Editor's note: Check out our 2017 guide to bars open on Christmas Eve and Christmas night.
Santa Claus won’t be the only creature that’s stirring in the wee hours during the Christmas holiday. Plenty of folks will be out and about on both Saturday, December 24, and Sunday, December 25, while the rest of you are busy going to midnight mass or hanging stockings by the chimney with care.
There's inevitably going to be people out there who need a drink or three to get them through the holidays, prefer getting down to dance music versus listening to endless carols, or would simply rather gather around a bar instead of a hearth, a number of gin joints, nightclubs, and music venues will be doing business on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Night in Metro Phoenix.
The esteemed Roscoe Taylor and his band will host a "special holiday soiree" on Saturday, December 24, that will also feature cocktails, camaraderie, and plenty of Christmas cheer. The party starts at 8 p.m. and there's no cover.
Expect a ginormous jam session to ensue inside the Rhythm Room when renowned harmonica player Bill Watson headlines the Christmas Eve Blues Party on Saturday, December 24, at the venue. Local acts and musicians like The Rocket 88s and Mike Eldred will also perform. Doors art at 8 p.m. Admission is $10.
Local hip-hop artist and promoter Bob Domestic will transform into Santa Bob on Saturday, December 24, when he hosts “The Night Before Christmas" Holiday Extravaganza at Tempe Tavern, which will feature such locals as DJ Blesd1, Blaine Coffee, Black One, Force, and Kdeath of Moodie Black. It gets going at 9 p.m. and admission is free.
Got a pair of adult footie pajamas? Wear ‘em with pride to Wasted Grain’s Christmas Eve Onesie Party on Saturday, December 24, which will feature DJ Mos Jef in the mix. The party starts at 10 p.m. and there’s no cover.
Linger Longer Lounge
Yup, this stylish 16th Street lounge will indeed by open on Christmas Eve starting at 8 p.m. with its variety of craft beers and specialty cocktails being served and plenty of tunes on the sound system. As always, there won't be a cover.
The Lost Leaf
DJ Dehga will host his monthly event The Joint, which features local musicians and selectors improvising sounds of the jazzy, electronic, and worldly variety – on Sunday, December 25. The music starts at 9 p.m. As with any event at the Lost Leaf, admission is free.
Need to get away from the annual onslaught of familial drama for a few hours? The staff at Pomeroy’s will be willing to pour you a drink and listen to your woes on both Christmas Eve and Christmas night. “It’s two of our busier nights,” says one employee of the midtown Phoenix dive favorite.
Local DJs Shane Kennedy and Mitch Freedom will be spinning an eclectic variety of music, most likely of the of the holiday variety, during A Very Mondo Christmas in Valley Bar’s Rose Room on Sunday, December 25. The sounds start at 9 p.m. and admission is free.
It’s a tradition of many Valley drinkers and Swizzle Inn regulars to get a snootfull at the CenPho dive over the holidays, and the staff is more than happy to oblige them. They’ll be pouring drinks from 10:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Christmas Eve and starting at 6 p.m. (or “whenever the bartenders show up,” quips one employee) on Christmas night.
The Rebel Lounge
DJ Borisimo of CONTROL! will spin rock, indie pop and '80s music on Christmas Eve at his "Dance This Mess Around" party. It kicks off at 9 p.m. and its free to attend. The following evening will a free show from post-rock band Moons Eat Stars, The Idiot Mars (who specialize in “love, fermentation and sonic death” according to their Facebook page) and local musician Josh Bennett. Things get going at 9 p.m.
This Tempe sports bar will host its “Sexy Santa Ladies Night” on Saturday, December 24, with a costume contest for the best outfit, karaoke starting at 9 p.m., and drink specials all evening. The party starts at 8 p.m. No cover.mn
The lounge opens at 7 p.m. on Sunday, December 25, with a special Christmas trivia session and various food and drink specials. DJ Gila Man takes over at 9 p.m. and will be spinning up tunes throughout the evening. Admission is free.
The members of Los Guys will be gathering with some of their nearest and dearest friends in the music scene – more specifically, local performers like Walt Richardson, Marc Norman, Kevin Loyd, DL Marble and other – on Christmas night for the Valley’s “Best Of” Musician Jam. The session starts at 8 p.m. and admission is free.
Just because its Christmas Eve doesn’t mean there won’t be a major rager going down at this popular Scottsdale spot. DJs will be dropping high-energy sounds all evening and luxe libations will be in abundance. Bottled Blonde will be open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. and there’s no cover.
Yucca Tap Room
Stop by on Christmas Eve and witness the stunts and shenanigans of local performance art/music troupe the Pain Proof Punks and the Dipshit Sideshow during its Hail Santa celebration. DJ Reubot will also perform. The following evening will feature Valley bands I Am Hologram, E Alo, Manifest Sound and Vibe Antenna offering a Christmas night local showcase. Both events get going at 9 p.m. and are free to attend.
The beefcake dancers of Wild Men of the West will get pulses pounding inside Karamba when they perform during the nightclub's Sexy Santa Party on Saturday, December 24. The event kicks off at 9 p.m. and has a $5 cover. Afterwards, there will be dancing action taking place until 4 a.m. with DJ Jesus Vega in the mix.
Old Town Tavern
Local singer-songwriter Shawn Johnson will offer up an afternoon performance on Saturday, December 24, at the tavern, followed by a Christmas Eve show by The Pistoleros from 8 p.m. until midnight. There’s no cover for either.
If you tire of whatever new-fangled gaming system you got from Santa and instead want to play some old school arcade games, local game bar Bonus Round will be open from noon until 10 p.m. on Saturday, December 24, and from 4 p.m. to midnight on Sunday, December 25.
They’ve got a major yen for the holidays at this landmark Scottsdale bar, as illustrated by the massive amounts of holiday lights, wrapping paper, ribbons, tinsel, and other festive decorations that cover practically every square inch of the joint. Plus, they’re also open for business every night of the year without fail, including throughout the Christmas holiday weekend. And you can get an early start tieing one on, since Coach House opens up at 6 a.m.
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Partake in a few pints, fire up a few songs on the jukebox, or strike up a conversation with one of the regulars at TT Roadhouse. It’ll be open for business from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday, December 24, and from 1 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Christmas day.
Of course the Bikini Lounge will be open regular hours over the holidays and offering its usual mix of cheap drinks, entertaining bartenders, and colorful regulars.
Marc's Sports Grill & Nightlife
Enjoy happy hour prices until 7 p.m. at Marc’s all-day Christmas Eve party. They’ll also have 60-cent chicken wings and $2.75 drafts from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and $3 you-call-it cocktails from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. DJ Trackmass starts spinning in the in the main room and karaoke gets going in the lounge beginning at 9 p.m., which is when the $5 cover kicks in.
Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino
If there’s one place you know will be open and operating on any holiday, its a casino. As a matter of fact, every single one in the Valley will be welcoming in gamblers, card sharps, and anyone else who feels lucky on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. A few will also offer live music, including Wild Horse Pass in Chandler. Local band Smooth Groove is scheduled to perform at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 24, and the musicians of Chaka and Friends have a gig at 6 p.m. on Sunday, December 25. Both shows take place in the lounge and are free to attend.