Many of us will think of Manchester Pride Festival as the live music, parties, and general mischief taking place across the Gay Village – but there are so many family-friendly events for people of all ages to get stuck into.
This year’s event has just announced its line-up for Family Pride MCR 2023, with music, cabaret, workshops and discos for Pride-goers of all ages.
The programme includes music, crafting, party games and sing-a-longs, as well as a rainbow disco, showcasing performances and artists that champion love, self-expression and individuality.
It’s aimed to provide an exciting, inspiring and celebratory day for LGBTQ+ families, parents/carers, and children alike.
Highlights include the return of the Fatt Project’s Palaver Party — a blend of cabaret and a mini Pride parade — with the star-studded line-up including performer Ginny Lemon, a known face of the Manchester Pride Festival, as well as Lady Bushra, shortlisted for the 2021 BBC New Comedy Awards.
Guinness World Records holder Symoné and Cyro from The Enby Show are also set to grace the stage which will be hosted by Fatt Butcher and Blu Romantic.
There’ll also be a beach-inspired experience complete with the kids’ club, thanks to the festival’s headline sponsor, TUI.
Family Pride MCR’s 2023 offering has been announced by Manchester Pride, supported by TUI and in partnership with Proud 2 b Parents.
This year’s Family Pride MCR event has been co-designed with Fatt Projects, a queer performance company renowned for its vibrant and joyful celebrations of diversity.
Director of Fatt Projects Adam Carver said: “We are so excited to be back working with Manchester Pride this year to present a second fabulous Family Pride MCR.
“Fatt Project’s work for families is all about celebrating yourself, having a great time, and bringing the whole family together for an unforgettable party. It feels more important now than ever to ensure that children and families are a key part of pride celebrations, so we can let young people know that all kinds of families are loved, celebrated, and part of our community.
“We can’t wait to see everyone there; so get your dancing shoes out, stick on a sequin or ten, and come join us for a fantastic day”.
TUI’s beach experience will also feature the beloved Captain T from TUI’s kids’ clubs, and serene spaces for families to unwind.
Toby Horry, Head of Brand Marketing at TUI, said: “We’re so excited to be getting involved in the Manchester Pride Festival and sponsoring Family Pride MCR this year, since it’s such a hugely important date for our community up in the north.”
In partnership with Proud 2 b Parents, an organisation supporting LGBTQ+ parents and their families, Manchester Pride is set to deliver an enriching Family Pride MCR experience.
Proud 2 b Parents will host an information stall, an LGBTQ+ children’s book stall, and guide families to various activities on site. They also offer a parade viewing area for LGBTQ+ families to enjoy the parade from a welcoming vantage point overlooking Deansgate.
Other activities available for children include baby sensory, baby noise making workshop, story time in Book Nook Library. The Great Northern Warehouse will host an indoor extended play space in the Atrium with lawn games, table tennis and a colouring. There will also be a quiet zone, feeding area, pram park and changing facilities.
Mark Fletcher, CEO of Manchester Pride, added: “Pride celebrations are for everyone and should not be bound by age or family structure. Our celebrations at Family Pride MCR provide a fun, enriching and empowering space where families of all kinds can express themselves freely.
“Family Pride MCR offers vital representation and visibility to families that don’t always see themselves reflected in heteronormative society, and we’re proud to offer children and families a friendly space to meet, connect and celebrate pride in a way that’s designed just for them.”
Manchester Pride Festival, crowned the ‘Best Large Festival’ at the UK Festival Awards 2022, is set to take place this August Bank Holiday weekend (25-28 August). In partnership with Booking.com, the festival features an exciting line-up of local and international artists, advocating for LGBTQ+ equality.
A massive spooky outdoor ice rink is coming back to Manchester this Halloween
It’s time to dig out your scare skates, as Manchester will soon be home to one of the UK’s largest outdoor ice rinks yet again this Halloween.
As the nights begin to draw in and the air gets colder by the day, we all know that means the spooky season is just around the corner, right? And, of course, that also means it really won’t be long before a whole host of ghoulish monsters begin to take their place on top of the city centre‘s tallest buildings just in time for Halloween.
While the iconic MCR Monsters will, once again, take centre stage as part of the annual Halloween in the City event, they’re not the only returnees to the scene.
That’s right, Scare Skate is back – and there’s some new additions this year.
Just like it has many years before, Cathedral Gardens will become become home to Manchester’s – and one of the UK’s – largest outdoor ice rink for October half term, as Scare Skate sees Halloween fans and fear-loving families take to the ice for some “frightfully good fun”.
Skaters can expect Halloween-themed music, lighting, and lots of themed props to help “ignite the fright factor”, and not only that, but new for this year, a frightfully-realistic giant spider wrapped in bright-white LED lights will stand front and centre.
Always a highlight in the city’s spooky social calendar, fancy dress is encouraged, and skaters are invited to capture those all-important photo worthy moments on the ice.
“Halloween is an integral part of the Manchester calendar, and we’re thrilled to see Scare Skate play an important part in the city celebrations for another year,” Kelly Baker, who is the Director of event coordinators, Managed Ice Rinks, ahead of the event’s arrival.
“Scare Skate is the perfect activity to bring the family together this season, and we’re looking forward to celebrating Halloween in the Cathedral Gardens grounds”.
Scare Skate will arrive in Cathedral Gardens from 27 – 31 October 2022.
Then, following the opening week of Scare Skate, the ghoulish spider will go into hibernation and a dazzling seven-metre Christmas tree will take its place and transform the area into the ultimate winter wonderland.
Tickets for Scare Skate are now on sale, and prices start at just £15.50 for adults and £12.50 for children – with discounted family, group bookings and season tickets also available.
A magical new lantern festival with 12 ‘vivid dreamworlds’ will light up Gulliver’s World this winter
A new lantern festival is coming to one of North West’s best-loved theme parks this winter, and it sounds like the most magical family day out.
In what is a first-of-its-kind attraction for the local area, Land of Lights is set to transform Gulliver’s World in Warrington into an immersive winter wonderland with 12 “vivid dreamworlds” full of dozens of gigantic lanterns that are inspired by animals, mega monuments, and wonders of the natural world.
As the sun goes down and the nights draw in, visitors will be able to explore an amazing array of light installations as they walk all around the park.
More than 7,000 individual lanterns and hundreds of thousands of LED lights create the spectacle.
Setting the festive scene and bringing the magic from 11 November, Land of Lights is arriving in Warrington after it was held for the first time ever at Gulliver’s Land down in Milton Keynes last year, and proved to be a smash-hit success that was visited by thousands.
Land of Lights is the award-winning work of the Zigong Lantern Group, and more than 100 people have been involved in the production process.
With each lantern and light installation in the festival having been carefully-handcrafted by skilled artisans, the Warrington attraction has taken more than six months to design, manufacture, and artistically finish.
As well as all of the show-stopping lanterns and light installations to marvel at, visitors will also have the chance to tuck into a feast of festive-themed street food and drinks all throughout the festival too.
Craig Clews, who is the Land of Lights festival manager, said organisers “can’t wait” to welcome the festival to Warrington in a couple of weeks time.
Speaking ahead of the festival’s arrival, Craig said: “Land of Lights is a spectacular, illuminated attraction that will provide people from the local area with a great night out, as well as attract visitors from far and wide to the area to experience the breathtaking moments and awe-inspiring installations bursting with energy and culture.
“The festival proved to be enormously popular in Milton Keynes last year, so we’re confident it’ll wow audiences here too.
“Alongside our usual must-visit Christmas events and activities, it’s definitely going to be an autumn and winter to remember here at Gulliver’s World.”
Land of Lights is arriving at Gulliver’s World in Warrington from 11 November, and will run right through to 25 February 2024 – with tickets now already on sale and prices starting from only £12, so it’s best to get booking early if you want to save a few pennies.