Yes, Virginia, there will be plenty of this to do after dark on Christmas Eve that don't include wrapping last-minute gifts, attending midnight mass, or staying up late to see if there really is a Santa Claus.
Since 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 Thursday, December 24, and Friday, December 25.
And remember to avoid overindulging and — most importantly — drinking and driving, because Santa Claus won't be the only one watching you over the holiday weekend as local law enforcement will be on the prowl.
Hit up this Scottsdale spot's on either Christmas Eve or Christmas night and you'll witness all manner of yuletide revelers celebrating and carousing, as well as live music from Aaron Nelson on Friday, December 25. The revelry starts at 7 p.m. both nights. No cover.
Both Christmas Eve and Christmas night will be busy at Cactus Jack. The weekly rockaroke (a.k.a. live band karaoke) session will take place starting at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 24. The next night, the members of Los Guys will gather with some of their nearest and dearest from the local music scene – including Kevin Loyd, Marc Norman, DL Marble, Kevin Redlich, and Thomas Laufenberg – for a special “Holiday Jam,” which begins at 8 p.m. There’s no cover for either event.
Having been open since 1959, this vintage neighborhood bar in Scottsdale and the friendly family that runs it has experienced many a Christmas over the years. And for going on the last 30 years now, they've gotten into the swing of the season by adorning the entirety of the Coach House, both inside and out, with enough tinsel, trimmings, lights, and ornaments to stock three or four Wal-Marts and being open for business during the Christmas holidays. Grinches and barflies can even get in some day-drinking on the big day, since the hours of operation are from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.
While there won’t anyone hanging out at the Crescent on Christmas Eve, owing to the fact that it will be closed for the holiday. However, on Friday, December 25, the venue will be alive with activity when local band Cherie Cherie, Roar, Pro Teens, and Diners will perform during “Christmas at the Crescent.” Start time is 8 p.m. Admission is free.
Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row
Both the Scottsdale and Tempe locations of Dierks Bentley’s namesake joint will be open on Christmas Eve, offering drinking, DJs, and dancing. The down-home hootenannies start at 9 p.m. and there's no cover.
Linger Longer Lounge
Yup, this stylish 16th Street lounge will indeed by open on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day starting at 8 p.m. each night, serving its lineup of craft beers and speciality cocktails.
The Lost Leaf
The website for this Fifth Street beer and wine parlor touts the fact that its “open every day of the year” without fail. As such, you’ll find its staff slinging drinks on Christmas Eve and Christmas night with live music filling the place both nights. Poetic jazz act Kinetic Catalyst will perform on Thursday, December 24, while the monthly improvisational jazz/funk/hip-hop night Somethin Else takes place on Friday, December 25. Both start at 9 p.m. and are free.
It will be a blue Christmas at the Rhythm Room on Friday, December 25, when local down-home musicians like Bill Tarsha and the Rocket 88s, Billy Watson, and others gather at the renowned venue for an evening of sounds. The event, dubbed the “Christmas Night Blues Party” starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door.
The DJs that will perform during Spider Web's Rockin Christmas Eve on Thursday, December 24, will offer an alternative to the wall-to-wall carols (which are pretty much inescapable this time of year) when they spin up a host of heavy metal, ska, punk, power pop, gothic rock, pop-punk, and rock songs at this famed Scottsdale dive bar. The music starts at 9 p.m. and there’s no cover.
Local website AzMusic.org will be putting on its Christmas party on Friday, December 25, at the tavern. The lineup of live music will include performances by I Am Hologram, Delta Val, Orangubang, Torn at the Seam, and others. Start time is 7 p.m. and admission is free.
Djentrification will bust out with his usually eclectic selections during his “Christmas Night Get Down” at the underground bar and music venue on Friday, December 25. There’s no cover, which means you can save your green for a few rounds from the bar. The spins start at 9 p.m.
This legendary CenPho dive is certainly decked out for the holidays — seeing that its covered with scores of tinsel, lights, and other decorations — and will be open on Christmas Day starting at 1 p.m.
The 100 Proof Lounge upstairs will host the annual Naughty or Nice X-Mas Eve Affair on Thursday, December 24, which will feature DJ Dark Vader, DJ Philo, and DJ Kaydee in the mix, as well as MC Moe on the mic. Drink specials include $150 Ciroc and Remy, $200 Hennesy and Patron, and other deals. The party starts at 9 p.m. Ladies get in free and guys pay $5 before 11 p.m. if they RSVP on the online guest list. The following evening, Scottsdale club scene veteran DJ Ken Mooso will be on the ones and twos in the lounge. Doors open at 9 p.m.
Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino
There are a few places that are absolutely guaranteed to be open for business 24/7/365 on Christmas, including Circle Ks, IHOPs, and every casino in the Valley. Bet on it. Such is the case with Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, which will have all the usual tumult of gambling activity going on, but also live music on Christmas Eve in its lounge. Local rock and dance band New Frequency is scheduled to play starting at 8 p.m. on Thursday, December 24.
Yucca Tap Room
Local bands Sick Move, If Orcas Had Thumbs, Demi Dogs, Irieyes, Backyard Remedies, and Earwig are all scheduled to perform on Thursday, December 24, starting at 9 p.m. Admission is free.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.