Originally built in 1914 as a stage for vaudeville acts, the Palace Theatre (80 Hanover St., 603/668-5588, www.palacetheatre.org ) later became a movie theater, and now hosts performances of every stripe—from professional Broadway hits to local youth productions and classical concerts.
The most addictive thing at Black Brimmer American Bar & Grill (1087 Elm St., 603/669-5523, www.blackbrimmer.com , 5–10 p.m. Tue.–Sat.) is neither the shepherd’s pie nor the fish and chips (though both hit the spot): It’s the fun music performed almost every night by local bands.
Rack ’em up and watch a live band or two over beer at Jillian’s (50 Phillippe Cote St., 603/626-7636, http://manchester.jilliansbilliards.com ), which has ten pool tables and serves a late-night menu of pizza and snacks.
The historic Palace Theater hosts the Manchester Jazz & Blues Festival (Hanover St., 603/668-5588, www.palacetheatre.org , June), featuring performers on an outdoor stage downtown.
For more than 130 years, the little town of Deerfield has staged the Deerfield Fair (603/463-7421, www.deerfieldfair.com , late Sept.), a classic New England agricultural fair with animal and exhibits and harvest competitions.