Manchester’s Halloween in the City returns later this month marking the arrival of Halloween with its most spooktacular line-up to date.
Taking place across the weekend of Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 October, this year’s event, organised by Manchester’s Business Improvement District, Manchester BID, will see the city centre come alive with a whole host of terrifyingly good (and free) events for all the family.
Headlining 2018’s event will be a collection of 8 mind-bending inflatable giant monsters courtesy of artists Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas. Building on their show-stopping giant tentacles installation at 2017’s event, Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas are back and with a brand-new entourage of inflatable monstrosities and outlandish beasties specially created to take over the city’s rooftops and landmark buildings, including Manchester Arndale, House of Fraser, Manchester Hall, Mayfield, Piccadilly Place and 35 Dale Street.
Families can get into the spirit of things with a whole host of free activities throughout the weekend including a Trick or Treat Trail around the city centre, an Enchanted Forest featuring a Room on the Broom Zone by family theatre specialists Z-arts, ahead of their Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler exhibition coming in February, where children can meet the witch from the popular children’s book, plus wand and potion making at the Magic School and a Pumpkin Patch Sensory Play Zone for under-5s – all located in St Ann’s Square.
Over at the main stage in Exchange Square there’s a packed line-up of spooky specials courtesy of CBeebies and CBBC including showings of CBeebies favourites Hey Duggee, Sarah & Duck, Go Jetters and School of Roars and CBBC’s Creeped Out, Scream Street, Zig & Zag, The Worst Witch and Strange Hill High, plus there’s a premiere of the new Danger Mouse Halloween special. Heart North West’s Joel & Lorna, will host a Ghostly World Record Attempt on Saturday 27 October in Exchange Square – get involved by bringing a bed sheet and be part of Halloween in the City’s bid to gather together the most ghosts in one place, while helping to raise money for Manchester’s homeless charity, Big Change Manchester.
Other events not-to-be-missed include The Freaky Festival – a family festival-style party with live bands and monster hits on Saturday 27 October after the record attempt at the main stage, The Spooky Pooch Costume Show* on Sunday 28 October at the main stage, The Face of Halloween – a live creative make-up competition in the windows of Debenhams, Boots and House of Fraser on Sunday and The Strolling Bones – a bone-jangling roaming procession of skeleton puppets, stilt walkers, unicycle performers, five-piece band and dancers created by Walk the Plank – the minds behind the city’s Manchester Day parade.
And as the sun goes down on Halloween in the City on Sunday, head to the main stage in Exchange Square for a memorable ending to the weekend courtesy of The Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies, The Manchester Writing School and the Manchester Children’s Book Festival who will be hosting Campfire Stories of Spooks and Monsters, brought to life as a cast of actors and storytellers tell their tales in front of a digital campfire.
For adults, Séance by DARKFIELD at The Royal Exchange Theatre is an unmissable immersive Halloween experience. Climb inside a shipping container and for twenty terrifying minutes, twenty people will experience an intense sonic performance that explores the group’s psychology. In the disorienting darkness, you’ll ponder your views on superstition in this inventive, unnerving exercise in surprise and suspense by the creators of the hit show RING and FICTION. Running from the 19 – 31 October, book ahead to secure your place if you dare!
In the run up to Halloween in the City Manchester will once again be eerily awash with thousands of pumpkin lanterns and come nightfall Manchester shops and buildings including Manchester Town Hall, Afflecks, Harvey Nichols, Manchester Hall, Paperchase, MediaCom and more will glow a ghastly green.