Events for November – sounds surreal doesn’t it? Summer is now a long way away and things are starting to feel wintry. All the more reason to wrap and enjoy the warm hug of events and activities Manchester has to offer.

This weekend marks the official Manchester Christmas Light Switch on, and you can watch it from the ultimate vantage point of the King Street Townhouse’s 6th floor South terrace, with this unique experience. There’s plenty more to celebrate, too. Cocktails in the City, the UK’s leading cocktail festival, kicks off on Friday and carries on into Saturday – so raise a glass (or several) and get involved.

As this weekend is the first after Halloween, there are also a number of happenings with a spooky theme. A Day of the Dead Immersive Feast is coming to the Corn Exchange restaurant Wahaca on Friday evening – a supper-club with a difference. Hosted by Thomasina Miers, this will be a 5-course experience inspired by Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos (‘Day of the Dead’) celebrations. Grab a ticket online. 

Also on the spooky theme, there’s an intriguing city centre walking tour ‘Manchester dark, Manchester light’ inspired by Rosie Garland’s Manchester-based novel The Night Brother. It starts out at the Northern Quarter’s Craft and Design Centre on Saturday, led by Rosie and local guide Anne Beswick, with tickets available online. Or catch a piece of dance-theatre inspired by Prokofiev’s much-loved Peter And The Wolf but instead called The Wolf and Peter as it comes to the Lowry from Friday.

And there’s even more to feast your eyes on…

Cocktails in the City

Three to see this weekend: Christmas lights, cocktail delights and creepy sights I Love Manchester

Cocktails in the City is a two-day festival celebrating creative tipple combinations of all kinds – bringing together a range of the city’s best cocktail bars together under one roof in a big pop-up installation at New Century Hall on Friday and Saturday. This year it’s bigger than ever, split over two floors with a ballroom upstairs playing swing jazz. New bars involved for 2018 include Manahatta, Flight Club, Tast, Fika, School For Scandal and The Anthologist, and another new addition is the Tasting Rooms experience, curated by Other highlights include Science & Industry bringing a 1920s apothecary and a beautiful botanical garden from Harvey Nichols. A £12 entry ticket per evening includes one cocktail and a cocktail booklet, with cocktails then £6.50 each all night from any of the participating bars.


Festival of The Dead

Three to see this weekend: Christmas lights, cocktail delights and creepy sights I Love Manchester

On the edge of Manchester, a massive Festival of The Dead is taking place on Friday at Bowlers Exhibition Centre from 10pm onwards. At this exciting and immersive experience there will be sensational circus acts, a light show, carnival processions, giant skeletons and even a 15ft tall vulture circling the crowd. With added pinatas, confetti, professional skull painting and of course plenty of tunes, this is set to be an enormous Festival of the Dead party like no other. Tickets available online.


The Manchester Christmas Light Switch On

Three to see this weekend: Christmas lights, cocktail delights and creepy sights I Love Manchester
Photo: Mark Waugh

It’s time! The Manchester Christmas Light Switch On takes place this Saturday in Albert Square from 7.30pm onwards. There will be performances from the likes of Jonas Blue, Max George (formerly of The Wanted), the stars of much-loved musical Wicked and many more. It’s set to be a whole evening of entertainment, opened by Manchester Show Choir and The Dance Academy, free for all to attend and watch. Jonas Blue will be pushing the big button to turn on the lights and start a 10-minute firework display. Prepare to be dazzled.


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