What's On

The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 11 – 17 March 2024

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 7th March 2024

March is definitely in full swing across the region now, isn’t it?

After what has been an unseasonably cold and wet few months to kick-off 2024, the first signs of spring have finally started to show themselves, as the temperatures have risen and the sun has been shining over the past week or so.

And to make things even better, there’s absolutely no shortage of exciting events and activities in the Greater Manchester social calendar to be getting involved with – but if you’re finding it a bit tricky to pick what to do though, not to worry, as we’ve chosen a few of the best bits for another edition of our ‘what’s on‘ guide.

Here’s some of our recommendations.



Pretty Woman – The Musical

Palace Theatre Manchester

Monday 11 – Sunday 17 March


Pretty Woman The Musical is here for its last week in Manchester this week.

Having taken over the iconic Palace Theatre Manchester stage on an extended run right through to 17 March, the smash-hit musical production is based on the beloved 1990 romantic comedy film of the same name starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.

It’s described as being a “a sensational show guaranteed to lift your spirits and light up your heart”, and there’s still a few tickets on sale.


Find out more and grab last-minute tickets here.


Manchester Irish Festival 2024

Manchester City Centre

Monday 11 – Sunday 17 March

Manchester’s massive Irish Festival has returned to the city centre.


The biggest of its kind in the whole of Europe, Manchester Irish Festival is known and loved for putting on 10 whole days of Irish revelry in the heart of the city centre every year – with something for everyone of all ages to get involved with.

Having kicked-off last Friday, and running right through to St Patrick’s Day on Sunday 17 March, you can expect a jam-packed lineup of 200 events spanning the whole city this year.

Find out more here.



First Street


A brand new Japanese restaurant has just opened in Manchester city centre last weekend.

With stunning interiors and affordable prices, Hakkapo has started welcoming its first diners to the bright and airy restaurant down on First Street.

Hakkapo is keeping things much more affordable than a lot of other Japanese restaurants that have opened in Manchester lately, and on the menu, you’ll find delicious dishes including ramen, donburi, bao and Japanese small plates, all at a similar price point to Wagamama’s.

Many of the ramens begin with a traditional tonkotsu base, which is then jazzed up with ingredients like black garlic ketchup, chashu pork, smoked pork belly, and slow-cooked bbq pork.

There’s also a ramen made with clear chicken broth, braised chicken thigh, and naruto fish cake.


Find out more about Hakkapo here.


Fairfield Social Club

Green Quarter

Monday 11 March – onwards

Fairfield Social Club has now reopened in Manchester once again.


After a successful winter pop-up at the end of last year, and a soft launch via Isit Kitchen’s Supper Club the week prior, Fairfield Social Club – which is from the same family as beloved street food and social hub, GRUB – is now back up and running at its brand-new venue on Irk Street in the heart of Manchester’s Green Quarter.

A special lineup of events has already been announced to take place throughout the month – with quiz nights, the final Six Nations screenings, and St Patrick’s Day celebrations on the agenda this week.

Find out more here.


Another Hand x Belzan

Deansgate Mews


Tuesday 12 March

Two of the north’s best restaurants will be collaborating for a very special dinner on Tuesday.

For one night only, Belzan’s Chef Patron Sam Grainger and Head Chef Mark Dickey will join Another Hand’s much loved Chef Patrons Julian Pizer and Max Yorke in the kitchen, serving up a six course menu.

It follows on from last year’s collaboration, which saw Another Hand pop across to Liverpool for the night.

And it’s a chance to see the calibre of cooking coming out of Belzan before the same team opens Medlock Canteen here in Manchester this month.


Manchester Open Exhibition 2024


Monday 11 March – 28 April

Manchester Open Exhibition is back for the third time in our city.

Taking place every two years down at HOME, the Open Exhibition is the biggest celebration of Greater Manchester’s creative talent, and sees HOME’s Gallery walls filled with 480 artworks created by the people of our region that have been specially-selected by a panel consisting of art experts and community representatives.

Open to all, the Exhibition brings together artwork including paintings, prints, photography, sculpture, ceramics, digital and mixed media, video, audio, and so much more. 


Find out more here.


Did you know that a new ‘hobby house’ has opened up in the heart of Manchester city centre?

It’s called ‘Altogether Otherwise’.

Having recently opened down at Manchester’s growing neighbourhood, NOMA, the innovative new concept is is setting out to provide the Greater Manchester public with a welcome relief from all the demands and fast-paced culture of city centre life that we’ve, sadly, all become so used to.

It’s been dubbed a “place to pursue creativity” and a chance to explore and get stuck into some new activities, all while bumping into like-minded people in an ever-changing gathering space. 


There’s an exciting lineup of workshops and events that are free to attend.

Find out more here.


Power UP

Science and Industry Museum

Monday 11 March – onwards


Did you know there’s a huge gaming event currently happening in Manchester?

With more than 160 consoles and hundreds of games to play, Power UP is back for more in 2024 down at the Science and Industry Museum, and it’s taking ticket-holders on a journey through five decades of gaming every weekend.

There’s everything from retro arcade games, to state-of-the-art virtual reality, and so much more to get stuck into, and each ticket includes unlimited play all day.

Find out more about the exhibition here.



Manchester Film Festival 2024

Great Northern

Friday 15 – Sunday 24 March

Manchester Film Festival is back for its 10th year this week, and it’s all sounding set to be bigger and better than ever before.

The biggest annual film event in our city, Manchester Film Festival is known and loved for shining a cultural spotlight on the talents and creativity of independent filmmakers.

At this year’s highly-anticipated festival, there’s nine days of incredible films sourced from all over the world, as well as right here in the North West, to watch – including shorts, features, premieres, Q&As, red carpet glamour, and so much more.


Find out more about Manchester Film Festival 2024 here.


Did you see that Chester Zoo is giving away 35,000 FREE tickets to children this year?

The UK’s largest charity zoo is on a mission to help nature to “survive and thrive”, and so, in a bid to do just that, has announced that it’s giving away tens of thousands of tickets to local schools in Greater Manchester and beyond for completely free of charge.

The free tickets are to help inspire a whole new generation of young conservationists.

Chester Zoo‘s free ticket scheme has been running since 2017, and has already seen more than 100,000 children get to experience all the wonders the zoo has to offer.

Find out more here.


The Great British Spring Clean 2024

Greater Manchester

Friday 15 – 31 March

Greater Manchester is being urged to take part in a huge UK-wide ‘spring clean’.

Residents across the region are being encouraged to “roll up their sleeves” and join in with the annual UK-wide ‘Great British Spring Clean’ organised by Keep Britain Tidy, and supported by Manchester City Council, that’s kicking off from this Friday and running right through to the end of the month.

The Great British Spring Clean is calling on locals to get stuck-in by helping to tidy up local parks, pathways, and other green spaces.

Find out more about how to join in this month here.


Red Rose Diner

East Lancashire Railway

Friday 15 March – onwards

Greater Manchester’s iconic heritage railway is hosting one of the most unique fine dining experiences in the region this week.

Running on selected Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 1 March right through to November this year, East Lancashire Railway’s Red Rose Diners are described as being “the ultimate first class foodie experience”, as they start with a glass of fizz and stretch over an almost three-hour steam train journey through the Irwell Valley.

The experience includes a four-course dinner with complimentary sparkling wine, followed by tea or coffee and after-dinner chocolates.

Find out more and book here.


Did you hear that six cult Manchester restaurants have recently scooped coveted Deliveroo awards?

The results of the 2024 Deliveroo Restaurant Awards are in, and six of our city’s most-popular and best-loved eateries have been announced as claiming coveted prizes, after the food delivery service’s loyal customers voted with their hearts – and stomachs – for their favourite local establishments. 

Slap & Pickle, Double Zero Pizzeria, and Mughli are among the local restaurants in Manchester that fought off competitors across the North and Midlands to take a title.

Then, a further five restaurants were recognised in the region’s best cuisine awards – with winners including Burgerism for ‘Best Burger & American’, and Unagi Street Food & Sushi for ‘Best Japanese’.

A total of 60 honours were up for grabs in this year’s Awards.

So, if you’re wondering where to order a takeaway from this weekend, then find out which locals won big in the 2024 Deliveroo Restaurant Awards here.


Stockport Vinyl Record Fair

The Guildhall

Sunday 17 March

Stockport Vinyl Record Fair is back once again this weekend.

Taking place inside the Greater Manchester town’s Guildhall several times a year, the Stockport Vinyl Record Fair is a celebration of all things vinyl, and is known for being a fantastic event for music fans, but more-specifically, music fans.

You’ll want to get yourself down to Stockport Guildhall this Sunday from 10am – 4pm if you want to see tonnes of traders with vinyl records and CDs in abundance.

Find out more here.


Seconds Sunday Roast Carvery

Freight Island

Sunday 17 March – onwards

Freight Island’s most famous Sunday feast, Seconds Carvery, is back to bring the good people of Manchester some proper winter-warming comfort food.

Diners can now dive into this modern take on a classic carvery every Sunday.

Running between 12pm and 6pm, you book yourself a half-hour slot to see the carvery chef on the terrace, where you choose a main from roast topside of Highland beef, marmalade glazed gammon joint, roast turkey crown, or roast squash and wild mushroom wellington.

But the stand-out feature of Seconds has to be the bottomless trimmings – including proper Yorkshire puddings, garlic and rosemary roast potatoes, buttered mash, broccoli, glazed carrots, petit pois, and 48-hour gravy. 

Find out more and book your carvery slot here.


Featured Image – Fairfield Social Club | Manchester Irish Festival | Freight Island