What's On

Creepy carnival, monster parade and more planned for Halloween in the City in Manchester

The monsters are back.

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 12th October 2022

The city centre is poised and ready for Halloween, with orange pumpkin lanterns already adorning the trees around town and a definite autumnal chill in the air. 

As usual, Halloween in the City will be turning our streets into a spooktacular celebration for the occasion, with a weekend of shockingly good family-friendly events on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 October.

It’s all organised by Manchester Business Improvement District (BID) and will include some ever-popular events as well as some brand new attractions, with families heartily encouraged to don their best fancy dress.

Giant inflatable monsters will be back looming and creeping over buildings across the city centre, transforming our landmarks with tentacles and googly eyes and pointy teeth. 

This year it’ll be bigger than ever before, with 14 monsters to spot around town on the trail between 25 and 31 October. 


Spooky creatures will be on the move too, in the Monsters Rock! Party Procession, which will weave through Manchester Arndale and Market Street. 

The roaming performance comes from Walk the Plank, the same creative minds behind the Manchester Day Parade. 


Expect stilt walkers, monster puppets and a five-piece band mingling with shoppers on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 October, with performances at 12pm, 2pm and 3pm.

Halloween in the City. Credit: Supplied

A Creepy Carnival, made up of a carousel, helter skelter, street food and circus performers, is going to sprawl across New Cathedral Street. 

Plus, Studiotech and Treacle Studio have discovered a mystical machine made by Queen Elizabeth I’s court scientist and magician – and Dr Dee’s Portal to Another World provides a gateway for all the friendly monsters who arrive in Manchester for Halloween in the City. 


This interactive light display will invite Mancs to see if the portal works in reverse and could lead to the world where the monsters roam. 

Fancy dress is, naturally, encouraged all weekend but particularly for the Fancy Dress Challenge, where Team Trick and Team Treat battle it out to be crowned the spookiest beasties in Manchester. 

There’ll be dance offs, screaming competitions, spooky challenges and a costume catwalk to earn points and win special spot prizes, plus VIP experiences for those taking part. 

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Rock on with your mini monster at the Monsters Rock! Music Festival with live bands and spooky DJs all weekend, like Fat Boy Slime, Grave Haslam, and the Blessed Medusa, as well as air guitar contests, zombie aerobics, and a glow-in-the-dark disco, across three stages. 

A massive spooky ice rink is being built in Cathedral Gardens, where skaters will whizz past a huge monster and the ice will be brought to life with Halloween-inspired music and lighting. 


The Scare Skate rink will open on Friday 21 October and stay in place until Halloween itself.

The full line-up is below, along with times and locations for all the other Halloween in the City events.

Halloween in the City 2022 events 

MCR Monsters – 25 to 31 October – Across the city centre

Monsters Rock! Music Festival – 29 and 30 October, 10am-8pm Saturday; 10am-5pm Sunday – Exchange Square, New Cathedral Street, St Ann’s Square and Market Street

Fancy Dress Challenge: Team Trick vs Team Treat – 29 and 30 October, 10am-4pm – Various locations


Monsters Rock! Party Procession – 29 to 30 October, 12pm, 2pm, 3pm – Manchester Arndale amd Market Street

Creepy Carnival – 29 and 30 October, 10am-8pm Saturday; 10am-5pm Sunday – New Cathedral Street

Dr Dee’s Portal to Another World – 28 to 30 October, 4pm-8pm Friday; 10am-8pm Saturday, 10am-5pm Sunday – St Ann’s Square, Manchester

Skate Manchester Halloween – 21 to 31 October, 11am-8pm – Cathedral Gardens

Featured image: Supplied