The Arndale Centre’s tagline – The Heart of the City — is geographically apt, with a significant proportion of our town centre-proper handed over to this cavernous shopping mall almost half a century ago. Time waits for nobody, though, and today the retail haven is also home to some of Manchester’s best food options in the market area, and some of its most alluring activities. Two of which are found in Urban Playground, a ‘competitive socialising space’ comprising THE CUBE and Putters, alongside a delicious burger kitchen and cocktail lounge, located in and among major high street stores.
Let’s take these in order, for clarity’s sake. As seen on television, THE CUBE is an interactive experience themed on the famous show. A high octane challenge, you’ll be split into teams of two and given some seemingly simple tasks to complete. The twist is that all this happens while you’re stuck in pressured confinement, inside the huge Perspex box which lends this concept its name. Seven deceptively difficult games must be completed, all requiring agile thinking and dexterity, before the clock runs down.
Then there’s Putters — a tech-driven mini golf game. Players have their run of three nine-hole courses, each offering in-game prizes, alongside bonus holes. This place also uses a unique smart scoring system, meaning you only need to focus on having fun. Still not done? Urban Playground incorporates an exceptional burger kitchen by way of The Butcher, alongside a great bar. Enjoy thick cut Aberdeen Angus beef, plant-based or fish patties, alongside a generous choice of sides, fries and extra toppings. Then take your pick from an impressive range of unique cocktails, each created by skilled mixologists (Kiwi Cosmo, Flaming Passion, or Tommy’s Margarita, anyone?) alongside household name classics. A strong range of draught and bottled beers, ciders, wines and spirits are also available.