The people of Sheffield can finally breathe a sigh of relief as the brand new IKEA prepares to open it’s doors and they are doing so in IKEA style! For the three weeks prior to the store’s open they are taking over Sheffield with a wonder tour of events stretching across the city – bringing sunshine and smiles to everyone who visits.
IKEA – Just What Sheffield Needs
I have a confession, I’ve never been to IKEA! Not once. I’ve wanted to but travelling to Nottingham or Leeds never did appeal so to have one right on my doorstep is exciting. If you live or work around Sheffield then you’ve probably seen it. Big blue building just down from Meadowhall, watching it grow has been interesting.
Besides the obvious furniture and home-ware, this new store is bring many needed jobs to the region so it’s all good in my books. But the icing on the cake has to be what’s going off to celebrate their launch on the 28th September. I introduce to you the Wonderful Everyday Tour.
Wonderful Everyday Tour
As I write this post, Sheffield has already seen some of the great projects IKEA has done. I’ll share a few of those with some of the lovely photos they’ve shared with me for this post.
Pots of Wonderful
Pots of Wonderful saw a Hollywood style sign made from potted plants erected in South Street Park
I now wish I had quickly nipped into Sheffield to see this one. IKEA added a splash of colour and comfort to many of the public benches in and around the Peace and Winter Gardens. They looked so comfortable and made Sheffield look all that brighter.
Today IKEA is bringing the Swedish version of a coffee break to the city at Barkers pool (until 4pm today). Fika carts are serving up complimentary hot drinks and fresh cinnamon buns – sounds delicious.
If you’re a regular commuter then you might have already noticed that the Supertram has also had a makeover. There is a special tram on the yellow line where lucky passengers can experience what it’s like to travel the IKEA way.
Still Left To See
There is still more on offer from IKEA so below I’ll list the events, times and locations still left to be enjoyed.
When: Sunday 17th September, 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Where: Weston Park
What: Join IKEA for a free family BBQ where sizzling meatballs and burgers will be on offer. You’re invited to tuck into tasty treats, sit on comfy chairs and celebrate a Sunday where there will be no arguments about who does the washing up. All you’ll need to do is turn up and enjoy!
Park Deck Chairs
When: Sunday 17th September & Sunday 24th September, 10:00am – 6:00pm
Where: Botanical Gardens
What: What better place to sink into one of IKEA’s colourful comfy chairs and soak up the surroundings and Sheffield sun than the city’s Botanical Gardens? With over 5,000 plant species across 19 acres of land, there’s plenty to take in and the deck chairs are sure to provide a nice break for those with weary feet.
Allen the Peregrine
When: Monday 18th September – Thursday 28th September
Where: Sheaf Square
What: Local artist Jason Heppenstall will be bringing Sheffield’s iconic peregrine falcon to life with one of IKEA’s own iconic tools. Allen the Peregrine, made entirely from thousands of IKEA allen keys, will welcome visitors and residents alike from his perch in Sheaf Square.
When: Wednesday 20th September, 8:00am – 7:00pm
Where: Arundel Gate underpass
What: IKEA has enlisted the help of talented local artists to transform Arundel Gate’s underpass into an exciting pop-up exhibition. Over 30 vibrant pieces of art will be on display and visitors will also get the chance to get their hands on their own masterpiece by bidding in the silent auction, with all proceeds going to local charities Artfelt, The Children’s Hospital Charity and Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.
Featured artists include: illustrator Lisa Ohaha, talented painter Andrew Hunt and quirky print-maker Kid Acne.
When: From Friday 22nd September, 8:00am – late
Where: Sheffield Train Station
What: Sheffield Train Station’s waiting room will be transformed into a beautiful and relaxing reading room full of literary gems from local writers. Passengers will be able to sit back and relax in comfort before their journey and pick up a book to enjoy while they wait and take with them on their onward journey.
When: From Monday 25th September
Where: Wincobank Village Hall
What: Visitors are sure to be surprised when they visit Wincobank Village Hall. The local garden will undergo quite a transformation thanks to IKEA’s green-fingered team. IKEA co-workers will choose and donate their favourite plants, pots and furniture from the store to turn the Hall’s outdoor area into a tranquil space for visitors to relax in.
Hot Dog Cart
When: Tuesday 26th September (Sheffield) & Wednesday 27th September (Rotherham)
Where: Barker’s Pool, Sheffield (11:30am – 2:00pm, Tues) & Sheaf Square, Sheffield (3:00pm – 5:00pm, Tues), Howard Street, Rotherham City Centre (11:00am-4:00pm, Weds)
What: Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch? Everyone’s favourite hot dogs will be arriving in Sheffield and Rotherham with a taste of what’s to come. Look out for IKEA’s special hot dog cart as it makes its way in and around the city centre with a well-earned treat for shoppers.
Lots To Do, Plenty To See (And Eat)
So as you can see IKEA still has lots for you to do on the run up to their launch. They also have special previews happening in store so make sure you take a look at those and book your place so you can miss the busy opening day crowds.
I’m going to personally try and pop down to some of the remaining events so I can experience them for myself; make sure to keep an eye out on my social media channels in case I do.
Are you looking forward to having an IKEA on the doorstep?