Looking for things to do in Rochester NY with Kids? We’ve got you covered with our Top 6 Things to do in Rochester NY, whether you are heading there for a quick road trip or a overnight stop on your way to NYC.
Six Amazing Things to Do in Rochester with Kids
This summer, Ella and I grabbed the grandparents and took them on a weekend road trip to Rochester, NY.
It was a first for all of us – and it definitely won’t be a last. I only wish we had planned to be in the city for longer because I seriously underestimated how awesome everything we set out to visit would be! The Strong Museum of Play alone is easily a two-day experience, and something that we are planning to return to visit again soon!
While in Rochester we stayed at the Rochester Doubletree which was perfectly located close to the highway and all of the attractions that we had planned to visit. (Plus there was a Sonic across the street so Ella was ecstatic.) The lobby and pool area were gorgeous and well-maintained.
On our next trip to Rochester, we plan to experience more of the foodie scene but I can tell you we all enjoyed our meals at at Dinosaur BarBque.
Real pit BBQ, live Blues, and a fun atmosphere – and would you look at those plates?! Every single thing was amazing, especially the melt-in-your-mouth brisket. Rochester is making a strong claim to be the northern capitol for BBQ!
I have to lead off this post with our favorite thing to do in Rochester NY – visiting the Strong Museum of Play!
We have been to many (many) Children’s Museums and the Strong is hands-down my daughter’s favorite! It was incredible – a full-sized play grocery store with working cash registers, an entire Sesame Street section, a mini theatre for children to put on their own productions, a butterfly room, a fairytale land, giant etch-a-sketches… we spent an entire day exploring the museum and we could have easily spent two or three days without getting bored!
There are plenty of places to eat on site and the museum was interesting enough for adults, too.
We honestly will be making the trip back to Rochester just for the Strong Museum – it’s that awesome.
Rochester Museum and Science Centre
We also really enjoyed our time visiting the Rochester Museum & Science Centre, which houses 200 hands-on exhibits and spectacular science shows.
We only allotted one afternoon to visit this museum and I wish we had planned to spend more time here, because there was so much that we didn’t get to explore.
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We sought out Wickham Farms so we could do their “Sunflower Spectacular” – over 85,000 sunflowers of 15 different varieties covering a five-acre farm.
This family farm was amazing and another thing I did not allot enough time for! We just thought it would be some pretty sights and maybe a hay ride – I couldn’t have been more wrong!
They offered a five-acre corn maze, hayrides, apple picking, apple cannons (an awesome way to get rid of all those apples that fall on the ground and are unusable), and an amazing play farm area including a giant bouncy pillow, batting cages, mini putt golf and a mini train ride.
(Click through to our Instagram picture to see nine more pictures of all the fun we got up to at Wickham Farms!)
Take A Hike
There are so many wonderful places to hike or take a walk with the family, but we headed to Mendon Ponds Park to check out the Devil’s Bathtub trail.
This was a scenic, easy hike for families, with gorgeous views of the pond and lots of forest land to explore. Ella and her papa had fun building a den for other kids to discover, while I just enjoyed the serenity and all the gorgeous picture opportunities.
Other local hiking spots include the Genesee Riverway Trail at Genesee Valley Park.
Seneca Park Zoo
Seneca Park Zoo is an international leader in conservation efforts, and while a lot of the zoo was under renovations while we visited, Ella loved getting up close and personal with the African lions and elephants, and the water park area was great for cooling down on a hot summer day!
Tons of shade and places to grab affordable snacks and drinks made this zoo a winner in my books. I personally loved the air-conditioned underwater viewing area for the seals and penguins.
Sunken Gardens at Warner Castle
You know if there’s a castle, Ella and I are going to find it!
This gorgeous wedding location keeps it’s gardens and grounds open to the public when they are not in use for a ceremony. It was a gorgeous area to explore and the surrounding park is perfect for family picnic. If your child has read The Secret Garden or loves exploring castle-like grounds, this is a fun stop during your Rochester trip.
Pin this post for your future Rochester Family Vacation planning:
We had a blast in Rochester, New York and I highly recommend it as a fun family-friendly destination. Super close to Niagara, Toronto, or even NYC, you won’t regret making a family road trip to Rochester!