Chicago may or may not see a snowy white Christmas this year, but the city has surely once again descended into full-on holiday madness. As countless bar and restaurant owners across the city drape their venues in twinkling lights and turn the volume on Mariah Carey and Bing Crosby up to 11, it’s easy to lose track of all the festive parties, pop-ups, and gatherings taking place around town. Below, find Eater Chicago’s collection of some of the most noteworthy and creative events for all kinds of celebrants listed in alphabetical order.
For a map of 2022’s wildest, most over-the-top holiday pop-ups in Chicago, click here.
Buvette Chez Bunny at Table, Donkey and Stick
2728 W. Armitage Avenue; Monday, December 12, and Monday, December 19
Bunny, the former chef and co-owner of adored neighborhood restaurant Cafe Marie Jeanne, has teamed up with Alpine-style spot Table, Donkey and Stick in Logan Square for a Monday night dinner series set for two evenings in December. Each event will feature three courses as well as bread service, “accouterments,” and other treats. Menus are subject to change, but lineups are currently set for calf brain toast, coq au vin, and pot de creme on Monday, December 12 and duck frites with mysterious “special guests” on Monday, December 19. Tickets ($55) and more details are available via Tock.
Eight Crazy Nights: A Hanukkah Bar at Graystone Tavern
3441 N. Sheffield Avenue, Open now through Monday, January 9
Wrigleyville sports bar Graystone Tavern has conjured a winning formula with Eight Crazy Nights, a rare Hanukkah-themed pop-up founded in 2019 that eschews the familiar red-and-green wave in favor of latkes, drag bingo with queen Merriam Levkowitz, and plenty of boozy beverages like the Mensch Mule and Sabbath Night Fever. Additional details and a full menu are available online.
Ina’s Reveillon Dinner at Ina Mae Tavern
1415 N. Wood Street, 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Thursday, December 22
Already winter-weary Chicagoans can swap out a potentially snowy Christmas for a brief trip to the Big Easy at Ina Mae’s Reveillon Dinner, chef Brian Jupiter’s take on New Orleans’ traditional Christmas meal first popularized in the 1800s by the French Creoles who dominated the city’s early settlement. The family-style affair will offer seatings at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. and feature four courses (each with an accompanying cocktail) such as gumbo yaya, Frenchman Street seafood pasta, and more. Diners can also expect live music from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets ($68) and more details are available via Tock. Ina Mae will donate a percentage of proceeds to New Orleans-based nonprofit Son of a Saint, a mentorship and support program for boys who are fatherless due to death or incarceration.
Holiday Burlesque and Drag Show at Way Out
3213 W. Armitage Avenue, 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 14
Locals looking to supplement seasonal niceness with a little naughty energy can have it all at the holiday edition of Way Out’s burlesque series, which performer and producer Lilly Rascal promises will feature plenty of acts themed around Christmas, Hanukkah, and other winter festivities. Circus performer Slightly Spitfire, for example, will treat attendees to an Elf on the Shelf act and “tassel kitten” Saint Pegapuss (tasked with retrieving costume pieces and props after each act) will be dressed as the Grinch. The show itself is free, but patrons are encouraged come prepared with cash to tip performers in the holiday spirit.
Ms. & Ms. Claus Takeover at Dorothy
2500 W. Chicago Avenue, Open now through Sunday, December 25
Dorothy, the charmingly groovy lesbian bar from chef Zoe Schor downstairs from her restaurant Split-Rail, is spending December decked out in twinkling lights and all the kitschy Mrs. Claus-themed merchandise Schor and her friends could get their hands on. Sidle up to the bar for a holiday cocktail menu with special drinks like Make the Yuletide Gay (stone pine liqueur, Cherry Heering, chartreuse) and Santa Slay (bourbon, cranberry, rosemary, lambrusco).