For some, SantaCon is a festive way for revelers to enjoy the holiday seasons. For others, it's hell on earth.
The annual bar crawl kicks off on Dec. 10 at 10 a.m. at a yet-to-be announced location. It brings with it a sea of too-drunk Santa impersonators who have made the trek from Long Island and New Jersey to wreak havoc on the city's streets.
For many locals, this event is a time to stay inside -- running into a crowd of rosy cheeked (read: intoxicated) Santas on your walk to grab a bagel and coffee in the morning can be a less-than-enjoyable experience. Though all in good fun, day drinking isn’t for everyone.
The official SantaCon bar route won’t be announced until the night of Dec. 9, but there are plenty of ways to prepare a Santa-free evening before then.
For those grinches looking to avoid the pub crawl, take these notes and hopefully there won't be a Santa in sight.
Get your coffee early
SantaCon starts quite early, which means your local coffee shop and bagel place may be packed with pre-gaming bar crawlers. If you need to head out for some much-needed weekend caffeine, try to hit up your go-to java spot as early as possible to avoid any Santas. (Credit: Dana Reszutek)
Avoid the East Village and Williamsburg at all costs
Though Santas will be joining in on the festivities from all over the city, official bar routes in the past have included locations in Williamsburg, the East Village and the Lower East Side. In 2015, the SantaCon experience began in McCarren Park and made its way into Manhattan. So, if your typical neighborhood haunt is in one of these locations, take the opportunity to explore a new part of the city. (Credit: Getty Images / Timothy A. Clary)
Don't even think about taking the subway
Take SantaCon as an opportunity to treat yourself to an Uber or Lyft ride. If you really don't want to see any Santas, public transportation isn't the way to go -- the subways will be filled with rowdy Santas en route to their next watering hole. (Credit: Getty Images / Stephanie Keith / Stringer)
Look for bars that ban SantaCon
Bars that aren't down with SantaCon will post signs on their doors to politely turn away anyone participating in the bar crawl. Look for anti-SantaCon signs, or simply call your neighborhood spot to see if Santas will be spreading cheer inside its doors. (Credit: Getty Images / Stephanie Keith / Stringer)
Don’t hit the bars until after dinner
Some SantaCon participants go all day and night on the bar crawl, but the actual bar crawl goes from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Though there may be stragglers throughout the night, heading out around 8 or 9 p.m. will allow you to avoid the worst of what's left of SantaCon. (Credit: Getty Images / Stephanie Keith / Stringer)
Seamless is your friend
If you're really looking to avoid SantaCon at all costs, staying inside your apartment is your best bet, especially if you live along the bar crawl route. Instead of heading out to grab a pizza, use Seamless, Grubhub or another delivery service to get all your food needs on Dec. 10. (Credit: Seamless)