What's On

The best things to do in Manchester this week: 5th – 11th October

Your go-to guide for what's on, what's happening and what there is to do in the city this week.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 2nd October 2020
Wikimedia Commons

October has arrived and there’s plenty to be getting up to in Manchester.

If you’re stuck for something to do, then this is your go-to guide for what’s on and what’s happening in the city of Manchester and beyond this week.

Some of the events we’re going to mention here are completely free, others will set you back a few pounds and most will need to be booked in advance, but all are COVID-secure and socially-distanced in order to keep you as safe as possible during these trying times.

Whatever you fancy doing though, there’s certainly no shortage of choice in our region.

Here’s some of the things you could be getting up to this week:






Wednesday 7th – Sunday 11th October

Manchester’s very own annual horror film festival – GRIMMFEST: Manchester’s International Festival of Fantastic Films – is becoming a virtual event for the very first time and will be taking place online from Wednesday to Sunday this week.

Horror films fans have can watch 20 feature films, two short film programmes, two special events – including world-first film premieres – and dozens of supporting events all from the comfort of their own home.


You can find more information about GRIMMFEST here.


Pumpkin Lanterns

Manchester City Centre

1st October – 1st November

CityCo Pumpkins In Trees In St Annes Square

It's beginning to look a lot like… Halloween in the city! ??

Posted by The Manc on Tuesday, 29 September 2020

If you’re looking to get in the mood for Halloween early, but keep things a little on the cheaper side this week, then you need look no further than up above in the city centre as the annual decorative pumpkin lanterns are back once again and they’re here all month.


Going on a little tour to see the lanterns in the trees in St Ann’s Square, Market Street and beyond is the perfect activity for all the family, easy to plan and great for pictures.

And it’s FREE too.

You can find more information here.


SEA LIFE After Hours with the Mermaids

Barton Square, Trafford Centre


Friday 9th October

SEA LIFE Manchester

There’ll be some very special visitors at SEA LIFE Manchester this Friday.

You are invited to explore the full Barton Square attraction after hours in this limited, intimate evening session and you’ll also get a rare chance to marvel at the real life mermaids in their natural habitat as they join SEA LIFE Manchester’s resident Sea Turtles – Cammy & Ernie – in the ocean tank.

These evening sessions are running from 4pm – 8pm, with last admission at 7pm.

Tickets are priced at £21.95 for adults and £16.95 for children. You can books yours and find more information about social distancing / COVID-safe precautions here.



Headstock Festival x Nodding Dog Comedy Night

Escape to Freight Island

Tuesday 6th October

Escape to Freight Island

Music and mental wellbeing festival, Headstock, has teamed up with Nodding Dog Comedy to bring a night of stand-up comedy to Piccadilly on Tuesday.

10 comedians – including Live at the Apollo and Britain’s Got Talent stars – will take the stage for the exclusive event at Escape To Freight Island and funds raised from ticket money will go towards Headstock’s partners, which include mental health support organisation Manchester Mind and music charity Help Musicians.


Tickets must be booked in advance and will set you back £10 per person.

You can books yours and find more information about social distancing / COVID-safe precautions here.


Park N Party presents Scare City

Event City, Trafford

Friday 9th, Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th October


This immersive drive-in cinema event – organised by Park N Party – sees terrifying performers swarming on unsuspecting viewers’ during each evening of car park entertainment at Event City in Trafford.

Horror flicks for all film fans will be showing throughout the month of October.

From the comfort of your own car, you can watch Annabelle Comes Home on Friday 9th October, The Witches, Coco and Halloween (2018) on Saturday 10th October, and Hotel Transylvania and The Grudge on Sunday 11th October.

Tickets are priced at £35 per vehicle.

Food and drink is also available to purchase on site, and will be served and distributed in compliance with COVID-19 safety precautions.


You can reserve your spot at Scare City online now via Eventbrite.


Roxy Ball Room

Withy Grove

2nd October – onwards

Roxy Ballroom Has Come To Manchester Arndale

Birdcage looks very different nowadays… Introducing Roxy Ballroom! The games, booze and grub venue has just opened a second location on the Withy Grove side of the Arndale ⚡?

Posted by The Manc on Thursday, 1 October 2020

A brand new Roxy Ballroom has just opened up in Manchester city centre.


Taking over the old 17,000sq ft Birdcage building on Withy Grove, Roxy Ball Room has half a dozen bowling lanes, beer pong tables, shuffleboard, and arcade machines have all been installed, as well as a 12-hole ‘crazy pool’ game on a mezzanine level, and has a wide range of booze, cocktails and American-style food available.

Bookings must be made in advance for households or support bubbles only, with Roxy operation 3pm-10pm during the week and 12pm-10pm at the weekend.

Players can order food and drink using a QR code on each gaming table.

You can book your slot and find more information about social distancing / COVID-safe precautions here.



KBOM – Sem Fundo Sundays


Sunday 11th October

KBOM Bar & Kitchen – based at award-winning independent food, drink and retail destination HATCH on Oxford Road – merges the vibrant flavours of Brazil, with the traditional soul food of Portugal and hosts a very special ‘Sem Fundo’ – otherwise known as bottomless’ brunch – on Sundays.

It includes a starter, main and complimentary drinks during your 90 pre-booked slot, and all of this comes for only £22.95 per person too.

You can book your table for KBOM’s Sem Fundo ‘Bottomless’ Sundays here.

More information about HATCH and the social distancing / COVID-safe precautions can be found here.