The holiday season may as well be bar crawl season: It seems like every other week features some sort of event based around barhopping while wearing ugly sweaters or dressing up like Santa. In keeping with the spirit of the season, most benefit charity. Here’s a guide to some upcoming parties; we’ll add more as we get them. (You can send notices to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Saturday, Dec. 1
• The Bethesda Winter Bar Tour hits 11 bars to benefit Montgomery County’s Manna Food Center. Wear a holiday sweater and bring two cans of food when you sign up at BlackFinn between 1 and 6 p.m. and you’ll save $3 off the regular $15 cover charge. Then head to Union Jack’s, Caddies on Cordell, the Barking Dog, Freddy’s Lobster and Clams or Tommy Joe’s for food and drink specials, including $2 Miller Lites and $3 Blue Moons, until 9 p.m. Buy advance tickets and see a complete list of participating bars on the Lindy Promotions site.
Saturday, Dec. 8
• Holiday costumes are required at the annual Santa Stumble through Georgetown, which raises money for the Naval Marine Corps Relief Society. The Stumble starts with happy hour at Third Edition from 4 to 8 p.m., featuring $3 domestic beers and $5 rail drinks, before heading over to Rhino Bar beginning at 7:30 p.m. for more drink specials, and eventually winding up at Old Glory around 11 p.m. for half-price Bud Lights and discounted shots. As in previous years, there’s no charge to participate, but volunteers will be collecting donations for charity from anyone who feels the holiday spirit.
• In Old Town Alexandria, the third annual Santa Stumble costs $25, but all proceeds are donated to fight breast cancer. Participants get the full list of bars and drink specials upon registration at www.santastumblealexandria.com. (Please note you must pay in advance, and money will not be accepted at the door.) Holiday costumes — from Santa hats to Grinch masks to ugly sweaters — are required.
Saturday, Dec. 15
• Santarchy is one of the year’s most anticipated holiday events. This is not a traditional bar crawl, though it generally winds up flooding downtown bars. Dozens — sometimes hundreds — of people gather on the Mall dressed as Santa, Mrs. Claus, elves, Grinches, reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, ballerinas from the Nutcracker, sexy Santa, punk Santa, hippie Santa or some other variation. They roam around delighting children, confusing adults and generally running amok while spreading good cheer. The starting time and place have yet to be announced; follow Santarchy on Twitter or Facebook for more information. (Also, if you’re planning a costume, check out the slideshow of photos from previous years.)
• The Snow Day Bar Crawl returns to D.C. for a second year, and it hits all the usual suspects downtown. From BlackFinn, it moves to the Madhatter, the Mighty Pint, the Front Page, the Bottom Line, Recessions and the 19th between 1 and 8 p.m. The draw, then, is the specials: Participants are greeted with a souvenir mug of beer, and fill it up for $2 at each bar. There are $5 Red Bull vodkas, $3 rail drinks and $4 “candy cane shots.” Tickets are $15 from the Snow Day site until Dec. 11, then $20 through Friday the 14th, and $30 at the door.
Read more from the Going Out Guide:
More from the 2012 Holiday Guide :