Things to Do In Manchester, NH

by MarissaLana

Looking for things to do during your stay in Manchester, New Hampshire? Then look no further. Manchester is filled with lots of activities for all ages. Let the fun begin!

If you’re visiting Manchester, New Hampshire and looking for things to do, then you’ve come to the right place. The largest city in New Hampshire with a population of over 109,000, Manchester offers a great deal of activities to keep you busy during your stay. The city, often referred to by locals as ManchVegas, has something for everyone. Whether you like shopping, art, sports, food or entertainment, it’s all here in this wonderful city.


Manchester is pretty spread out, but the downtown area is based on Elm Street which has lots to do . As the biggest city in New Hampshire, Manchester is a great place to base yourself when visiting the Granite State. It’s very central and only about a 20 minute drive from Nashua, another large New Hampshire city, and 45 minutes from the lovely city of Portsmouth. If you are staying in New Hampshire a few days, don’t forget to check out my article on how to spend A Day in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Basing yourself at Manchester, you can even visit the city of Boston, which is about an hour (54 miles) south.

Hometown of the famous Adam Sandler, Manchester offers entertainment for all age groups. Downtown Manchester is located on Elm Street and it surrounding streets.  Nightclubs, bars and restaurants are packed among this area and are fun for all ages.  Strange Brew Tavern is a favorite among the locals. A bar that carries over 100 draft beers with flavors such as pumpkin head, banana bread, chocolate and blueberry, you won’t want to miss coming here. It has live entertainment and offers happy hour specials with $3 beers and half off appetizers most days of the week. Other local hangout favorites in the downtown area are JW Hill’s Sports Bar and Grill, Jillian’s and Murphy’s Taproom.

Over 100 Beers to Choose From
Over 100 Beers to Choose From

If you’re looking for other sorts of entertainment, then try seeing a show at the Palace Theater. A non-profit performing arts center, the theater was built in 1914 and is the only one of its kind in the area. With year-round performances by both professionals and youth and teen programs, the theater provides entertainment from comedians to dancers, musicals, hypnotists and much, much more.

If you like to eat, which most of us do, then you’ve chosen a good city to visit. And if you like good old American diners, then even better. Voted one of the top 10 diners in the United States, the Red Diner is a cozy little restaurant where you can be fed waffles and hash browns 24 hours a day. Located just off Elm Street in the downtown area, the diner is an especially popular late-night snack joint after a night out on the town. Just be ready to wait in line as this diner is another favorite among the locals and calling it tiny would be an understatement.  Other good places to eat are Margaritas, Strange Brew Tavern and 900 Degrees which are all located downtown as well.  Go to 900 degrees for delicious, wood fired pizzas, cocktails and live entertainment. The restaurant has a live open blues jam on Sundays where you can get up on stage and join the band.

24 Hour Breakfast
24 Hour Breakfast

Manchester is also a great place to go if you like art. The Currier Museum of Art and the New Hampshire Institute of Art are two great places to see the talented work of many artists. The Currier Museum showcases American and European artwork, sculptures and photographs.  The museum offers tours as well as workshops and classes for all age groups. Admission is even free on Saturday mornings. The New Hampshire Institute of Art is also a great spot to admire students’ work. Located on Amherst Street, the gallery changes displays periodically to offer a wide range of artwork year-round. The museum and gallery are both great places to take a stroll around and admire the beauty of art around us. 

If the weather is nice and you feel like a walk and seeing more of the city, Manchester has a number of parks. The Veteran’s Memorial Park and Stanton Plaza are located just off of Elm Street and are both good for a short walk around. Bronstein and Arms Park are two other places that offer walking areas and are not far from downtown Manchester. 

The great city of Manchester is home of the minor league baseball team the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. A popular sporting event in the area, the team plays its home games at the Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. This stadium is referred to the Fisher Cats stadium to locals and is located in downtown Manchester next to the Hilton Garden Inn. This is a great hotel if you’re looking for a place to stay. You can choose between a view of downtown or the baseball stadium.

Fisher Cats Stadium
Fisher Cats Stadium

If you’re looking for shopping in the area, then you’re in luck. The Mall of New Hampshire is just a five minute drive from downtown Manchester off of South Willow Street. With over 120 stores including Macy’s, Best Buy, Sears and JCPenney, the mall is New Hampshire’s third largest shopping mall. And while you’re there check out the rest of South Willow Street. It’s filled with many more shopping plazas, fast- food joints, bars and restaurants to keep you busy.

Whatever the reason is that brings you to Manchester, the city will surely not disappoint you with all that it has to offer. Hopefully this guide of things to do in Manchester, NH has given you some insight on what to do while you’re in the area and keeps you coming back again and again! 

Video Tour of Manchester, NH

Manchester, NH Checklist

  • Downtown nightclubs, bars and restaurants around Elm Street
  • Strange Brew Tavern
  • Palace Theater
  • Red Diner
  • The Currier Museum of Art
  • The New Hampshire Institute of Art
  • The Veteran’s Memorial Park and Stanton Plaza
  • Bronstein and Arms Park
  • New Hampshire Fisher Cats at the Northeast Delta Dental Stadium
  • The Mall of New Hampshire

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Updated: 09/27/2012, MarissaLana
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dustytoes on 09/28/2012

My daughter used to live in Manchester and would walk to see the Fisher Cats games.

Mike_W on 09/28/2012

I love Strange Brew! Great article - I dad no idea there was so much to do in Manchester.

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