You might be wondering what there could possibly be to do in Rochester. After all, it’s only known for…wait for it…that place on the weather forecast that gets a ton of snow, right? Wrong! Just wait until you see all the things to do in Rochester, NY with kids or without in every season.
Thanks to Visit Rochester, our sponsor for this travel highlight, I had the opportunity to take a trip to Rochester, NY with a group of travel bloggers from around the world (literally).
Rochester, NY is a hop and a skip away from Buffalo, NY so you can easily add a few days on to your visit to see Niagara Falls while you’re in the area and pop down to Le Roy for a couple hours to visit the JELL-O Museum and take a quick self-guided driving tour of places integral to the Underground Railroad in the area.
You can take the time to figure out what things to do in Rochester with the kids but why don’t I make it easy for you and share some highlights that will give your family days of entertainment?
10 Things to Do in Rochester, NY With Kids
From buildings full of history to outdoor adventures, this is just a taste of the fun things you can do in Rochester, NY with kids. Pull out your family travel planner and get planning.
Historical Things to Do in Rochester, NY with Kids
Sam Patch Erie Canal Cruise (seasonal) – This is a fabulous way to sneak in a little learning with fun! Book your trip down the the Erie Canal and see firsthand how the locks work to get boat traffic through the area. While you enjoy the view with your family, your guide will share some history about how it works and where the boat gets its name. You might even learn a bit about the real Sam Patch. Name sound familiar at all?
Genesee Country Village and Museum (seasonal – open most of the year but closed a couple months in the winter with the rest of winter being limited hours) – This living history museum is one of the largest in the country and your family will be drawn into an era bygone as you venture through the village. Perhaps the school teacher will wave from the one room schoolhouse. Or the farmer will show you how they prepare hay for winter or show you the oxen and sheep. Whatever you do, you’ll want to visit the big white house near the church to see what the cook is whipping up. (She was making some preserves when we passed through.)
Museum Things to Do in Rochester, NY with Kids
Strong Museum of Play (year-round) – Not just for kids! The Strong Museum of Play not only has fun for kids, but fun for kids from 1-99+. Take a trip through a story book, let the kids go shopping in a kid-sized Wegmans with a real checkout (complete with receipt), visit the toy museum that will take every adult back to respective childhoods, play a little pinball or some arcade games, and finish the visit off with a carousel ride and meal in the cafe where you can choose from a variety of quick-serve/fast food options.
George Eastman Museum (year-round) – The world’s oldest photography museum is housed in George Eastman’s home. The museum itself is fairly kid-friendly though there are definitely places they will need to mind you carefully, like when you stroll through his home. I suggest making a game of “I Spy” to keep kids entertained and learning things. You can also visit just a part of the museum where art and equipment are safely on the wall or in enclosed displays.
National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House (year-round) – The museum is housed in the home Susan B. Anthony lived in and was infamously arrested in for voting in 1872 when it was still illegal to vote. It went on to become the headquarters for the National American Suffrage Association while she was president. You’ll walk in the doors and instantly be transported to an era gone by.
Outdoor Things to Do in Rochester, NY with Kids
Rochester Pedal Tours and Cycle Boats (year-round but weather dependent) – There are options for all ages and types of groups. From adult only pedal parties to family friendly outings, you will find the perfect tour for your family.
Visit an apple orchard, stop in at a winery, or go pumpkin picking (seasonal) – Wickham Farms is more than an orchard! The farm has a ton of activities, including a wagon ride, apple cannon, bounce pillow, mini golf, and so many more kid-friendly activities (including a corn maze in autumn). You can also stop in at one of the many Finger Lakes wineries like Casa Larga where you can not only taste wine but check out the vineyard where the grapes are grown. I especially recommend relaxing on the deck overlooking the vineyard on a lovely summer or autumn afternoon.
Ontario Beach Park – Take the kids down to the beach for some fun on the playground or in the sand in the summer and ride the carousel if it’s in operation. Also make sure you cross the street and check out Abbott’s Frozen Custard. It’s a local favorite.
Seneca Park Zoo – If your family loves zoos, this is a great but manageable visit. They are in the middle of updating to give the animals more room and the updates they’ve done so far are really nice. I love that they recently opened a tram so you can walk through the zoo then catch a tram back to the entrance.
If you need more fun things to do in Rochester, NY with your kids make sure you check out the Visit Rochester site. But before you go, don’t forget to pin this post so you have it handy.