Date Night: Pop-Up Christmas Bar in Des Moines, Iowa

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Date Night: Pop-Up Christmas Bar in Des Moines, Iowa

Grab your partner, a group of friends, and your ugly sweaters! The holiday season is always magical, but why not leave the kids at home and enjoy the festive season with friends? Over the past few years, Des Moines has become home to several pop-up Christmas bars. What is a pop-up Christmas bar you may ask? It is when local restaurants and bars get in the Christmas spirit and decorate their businesses with a bunch of holiday decor. A lot of these places are great options for a date night, a holiday party, corporate events, holiday events, a birthday party, and more. We have gathered a list of pop-up Christmas bars in greater Des Moines. Are we missing your favorite? Let us know!

Bookmark these other guides for the perfect holiday adventure in Des Moines, Iowa this season: 

Bartender’s Handshake 

Address: 3615 Ingersoll Avenure in Des Moines 


Bartender’s Handshake is one of my favorite cocktail bars in Des Moines. It is not an official holiday pop-up bar, but each holiday season it offers a creative menu with some seasonal favorites. This bar is located across the street from Miracle on Ingersoll, so make sure you add it to your list if you make a stop there! 

Destination Grille

Address: 2491 E 1st Street in Grimes


Enjoy an “Elf-Up” holiday-themed pop-up bar! Enjoy SIX specialty holiday cocktails, their full menu, and darn good times in a special environment decked out in holiday spirit on their rooftop terrace. “Elfed Up” will be open Thursdays from 3-9 PM, and Fridays & Saturdays from 3-10 PM through January 30th. First come first serve so they recommend calling ahead for availability!

Jolly Holiday Lights – Sip & Shop 

Address: 801 Bass Pro Drive NW in Altoona


You may have heard of the new format for Jolly Holiday Lights. This year it is being hosted at the Outlets of Des Moines! While people can walk around the shopping area all season for free to look at the light displays, Jolly Holiday Lights is offering paid events to help raise money for Make-A-Wish® Iowa. One holiday event is a Sip & Shop! Your Private Bar will be providing beer, wine, mulled hot red wine sangria, holiday beers, and hot chocolate. Millstream Brewing Co. will be providing beer samples and Lucky Wife Wine Slushies will provide wine slushie samples. Flavors include homemade ice cream, strawberry, pina colada, mojito, wild berry, and green apple. Tickets are $25 each and each purchase of your ticket grants a child’s wish. A great way to support an amazing cause and get in the holiday spirit. 

Miracle on Ingersoll 

Address: 3124 Ingersoll Avenue in Des Moines


This is definitely everyone’s favorite holiday pop-up bar in Des Moines! Dugan’s Hideaway (located on the back half of its sister bar The Station on Ingersoll) is transformed into a magical, Christmas bar. We hope you have been good this year because Santa Claus makes his arrival on Wednesday, November 22. Miracle on Ingersoll gets busy fast and there is typically a wait. It is recommended to get there early. Maybe a great spot for happy hour? Cocktails are served in festive glassware and if you get there early enough, you may be able to snag one of their collectible mugs! Some popular drinks include The Bad Santa and a Snowball Old Fashioned. Keep your eyes open on their Facebook page for special announcements. 

New in 2023! Reservations for larger parties. They are now able to accommodate larger parties. They accept reservation requests for parties of 15-24 people. Certain timeslots only. Reach out to Nicole at to inquire!

Naughty List 

Address: 717 Locust Street in Des Moines


The Naughty List is typically a pop-up Christmas bar that pops up in Good News, Darling. There have been no details shared yet for 2023. We will keep our eyes open and update if we see anything! 

Nice List 

Address: 110 SW 5th Street in Des Moines


The Nice List is a holiday cocktail bar that pops up in Secret Admirer just outside of downtown Des Moines. This pop-up bar will open from November 15 through December 30.  I personally love this cozy bar. Small, intimate, fun decor and cocktails, and beautiful views of Des Moines. They offer both alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages. Tons of good times are to be had at this pop-up bar! 

Rudolph’s Rooftop

Address: 401 E. Grand Avenue in Des Moines


New to Des Moines in 2023! Who doesn’t love to party with Santa’s reindeer?! Head to Rudolph’s Rooftop at the Republic on Grand in the East Village. This is the East Village’s first and only holiday pop-up bar and will run from November 17 through January 7. No reservations are needed. Guests will be able to sip on fun, holiday cocktails, enjoy holiday decor, and more. This would be a perfect stop on a Holiday Promenade evening! 

Snowglobe Des Moines {SnowGlobe DSM}

Address: 1514 Walnut Street in Des Moines


SnowGlobe DSM is a pop-up Christmas extravaganza {kid-friendly} that pops up in Exile Brewing Company. This year the event will run November 14 through January 7. Reservations are highly recommended, but if you walk in for lunch or dinner and space is available you will be seated. We did not have reservations last year and sat in the bar area which was also decorated and had a wonderful experience. They serve up fun, holiday cocktails, their popular craft beer, festive food, and over-the-top hot chocolate for the kids. To add to the holiday cheer, they offer special events for kids and families during the season including Princess Brunches and Santa Brunch. I highly recommend reservations for these experiences. You can take a look at official dates and make reservations here

Winter Wonderland Holiday Pop-Up

Address: 435 E Grand Avenue in Des Moines


The Winter Wonderland Holiday Pop-Up is located within the Nightingale Cocktail Bar in Des Moines. This holiday pop-up will run from November 24 through December 30. Guests will enjoy twinkling lights, mesmerizing dance of colors, handcrafted cocktails, and more. Guests will lose themselves in the rhythmic sway of entrancing video projections, the gentle sparkle of immersive light displays, and soft snowfall through the crisp winter air. Truly an immersive experience! You must purchase tickets for this event. It is $20 per person and includes a commemorative Winter Wonderland glass, a $15 credit towards your purchase on the day of the event, and priority seating.


Erin Huiatt

Erin is a reliable resource and stepping stone for women and families to find support and make connections within our community. She wants families to feel confident to reach out and ask for help and advice to get pointed in the right direction. She enjoys traveling and exploring with her two children in tow!

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