There’s something magical about Christmas Day in Austin. The streets are nearly empty, the lucky among us are off work, and there are fewer people around to tell you that you can’t start drinking in the afternoon. Let the hoi polloi brave the airports. We have nine very good reasons to stay home for the holidays.
If your annual holiday traditions lean more scary than merry, take shelter in a dark theater and enjoy two Christmas classics — It’s a Wonderful Life and White Christmas — while sipping on cocktails like their signature gin and tonic.
You can only watch so many Hallmark Channel movies before you want something a little bit grittier. Embrace your misanthropy with a visit to East Sixth dive bar The Brixton for cheap drinks, bingo, and a visit from sexy Santa.
The Buzz Mill
After opening presents, gorging yourself on ham, and explaining to your mother that, no, you still haven’t met a nice man, the rest of Christmas can be a real yawner. Wake up at this Riverside favorite with free drip coffee, a potluck, treats from Zucchini Kill Bakery, and entertainment from some of their open mic all-stars.
C-Boy’s Heart and Soul
Rock the night away at the South Congress hotspot. The festivities on Christmas Day will feature great live music and a potluck filled with all sorts of goodies. Not sure what to bring? Check the Facebook event page to see what’s covered.
Regardless of your holiday music preferences, you’ll have plenty to sing about at this beloved karaoke bar. Just save us from those off-key versions of Wham’s Last Christmas. It’s still too soon.
What do you do when you love a bar but hate the street it's on? Go to Jackalope on Christmas when the usual maddening crowds thin to a more manageable trickle. You’ll be rewarded with spiked hot cocoa, happy hour all night, and some of the best nachos Austin has to offer.
Get an early start on your resolutions by burning off all those yuletide calories at the East Austin favorite’s annual dance party. Tim Murphy of the Second Sunday Sock Hop crew will be providing the tunes, and you’ll be providing the sick moves.
Miracle on 5th St.
The pop-up Christmas bar at The Eleanor will be gone before you know it, so now’s the time to stop procrastinating and get in on the holiday cheer. Wear your ugliest sweaters or onesies, bring all your unwanted gifts to donate to the “Misfit Toys” bin, and enjoy a Chinese buffet on the mezzanine for only $19.99.
Yellow Jacket Social Club
Sure, it will be a little chilly on the 25th and there is very little indoor space at this East Austin favorite, but that just gives you an excuse to wear the scarf your sweetie spent months knitting (or cuddle up to your crush if you’re still auditioning for that New Year’s kiss).