FREE two-day family-friendly Halloween Festival features a giant monster, haunted maze, trick or treat trail, creepy carnival, pop-up cinema, goth catwalk show, face painting zone and biggest family fancy dress-up in Halloween history.
Following the success of the city’s first ever official Halloween celebrations in 2016, Manchester BID, the city centre’s Business Improvement District, has cooked up a whole host of activities to both fright and delight for 2017’s celebrations.
On Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 October, the city’s shopping district will host Halloweekend – a spooktacular two-day family-friendly Halloween festival.
You won’t be able to miss ‘Monster Attack’ – artist Filthy Luker’s giant inflatable monster sculpture – as it invades the city’s House of Fraser store with its 10 metre long tentacles!
Dare you enter the Haunted Maze? Located in St Ann’s Square try and make it round its gothic pathways without bumping into its creepy creatures or follow the Trick or Treat Trail across the city centre from Market Street to Manchester Arndale, King Street and Deansgate – find the giant doors, be brave and see whose hiding behind them. A Mummy’s tomb, Witch’s hovel, Dracula’s liar and Frankenstein’s laboratory all await a knock! And as you make your way across the city centre watch out for the Creepy Carnival – a Day of the Dead style musical parade of giant skeletons, howling wolves and wicked witches.
Head into the city centre in costume and be part of the The Big Dress Up which plans to create the biggest mass fancy dress up in Halloween history and then pose for a picture on Market Street to be in with the chance of winning a prize. On the Main Stage in Exchange Square enjoy screenings of everyone’s favourite Halloween family classics including Ghostbusters, Hocus Pocus, The Witches, The Addams Family and Hotel Transylvania, a Canine Catwalk for dogs with the cutest costumes and a Goth Fashion Show as part of Manchester Metropolitan University’s Gothic Festival. Dress code Black. For those who come unprepared, a free Face Painting zone on Market Street (opposite Boots and open from 10am-5pm both days) will allow you to become the ghost with the most.
Big Fish Little Fish, renowned for its family friendly raves and world class partying for kids, will be throwing a spooky science party and family rave at city centre venue The Birdcage, bringing together some of the best DJs from across the city alongside stalls exploring the science of Halloween featuring science buskers, slime and the science of bats and spiders with zoo keepers from Chester Zoo.
The city centre’s retailers will be also be getting into the spirit of Halloween with lots of activity in store including appearances from the Ghostbusters and Marshmallow Man and a huge pop up Halloween shop at Manchester Arndale and The Candy Skull Guys who will be greeting families off the tram and welcoming them into Primark and onto Market Street. On Sunday 29 October – the two winners of The Face of Halloween competition will perform a live make up transformation in the window of House of Fraser with their models walking the MMU Gothic Style Fashion Show later that day plus there’s a £250 prize. For more information on how to enter go to www.visitmanchester.com/whats-on/the-face-of-halloween-make-up-artist-competition-p355951.
In the run up to Halloweekend, Manchester will be eerily awash with spooky decorations and pumpkin lanterns and come nightfall some of Manchester’s most iconic buildings including Manchester Town Hall, House of Fraser, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, The National Football Museum, Afflecks, The Royal Exchange and The Printworks will glow a ghastly green.
For full listings and timings go to visitmanchester.com/halloween.
For event updates follow @halloweenMCR and /halloweenMCR