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Each week, KCUR's Adventure! newsletter brings you a new way to explore the Kansas City region.

Kansas City has weird, wicked and wondrous holiday pop-ups for all

Taco Republic
Taco Republic's seasonal pop-up pairs holiday cocktails with selections from its Mexican-inspired menu.

Kansas City is home to a bevy of talented bartenders, entrepreneurs and restaurant owners with a flair for the festive.

This story was first published in KCUR's Creative Adventure newsletter. You can sign up to receive stories like this in your inbox every Tuesday.

Holiday-themed bars have come a long way since we first sighted them popping up around Kansas City in 2018. Today, holiday pop-ups are transforming our holiday dining and drinking experiences, tapping into our collective nostalgia, with each one as unique as our own family traditions. Whether you prefer them fancy or fanciful, there's sure to be a pop-up for everyone.

Citywide, adventure-seekers can find creative cocktails and imaginative settings from ski chalets to spooky-meets-spirited themes that encourage seasonal socializing.

Southbound Santa

Sippin' Santa at Taco Republic

Both locations of Taco Republic — in Kansas City, Kansas, and in Prairie Village — host a Sippin' Santa tiki cocktail pop-up now through Dec. 31. Pair specialty holiday cocktails with items from the restaurant’s full menu inspired by Mexican cuisine. You can reserve a table at Taco Republic in KCK or Prairie Village online.

Sippin' Santa at Julep Cocktail Club

Julep Cocktail Club in Westport also hosts a tiki-inspired pop-up replete with inspired cocktails, snacks and themed décor, open Nov. 30-Dec. 31. You can reserve a table for 90 minutes, for up to 10 guests. A portion of the $15 reservation fee will be donated to the AAPI Victory fund and Children's Mercy Hospital.

Northland wonderlands

Chicken N Pickle
Snowbound is Chicken N Pickle's ski lodge-style pop-up experience.

Deck The District at Iron District

Iron District in North Kansas City hosts its holiday pop-up bar Deck The District, open now through Dec. 17. The container park is home to Tiki Huna, Taco Tank, Vegan Crave, Tap Shack and features boutiques for holiday shopping. Reserve your table here.

Fetch The Halls at Vignettes

Apparition partners with Vignettes and ReRoll Tavern for Fetch The Halls, a "Mean Girls" film-inspired pop-up bar open now through Jan. 7. Dress festive, don your Jingle Bell costume or whatever gets you in the holiday spirit. And don't forget to wear pink on Wednesdays. You can reserve a table online.

Snowbound at Chicken N Pickle

Chicken N Pickle hosts Snowbound, a ski lodge-style pop-up experience open through Dec. 6. The entertainment venue creates a cozy space with “summit views, craft bites, and unique holiday drinks.” Learn more and reserve your table here.

Naughty, nice and nightmarish?

Apparition invites you to three different pop-ups this season.

Krampus Bar at 9th & State

Krampus is that horrid horned folklore figure from Alpine countries that punishes badly behaved children around the holidays. Apparition spins this inspiration into a creepy cocktail experience at 9th & State. Forget jolly St. Nick. Get wicked and weird while nipping on cocktails, courtesy of bar co-owner and cocktail craftsman Sean Hamilton. Open through Dec. 31.

Who's Holiday Party at The Social Bar and Grill

Another Apparition pop-up concept slides down the chimney, so to speak, at The Social Bar and Grill. Feeling grinchy? Cuddly as a cactus? Like a bad banana? Perk up your mood in this hearty holiday setting. Open now through Dec. 31.

Pop Up Before Christmas at Deep Roots Restaurant

The stretch between Halloween and Christmas holidays seems to shrink every year. Now Apparition and Deep Roots Restaurant present A Pop Up Before Christmas, where nightmarish fun meets holly-jolly spirit. Whether you’re a ghastly ghoul or spritely elf, there’s a place for you to party, sip on cocktails and savor holiday desserts. Open now through Dec. 31.

Cocktails for charity

Boulevard Brewing Company
A portion of the proceeds from Boulevard Beer Hall's Rec Deck The Halls goes to GIFT (Generating Income for Tomorrow), which provides grants to Black businesses in Kansas City.

Rec Deck the Halls at Boulevard Beer Hall

Rec Deck The Halls returns to Boulevard Beer Hall starting Nov. 25-Dec. 30. The holiday-themed bar offers a festive food and drink menu, keepsake glassware and shuffleboard courts for spirited revelry. Open to guests in two-hour seatings on a first-come, first-served basis. A portion of proceeds from the $5 cover charge benefits GIFT. Groups of more than eight people require a reservation.

Drastic Mensches at Drastic Measures

Cocktail bar Drastic Measures in Shawnee, Kansas, presents Drastic Mensches, a Hanukkah-themed pop-up bar experience, Dec.19-24. Half of all sales will be donated to Jewish organizations to help combat antisemitism.

How the Conductor Club Stole Christmas at Pierpont's

Union Station's Pierpont's is home to How The Conductor Club Stole Christmas, a holiday homage to The Grinch, open now through Jan. 7. Out of every reservation fee, $3 is donated to Kansas City's Union Station Preservation Fund.

Cool cocktail lounging

120322_MiracleKansas City.jpg
Miracle Kansas City
The Miracle pops up in two Kansas City locations this season.

Miracle in Kansas City

Looking for a Miracle? This well-known holiday pop-up returns with two locations: Miracle on the Plaza and Miracle at Power & Light. Both spots welcome walk-in guests, but paid reservations are recommended. Prefer a more exclusive experience? Party people may book Miracle at Rockhill for private events. Email for details.

Igloo Bar & Lounge at The Fontaine

Nine Zero One Igloo Bar & Lounge brings glamping to The Fontaine on the Country Club Plaza, now through March 12. Private rooftop igloos offer 180-degree views of Kansas City, festive décor, cocktails, a seasonal menu and more. Reserve your igloo online.

Cider cheer and festive beer

Transport Brewery's themed chalets all have a menu of craft cocktails.

Winter Wonderland Chalets at Transport Brewing

Wander to Transport Brewing for a winter wonderland of themed chalets and craft cocktails. On Fridays and Saturdays in December, you can reserve one of its four chalets: Cowboy Christmas, 70s Ski Lodge, Santa Paws and Uncle Evan’s Christmas Vacation. Each chalet builds on a theme and includes a Christmas cookie platter and warm sweet-spicy almonds. Wet your whistle with selections from a dozen hot and cold cocktails, plus wine and beer. Boozy Cinnamon Apple Cider? Salted Caramel Irish Coffee? Bourbon-infused Eggnog? Yippie Ki Yay Holiday!

Pete Dulin is a Kansas City-based writer and author of four books, including Expedition of Thirst and Kansas City Beer: A History of Brewing in the Heartland.
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