Don’t let the dropping leaves and darker evenings lull you into an early period of hibernation – there’s still plenty to do around the iQ cities this autumn. From one-off cultural events to Halloween-tinged tours and movie nights, your evenings and weekends will be set to ‘busy’ long before the Christmas party season kicks in.
Here are our top picks for a fun-filled fall near you.
Halloween season is the ideal time uncover some new, erm, haunts around the city. The Natural History Museum is really getting into the spirit of things with their Halloween movie screenings in association with Luna Cinema. Where else can you watch Ghostbusters under the suspended skeleton of a blue whale? (Clue: nowhere). Tickets also include admission to the Life in the Dark exhibition, where you’ll get to know all sorts of creatures and their nocturnal habits. “To the bat cave!”
Just north of the capital, the Warner Bros Studio Tour provides enchanting Harry Potter experiences all year round, and this autumn they’re hosting a series of special events that fans will love. ‘Dark Arts’ sees the Great Hall festooned with grinning pumpkins, while Hogwarts After Dark gives serious fans an after-hours introduction to wizard school and an atmospheric trip to Diagon Alley. Guess that makes it a Potter-y class.
Our Alice House residents won’t have to miss out an evening of magic and the macabre either, because Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum is opening its Spellbound exhibition for an evening of witchcraft and wonder this October. It’s all part of the museum’s LiveFriday series, when the city centre museum comes alive for the weekend with some special cultural events with an interactive edge. You can even dress up as a wizard, if you like (for this one, anyway).
If you’re a Twerton Mill resident who’s more into their movies than monsters, you’ll want to be checking out FilmBath this November. Dedicated to seeking out intriguing and thought-provoking cinematic moments (as well as a few trusty classics), the annual festival promises documentaries, shorts and previews, as well as queer and F-rated films – a classification introduced by FilmBath to promote and champion female-led cinema, since adopted by IMDb and the Raindance Film Festival, among others.
Not to be outdone, Leeds hosts the Leeds International Film Festival during the first two weeks of November. One of the highlights of the calendar – for horror fans, at least – will be the Day of the Dead, headlined by the supernatural Suspiria starring Tilda Swinton. This festival is immediately followed by another, from 16th November – the Compass Festival brings live art happenings to the city, including The Demolition Project, where you get to be a Leeds city planner, and animal justice in Four Legs Good – examining how society and the law treats animals, complete with live court hearings.
If you’ve recently arrived at Student Quarter in Salford, or one of our Manchester sites, you may not have discovered the Salford Museum & Art Gallery yet – but as it’s right by the university, you will probably have spotted it. This is a great time to visit, as the Royal Academy Takeover runs through until February 2019, showcasing lesser-known works of Royal Academy alumni, including local legend L.S. Lowry, of Salford Quays gallery fame.
Returning to the city centre on Sunday 28th October, the Hockley Hustle brings live music, art, food and entertainment to the streets of Hockley, just 5 minutes’ walk from iQ Exchange. With more than 300 acts performing across 30 venues, you get everything from funk and jazz to classical and indie – and this epic event supports a host of local charities too, so everyone wins. They’ll be dancin’, dancin’ in the streets…
All you Elgin Place residents are in for an innovative Halloween treat, as Glasglow sees the city’s Botanic Gardens transformed by incredible lighting, sound and special effects straight out of the Disney and Spielberg playbooks. Suitable for all ages, this imaginative spectacle runs from 27th Oct until 11th Nov, and really shouldn’t be missed. There’s hot drinks and marshmallows too, which is nice at this time of year, isn’t it?
While Glasgow does a family-friendly All Hallows’ Eve, the Scottish capital is taking a somewhat, er, different route. This no-holds-barred, after dark tour is strictly for adults, telling chilling tales of murderers and torturers in the Blair Street Underground Vaults during the run-up to Halloween and – eek – on the night itself. ‘Please don’t drink alcohol beforehand’, implores the website. Actually, scrap that one…
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