Our top tips for making the most of the week ahead,  with brilliant things to do acrcoss  the whole of  Greater Manchester…  

Van Gogh Exhibition

Image Credit: Richard Blake

1. Enjoy Manchester’s inaugural Corridor of Light event

If your childhood memories are full of autumn trips to Blackpool for the annual Illuminations, this brand-new event closer to home on Manchester’s Oxford Road should be top of your list of things to do this weekend.  Running 6-10pm from Thursday 21 to Saturday 23 October, Corridor of Light will see a plethora of visual arts commissions, installations and live entertainment come to life along the one square mile south of Manchester Central Library. Why not tie a visit in with food and drink at Hatch or a performance at RNCM or the newly reopened Contact theatre?

2. Don’t miss SPOOKFEST at The Trafford Centre

Spooky season is well and truly upon us, so get yourself down to The Trafford Centre between now and the end of the month for SPOOKFEST, a spooky spectacle of hair-raising horrors, tricks and lots of tasty treats. Creep into the haunted haybale maze, take a ride on the ghastly ghost train and tuck into devilishly delicious dishes from independent brands including Epic Pizza, Old School Dogs and Cha Cha Cha. SPOOKFEST is situated outside The Orient, opposite The Great Hall entrance, and is open every day from until 31 October. As part of SPOOKFEST, there are other activities taking place across the Centre, including spine-chilling show dances over Halloween weekend, as well as creepy cocktails and exclusive treats to try at some of the centre’s restaurants. 

3. Get involved in The National Lottery’s Days Out promotion

Fancy saving some cash on half term activities with the kids, or days out as a couple this autumn? Of course you do. And thanks to a new National Lottery promotion, players who purchase a Lotto ticket this October will be able to redeem a £25 voucher against entry tickets to hundreds of tourist attractions and experiences across the UK including Greater Manchester highlights such as the brand-new RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford, LEGOLAND Discovery Centre and SEA LIFE at The Trafford Centre, and foodie walks around Manchester city centre and Ancoats with Scranchester Tours. To find out more, claim your voucher and see all which attractions and experiences are taking part, click here.

4. Gogh see the legendary artist’s work beautifully brought to life

Launching on Friday 22 October, Van Gogh Alive is ‘the world’s most visited immersive, multi-sensory experience’ that will exhibit the life and work of the seminal Dutch artist. Following a smash-hit run in Kensington Gardens as London’s must-see cultural event of the summer, visitors will be treated to a truly world-class cultural experience in a purpose-built 17,500ft2 venue on the Piazza, in the heart of MediaCityUK. The event runs until January 2022 so there is plenty of time to catch it this autumn, though advance booking is recommended. 

5. Check out the Greater Manchester Independents

Throughout the pandemic, Greater Manchester’s artists, creatives and cultural organisations, working with Marketing Manchester, have, and continue to, come together to create new work both live and online. As the world begins to reopen, Manchester Independents aims to support, celebrate and cast a spotlight on that work in a five month-long growing roster of projects, events, performances, exhibitions - a snapshot of the creativity of the city region’s independent artists. There’s plenty to see and explore, including several events this week. To see all events and to book, click here.

New opening of the week: The Midland Hotel 

Not quite the usual ‘new opening’ given that The Midland Hotel is Manchester’s oldest hotel and has been operating consistently since 1903; however, after a multi-million-pound refurbishment, Manchester’s ‘grande dame’ hotel has officially relaunched following its transformation. It has always drawn in the Afternoon Tea crowd and is known for having one of the best tiers in the city; in recent years it has attracted foodies, keen to sample Adam Reid’s innovative tasting menu; and it is, of course popular with visiting conference delegates as well as leisure visitors. Now the hotel has a beautiful destination bar, decked out in a timeless style, perfect for drinks after a shopping spree or before a theatre show, as well as the newly launched Mount Street Dining Room and Bar for a casual lunch or dinner.

+ Book now: Halloween in the City

Mark the arrival of Halloween next week with a weekend of monstrously good events. A massive monster party hits the city’s streets – with monsters around every corner. There’s a giant rooftop monster invasion, Walk the Plank’s monster parade, a mad scientist’s exploded castle and pop-up lab, fairground fun at the Carnival of Monsters, spooky specials from Cbeebies and CBBC, and a monstrous photo trail across the city centre. Most events are free and do not require booking, however, others such as Scare Skate and Flight Club’s Spooky Brunch Social are ticketed and should be booked in advance. See all the events here.


Van Gogh Alive
Van Gogh Alive Exhibition

Venture into the legendary artist’s world with a beautifully curated, stunningly detailed, immersive experience hosted within a spectacular 17,500ft2  purpose-built venue in MediaCityUK, Salford

The Midland Hotel
The Midland hotel in Manchester

Grade II listed Edwardian building exuding elegance and style.

Halloween in the City
Manchester Halloween monster outside Royal Exchange Theatre

Look up, look out, beware! Halloween in the City is back this October.



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