Things to do in Manchester this weekend (18-20 November) including Christmas light switch ons

There are lots of fun events in Greater Manchester this weekend – from Christmas light switch-ons to the Northern Vegan Festival.

Grimmfest – Monsters and Movies

Odeon Great Northern, 18-20 November

Horror fans and film buffs, this one is not to be missed. Grimmfest, together with the BFI, will be presenting a whole weekend of talks and screenings celebrating some of cinema’s most famous monsters. The line-up of speakers includes Inside No.9’s Reece Shearsmith, who will be introducing his favourite monster film The Thing, as well as actress Alice Krige (Ghost Story, Star Trek: First Contact), who will be chatting to She Will director Charlotte Colbert about the film and the portrayal of women and witches in cinema. Emmerdale actor-turned-horror director Dominic Brunt will also be there introducing his new film Wolf Manor, plus a bunch of other genre directors and actors.

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    Festival passes can be purchased via the Grimmfest website.

    Actor Reece Shearsmith (League of Gentlemen, Inside No.9) will be at Grimmfest in Manchester this weekend introducing a screening of The Thing. Credit: Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

    Greater Manchester Christmas light switch-ons

    Various dates and locations below

    Manchester may have decided to cancel its Christmas light switch-on in the city for 2022, but there are plenty of areas in Greater Manchester that are still celebrating the start of the festive season in style.

    In Ashton, the festivities begin at 3pm on 19 November with the festive window trail. At 5pm performers will take to the stage, followed by a the Northern Lights Christmas Lantern Parade at 5:30pm, with the big switch-on at 6:30pm. More information can be found on the Tameside council website – including a map of where everything will be taking place.

    Oldham are also holding a fairytale-themed light switch-on 19 November at 5:30pm near the Old Town Hall. More information can be found on the Oldham council website.

    Rochdale’s switch-on will be taking place on 20 November at the Riverside retail complex this year while the town hall is closed for refurbishment. There will be a series of light displays and live street theatre from 3pm before the countdown at 4pm. Festivities will continue until 5pm. More information can be found on the Rochdale council website.

    Christmas light switch-ons will be taking place in Ashton, Rochdale and Oldham this weekend. Credit: Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

    More than Existing: A Depiction of Trans Love

    Feel Good Club, 6:30-9pm, Saturday 19 November

    Manchester Pride are presenting a new photo project by Chlo Southworth and Jaz Warzynska this Saturday evening at Feel Good Club in the Northern Quarter. The exhibition is a celebration of trans “life, love and connections,” and features intimate portraits and stories of trans people. There will also be performances from Jaii Andrew, mandla, Laurie and more. Tickets are free but booking is necessary via the Manchester Pride website.

    Rare Finds Flea Market

    Depot Mayfield, Sunday 20 November

    If you’re looking for vintage pieces for your home or wardrobe, head down to the Rare Finds Flea Market at Depot Mayfield this Sunday, 12-5pm. Not all the stalls will have a card machine, so make sure you have some cash on you, just in case. More information can be found on the Rare Finds website, where you will also find information on how to apply for your own stall, or the event page on Eventbrite.

    Northern Vegan Festival

    Bowler’s Exhibition Centre, Sunday 20 November

    There will be over 100 stalls selling and showcasing a whole range of vegan products, including food, skincare, beauty and clothes. You can also learn more about ethical, animal-friendly and eco lifestyles, as well as vegan recipes, nutritional advice and cooking ideas.

    Standard entry is £5.60, including booking fee, and under 16s get in for free. There is also a VIP package for £16.54, which includes a goody bag packed full of products, samples, discounts and offers. Tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite.