What's On

The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 10 – 16 January 2022

Who said January was quiet month? There's so much happening in our region this week.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 7th January 2022

2022 is here, and the new year is finally getting underway.

Once the hustle and bustle of December’s festivities have died down, January often tends to be a much quieter month that gives us the chance to reset and recharge for the year ahead. But although it may be a quieter month, that doesn’t mean is has to be a boring one – especially not in Greater Manchester.

So we’ve cherry-picked a few of the best things happening across the region this week to put together another fresh edition of our ‘what’s on’ guide for the city of Manchester and beyond.

Some of the events we’re going to mention here are completely free – perfect for that post-Christmas bank balance – while others will set you back a few pounds, and many will need to be booked in advance.

But plenty are still taking COVID-safety measures to give you peace of mind though.


Here’s our top picks.



Van Gogh Alive


Monday 10 January – 27 February

Over 100,000 people have been to visit the Van Gogh Alive experience since it arrived at MediaCity UK a couple of months back.


And it’s now extended its Salford stay right through until 27 February.

Van Gogh Alive takes people on a trip through the periods of Van Gogh’s life that defined him as an artist and showcases 3,000 images, including some of his most iconic works like Starry Night and Sunflowers, and lesser-known paintings inspired by his love of Japanese woodprints. The exhibition is home to a life-sized walk-in representation of Van Gogh’s ‘Bedroom in Arles’ painting, a ‘Sunflower selfie room’ – a 360° mirrored space complete with hundreds of sunflowers, and so much more

Tickets are priced at £23.50 for adults and £16.50 for children, with concessions and school group discounts available. Visitors to the exhibition will have the opportunity to make a donation to The Christie charity either when purchasing tickets, or while at the exhibition.

You can find out more here.




Manchester City Centre

Monday 10 – 31 January

Manchester is one of the best places in the country to eat out if you’re trying to go vegan – be that for Veganuary, or any other time of the year.

The city has an absolute slew of dedicated vegan restaurants, serving up everything ranging from ‘dirty’ plant-based fast food to sit-down gastropub and fine dining-style restaurants, giving those exploring a plant-powered diet a real boost when it comes to eating out. But beyond that, you can even trust that most restaurants in the city – even if they’re not designed for vegans – will have one or two suitable dishes on their menu.

Veganuary 2022 could be a more perfect time to find out what Manchester’s plant-based foodie scene is all about.


Check out our list of the best places to find vegan food in Manchester here.


Cancer Revolution: Science, innovation, and hope

Science and Industry Museum

Monday 10 January – onwards

A world-first free exhibition that’s set to explore the revolution in science that is transforming cancer care has opened at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester.


The Science Museum Group has partnered with expert partner Cancer Research UK for the curation of the new exhibition at what is a key moment in time when one in two of us will be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime, but more of us than ever before are living longer and better with the disease.

Cancer Revolution: Science, innovation, and hope is the first “major object-rich exhibition” to reveal the past, present and future of how cancer is prevented, detected and treated.  

Through never-before seen objects and stories, cutting edge treatment and research, reflection, new artist commissions and installations, film, photography, interactive exhibits and a breadth of personal stories, the museum says the exhibition will present the stories of people affected by cancer and those who study and treat it.

You can find more information about the exhibition here.



The Glade of Light Memorial

Manchester City Centre

Monday 10 January – onwards

Have you seen that the memorial for the 22 people who died in the Manchester Arena terror attack has now finally opened to the public?

The Glade of Light has been created close to the Manchester Cathedral as a living memorial.

The peaceful garden space is centred around a Hawthorn tree, which will burst into white blooms every year at around the time of the anniversary in May. A white marble ‘halo’ is the memorial’s centrepiece, engraved with the names of the 22 people who lost their lives in the attack on 22 May 2017.


The families of the victims have even been able to place memory capsules filled with mementos and messages inside the halo too.

You can find out more about visiting the Glade of Light Memorial here.


Snorkel with Sharks

SEA LIFE Manchester

Tuesday 11 January

Credit: SEA LIFE Manchester

Fancy trying something new in 2022? Time to conquer your fears?

SEA LIFE Manchester has launched a new snorkel cage experience that’s letting people get closer than ever have before to more than 1,000 creatures of the deep at the Trafford Centre-based marine life aquarium.

Snorkel with Sharks is a one-hour surface snorkelling adventure.

Suitable for swimmers age 10+, the session includes a full briefing, introduction to the incredible creatures you can expect to see, and 20 minutes snorkelling in the purpose-built shark cage. 

You can find more information and book your tickets here.



GRUB Food Fair and Plant Powered Sundays

Cheetham Hill

Friday 14 – Sunday 16 January

2022 may be a new year, but two of the most popular foodie favourite events are back once again at at Manchester’s largest street food fair GRUB – which is currently based at the Red Bank Project just outside of the city centre in Cheetham Hill.

On Friday and Saturday, the GRUB Food Fair this week will see the likes of Rise, San San, Soka, and Paradiso Authentic Italian serve a wide range of mouthwatering delights for you to try, while on Sunday, whether you’re plant based, participating in Veganuary, or just curious, there’ll be handful of the finest vegan food traders there for Plant Powered Sundays to show you what it’s all about.


You can find more information here.


Coffee Lovers Class

Food Sorcery

Sunday 16 January

Didsbury’s very-own cookery school, Food Sorcery, is hosting a special class where you can learn some fun facts and even a little bit of science about coffee.


During this three-hour session that’s suitable for all abilities, you’ll learn the differences in techniques used to make the perfect coffee, find out what’ll work best for you at home and how to use all the kit that you bought and have tucked away in the back of the cupboard.

There’ll be plenty of opportunities to practise your skills and even try a little latte art to impress your friends, too.

You can find more information, and book your place here.


Looking to keep your pennies in your pocket this January?

Despite many of our Christmas parties and plans getting cancelled, December was still pretty expensive for a lot of us, but if you’re also looking at your post-festivities bank balance and panicking that you’ll have to spend January in hibernation, then think again.


Greater Manchester is great at delivering amazing things to do that are completely free of charge.

Reddish Vale / Credit: Geograph

From walks, to cultural fixes, feeding the region’s farm animals, and so much more, there’s loads you can do without spending a penny.

You can read our list of the best free things to do in Greater Manchester here.


Need more of a reason to get excited about what’s in store for 2022?

2021 may not have exactly gone to plan, but our buzzing region is looking forward to the year ahead with some seriously exciting things on the horizon, and Marketing Manchester – the organisation that incorporates our tourism board and the official website visitmanchester.com – has once again pulled together a list of things to get excited about in the year ahead.


The round-up list includes everything from outdoor experiences and cultural developments, to hospitality openings, events, and so much more.

You can read the list of 22 things to look forward to in Greater Manchester in 2022 here.


Fancy making the most of all the January deals, discounts, and offers in Manchester’s cafes, bars, and restaurants?

January is typically a time when many vow to change their eating habits.

But even the most committed dieter should be tempted by these Manchester restaurant deals, discounts and offers.

Whether you are starting a new diet, ditching alcohol, or trying out Veganuary, that’s no reason to stay at home – not when you’ve got January dining (and drinking) offers floating around like this.

From vegan restaurants running their 50% off deals right into February, to some top Manchester restaurants offering huge deals on food AND drink, plus half-price burgers, burritos, kebabs and more, keep reading to discover the best January restaurant deals to take advantage of in 2022.

You can find out more about what’s on offer here.


Keen to challenge yourself in 2022?

Fancy setting some new fitness goals? Reckon you’re up for a 10K, or even a Half Marathon? It doesn’t have to be running, though – perhaps you’d prefer to tackle something else entirely?

A lot of us will already have our New Year’s resolutions picked out and lined up, but if you’re really up for a test this year, then did you know that one of Manchester’s most iconic charities is offering an ideal incentive to get going by giving The Manc’s readers and followers an exclusive opportunity to get £25-worth of entry fees to any sponsored event refunded if they choose to commit to raising some worthy funds in its name.

Credit: Great Manchester Run

We Love MCR Charity wants to help ambitious Mancunians achieve their goals.

You can find out more here.


Featured Image – Van Gogh Alive | Doner Summer