infused gin, carrot syrup, Caribbean spices, lemon, cream, egg and soda water. The "Naughty List" is a panettone-flavored Old Fashioned with rye, and the Krampus features rye whiskey, averna, fortified wine, ancho chili liqueur, angostura, buckspice and smoked chili bitters