What's On

The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 12 – 18 February 2024

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 9th February 2024

This might be one of the busiest weeks of 2024 so far.

Sure, it’s not like Greater Manchester social calendar hasn’t already had a wide range of activities to get stuck into since the new year arrived, but this week, we’ve got both Valentine’s Day and Pancake Day to celebrate, and it’s even half term in some of the region’s boroughs too, as well as there being lots of other exciting events.

But if you’re finding it a bit tricky to pick what to do, not to worry, as we’ve chosen a few of the best bits for another edition of our ‘what’s on‘ guide this week.

Here’s some of our recommendations.



Six Nations 2024

Greater Manchester

Monday 12 February – onwards


It’s that time once again… the Six Nations is back.

With the international rugby tournament having now officially kicked-off, we thought it would be only right to put together a list of the very best places in Greater Manchester to head on down to and catch a game.

After all, we don’t want you scrambling around to find places showing the action, we just want you to sit back and enjoy the games.


Read our round-up of the best places to watch the Six Nations here.


Manchester Open Exhibition 2024


Monday 12 February – 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.


Hamilton: The Story of Tonight

Kimpton Clocktower Hotel


Monday 12 – Thursday 29 February

Kimpton Clocktower Hotel is celebrating Manchester hosting the multi award-winning cultural phenomenon Hamilton for the very first time with a photography exhibition showcasing moments both on and off stage.

Open for free to the general public until the end of February, Hamilton: The Story of Tonight offers a glimpse into the journey of the musical that captured the imaginations of audiences in our city.

20 photographs taken by Hamilton’s production photographer, Danny Kaan, are currently on show.

Find out more about the new exhibition here.



Did you know there’s currently 15,000 free cinema tickets up for grabs this month?

It’s all part of Escapes – a new project supported by the British Film Institute (BFI) and National Lottery funding that’s giving everyone the opportunity to “enjoy the big screen experience” and “discover independent cinema”.

The thousands of tickets are now available across the UK for completely free of charge, and there’s a handful of Greater Manchester cinemas taking part.

So whether you’re someone who prioritises a trip to the cinema, someone who treasures a visit but only on a special occasion, or someone who’s just keen to discover more, there’s a free ticket to see brand-new wrestling biopic film, The Iron Claw, with your name on it

Find out more, and claim your free ticket here.



The Pie Festival 2024

The Black Friar Salford

Monday 12 – Wednesday 28 February

Back by popular demand, The Black Friar’s ‘Pie Festival’ has returned for 2024.

There’s nothing that sounds more inviting on a cold evening than a lovely warming pie, right? So when we heard that The Black Friar’s now-annual Pie Festival was making a 2024 comeback, we have no shame in admitting we did a little dance.


Now in its third edition, the Salford restaurant has brought back the parade of meat and gravy, sweet and savoury, and all things pie and pastry-encrusted – with something for everyone on the menu.

Best of all, not only are there some enticing flavours on offer, but they’re also only £10 each.

Find out more here.


Power UP

Science and Industry Museum


Monday 12 February – 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.



Welly Walk – A Family Trail

Dunham Massey

Monday 12 – Sunday 18 February

Welly Walk – A Family Trail / Credit: National Trust

The National Trust is encouraging Greater Manchester families to “brush off your best boots and wring out your waterproofs” to join in with a ‘Welly Walk’ around the gardens at the beautiful Dunham Massey this half term.

You’ll get to spot colourful displays, get stuck into playful installations, spot some resident deers, and see the first bulbs peeking out of the winter soil as you walk around, all before you sit down to enjoy a hot drink in the restaurant or café when your legs get tired.


Find out more, and book your ‘Welly Walk’ timeslot here.


Fancy scranning some of the city’s finest pancakes this week?

Well, considering it’s Pancake Day this Tuesday, there couldn’t be a better excuse to.

Considering all you need is water, flour and an egg or two, you wouldn’t think there could be so much variety in pancakes in Manchester, would you? But there’s so many different styles to choose from.

From sweet to savoury, miniature to fat, and thin to fluffy, no matter what pancake floats your boat, the city of Manchester is here to deliver… you just need to know where to look. So with Pancake Day finally here this week, we’ve broken down some of our favourites below to help you get your pancake fix.


Read our round-up of where to find the best pancake places in Manchester here.


In need of last-minute Valentine’s Day plans? Wondering where the most romantic restaurants and bars in Manchester are?

It’s Valentine’s Day this week, and Manchester is gearing up to welcome couples wanting to celebrate the international day of love in style.

With so many great restaurants, bars, and date spots in the city centre, if you’re looking to take your other half out, then you are quite literally spoilt for choice, so we thought we’d help make things a little bit easier by recommending some of our favourite popular date night spots to help get you started.

If you’re looking to spend a romantic evening celebrating the best of Manchester’s hospitality scene, then we’ve rounded up some of the city’s most romantic bars and restaurants here.


Need some date inspiration? We picked five of the best date ideas here.


Valentine’s Night

East Lancashire Railway

Friday 16 & Saturday 17 February

East Lancashire Railway’s special ‘Valentine’s Night’ luxury dining experiences are back once again by popular demand this weekend.


Lovebirds can hop on-board a vintage steam train and enjoy a four-course meal while riding through the picturesque Greater Manchester countryside as the sun sets.

Part of ELR’s ongoing – and massively-popular – ‘Dining with Distinction’ series, which runs all throughout the year, these Valentine’s Night luxury dining experiences are promising to provide couples with an “elegant” and “atmospheric” evening as they travel through the Irwell Valley and raise a toast to each other to celebrate their love.

Find out more and book your last-minute tickets here.


Party For The People

Manchester Museum

Sunday 18 February

Manchester Museum will be celebrating the anniversary of its impressive £15 million makeover with a free birthday party this Sunday, and it all sounds pretty nostalgic.

Taking place down at the Oxford Road attraction from 10am all the way through to 5pm, all of the museum’s spaces will be transformed into a ‘party for the people’ – with a gigantic game of pass the parcel, craft workshops where you can make your own party hats, and a good old-fashioned round of musical dinosaur statues, overseen by Stan the T-Rex.

The event will be completely free of charge, and you can find out more here.


Seconds Sunday Roast Carvery

Freight Island

Sunday 18 February – 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 – National Trust | Hampton & Vouis | HOME