What’s on in Manchester this Halloween: Monsters, bugs and all things spooky!
Jessica Ward | 11th October 2022
What’s on in Manchester this Halloween? There’s a host of ghoulish fun in store, from scary movies and ghoulish trails to mini monster bugs at the zoo and costume competitions.
Here’s the VIVA guide to have a ‘spooktacular’ Halloween…
Free family event Halloween in the City
Performers in monster costumes parade along Market Street in Manchester during an unmissable roaming performance from Walk the Plank as part of this year’s Halloween In The City event, which takes place this weekend. Picture date: Saturday October 30, 2021. PA Photo. The festivities organised by Manchester Business Improvement District include inflatable rooftop monsters and the unmissable roaming performance which features large-scale puppets and stilt walkers, alongside a five-piece band. Photo credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Free family-friendly event Halloween in the City is back and guaranteed to lift your spirits, featuring monsters around every corner and a fa-boo-lous line-up of entertainment and activities on Saturday 29 & Sunday 30 October.
2022’s line-up will see a massive monster music festival hits the city’s streets, the return of the giant inflatable MCR monsters and a Fancy Dress Challenge, all organised by Manchester Business Improvement District on behalf of the city’s shops and restaurants.
New for this year is the Monsters Rock! Music Festival, featuring monster bands, scary DJs, a glow in the dark dance party, Halloween vogue balls and a pumpkin patch chill out zone, spanning the city’s St Ann’s Square, Market Street and Exchange Square.
There’s also a Monsters Rock Procession courtesy of Walk the Plank, the creative minds behind the Manchester Day Parade, featuring giant puppet monsters, stilt walkers and a live band, a family-friendly freakshow Carnival Zone with roaming circus acts and freaky fun rides and Scare Skate (entry fees apply) at Manchester’s outdoor ice rink in Cathedral Gardens featuring spooky music and lighting and a band of ghoulish skating monsters joining skaters.
If you’ve got it, haunt it – families are encouraged to come dressed up in their coolest costumes to take part in the official Halloween in the City Fancy Dress Challenge and unlock VIP experiences, rewards and prizes throughout the weekend. Visitors in costume will be able to claim a free wristband and choose to become part of either Team Trick or Team Treat. Both teams will be competing to be named the spookiest team, with lots of opportunities to win points for your team during the weekend including dance-offs, costume catwalks, games, screaming competitions and more. Those unable to come dressed up don’t need to miss out with free Halloween masks and monstrous crafting available at points throughout the festival area.
Chester Zoo’s new interactive Halloween trail
If you’re planning a visit to Chester Zoo, there’s a new ‘Luna’s Lost Spell Halloween Trail’. Along the indoor trail, visitors will encounter the Komodo Dragon, Gaboon Viper, Poison Dart Frogs, Blue Komodo Viper, Tarantula and the upside-down Jellyfish.
Guests can visit six animal stations to learn spellbinding facts about hair-raising species whilst collecting letters to form a word. Once visitors uncover the magic word, they’ll be rewarded with a sweet treat.
Using augmented reality, guests can scan a QR code with their phone to reveal each letter with a fun, interactive experience then stamp the letters onto a postcard.
The trail is free to all visitors who purchase admission tickets and will take around two hours to complete.
The Trafford Centre’s outdoor space has come alive with spook-tacular Halloween activity, with a variety of exciting family-friendly activity on offer for all ages to enjoy throughout October in an outdoor setting.
Join Trafford Centre for thrilling funfair rides, the action-packed Spooktacular Big Top circus, the Northwest’s first and only pumpkin tower, fearsome face painting, creepy costume characters, big-screen scary movies and Halloween-themed food and drink. This family-friendly event is not to be missed.
Gandey’s Circus returns once again with a brand-new action-packed legendary Halloween Spooktacular Big Top show. A specially selected international cast of skeletons, vampires, jack o’lanterns and not forgetting Circus Artistes, have been brought together for this year’s sensational extravaganza.
Get ready to ride the ghoulish ghost train, brave the haunted house and tackle the new Mach 5, an adrenaline-pumping ride that spins speedily at soaring heights of 55m above the ground. Plus, there’s fun for the little ones with flying elephants, mini chairs and a Kidzone. Entry tickets to the funfair and rides area are priced at £2.50 per person [at an online discounted rate].
There’s also Halloween movies including Screenings Toy Story of Terror, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coco which are free to those with a fairground wristband and are pre-bookable. There’s also fancy-dress competitions and a pumpkin tower!
Pumpkin picking in Cheshire
Pick up your pumpkin at Tatton Park from 22nd – 30th October. Head down to the pumpkin patch to meet all your farmyard favourites amd search for your favourite pumpkin.
You can pick your pumpkin straight from the field, so expect to get your hands a little dirty in the process!