Seven Christmas pop-ups to explore this weekend

If you're not feeling festive enough already, get inspired by our round-up of Christmas pop-ups happening this weekend (28-29 November).

Multi-sensory experiences await visitors to Monty's Winter Garden
Multi-sensory experiences await visitors to Monty's Winter Garden

Rekorderlig’s Christmas Cider Lounge

Swedish cider purveyor Rekorderlig has created a Scandi-style lodge at the Southbank centre, as part of the venue’s Winter Festival. Guests are invited to relax on cosy furniture in front of traditional fire pits while sipping on a fruity drink either hot or cold. A selection of specially-created winter cocktails, created by brand ambassador Joel Persson, are also available to sample. To kick off the weekend with a bang, head to the lodge on Friday night for a DJ set from a range of Swedish DJs until 10pm.

The UK distributor of Rekorderlig, Chilli Marketing, produced the pop-up.

The Snowman and The Snowdog at Intu Trafford Centre

The Intu Trafford Centre in Manchester is giving visitors the chance to experience Christmas magic at The Snowman and The Snowdog Christmas Grotto thanks to a tie-in with publishing company Penguin. Located in Barton Square, the grotto will play a special version of the family film and offer exclusive branded gifts presented by a team of specially-trained Santas. The grotto is the showcase piece of the Trafford Centre’s Christmas campaign, which uses The Snowman and The Snowdog illustrations across all TV, radio and print advertising.

Susan Bolsover, head of licensing and consumer products at Penguin, said: "The Intu Trafford Centre Christmas is geared towards our family audience, and they truly appreciate the theatre and the magic that our characters can bring to events and promotional campaigns. This powerful tie-up uses the strengths of both brands to their best advantage, and will make this Christmas truly memorable for any family who visits."

Great Grottos are managing the experience.

Westfield Stratford City’s Hidden House

If you still want an immersive Christmas experience without sitting on Santa’s knee, the ‘Hidden House’ concept located at Westfield Stratford City has it covered. Designed to target the older teenage market, the activation has been inspired by Grimms’ Fairytales and will take audiences on a 15-minute journey through an abandoned house to uncover the truth behind Little Red Riding Hood’s sudden disappearance.

The installation takes the form of a free-flowing maze complete with air-effects and sensory technology. 

Boxpark’s #XmasMarket

The ever-evolving pop-up market in Shoreditch turned its festive lights on last night (27 November) with help from Made In Chelsea star Oliver Proudlock. This weekend, a special Christmas food market will take over the shipping containers, with Cooking Cooks, Capish Food and Yum Jungle serving up Italian, American and pan-Asian food respectively.

There will also be a special Christmas cabin installed offering a range of Christmas gifts and necessities, including premium-grade Christmas trees and 'Pimp my tree' decorations. On Sunday, The Singer Barber will be performing classic hits on stage, but for something less cheesy, there will also be performances from acoustic musicians.

Monty’s Winter Garden at John Lewis

John Lewis’ eponymous Christmas penguin and his girlfriend Mabel have taken over the rooftop of the department store’s flagship outlet in Oxford Street. As well as giving guests an immersive Christmas experience with fake snow, scent technology and a hot chocolate bar courtesy of Hotel Chocolat, the activation has been designed to showcase Samsung’s electronics range just in time for Christmas.

Monty’s House includes kitchen, dining and living room areas where guests can decorate biscuits, create their own Christmas cards using cameras and tablets and watch the retailer’s Christmas advert on a curved Samsung TV. There are selfie opportunities aplenty throughout the installation, a favourite being with a life-size version of Monty himself.

PrettyGreen created the Winter Garden. Sian Baker, the agency’s managing partner, told Event: "As an agency that loves Christmas, we were overjoyed when John Lewis and partner Samsung asked us to create a winter experience for Monty and Mabel to share their magical journey and create a place for customers relax, engage and enjoy the Christmas spirit."

 House of Vans Does Thanksgiving

Already sick of Christmas? Shoe brand Vans’ takeover of Waterloo Arches is transforming this weekend into a celebration of Thanksgiving instead in a nod to its American roots. Its restaurant, The Wall SE1, will be adding some classic specials to its menu, including The Gobble Gobble burger and a Pilgrim Father cocktail. The brand will also be hosting a number of films from the Americana tradition – Forrest Gump, ET The Extra-Terrestrial and The Big Lebowski – in its 100-seat cinema room.

Fortnum & Mason’s Christmas Arcade

Fortnum & Mason’s Christmas Arcade is positioned at Somerset House, in partnership with the venue’s Skate ice rink. The ground floor of the venue’s West Wing has been converted into a 15-room pop-up shopping complex that includes the Fortnum’s Lodge, a dining area offering a variety of hot and cold festive drinks alongside light meals. 

After dark, DJs from Ministry of Sound and Ninja Tune, as well as Toddla T and Chimpo, are hosting club nights. The Skate Lodge will serve up après-style fondues and cocktails for those who want to stay close to the ice.

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