The Ultimate Guide to Your COVID-Safe Halloween in Manchester 2020

Including drive-in cinemas, fire-breathing spectaculars, pumpkin carving, a ghost train and some seriously spooky specials...

By Ciara Martin | October 27th '20

Monster Invasion: Return of the Monsters
26th October – 1st November
Manchester’s collection of giant inflatable monsters have returned! Invading rooftops across the city centre for the third year running, the monsters have been created by artists Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas from Designs in Air. On display at seven locations across the city, find them at Spinningfields, Moda Angel Gardens, Manchester Arndale, The Printworks, Selfridges, 111 Piccadilly and Great Northern Warehouse. To complement the monster at 111 Piccadilly, there’s a commissioned light art by Artin Light which you don’t want to miss. You can even win a shopping weekend in Manchester by sharing your snaps of the MCR Monsters to your Instagram or Twitter by tagging @HalloweenMCR & #MCRmonsters. Find the map and trail via the link below…

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Family Pumpkin Hunt @ Selfridges
Wednesday 28 – Saturday 31 October from 12pm – 4pm
Join Selfridges Exchange Square their Halloween Pumpkin Hunt. There are 6 hidden pumpkins hidden across the Kids’ department over at Selfridges and they’re offering up a ‘special treat’ to all who find them and return their competition hard to the host – happy hunting! Book the kids in via the link below…

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Scarecity Drive-In Cinema @ Event City
Running until 15th November
If you think you’re hard enough, why not visit Manchester’s newest and most terrifying Halloween attraction located at EventCity near the Trafford Centre. The immersive Halloween experience allows you to watching your favourite horror films from the safety & comfort of your car. No ordinary cinema, this one is guaranteed to give you the fright of your life (no, seriously). Expect a scare tunnel of doom, a haunted house & graveyard, countless gruesome props and plenty of live actors lurking in the shadows. It costs £35 per car and there are child friendly screenings every weekend! See what’s screening below…

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Veuve Clicquot Halloween Drag Brunch
Saturday 31st October from 11am – 3pm
A Halloween roller skating drag brunch with champagne – yep, you read that right. Peru Perdu are hosting a Halloween event to remember next weekend, in collaboration with Veuve Clicquot. There will be a spooky soundtrack from DJ extraordinaire Hattie Pearson whilst two fierce queens host the brunch on roller skates. The event will run from 11am – 3pm and will include a two-course Peruvian inspired brunch and a glass of Veuve Clicquot Champagne for £35pp.

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Pumpkin Carving & Spiced Rum @ The Pen and Pencil
Wednesday 28th October at 7pm
Although COVID is stopping people from trick or treating, it’s not stopping people from carving pumpkins and getting drunk whilst doing it. NQ favourite, The Pen & Pencil, have tactfully teamed up with non other than Kraken Spiced Rum to bring you an evening of… well – pumpkins and rum! Be very quick to secure your spot by emailing info@thepenandpencilnq.co.uk

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HOWL’OWEEN @ Hatch
Saturday 31st October from 11am – 9.30pm
Following their new COVID-safe format, this Halloween special at Manchester’s favourite food, drink and retail destination is essentially a fancy dress competition for your DOG – spooky! Simply get your pooch dressed up in their finest Halloween clobber and bring them along with you for your Hatch night out where they could be crowned as the doggy best dressed. Halloween dressing up is also encouraged for doggy owners and anyone visiting Hatch on Saturday 31st too! See more below…

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A Pumpkin Spiced Brunch @ 19 Cafe Bar
Available from Wednesday 28th October
Pumpkin spiced everythaaaang. Don’t you just love Autumn? Launching this Wednesday, everyone’s favourite Northern Quarter brunch spot is launching another one of their esteemed seasonal specials, Pumpkin Spiced French Toast and their Pumpkin Spiced Latte. One of our favourite neighbourhood gems, you’ll find exposed brickwork, warm lighting and the comfiest seating inside of 19 Cafe Bar. The perfect spot for your Autumn brunch date – if you ask me! There’s plenty of winter warmers on the menu and their hot drink selections are some of the best in the NQ (think Biscoff-flavoured hot chocs and plenty more) They operate on walk-ins only, so head over this spooky season for some pumpkin spiced fun.

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Halloween Spectacular @ Escape To Freight Island
From Friday 30th October
Uh oh, Escape To Freight Island just DOUBLED in size and their brand spanking new Ticket Hall is opening THIS HALLOWEEN WEEKEND. There’s absolutely tonnes of stuff lined up for this weekend in their brand new heated venue. Expect fire breathers, walkabout performers, brass bands and everything in-between. There will also be performances from The Horrors’ Ryhs Webb, PBR Streetgang, HIFI SEAN, Midnight Riot & LOADS more. The Halloween fun will be completely family friendly, with fancy-dress competitions, trick or treat bags and silent horror films (with headphones provided) for the kids.

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Bottomless Booze & New Kebabs @ BAB
Thursday 29th & Saturday 31st October
BAB have developed and tasted and designed and devoured 3 brand new kebabs for their Halloween event – one which not just includes kebabs but also BOTTOMLESS booze and pumpkin carving! For £40 for the pumpkin carving, cocktail, Halloween BAB +++ 2 hours of unlimited Amstel, Prosecco and Halloween cocktails. What about the new BABS? Well there’s the Fillet Steak; with foie gras, parmesan, bloody mary chilli sauce and kalamata olives, the Grilled Harissa Octopus; with chorizo, avocado puree, sour cream and roquitto peppers and the Satay Cauliflower; with kimchi, house sriracha and puffed noodles.

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Invisible Manchester Virtual Halloween Party
From October 26th – 31st, every day at 6pm
Invisible Cities is a social enterprise that trains people who have experienced homelessness to become walking tour guides of their own city. Pre-covid, Invisible Manchester showcased some of the city’s historial landmarks by their tour guides, who live and breathe our city. The team have now had to take it online, and will be hosting a Halloween family-friendly virtual party every night from 6pm. Join them virtually for some scary stories, quizzes and plenty of fun. Expect tour guides from all over the UK tell you about ghosts, real haunted places and even murders. Educational and lighthearted, each virtual event will be full of interaction and will be suitable for children. There’s even prizes up for grabs, so don’t forget your costume! Tickets cost £7 for individuals or £15 if the whole household takes part. Support these guys if you can.

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FilmFear 2020 @ HOME
Wednesday 28th October – Sunday 1st November
It’s horror movie season over at HOME and this year sees some true classics head to the big screen. There’s ‘The People Under the Stairs’ which shit me up big-time when I was a kid, as well as the brilliant ‘The Host’ from Oscar-winning Korean director Bong Joon-ho. Best of all though is ‘Candyman’ – a film about a bloke who comes to kill you once you say his name 3 times in the mirror. If you’re frightened of bees – stay away from watching it.

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Halloween Cocktails & Dessert @ The Ivy Spinningfields
From Monday 26th – Saturday 31st October
Created by The Ivy’s talented bar team, guests can treat themselves to not one but two limited–edition Halloween cocktails this Halloween. There’s the Pumpkin Spiced Latte (£8.50) featuring Bacardi spiced rum, Monin pumpkin spice syrup, a splash of almond milk, and a toasted marshmallow and cinnamon stick garnish, as well as a Toffee Apple Martini (£8.75) that incorporates Bacardi spiced rum, Calvados liqueur, caramel sauce and apple juice. For those with a sweet tooth, the brasserie will also be adding a delicious, Halloween-inspired dessert to its menu, available on 31st October only. The Poison Apple (£7.95) will feature an apple parfait, tempting chocolate brownie, candy floss mist and a rich blackberry sauce.

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Halloween Bottomless Rooftop Brunch @ Hotel Football
Saturday 31st October
Hotel Football’s rooftop football pitch, aptly named Heaven, is perfect to take in the view of Media City and the Theatre of Dreams whilst enjoying a tasty food platter and bottomless drinks. This Halloween special will feature a range of delicious dishes, themed decorations and a cauldron for your group (of up to 6 of course). The price includes a brunch food platter with bottomless beer, prosecco, wine and soft drinks.

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The Wicker Man & Rosemary’s Baby – FREE Screenings @ YES
Thursday 29th & Friday 30th October
Two of the most frightening and unsettling movies of all time here – presented to you in YES’s Pink Room for the total sum of ZERO pounds and ZERO pence. AboveTheLine film club are continuing their screenings this Halloween firstly with The Wicker Man, the story of a copper who travels to a weird AF island in Scotland and Rosemary’s Baby, in which a woman called Rosemary seemingly gives birth to an actual demon that may or may not be Satan. Head on down, grab a pint and some substantial food and enjoy two of the best horror films of all time.

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Flecky’s Halloween Show
Saturday 31st October
Don’t let the fact that COVID is rife from stopping you enjoying your Halloween with true scare-master himself Flecky Bennett – he’s offering up an online event this year instead of his usual in-person tours. Anyone who has ever met Flecky or been on one of his tours will know that he’s brilliant at getting you nice and scared, as well as one of the most knowledgeable blokes ever about the history and spooky stories of the city. Join him this Saturday from 9pm on Facebook Live.

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The Filthiest Gremlin in Town @ Almost Famous
From Tuesday 27th October
For one week only, Almost Famous present this Halloween special burger which is seriously filthy. It’s a double juicy cheeseburger slathered with tender slow cook bbq beef brisket, juicy bbq pork, wonderdusted curly fries, crunchy spiced jalapeños & onion dripping with redneck bbq sauce and creamy bacon bacon mayo. Wowzers!

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Ur Favourite Scary Movie @ HOME Manchester (online audio experience)
From Monday 26th October – Saturday 31 October
There’s plenty of scary screenings and spooky goings on this month over at HOME Manchester. Ur Favourite Scary Movie is a playful digital offshoot of forthcoming project, CRY CRY KILL KILL. An indulgent audio experience which invites you into the sonic world of horror. Expect Foley-making, binaural sound, spoken text and familiar loops from ‘ur favourite scary movie’. It asks what keeps you up at night, where fear dances with the imagination, and what it means to make friends with the unknown. Expect jumps and unexpected sounds.

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Halloween Dining @ Tattu
From Tuesday 27th October
Spinningfields favourite are offering some spooky Halloween specials including a ‘Haunted Padgoa’ (Stacked brownie layers with vanilla, almond and espresso caramel – say no more). The contemporary Chinese restaurant are celebrating this season with tonnes of brand-new artistic dishes with the launch of their brand-new Winter menu. Each dish on the new menu is artistic, vibrant, colourful and delicious. Their dark and moody atmosphere is the perfect location for any Halloween date – if you ask me. Be sure to order their flaming ‘Skull Candy’ cocktail – if you dare…

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Angel Meadow in the Evening – Halloween Walk
Thursday 29th October from 17:30pm – 19:10pm
Angel Meadow: sounds gorgeous doesn’t it. Yet it was Victorian Britain’s worst slum. “The lowest, most filthy, most unhealthy, and most wicked locality in Manchester…full of cellars and inhabited by prostitutes, their bullies, thieves, cadgers, vagrants and tramps.” That’s what journalist Angus Bethune Reach called Angel Meadow. Was this yesterday? No, thankfully. He was writing in the 19th century when Angel Meadow was one of a number of notorious Manchester slums; probably the worst. Tickets cost £10 for one or £17 for a pair and the walk begins at Victoria station.

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Halloween Ghost Trains @ East Lancashire Railway Bury
From Thursday 29th – Saturday 31st October
Enjoy a terrifying train ride from Bury to Irwell Vale and back. The return journey takes approximately 65 minutes. Enjoy a spooky, socially distanced meet and greet with the Monster Squad as they tell the gripping and ghoulish tale of the “Grimm” Show off your spooky side and make the most of your masks with thrilling fancy dress. Will you be a PPE wearing poltergeist or a face masked Frankenstein?

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Halloween Drive-in for The Christie
From Friday 30th October – Sunday 1st November
Join The Christie this Halloween for a number of screenings as they head to the stunning Woodlands of Arley Hall & Gardens to host a series of spooky drive-in movies. With state of the art sound, the Iconic100 screen and a fantastic selection of movies, food and drinks Drive-in for The Christie is the perfect answer to a social distanced, socially bubbled night in support of the staff and patients of The Christie. £30 per car, up to 5 people per car.

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