Nothing says holiday cheer quite like hundreds of men and women dressed like Santa Claus, parading around the city, knocking on doors, drinking through bars, and embracing whatever merry chaos comes their way. In other words, your cute little holiday pub crawl is nothing compared to the big daddy SantaCon. And your adorable little reindeer ears are not going to cut it.
So much more than a bar crawl, SantaCon is an international mass gathering of holiday-crazed people decked out from head to toe in traditional Santa gear. We’re talking full beards, cherry red suits, black boots and a big fat stomach for bonus points. This worldwide holiday event series gets around like the old man himself, with big stops through San Francisco, New York, Portland and Boston in the U.S., plus visits to our friends overseas in London, Tokyo, Rome, Berlin, Munich, Paris and even Hong Kong. To think, Santa can party in so many cities in the same night. It’s a Christmas miracle.
Lucky for us, there are two SantaCon events going down in San Diego this year.
The first SantaCon is hitting the Gaslamp Quarter on Saturday, December 8. The madness will take over all downtown city streets, and the official bar crawl starts at McFadden’s at 4:30pm, moving on to Henry’s Pub, The Local, Hennessey’s Tavern, Hooters and Dick’s Last Resort. Pre-sale wristbands are $10 per person, getting you drink specials at every bar. Wristband proceeds will benefit the Veterans of Operation Iraqi/Enduring Freedom charitable organization.
SantaCon continues in North Park on Saturday, December 15. No wristbands or bar schedule for this hipster SantaCon. Just follow the red masses down University Avenue all afternoon. Stop into a few of our favorite N.P. spots for liquid courage, from Seven Grand Whiskey Den, to U-31, URBN, True North Tavern and Bar Pink. This SantaCon is supporting Mama’s Kitchen of San Diego, so make sure to bring a few canned items.
All Santa Claus costume interpretations are welcomed, and encouraged. Whether you choose Surfing Santa, Homeless Santa, Jewish Santa, Slutty Santa, or an authentic Jolly St. Nick, do not forget to download and print out the official SantaCon Song Book. You don’t want to be that Santa feeling all left out during the block party sing-a-long. And now, an excerpt from ‘Santa Pick-Up Lines’: “Hey babe, when was the last time you did it in a sleigh? The whip ain’t just for the reindeer, sweet cheeks.”
Discover more holiday events in our San Diego entertainment blog