With the arrival of Dr Who, Sheffield has had its fair share of alien activity this month, and now the city will be invaded by monsters, aliens, robots, ghouls and superheroes as Out of This World returns on Sunday.

The festival, now in its fifth year, which celebrates all things out of the ordinary, will take over the city centre on Sunday 28 October.

Now a much-anticipated date on Sheffield’s events calendar, the festival attracts thousands of visitors to experience the very best of sci-fi, magic and Halloween.

This years’ line up looks set to provide another eye-popping experience, with the best of the strange, spooky, stupendous and supernatural all on show. There will be plenty of surprises in store, including comic book characters, movie-themed cars, dragon and dinosaur puppets, live music, fairground rides and even a giant dancing lobster.

Attendees are encouraged to dress up for the occasion and in the past their efforts have not been disappointing, with many costumes looking as convincing as the attractions.

Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure at Sheffield City Council said: “Out of this World is a really unique festival providing the very best attractions in the world of sci-fi, magic and Halloween and has become a firm favourite within the comic-con community.

“There aren’t many events of this scale that are free to attend and our city centre provides the perfect location for this magical transformation. The event, which attracts many thousands of people each year, is suitable for people of all ages and transports the whole family to a fun-filled day out.

“Whether you’ll be in awe of sci-fi characters, amazed by illusionists or spooked in our Halloween zone, it’s time to get those costumes ready, and with Dr Who landing in Sheffield earlier this month, I expect we’ll be seeing a lot of bobs and braces among this year’s crowds.”

The event will once again be divided into three zones on the themes of sci-fi, magic and Halloween.

The fast growing sci-fi, comic, gaming and fantasy zone, spread across the Winter Garden, Town Hall, Tudor Square, Millennium Square and the Peace Gardens will be home to arcade and board games, comic book artists and displays.

In this popular zone people can encounter their favourite heroes and villains including Terminator, Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, Batman, The Joker, a giant Stay Puft and of course the Marvel Superheroes. And for the first time Star Wars fans can go over to the dark side as they climb on to the Emperor’s throne and meet a giant sized Jabba the Hutt.

As well as character encounters, visitors can get hold of the latest figures, comic-con or gaming must-haves. Children will be able to meet cartoon and film favourites and spend time with Bakewell the Dragon as he sings silly songs and tells his dragon tales, add to this a mermaid floating on a sea sphere and A La Carte the giant Lobster for a whole load of memorable moments.

A programme of mystifying illusion and magic featuring some of the UK’s best magicians and illusionists will be on display in Town Hall Square.

Acts include Dr Phantasma and his unusual and strange cast, Miss Elastina and the Pain-proof man performing incredible and thrilling sideshow stunts and tricks with fire, swords, chainsaws and more, plus the Tent of Mystery and Professor Jon’s Flea Circus.

Aspiring young witches and wizards can learn a few tricks in magic workshops that will be held throughout the day inside the Town Hall.

MoorSheffield bring the Halloween zone to life, set up for younger children and families to get into the spooky spirit with just the right amount of scare. Mini ghosts and ghouls can enjoy freaky face painting, parachute games, monster mask making, apple bobbing, dance shows and the classic caged mummy. And this year keep on the lookout for the dinosaurs, with the baby Triceratops and Brontosaurus – and if you’re brave enough you may want to stoke the T-Rex.

Barkers Pool, Tudor Square and Fargate will provide all the fun of the fair plus music and dance entertainment.

Out Of This World, which is being run in conjunction with partners including MoorSheffield, Farrah’s Funfairs and Heart Yorkshire, will run free family friendly activities from 10:30am to 5:30pm on Sunday 28 October.