I love Christmas… but it can get a little overwhelming. It is as if the month of December is magically compacted, the hours compressed making one feel as if there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. A time-out is imperative to stay sane, which is why I am pencilling fun things to do at the weekend.
The Urban Narnia Christmas event, where you can explore a winter wonderland with urban attitude sounds sublime. It is where Christmas cheer meets nano-brewed beer, and the darkest of spaces are given the brightest of touches all under the moody Mancunian Way.
Urban Narnia, Manchester’s extraordinary new Christmas destination at Hatch on Oxford Road is now open and getting ready for the hotly anticipated, FREE family friendly Christmas event of the season – the Urban Narnia Family Festive Rave.
On December 8th The Playhouse Project – a crew of ex-ravers and DJs that are now parents and organise family-friendly raves – are taking over Hatch for the ultimate festive family party.
Families can expect festive fun and merry mischief as Bad Santa and the Naughty Elves host this Christmas bonanza featuring bubble and snow machines, Christmas crafts, inflatables, giant balloons, glowsticks, face painting and a very special DJ set by Lil’ Fee.
Urban Narnia’s independent food and drink brands will be serving up the fodder including Cayuco, T’Arricrii, Mac Shac, Japanese Junk, Cottonopolis, Ol and Electrik Box.
Urban Narnia’s fabulous festive shopping experience will be open as usual featuring Grafficks, Stutter and Twitch, Nordic Muse, Laura Jordan Gallery, Abacus and Venus, making this weekend the perfect time for families to enjoy festive fun, shopping, eating and drinking all in one magical venue.
Urban Narnia will be open all day and free to enter as usual on the 8th December.
The Play House Project Festive Family Rave starts at 2pm and ends at 4:30pm. It is a FREE event but attendees must register here.
Urban Narnia’s last event will be on 20th December. Opening times vary, so please check the Hatch website hatchmcr.com for details.
Hatch on Oxford Road has doubled in size and has been transformed into an urban winter wonderland complete with festive trees, snow flake festoon, twinkly lights, heaters, a stage and a fabulous array of food, drink and Christmas shopping. Some of the highlights include:
Electrik Box is the distilled and perfectly formed pop and drop version of South Manchester institution Electrik Bar.
The double decker bar is adorned with the original “E” blown off Manchester Arndale in the 1996 IRA bomb. It’s been reclaimed by owner Luke Unabomber from 23 years in storage and now sits atop this excellent new addition to Hatch.
Electrik Box is at the gateway to the Urban Narnia site and set over two floors with a large balcony overlooking Oxford Road, this double decker unit will be serving up draught & craft beer, a specially created Christmas cocktail, wines, mulled wines and ciders. This is your new winter drinking den with Manchester at its heart and soul.
Japanese Junk and Cottonopolis
Cottonopolis present a special yuletide version of their street food brand ‘Japanese
Junk’. Their Pork Belly Bao with peanuts, mustard and pickles, Katsu Chicken Burgers, Wagyu Kuro Burger and super snacks like vegetable gyozas and prawn cracker nachos will all make for fabulous festive feasting. They’ll also be serving up a range of Christmas drinks with an Asian-inspired twist including a hot, mulled, spiced plum Sake. Hot Toddy and Hot Buttered Rum will provide more traditional festive cockle warmers and they’ll also be serving up wine, beers and G&Ts served with a range of homemade festive cordials.
For all your clothing and sneaker gifting needs… Sneaker & streetwear specialists Grafficks is a brand created ‘by the sneaker community for the sneaker community’. Check out independent and alternative brands from around the world such as Karhu, Carrots, Chinatown Market, Clear Weather, Diadora, Felt USA, Good News, Hummel, K-Swiss, KangaROOs, Karhu, Minimum, WeMoto, Rare Panther, Russell Athletic, Saucony, The Hundreds, The Quiet Life, X-Large and many more.
Stutter & Twitch
Former Hatch resident and independent record label Stutter and Twitch are back in the fold hosting their own Pop Up Record Shop to answer all your vinyl Christmas wishes. They’re also helping to curate a live music programme throughout Urban Narnia, and you’ll find them on the decks on Saturday 1st December.
Anyone who’s been to Hatch’s own-label jewellery and branded Nordic lifestyle collective will know it’s the perfect place to pick up a bespoke and beautiful Christmas gift at a super affordable price.
Original art and limited editions from the acclaimed British illustrator and cityscape artist Laura Jordan will be available at Hatch in her first gallery outside of London! https://www.laurajordan.com/
Suzie Loves Mylo
Reworked and upcycled vintage clothing from around the globe will be brought to Urban Narnia via Suzie Loves Mylo who are hosting their own micro boutique at Hatch, Suzie Love Mylo, Lemon World Vintage
Lemonworld is a mobile pop up vintage clothing store in a renovated Commer Highwayman Camper that sells not only unique clothing but handmade and upcycled gift and home items. An adorable and perfectly placed festive shopping concept – only at Urban Narnia.
Established jewellery shop and Afflecks favourite Abacus will be popping up with an array of their hugely popular silver jewellery and body jewellery.
A magical urban Christmas venue wouldn’t be complete without Christmas trees, not just to admire but to buy too, so make way for the Urban Narnia Christmas Tree Shop by the city centre’s luxury florists – Venus. It will be the city’s new one-stop festive horticultural stop, hosting mini-masterclasses from Christmas tree decorating to wreath making workshops, as well as selling festive fir trees to complete your Christmas at home.
Independent street food heroes Cayuco produce fabulous, colourful, vibrant dishes inspired by Panama and wider South America. They’ll be bringing a ray of sunshine to the proceedings this Christmas with their beautiful freshly made tacos.
Sicilian brothers Riccardo and Romeo have returned to Hatch after their summer stint! These guys specialise in arancini of multiple varieties (with meat, fish and veggie options), juices made with Sicilian fruits and cannolos. The brothers are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face with their authentic, delicious arancini as well as their passion for Italian and Sicilian food and drink.
The Mac Shac
The Mac Shac are the masters of mac, serving up glorious, cheesy winter-warmer goodness by way of their gorgeous Mac n Cheese with various topping options.
Hatch stalwarts Takk will be keeping Christmas caffeinated via their nordic-inspired coffee bar and welcoming hang out space.
Ol Nano Brewery & Bar
Hatch’s nano brewery and keg bar Ol will be serving up the bar’s own beers brewed on site, allowing customers to drink it straight from source. As ever this will be complemented by the best local craft beers from around the northwest and organic wine from Love + Labour.
Urban Narnia has been created and curated by Manchester based immersive event specialists, Indigloo.
Don’t forget to register, and see you there!