Natasha Bedingfield, festivals and spooky theatre
It’s that time of the year again, and for many people, Halloween is bigger than Christmas so we’ve gone and put together a handy round-up of all the ghoulish, scary and a-bit-scary-but-child-friendly events for children and adults alike.
There are weekend-long festivals, interactive walking tours, Lego and even the chance to live out your wildest dreams and see Natasha Bedingfield after a night of playing bingo. Could this be the best Halloween of all time? Certainly until next year. So without further ado, release the events. Happy Halloween and try not to get egged.
BRICK OR TREAT | LEGO DISCOVERY CENTRE | 2 - 31 OCTOBER
Squarely aimed at little monsters, Lego Discovery Centre at The Trafford Centre is putting on a special Halloween event featuring a wide range of events. A Lego pumpkin building session, a scavenger hunt and a boogie with the centre’s Halloween character mascots all await, but nothing too scary - nobody’s going to brick themselves. Tickets from £19.75 per adult and £15.25 per child.
SPOOKFEST | TRAFFORD CENTRE | 11 - 31 OCTOBER
The Trafford Centre’s summer space is getting a spooky makeover this month to celebrate all things Halloween. A haunted hay bale maze, a ghost train and a Halloween big top show are just some of the attractions awaiting visitors opposite The Great Hall Entrance. Deals and offers will also be available in the centre as part of the festivities. Entry to Spookfest is £3.50 with rides priced individually. Pre-booking is advised.
GRIMMFEST | ONLINE | 14 - 17 OCTOBER
Missed the in-person event and still yearning for the latest and best in horror films? Don’t worry, to cap off this year’s event, Grimmfest will be going online for three days in mid-October with 26 curated horror films including exclusives and selections from the in-person festival. Films come in double headers and range from Spore (a mutating fungus wipes everyone out in a Mid-west American town) to The Pizzagate Massacre (QAnon meets gruesome satire). Films start from £10.
SCARE SKATE | CATHEDRAL GARDENS | 22 - 31 OCTOBER
If you enjoy the thrilling and terrifying rush of potentially falling over on a slippy surface whilst also lapping up Halloween-themed lighting and music, not to mention ghoulish professional skaters, you’re going to be all over Scare Skate. Part of the wider Monsters in the City celebrations and now with a supersized rink, dressing up is encouraged. Tickets start at £13 for adults and £11 for children.
SCARECROW TRAIL | STRETFORD MALL | 25 - 31 OCTOBER
Earlier this month it was Ewoks and now it’s scarecrows, you’re always guaranteed to meet a character or two if you go to Stretford Mall. To celebrate Halloween, the mall is hosting their second annual scarecrow trail with great prizes to be won, scarecrows to be spotted and a donation drive for Stretford foodbank. The mall’s outlets have contributed their very own scarecrows to the event and there’ll be free maps to help you spot them.
THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW | OLDHAM COLISEUM | 26 - 30 OCTOBER
The Headless Horseman is coming to Oldham and he’s expecting you to buy a ticket or there’ll be hell to pay. An adaptation of Washington Irving’s classic pants-shittingly scary tale, Wendi Peters of Big! The Musical and Coronation Street fame along with Bill Ward of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and Emmerdale star in a new take on the American gothic classic. Tickets start at £18.50.
ELECTRIC GOLDFISH PRESENTS: MANSION | ANTWERP MANSION | 27 - 29 OCTOBER
Fancy a live, multi-sensory immersive theatre experience in one of the North West’s most haunted spots? Of course you do. Mansion will see small groups guided through the mansion on a 40-minute extremely nervous energy fest as actors bring to life a sinister story with thrills, scares and spooky vibes. Tickets start at £15.
BONGO’S BINGO XL | MANCHESTER CENTRAL | 29 OCTOBER
Bongo’s Bingo is one of those bucket list events that everyone should do at least once in their life. You can’t fully appreciate the original bingo rave phenomenon until you’ve experienced it first hand and this month’s jumbo Halloween events at Manchester Central are a good place to start. All that excitement and then a headline slot from Natasha Bedingfield to top it off. Repeat after me: feel, the, rain, on, your, skin. Final release tickets are available for £27.
MANCHESTER GOT SOUL: HALLOWEEN SPECIAL | THE BLUES KITCHEN | 29 OCTOBER
Drop into The Blues Kitchen on Halloween Friday (did we just invent that?) if you like live music, happy hour drinks and DJs with a Halloween vibe in a dark, atmospheric room. The venue will be hosting three live sets on the night with £5 cocktails between 5 - 7pm to take the edge off. Fancy dress is encouraged and entry is free but signing up for the guestlist beforehand is advised.
HALLOWEEN AT THE WAREHOUSE PROJECT PT1 | MAYFIELD DEPOT | 29 OCTOBER
Part 2 is sold out so all you Halloravers that still want to writhe around in the low light surrounds of Mayfield Depot to pounding dance music need to get yourselves a ticket for Halloween Part 1 at The Warehouse Project. Manchester house duo Solardo and German techno pals PAN-POT are just some of the notable DJs on hand providing a solid soundtrack for getting off your pumpkin to. Tickets start at £25.
FAT OUT FEST | VARIOUS | 29 OCTOBER - 1 NOVEMBER
We’ve previously previewed the riotous Fat Out Fest but just to remind you, it’s over Halloween weekend and it’s going to be a biggy. Bringing forth the best of truly underground and independent music as well as audiovisual talent and an unashamed front and centre celebration of queer culture, it’s going to be an absolute hoot. Spread across five venues in Salford including the so hot right now White Hotel as well as the always hot forever Old Pint Pot, you need to snap yourself up a ticket before it’s too late.
LUXURY HALLOWEEN CINEMA | KING STREET TOWNHOUSE | 29 - 31 OCTOBER
Who doesn’t love luxury? (Nobody, that’s who). Enjoy the scary classics in style on Halloween weekend with a stop off at King Street Townhouse’s luxury screening room. IT, Nightmare on Elm Street, Hocus Pocus and Beetlejuice will all be getting the cosy lux treatment with screening tickets including a sweet treat and a cocktail, mocktail or soft drink. Tickets start at £30.
DÍA DE MUERTOS | DUCIE STREET WAREHOUSE | 29 OCTOBER - 2 NOVEMBER
Day of the dead is the theme this year at Ducie Street Warehouse with a Mexican celebration of the dead (and life) theme throughout Halloween weekend and beyond. Live DJs, mariachi bands, brass bands and even a procession through the Northern Quarter are just some of the things to expect with performers, face painters and tarot readers on hand to get you in the mood. A collaboration with Patrón tequila means plenty of tequila and associated cocktails too not to mention a specially curated food menu. Booking is advised.
HALLOWEEN IN THE CITY | VARIOUS | 30 & 31 OCTOBER
Halloween in the City, aka “the monsters”, will be back again this year with city-wide events including interactive walking trails, a monster welcome procession, a monster carnival, monster bands, monster trucks with DJs on and even monster ice skating. So many monsters, so little time. Most events are free, popping up at locations including Exchange Square, St Ann’s Square, Cathedral Gardens and The Arndale and Market Street. Dressing up is encouraged.
HOWL’OWEEN | HATCH | 31 OCTOBER
Howl, like a dog or a wolf, get it? Listen, some dogs are just really into Halloween and Hatch is more than happy to facilitate an opportunity for them to catch up with their four-legged mates and get a bit spooky in the process. Oh yeah and owners are welcome too, etc etc. Expect best dog competitions, fancy dress (dog and owner), pop-pups, a mutt market and even a doggie disco. Entry is free.
HALLOWEEN PARTY | CRINGLE PARK | 31 OCTOBER
Wholesome spooky vibes at Cringle Park in Levenshulme on Halloween thanks to sustainability-minded and all-round good vibes and social responsibility coffee purveyors, Grounded. The coffee trike and gazebo will be in place from 11am until 3pm with added ghost hunt, poke the pumpkin and treats and brews. Entry is free.
FAMILY HALLOWEEN PARTY | CENTRAL LIBRARY | 31 OCTOBER
More wholesome family Halloween vibes at Central Library. A good one if you’re in town with the kids. Face painters, a silent disco and creepy crafts await with fancy dress again encouraged with trick or treat prizes and ghoulish surprises also on the bill. Family tickets are £5 with the event open 4.30pm to 8.30pm.
SPOOKY FILM NIGHT | THE BEAGLE | 31 OCTOBER
A Halloween film double feature in Chorlton thanks to The Beagle who’ll be screening both Hocus Pocus (4pm) and Night of The Living Dead (8pm). Both screenings are free but you might look a bit sly if you don’t at least buy one drink. Luckily it’s happy hour 4-6pm. No details with regards to dressing up but a cape wouldn’t hurt, would it?
Headline photo credit: The Vain Photography
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