‘Tis the season to drink and be merry with great pals. And what better place to do so than the big city itself?

While always magical, medicine New York City seems to become even more alive during the winter months. With the beautiful Rockefeller tree, various holiday villages, decorated shopping windows and ice skating rinks galore, it’s hard to believe that it can get any better. It does. Each year various bars transform into complete winter wonderlands. From endless string lights to punny beverage names, New Yorkers can’t help but leave these pop-up Christmas spots filled with joy. So whether you’re planning a festive bar crawl or simply anxious to get in the holiday spirit, check out the top bars of the season. If nothing else, your Instagram pictures will sleigh.

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Rolf’s German Restaurant | Top on the list is Rolf’s — and the second you walk through those cozy-looking doors, you’ll know why. Completely splattered with Christmas cheer, Rolf’s will leave you amazed by its beautiful décor… and wondering if you’ve touched ground at The North Pole. Sip on seasonal drinks and take it all in.

rolfsnyc.com

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Miracle on 9th Street | Formally known as Mace (in the off-season), Miracle on 9th will bring you and your crew a jingle-bell-good-time. Miracle is bedazzled in garland and offers a list of creative drinks. A place where alcoholic beverages are served in crafty Santa mugs is a place that needs to be visited pronto.

macenewyork.com

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Pete’s Tavern | No name change for Pete’s during the winter season, but a definite change in scenery. Pete’s Tavern is one of the oldest Italian-American ale houses (think 1800’s) in NYC. Still, it manages to bring in quite a crowd — especially around Christmas. Equipped with a ceiling of lights and a holiday village set, Pete’s makes for a perfect December bar stop. Give their Egg Nog a try, you won’t regret it.

petestavern.com

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230 Fifth | With year-round, magnificent views of the Empire State, 230 Fifth’s unique Christmas décor only adds to the essence. Aside from outdoor heaters and complimentary robes, the rooftop bar throws pop-up igloos into the mix. Grab a spiked hot cocoa and claim your hut for the night.

230-fifth.com

-Caroline Brindle