Things to do in Manchester this week: 26th October - 1st November 2018

As I'm sure you're aware, this week sees the famous American holiday Halloween hit our calendars and as you'd expect - every single venue in the city, big and small, is doing something for it.

By Ben Brown | Last updated 3 December 2018

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I’ll try and stay away from it as much as possible here though – just in case you’re as sick and tired of pumpkins as I am.

Pretty much all week
It’s Halloween everyone. A time when Sophia Dellapina would rather stay in her flat and carve pumpkins instead of going out and enjoying herself. A time when Janine Fisher is willing to leave Oldham and her butty shop behind her and travel all the way to Blackpool and probably get in a fight with a fat woman from Barrow. A time when everywhere in the city puts some sort of ‘spooky’ event on, usually complete with themed cocktails and those elaborate cobweb decoration things. There’s LOADS going on in the city – check these handy guides out and get yourself sorted…

The Ultimate Guide to Halloween in Manchester 2018

The Best Ghost Walks in Manchester over Halloween

The 10 Scariest Films to see in Manchester this Halloween

Where to get the Best Spooky Cocktails this Halloween


Ghostbusters at the Odeon
Friday 26th October
If I had to name my favourite film it would definitely, unequivocally be… Robocop. Then I’d choose The Thing. Then Die Hard. And finally Ghostbusters. The old one of course. With Bill Murray. And Dan Ackroyd. And Winston Zeddemore. And Sigourney Weaver at peak fit-ness. And that weird dog thing. And Gozer the Gozerian. And the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. And that ghost that performs a sex act on Dan Ackroyd. And that horrible librarian at the beginning. And Walter Peck. It’s a great bloody film and it’s even better on the big screen – so watch it this Friday at the Odeon please. Thank you.

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Didsbury Beer Festival
Friday 26th – Saturday 27th October
In my infinite idiocy I could sit here and go on about quinoa and lentils and high house prices and little annoying sausage dogs but I won’t. Didsbury isn’t actually like that at all. It’s actually a lovely place to live with some brilliant bars and restaurants and a particularly great pub in the form of The Railway. They also have loads of nice, quaint community events throughout the year including WestFest, The Didsbury Maypole Dancing Extravaganza and The Didsbury Pepperami Chase where people run after a Pepperami that’s been thrown down a steep hill in Fletcher Moss Park. Another event is the Didsbury Beer Festival which is on this weekend and will feature over 200 ciders, cask and craft ales all under one roof.

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FilmFear at HOME
From Friday 26th October
I’ve put this separate to the Halloween bit above because it’s really, really good and if we’re all being honest – we all love to get scared shitless off a bloody good horror film. HOME have amalgamated a great bunch of movies this year – with some absolute classics alongside a few weird new ones to keep you on your toes. I should mention They Live! – mostly because it features one of my favourite humans ever – Rowdy ‘The Maniac’ Roddy Piper – and a ludicrous 20-minute wrestle with Keith David. You can also catch Evil Dead (the original), The Fog, a load of new ones and Nic Cage’s new mental film – Mandy.

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Selfridges Exchange Halloween Beauty Party
Saturday 27th October
This Saturday sees Selfridges host a big beauty party at their Exchange store (the one in the city centre) and although it’s no use to me and my manky craggy mush, it sounds like it’s going to be a pretty decent ‘thing to do’. They’re going to have complementary hair and make up services, plus cocktails courtesy of The Alchemist, loads of Halloween themed food and a DJ that will probably play ‘Thriller’ and ‘The Monster Mash’ on repeat all day.

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Soul II Soul
Saturday 27th October
When I was at Parklife I got chatting to Jazzie B out of Soul II Soul at some weird bit backstage and I was astounded at how much of a bloody top bloke he was. Not only did he endure my drunken ramblings for much longer than anyone on Earth should have to, he also gave me a little dint and told me to enjoy the rest of my day. As someone who usually gets spat on by anyone I talk to – this was a refreshing change and he really showed himself to be a class act. Much like Soul II Soul themselves who are playing the Albert Hall this weekend. Here’s some of their tunes to get you excited…

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DraigCon at Victoria Warehouse
Saturday 27th – Sunday 28th October
I’m not going to lie to you – I know shit all about Harry Potter except the fact that he goes to school, is a wizard and wears some stupid little round glasses. The whole thing was a little bit after my time. When the books came out I was trying to chat up girls in Liquid in Oldham, the whole thing completely passing me by. I do know that people are bloody obsessed with it though – which is why I’ve included this Harry Potter convention at Victoria Warehouse in this week’s Things To Do. So get dressed up in some form of wizard school uniform thing, meet one of the ginger kids and go and enjoy yourselves!

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The National Wedding Show
Saturday 27th – Sunday 28th October
I’m at the age now where everyone I know is either having a kid, getting married or both. Here I am, sat here thinking that those two things sound like the worst ideas of anyone’s life, only wanting to get pissed up in Bunny Jacksons and get dragged out of a ditch by a part-time Civil Enforcement Officer called Debbie. For all you lot who want to actually get married though – this weekend at the GMEX is the National Wedding Show where you can spend 6 grand on some flowers and 2 grand on a DJ. You can also look at dresses, jewellery and all that other wedding stuff that will make it the best day of your life. And if anyone fancies getting married to me – just send me an email – I’ll probably say yes.

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Manchester Whisky Festival at The Whiskey Jar
Sunday 28th October
If you’re a fan of whiskey, then you’re in for a bloody good treat this Sunday as The Whiskey Jar in the NQ open up their doors and put on a big festival for you to enjoy. They’ll be showcasing over 450 different whiskeys from all over the world including Scotland, Japan and err… Iceland. There’ll be so many different brown liquids flying around that if you don’t manage to find one that you like then I’ll get my hat, boil it for 20 minutes, grill it for 2 and then eat it. There’ll be loads of whiskey based events and ideas flying around too so get yourself down from 2pm on Sunday and try not to worry about the hangover on Monday morning.

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Calendar Girls at The Lowry
From Tuesday 30th October
Right. I’ve never seen Calendar Girls but I can probably tell you exactly what it’s all about regardless. It’s a musical about a bunch of middle aged women who decide to get their norks out and make a calendar in order to save a garden centre from closing. Along the way they discover that they’re all good friends as well as sorting out any love life problems that they potentially have with their generic Northern fellas. Oh and Gary Barlow – the most boring man in the world – has written the songs for it. It starts at The Lowry this week so if you’re a fan of big bouncy breasts – get involved.

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4 Course Pumpkin Halloween Taster Evening at Asha’s
Wednesday 31st October
Asha’s never fail to do a bloody good event and this Halloween is no exception as they grab a load of pumpkins and proceed to transform them into a top notch 4 course dinner complete with cocktails – all involving the big orange buggers somewhere along the way. Head Chef Ashwani has been getting all hot and bothered to bring you some brilliant Indian dishes (as you’d expect) including a Pumpkin Kebab, a Chicken & Pumpkin Curry and there’s even a Whiskey & Pumpkin cocktail that I tasted last week and it blew my Slazenger socks off. Get yourself a ticket below…

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