The weather may have started to turn, but nothing’s keeping us indoors this October – we’re braving the cold and getting swept up like the leaves with all the brilliant events going on in and around Manchester. From fun Halloween events to brand new bottomless brunches – we’ve rounded up the very best things to do in Manchester this October.
1. Dance the night away as 70s disco icons Boney M take over Manchester Cathedral
Don’t be crazy like a fool, go see Boney M perform the timeless hit Daddy Cool in Manchester’s striking centuries-old cathedral on October 5. The glittering vocal group will be taking to the stage for one night only, filling the gothic venue with the sounds of their most iconic hits including Rivers of Babylon, Rasputin, Brown Girl in the Ring and many more. So, go on, live out your disco dreams!
2. Enjoy a Blackout Dinner at 20 Stories
20 Stories blackout dinner is back, with a special event in collaboration with Nyetimber this October. Enjoy dinner with only the light from the city and a thousand candles providing the ambience, with a very special menu in store for the night. The events have previously sold out pretty quickly, so if you want in, you’ll have to act fast.
3. Get weird at the Go Gaga bottomless brunch
Step into a world amplified by all things Gaga, as Donna Marie – the world’s number 1 Lady Gaga impersonator – takes to the stage to perform some of the star’s biggest hits. Accompanied by a delicious brunch, guests can enjoy music, dancing, and free-flowing booze, alongside a number of fun drag performances, too.
4. Visit the newly-opened cultural hub Aviva Studios
Back in the summer, we only got a taste of what’s to come for Aviva Studios with the You, Me and the Balloons exhibition and Manchester International Festival. The new cultural hub is set to officially open in October with Free Your Mind, a large-scale immersive performance based on The Matrix films presented across the building’s ultra-flexible space and designed to showcase its possibilities.
5. Get a fright at Cultplex’s horror movie season
Independent cinema, Cultplex, saw the birth of STAB, a weekend long celebration of horror movies, and it was such a wild success that they’re doing it all again. This time, it won’t just be a weekend worth of Halloween treats but a whole month of some of cinema’s best horrific output. Kicking off with a Scream marathon on October 1, things continue to get scarier, climaxing with a double bill of Monster Squad (1987) and An American Werewolf In London (1981) on Halloween night.
6. Enjoy an enchanting evening listening to covers of Rihanna at this Candlelight concert
Manchester Cathedral will shine brighter than a diamond for this extraordinary tribute to Rihanna this October. As one of music’s biggest hitmakers, there is no shortage of smash songs at this candlelit concert. From “Pon de Replay” and “Umbrella” to “We Found Love” and “Work”, some of the star’s most beloved bops will be performed by a string quartet while thousands of candles illuminate one of Manchester’s most iconic landmarks.
7. Spot hidden monsters around the city centre
Halloween in the City is back for 2023, with a number of fantastic inflatable monsters popping up on top of some of Manchester’s most recognisable buildings. From three-eyed monsters to giant dragons, there’s plenty to spot, and they’ll all be dotted around all corners of the city, too. Created by Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas from Designs in Air – the huge inflated creations will be put on display across Manchester city centre, and they’ll be available to see for a short time period only, slithering away on October 31 once Halloween is over.
8. Watch all the action at the Rugby World Cup 2023 at these Manchester venues
Taking place until October 28, the Rugby World Cup returns after four years, so why not watch all the action on the big screen? If you weren’t lucky enough to nab some tickets to the live matches in France do not fear as plenty of Manchester venues have got you covered so you won’t miss a try. So go on, grab your mates, get the pints in and scrum on down to plenty of Manchester screening spots.
9. See Tunde Baiyewu from Lighthouse Family perform live at Manchester Cathedral
Get ready to be lifted, high, by the soothing vocals of Tunde Baiyewu this October. The talented singer, a member of the multi-platinum-selling duo Lighthouse Family, will step into the spotlight under the historic nave roof of Manchester Cathedral on October 6. You can count yourself among the audience who will dance and sway the night away to his hits from the 90s and a collection of newer songs inspired by the singer-songwriter era of the 1970s – you basically get to travel through time via music.
10. Prepare for a fright at this immersive zombie experience
The abandoned Camelot Theme Park has opened its doors to the public once more, but it’s not the joy-filled kingdom of fun it once was. A darkness has swept through the land and left a swarm of zombies in its wake, each one burning with an all-consuming hunger for human flesh. This time the screams you’ll hear won’t be from thrill-seekers riding rollercoasters but from pale-faced visitors who couldn’t resist a trip back to the nostalgia-inducing amusement park they once visited as a kid. Think you’re brave enough?
11. Say oompah with a pint at The Lawn Club for Oktoberfest
Get ready for one hell of a party! On October 7, from start to finish you can enjoy great food and drink, DJs and amazing live oompah music at The Lawn Club, slap bang in the middle of Spinningfields. You’ll be singing all the way home. The on-site food vendors will serve up a wonderful selection of traditional Oktoberfest food including Bratwurst, Currywurst, Chicken Schnitzel, Fried potatoes and more, with gluten free, vegan and veggie options are available.
12. Pick your own pumpkins at these pumpkin patches near Manchester
Autumn is in the air, and there’s nothing more that we love than the anticipation that the season brings. But first on the agenda = Halloween. Whether you’re doing it for the ‘gram or just absolutely love getting your carve on, there are a range of pumpkin patches in and around Manchester to pick your own this year. Multiple fields near Manchester are now abundant with these orange orbs so get picking!
13. See all the autumnal colours at RHS Bridgewater
Opening just a couple of years ago in Worsley, the RHS Garden Bridgewater gates lead to a beautiful, nature wonderland – and it’s the perfect place to catch a literal breath of fresh air. Featuring multiple areas throughout to explore, including the ‘crown jewel’ of the site – the 11-acre Weston Walled Garden – visitors won’t be at a loss for beautiful sights, with tons of greenery, blooms, a peaceful lake and a number of lovely little ponds to potter around, as well as seasonal flowers and plants that transform throughout the year. Escape the city and witness the leaves turn into hues of oranges, reds and browns before the cold sets in at this scenic garden.
14. Celebrate Taylor with ‘Swiftie-oke’ and a wholesome Swiftie social
Swifties, get ready for an enchanting evening of Taylor Swift‘s greatest hits, friendship bracelets, cocktails and unforgettable camaraderie at the very first GRUB Swiftie-oke event. On October 20, prepare to ‘shake it off’ and channel your inner Tay Tay as you sing your heart out to the chart-topping tunes of Taylor Swift. But that’s not all – before the spotlight hits the stage GRUB will also be celebrating Taylor’s spirit of friendship and creativity with a social gathering where you can connect with fellow Swifties.
15. Drink steins and enjoy live music at Albert’s Schloss
It’s no surprise that this German-inspired establishment would be celebrating with an Oktoberfest party. In true Albert’s Schloss-style, the fun bar is celebrating Oktoberfest, with nightly shows and entertainment, delicious steins of German beer and plenty of Oktoberfest-inspired grub. Up until October 3, Albert’s Schloss will keep to the tradition of a star tapping (or boshing) the first keg, welcoming internet sensation and TikTok star, Big John to do the honours.
Sure, it might be bingo – but this is definitely nothing like your Nan’s typical Tuesday nights down the community centre. Hosted by the Boy Toy butlers and some of London and Manchester’s best drag queens, guests will get to enjoy their choice of brunch dish, alongside bottomless fizz for an hour and a half. If that wasn’t all, there’ll be plenty of games and performances to enjoy, too, with four whole hours of fun in store.
17. Head to Gymshark’s first ever bodybuilding competition
Back in April, activewear brand Gymshark took over Manchester with LIFT MCR, a huge fitness exhibition with some of the biggest names in fitness, powerlifting and bodybuilding. Now, Gymshark is back for round two and gearing up for another spectacular event in Manchester this October. Presenting the Ryan Terry British Championship, Gymshark’s first ever bodybuilding competition, the event will take place at the iconic Manchester Central on October 13 and 14. Featuring panel talks, Q&As, athlete meet and greets, a retail zone as well as a cheat day diner, it’s a must-see for fitness enthusiasts.
18. Glide into Halloween at the fun new Scare Skate
Skate Manchester is returning for 2023, but rather than waiting until Christmas, organisers have given the event a spooky twist for Halloween. Opening on October 27, Mancs will be able to enjoy the spooky ice rink, with guests encouraged to dress up for the occasion. The ice rink will be set within the wonderful Cathedral Gardens, where guests will also be able to see the annual Jack-O-Lanterns in the trees, and the fantastic Halloween in the City monsters that pop up on our city’s buildings every year.
19. Dine at the brand new Sexy Fish restaurant in Spinningfields
The highly-anticipated Sexy Fish is almost here! Sexy Fish is a pretty *fancy* place, with a restaurant in London’s prestigious Mayfair district that’s exclusively reserved for the elite of the city, as well as opening a spot in Miami last year. And now, the celeb-loved restaurant is opening its first venture outside of the capital on October 12, taking over the former Armani unit facing out towards Deansgate. The London venue is known for its out-there, artistic décor and sushi fans can expect the exact same opulence here in Manchester.