The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 17 – 23 January 2022

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

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 14th January 2022

2022 is here, and January is already flying by now that we’re in full swing.

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.




Manchester City Centre

Monday 17 – 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.


Van Gogh Alive



Monday 17 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.


The Glade of Light Memorial

Manchester City Centre

Monday 17 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.



Turtle Feeding

SEA LIFE Manchester

Monday 17 – Friday 21 January

Credit: SEA LIFE Manchester

Fancy coming face to flipper with magnificent giant green sea turtles as you join them for a lunch date you’ll never forget?

This is your chance to go and feed Ernie and Cammie the green sea turtles, who are SEA LIFE Manchester’s friendliest and hungriest residents. Suitable for people eight and older, the SEA LIFE Manchester ‘Turtle Feeding Experience’ includes priority access into the centre on the day of your choosing, and the 15-minute feed will be with a knowledgeable trained Aquarist to help you enjoy your experience and tell you about Ernie and Cammie’s diet and habitat.

You will then also be able to explore all the other amazing creatures cared for in the centre before and after your feeding experience too.


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


Cancer Revolution: Science, innovation, and hope

Science and Industry Museum

Monday 17 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.



Pasta Making Cookery Class

Food Sorcery

Wednesday 19 January

Credit: Food Sorcery

Didsbury’s very-own cookery school, Food Sorcery, is hosting a cookery workshop that’s dedicated to all things pasta this Wednesday.

During this three-hour class, you can learn everything about how to make Italy’s staple food by hand, from how to mix and knead pasta dough – both beetroot-infused and standard egg pasta – to various different rolling techniques, filling, and shaping, all before the chef will demonstrate some sauces to go with it.

So roll your sleeves up and get ready to mix, knead, bash, squash, and shape the dough into spaghetti, farfalle, ravioli, and so much more.


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


Winter Beer Fest


Friday 21 – Sunday 23 January

GRUB is hosting its very-own seasonal beer festival this weekend, so Manchester beer lovers can sip creations from some of the best local breweries.


The popular event – which was due to take place back in 2021, but sadly had to be postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions newly-introduced at the time – is making its much-anticipated return to the Redbank Project and GRUB says it is “delighted”.

Over the course of the three-day festival, there’ll be plenty of local brews to taste test, with brewery bars courtesy of some of the region’s best – Beatnikz Republic, Blackjack Brewing Co, Rivington Brewing Co, The Runaway Brewery, and Squawk Brewing Co.

You can find out more and grab tickets here.


Manchester Open Exhibition 2022

HOME Manchester


Friday 21 January – 27 March

Credit: HOME Manchester

The Manchester Open is one of the most successful exhibition in HOME’s history.

The first region-wide exhibition of its type to welcome entries from people of any background and level of experience – including established professionals, new and emerging talent, enthusiastic amateurs and first-time artists – HOME’s Gallery walls will be filled with work from 400+ Greater Manchester residents, which have been selected by a panel consisting of art experts and community representatives.

With an amazing 2,271 artwork entries, the judging panel have said they were impressed by the range, quality, differing artistic styles, and inspirational work being created across Greater Manchester.

You can find more information 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.


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.


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 – 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.


Do you know about all the massive gigs and theatre shows happening in Manchester this year?

Ed Sheeran at the Etihad Stadium / Credit: Publicity Picture

While it’s true that the last couple of years have been rough for the theatre and live music industries, there are some massive shows to look forward to in Manchester this year as our city’s cultural scene continues to push forwards with huge festivals, world-renowned theatre, and some of the planet’s biggest musicians paying visits in 2022.

If you’re looking for some key dates to pop in your diary, you can have a read of our 2022 events round-up list here.


Featured Image – GRUB | HOME Manchester