Art Culture Manchester Social To-Do

What’s on in October?

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As the leaves start to change and the nights draw closer, October brings with it a bunch of events and activities to keep you entertained throughout the month. Whether you’re a postgrad or a fresher, this guide is your go-to for discovering the most exciting events in Manchester this October. From pumpkin patches, gigs and shows to a range of Black History Month events, we’ve got you covered for what’s happening throughout the month. Get ready to make the most of this autumnal month and create unforgettable memories with friends and fellow students!


If the start of semester is feeling full on, taking time for self-care is a great way to slow things down. The Wellbeing Choir gives students a chance to come together and build connections through music. Choirmaster Dan Mcdwyer is very experienced and will bring to the choir great songs and teach harmonies, even if you can’t sing a note you will be pleasantly surprised how wonderful it all sounds. If you’re seeking some tranquility after the chaos of Welcome Week, Monday Yoga with Emily is a rejuvenating session that blends movement and mindfulness to restore your energy for the week ahead. Wednesday Yoga with Kacea offers another opportunity to find balance and serenity midweek and for those seeking peace in the midst of life’s hustle, Thursday Meditation with Ridhi provides a calm oasis to centre your mind.

Arts and Culture

There’s a whole host of arts and cultural events to keep you busy this October. If you’re an art lover, the Student Art Pass gives you access to exclusive discounts and some of the city’s best galleries and exhibitions. Discover exceptional craftsmanship at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair, showcasing the best of contemporary craft and design. For film enthusiasts, the Bolton International Film Festival promises a cinematic journey and isn’t one to be missed.

For theatre lovers, there’s a packed schedule for you! See the whimsical world of Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece at Alice in Wonderland, that will transport you to the fantasy world of Wonderland. Dive into the depths of storytelling with The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, brought to life on stage. Immerse yourself in the timeless tale of Romeo and Juliet at the Royal Exchange Theatre for only £7. I’m Muslamic, Don’t Panik is a compelling one-man show that challenges stereotypes and misconceptions. Celebrate Manchester Rape Crisis’ 45th anniversary with a night of Vignettes’ Presented by HER Productions, Vignettes is an evening of six short plays by local female and non-binary writers. And don’t forget to explore your creative side with Ergon Theatre Workshops at Manchester Museum. Ergon theatre are looking for students to help them bring the Living Worlds exhibition alive across two short workshops. Email them if you’re interested in learning about creating climate theatre, and have your work to be part of the show itself.

For science enthusiasts, the Science and Industry Museum After Hours event promises an evening of exploration and discovery, away from the usual hubbub or foodies should catch Comfort Eating with Grace Dent, a live event featuring insightful discussions about the culinary world.

Black History Month

The theme for this Black History Month is ‘Saluting our Sisters’, so here’s a round up of events that celebrate Black women and explore and honour Black history. Decolonising My Body with Afua Hirsch, hosted by Jackie Kay will be a powerful discussion that delves into the complex issues of identity, race, and decolonisation as part of Manchester Literary Festival. The University of Manchester hosts Founders and Funders: Slavery and the Building of a University, shedding light on the historical ties between higher education and the transatlantic slave trade. In addition, Manchester Museum have a full schedule for BHM and are hosting Black History Month writing workshops and film screenings.

Portrait of a Poet promises a captivating live performance that pays tribute to the profound impact of black poets and their contributions to literature and culture and if you’re a fan of literary luminaries, don’t miss An Evening with Zadie Smith at Contact, where the celebrated author will discuss her new historical fiction novel The Fraud. While some of these events reflect back on the past, they also inspire important conversations about the present and future of Black communities, we will be sharing more Black History Month content on our socials throughout the month.

Gigs, Show and Nights Out

Manchester’s gig scene is packed this month, with a wide range of gigs, shows, and nightlife options. Immerse yourself in the cinematic sounds of The Cinematic Orchestra, for a contemporary spin on classical music. Indie enthusiasts won’t want to miss Neon Waltz, a band that’s sure to get you moving, or the soulful tunes of Elli Ingram at Band on the Wall. For fans of pop music, 5 Seconds of Summer will take the stage at the AO Arena, while Powfu brings his unique blend of hip-hop to the city. Indulge in the melodic talents of Lauren Mayberry at Gorilla for a chance to see the CHVRCHES singer perform solo for the first time. Plus, right here on campus, you’ll find a showcase of Manchester’s best student artists performing at Alive! Festival: Reborn, taking over the whole Students’ Union.

If you’re a student looking for a night out, the Student Night at the Trafford Centre is the place to be for great deals and good times. Unleash your inner superstar at Hip-Hop Karaoke. Experience the rhythms of Brazil at the Beat of Brazil event, or enjoy a night of drag and entertainment with Baga Chipz Presents: The Material Girl. With such a diverse lineup of gigs, shows, and nights out, Manchester is the place to be for entertainment this October.


Whether you’re seeking an escape into the vibrant hues of autumn, a leisurely stroll through Chorlton’s enchanting nature reserves, or a hands-on experience with gardening, these events promise to reconnect you with the great outdoors and provide a refreshing break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. 

Escape into Autumn at the National Trust promises an enchanting journey through the season’s most captivating landscapes for free with their Autumn pass. Meanwhile, the Chorlton Nature Reserves Walk offers a serene opportunity to explore the hidden gems of Chorlton’s untouched wilderness, allowing you to reconnect with the natural world just outside of the city. For those with a penchant for nurturing greenery, the Weekly Gardening Session at Manchester Students’ Union provides a hands-on experience where you can cultivate your gardening skills, fostering both plants and a sense of community. 


Get ready to embrace the spooky season in Manchester as Halloween approaches! From family-friendly pumpkin festivals like Cockfields Pumpkin Festival and Tatton Park’s Pumpkin Patch at the Farm, where you can pick your perfect pumpkin, to spine-tingling events like the Scream Stab-a-Thon and the Halloween Festival at Reddish Vale Farm, there’s something for all spooky season lovers. 

Immerse yourself in the enchanting and eerie ambiance of the Lakeside Light Trail or explore the botanical mysteries Halloween at Bridgewater, organised by the RHS. For those who can’t travel further out so easily, don’t miss Halloween in the City, where Manchester comes alive with a myriad of events.

Additionally, hear about the queer love for horror films with the It Came from the Closet Book event or explore the depths of the female gothic in an intriguing online talk, Ann Radcliffe and the Female Gothic: A Genius of No Common Stamp. Whether you’re seeking thrills, family fun, or a dose of literary spookiness, Manchester has a bewitching array of Halloween events to make this October truly unforgettable.