Blake Walsh

23 Best Things to Do in Manchester, NH

  • Published 2023/03/27

Manchester is a center for art and culture, as it is flooded with a plethora of art centers and museums that promote the growth of different cultures and provide an outlet for artistic expression.

The largest city in New Hampshire, Manchester houses the famous Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, which is home to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats Minor League Baseball team and hosts several enticing events.

Nature graces the city with its everlasting presence in the form of its numerous trails, lush green forests, and serene lakes.

Are you interested in finding out what else this charming city has in store for you?

These are the best things to do in Manchester, New Hampshire:

Surround Yourself with Stunning Works at the Currier Museum of Art

Art installation at the entrance of Currier Museum of Art

Wangkun Jia /

Previously known as the Currier Gallery of Art, the Currier Museum of Art was founded in the year 1929.

Today, it is listed on the US National Register of Historic Places.

The judgement of Solomon painting displayed at Currier Museum of Art

Matthias Stom , CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It displays a plethora of American and European works of art in their best state.

The museum went through a series of renovations in 2006 and reopened in 2008.

The Currier Museum of Art hosts the work of some eminent artists, such as Monet, Picasso, Matisse, Wyeth, Calder, O’Keeffe, and more.

Signboard at the entrance of Currier Museum of Art

Wangkun Jia /

It also comprises the Zimmerman House, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

The museum arranges public programs such as family activities, tours, and concerts.

Interior view of the Currier Museum of Art

Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Watch a Baseball Game at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium

Top view of Northeast Delta Dental Stadium

Wangkun Jia /

Northeast Delta Dental Stadium is located along the Merrimack River in the downtown Manchester area.

The stadium was inaugurated in the year 2005 and has the capacity to hold more than 7,000 people at a time.

It also has some special seating arrangements, enough for up to 32 people.

Entrance of Northeast Delta Dental Stadium

Wangkun Jia /

The stadium has been home to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats Minor League Baseball Teams since 2005.

In 2006, the stadium was graced by the presence of Bob Dylan, heightening the charm of the place.

Mowed grasses at the field in Northeast Delta Dental Stadium

Captain-tucker, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Other events are organized here as well, apart from the basketball games.

The hotel, Hilton Garden Inn, provides a panoramic view of the stadium.

Tour the Grand Zimmerman House

Distant view of Zimmerman House

Wangkun Jia /

The Zimmerman House is one of the most fantastic attractions in Manchester.

It is situated on the north side of Manchester, precisely on Heather Street.

The house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the year 1950 for Doctor Isadore and Lucille Zimmerman.

Front view of Zimmerman House

Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Due to its architectural significance, the house is listed on the US National Register of Historic Places.

The house is built around a massive chimney shaped like the letter “L.”

Other notable features include its hanging roof, cypress woodwork, concrete floors, and a number of past elements that are still intact.

Close up of the glass architecture at Zimmerman House

Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Guided tours are offered by the museum authorities, who are in charge of maintaining the Zimmerman house.

Several invaluable pieces of modern art, sculptures, and pottery are stored in this place.

Entrance to Zimmerman House

Wangkun Jia /

Travel Back a Century or Two at the Millyard Museum

The Millyard Museum paints the most accurate picture of Manchester’s culture that existed several centuries ago.

The museum is located on Bedford Street, in the historic area of Amoskeag Millyard, and preserves an 11,000-year-old culture.

Special screenings are shown periodically, but the museum is best known for its exhibit called Woven in Time, depicting the life of Amoskeag Falls’s fishing community.

The place was previously inhabited by Native Americans who were primarily fishermen, but later, it was populated with lumbermen and farmers.

The museum houses the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, which is one of the most famous landmark buildings in Manchester.

The Discovery Gallery is also part of the museum and regularly hosts lectures, events, and workshops for the people.

Grab a Drink at Firefly American Bistro & Bar

Taking a vacation is all about relaxing and eating everything one desires, and Manchester’s Firefly American Bistro & Bar fulfills this criterion.

Managed by Chef David Becker, the restaurant serves a wide array of dishes, from classic burgers to upscale lobsters.

The interior of the restaurant-slash-bar has been tastefully decorated with exposed bricks and high-rise bar stools that exude warmth.

This place is appropriate for both dates and family gatherings.

Enjoy the Art of Skiing Like a Pro

A young man skiing at McIntyre Ski Area

MWiklik /

Opened in the year 1971, McIntyre Ski Area is located adjacent to Derryfield Park.

It offers locals and tourists the opportunity to indulge in some much-needed recreational sports activities.

The slope accommodates both professional skiers and beginners who are starting out in the field.

Apart from skiing, visitors can also take lessons on snowboarding and tubing.

The area is lined with exceptional retail shops and the best cafes that serve mouth-watering delicacies.

Take the Kids to the Fascinating SEE Science Center

SEE Science Center helps people understand and learn about force, electricity, sound, light, and other interesting facts through interactions and hands-on experiments.

It provides a detailed account of scientific discoveries and ongoing pursuits that enrich the minds of the young and the old.

The two-story science center has a chemistry lab and a LEGO Millyard project that consists of three million LEGO bricks.

The science center arranges different interesting exhibits, such as the Robotic Dinosaurs exhibit and the Secret of Circles exhibit.

This is a prominent place to enjoy a day out with the kids.

Catch a Performance at the Historic Palace Theatre

Palace Theatre, Manchester NH

Wangkun Jia /

The Palace Theatre has seen the glorifying days of the past, back when theater used to be the most popular source of entertainment.

This theater is situated on Hanover Street in Manchester and was built in the year 1914.

Presently, it has a place on the US National Register of Historic Places due to its architectural and artistic significance.

The theater is modeled after the New York City’s Palace Theatre.

When it was opened in 1914, the theater had a seating capacity of more than 1,000 people; but since then, the theater underwent a series of renovations and can currently seat more than 800 people at a time.

Jazz shows, Broadway hits, musicals, standup comedies, ballets, and other such shows are regularly performed here by the finest artists.

Popular performers such as Harry Houdini, Bob Hope, and the Marx Brothers graced this theater’s stage with their presence and left their lasting effect.

Gaze at the Serene Massabesic Lake

Tranquil water at Massabesic Lake

Diana Nault /

Massabesic Lake is located in the southern part of New Hampshire and covers an area of 2,500 acres.

The lake’s name is derived from the Native American language and translates to “a place of much water.”

Wooden dock at Massabesic Lake during sunrise

Mark R. Sheehan /

Certain sports activities such as skiing and swimming are not permitted here, as the lake is the community’s primary source of drinking water.

A cute duck walking on the dock at Massabesic Lake

Diana Nault /

However, other activities such as fishing, sailing, and kayaking may be enjoyed here.

A lot of surrounding trails provide a lovely view of the lake.

Nature trail at Massabesic Lake

Jon Bilous /

Visit the L. L. Lee Scouting Museum

Blondin Road is a popular stop for tourists as it houses the L.L. Lee Scouting Museum.

The museum and its library were established in the year 1969, covering an area of 2,500 square feet.

The place showcases the best collectibles and artifacts related to scouting.

It recounts the great scouting history of New Hampshire, countries of the United States, and other countries of the world in great detail so that the present generation is well-acquainted with it.

Some of the priceless and rare objects that are showcased here are Max Silber buckles, several unique scot stamps, a part of a necklace that belonged to the Zulu Chief Dinizulu, and many more.

Apart from the artifacts and collectibles, the museum also houses a massive collection of books, fiction, periodicals, and many more related to scouting activities.

Unleash Your Inner Child at Livingston Park

It is not everywhere that adults can unleash the inner child that rests within them; hence, Livingston Park provides adults with a safe space.

The park is one of the main attractions in Manchester for kids and adults alike.

It is the best place to enjoy the serene weather of New Hampshire as well as its natural surroundings.

Dorrs Pond is surrounded by scenic paths with green bushes, ducks, and other kinds of wildlife.

The park has a loop trail that is a mile long and provides the visitors with a space to walk around or ride a bicycle.

During the summer season, the park gets flooded with kids who frequent the soccer field, running track, and splash pools.

Have a Quiet Moment at the Cathedral of St. Joseph

Exterior of St. Joseph Cathedral

AlexiusHoratius, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located in the downtown area of Manchester, the Cathedral of St. Joseph is popular among both locals and tourists.

The church’s architectural style, with all its colossal stained glasses and marble structures, attracts visitors’ interest.

Interior of Cathedral of St. Joseph

Farragutful, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It was established in the year 1869 to cater to the needs of the Irish emigrants.

Since its establishment, the church has undergone several changes in its structure and decor.

Altar at Cathedral of St. Joseph

Farragutful, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s a place of utmost calm and peace and provides visitors with much-needed solace.

Play a Round or Two at Derryfield Country Club

Right at the heart of the city of Manchester resides an 18-hole golf course that’s perfect for some much-needed family time.

Derryfield Country Club‘s golf course is frequented by both beginners and experts in the game.

The club provides beginners with lessons in golf, which are conducted by professionals.

All family members can take the lessons.

Apart from this, an indoor PGA Tour Simulator is available all year round.

During the summer seasons, the club provides other forms of live entertainment that bring a joyous feeling to visitors.

Moreover, the course is used for sledding purposes in the winter seasons.

Take an Art Class at Studio 550 Art Center

Pottery making at Studio 550 Art Center

Christina Vartanova /

Studio 550 Art Center is located at 550 Elm Street.

This artistic center offers some enticing courses that appeal to both adults and kids alike.

It does not offer typical painting classes but expresses artistic vigor through different mediums, such as clay, glass, and jewelry work.

Lessons are offered to students after school hours and during summer camp.

Meanwhile, adults indulge in acrylic painting, watercolor paintings, pottery, stained glass, paper arts, and many more.

The authorities also arrange several events during holidays.

The tea room present at the art center provides refreshments to visitors and learners both before and after classes.

Take Yourself on a Walking Tour of the City

Night view of Manchester, NH

Sean Pavone /

Discovering every nook and cranny of your destination should always be part of your travel itinerary.

What better way to do this than by taking a walking tour of the historic town of Manchester?

Tours are self-guided and are arranged by the Chamber of Commerce and the Manchester Historic Association.

Street view of Manchester, NH

Wangkun Jia /

There are two distinct tours to select from.

The first is the Millyard tour, which gives the visitors an opportunity to visit the City Hall, the Millyard Museum, Jefferson Mill, and all the landmark spots.

Meanwhile, the other route takes the tourists on a leisure walk through the New Hampshire Institute of Art and the Franco-American Museum.

Entrance of Manchester City Hall

Wangkun Jia /

Learn More about French Culture at the Franco-American Centre

The Franco-American Centre preserves the culture of the French immigrants with utmost care.

The museum educates the present generation about the rich cultural and artistic significance of France and does not limit itself to the glorifying days of the past.

Instead, it proudly showcases the present state of the culture and its changes.

The institute was first established in the year 1990 to pay respect to the French heritage.

Regular art and cultural exhibits are conducted by the museum to promote the French culture.

Have a Delicious Meal at Hanover Street Chophouse

Hanover Street Chophouse is one of the popular eating spots in Manchester.

The club’s interior is furnished with dark wood, perfectly polished silverware, shiny surfaces, damask tablecloths, and leather hands that exude an aura of the past.

The restaurant is managed by the famous chef Stuart Cameron, who is not only in charge of serving delicious meals but also maintains the restaurant’s decorum so that visitors receive only the utmost warmth.

Meals are prepared with local products to support local markets.

The restaurant offers a plethora of cuisines and excels in starters.

The place is perfect for both family gatherings and date nights.

Explore a Fun World at SEE Science Center

Over the past 30 years, SEE Science Center has engaged visitors of all ages in the pursuit of scientific discovery through hands-on demonstrations, engaging programs, and educational exhibits.

SEE Science Center’s exhibits aim to create an environment that fosters informal, hands-on learning opportunities for everyone.

The science museum also has a permanent representation of Manchester’s Millyard circa 1900, known as the LEGO Millyard Project, consisting of over three million LEGO pieces.

When you visit SEE Science Center, you have to try their Moonwalk experience by playing its Gravity Expedition Video game.

You can explore environments on the moon and other planets in the solar system.

SEE Science Center’s gift shop sells items that include building and chemistry kits, books, souvenirs, and slime stuff.

You can freely visit the gift shop when the science center is open.

Charge Up Your Adrenaline and Sense of Adventure at Sky Zone Trampoline Park

Sky Zone Trampoline Park has every kind of trampoline jump experience you could possibly think of.

The numerous trampolines and many other enjoyable features allow you to make the most of your visit.

They offer an augmented reality rock wall and an arcade jump that allow you to experience being a character in a video game.

Other options include the ninja warrior obstacle course, which provides a range of challenging obstacles to help you test your skills.

They also have a get wiped out course to see who lasts the longest, and this one is popular with kids.

In addition to bouncing on trampolines, Sky Zone Trampoline Park offers another exhilarating sport: Ultimate Dodgeball.

Dodgeballs don’t just fly, but fly with enough velocity to make it a highly physical sport.

Players can leap and maneuver to avoid them or tag the other team’s players.

Spend a Game Night with the Family at Yankee Lanes

Yankee Lanes is New Hampshire’s leading bowling center.

It features an updated scoring system with incredible sound and light.

Yankee Lanes is the perfect place for all sorts of activities, for both children and adults.

It’s a clean, family-friendly facility with enough lanes for even the largest groups.

The smaller children even have small ramps for them to use when bowling.

There’s an open mic comedy, great staff, and good food at Yankee Lanes.

With so many great food and drink offerings and a plethora of different entertainment options, it’s very easy to end up spending an entire evening here.

Go for a Stroll Along Arms Park’s Trails

Looking for a better way to appreciate the beauty of Manchester’s natural features?

Head over to Arms Park.

This riverside park boasts a tree-lined pathway that’s part of the Heritage Trail.

It’s a popular spot for some passive sightseeing and water recreation.

As it stretches around the east bank of the Merrimack River, it also offers kayaking and fishing.

Arms Park is a popular community event venue, too.

You can find it sitting along Stark Street and under Bridge Street.

Traverse the Loop Trails at Manchester Cedar Swamp Preserve

Considered the largest conservation area within the city, Manchester Cedar Swamp Preserve is a must-experience for nature explorers.

It spans 640 acres.

The Nature Conservancy in New Hampshire owns and manages this property—one among 30 still-functioning preserves throughout the state.

The remoteness and privacy of the park are only some of the reasons this preserve is a worthy stop for many.

It features a boardwalk and over a mile of walking trails that welcome you to a variety of native tree species.

Spot black gums and rhododendron patches that may come across on your hike.

Manchester Cedar Swamp Preserve is on Country Side Boulevard.

Place Your Winning Bet on a Game at Filotimo Casino & DraftKings Sports Book

Are you a sports fan with an affinity for money games?

Then, you might like Filotimo Casino & DraftKings Sports Book.

This gaming spot specializes in charitable gaming and live sports game viewing.

The center also has gaming kiosks and poker rooms for your ultimate gaming experience.

It also comes with a high-class restaurant.

Want to know a fun fact about this tourist spot?

Its name—Filotimo—is a derivation of a Greek word that means a lot of things, including love for country, family, and society.

And true to this meaning, proceeds of these games go to charities.

Filotimo Casino & DraftKings Sports Book is on South Willow Street.

Learn about Credit Union History at America’s Credit Union Museum

Established in 1908, America’s Credit Union Museum is a modern exploration of credit unions and their history.

More than that, it houses artifacts and documents relating to the role of credit unions in the past and their potential help in the future.

At this site, you get to learn about notable people responsible for the credit unions movement, too.

Sign up for a guided tour around the museum’s several exhibits and displays.

Have an important event coming up?

Make your celebration more interesting by hosting it at the museum!

America’s Credit Union Museum opens its door to the public on Notre Dame Avenue.

Enjoy the Summit Views at Rock Rimmon Park

Rock Rimmon Park is the largest park in Manchester.

Spanning almost 140 acres, it offers the usual park amenities, including sports courts and a playground.

But what makes it a step up from other parks is its hiking trails.

These trails reach a 150-foot summit that opens your perspective of the city below.

You can also view the Uncannonacs and its foothills from atop this mountain peak.

While there, learn about the legend surrounding the Indian girl named Raymond and her fateful tragedy.

Rock Rimmon Park is on Mason Street.

Final Thoughts

The historical city of Manchester is a buzzing urban center and the largest cultural and entertainment hub in New Hampshire.

With so much to do, see, and experience in Manchester, visitors are guaranteed never to be bored.

Add these spectacular destinations to your travel bucket list in order to see what Manchester has to offer.

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