Rochester New York is a fantastic kid-friendly destination. There are so many things to do in Rochester New York with Kids. This city in New York State offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy. From museums to outdoor fun, history learning, and more this is a great destination for families. There are so many things to do with kids in Rochester that the kids will love. The whole family will make great memories on a trip to Rochester.
Things to do in Rochester New York With Kids
We took a 4-day trip to Rochester New York and it is a trip that the whole family enjoyed. We started our trip by driving from the Poconos in Pennsylvania to Rochester New York. It is about 4.5 hours of drive time for us. We left in the morning and arrived midday to get started on our adventure of exploring Rochester New York.
After we finished our fun on our last day in Rochester, we headed up to Niagra Falls NY. Rochester is only 1 hour and 20 minutes away from Niagra Falls. It was the perfect add-on to our trip to upstate New York. It was a quick overnight trip for us. We went to see Niagra Falls night, then see the falls in the morning, and go on the Maid of the Mist.
When planning for Things to do in Rochester New York with Kids my goal was to make sure everyone in my family had a great time. The kids ages on this trip were 4, 11, 14 and 16.
If you are looking for a Things to do in Rochester New York with Kids Itinerary I have included ours. You will find it at the bottom of the list of Things to do in Rochester New York with Kids.
Strong National Museum of Play
Visiting the Strong Museum of Play is a must when you are visiting Rochester with kids. The museum is interactive and is focused on play and childhood. It has amazing hands-on exhibits including Sesame Street, an indoor butterfly garden, a giant kaleidoscope, a child-sized Wegmand, a carousel, and more!
The Strong National Museum of Play is a one-of-a-kind museum dedicated to the world of play and childhood. This kid-focused museum is recognized as the largest and most comprehensive museum of its kind in the United States. With its interactive exhibits, engaging displays, and a vast collection of toys, board games, dolls, games, and artifacts, the museum offers a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages.
The museum’s exhibits cover a wide range of topics and themes, providing a nostalgic journey for adults and an exciting adventure for children. Visitors can explore exhibits such as Sesame Street, where they can meet beloved characters like Big Bird and Elmo, and learn about the show’s history and impact. The National Toy Hall of Fame showcases iconic toys like Barbie, Monopoly, and LEGO, celebrating their cultural significance and enduring popularity.
Seneca Park Zoo
Located within Seneca Park, the zoo provides a wonderful opportunity to explore and observe a diverse array of animal species. The zoo is dedicated to conservation, education, and the well-being of its animal residents.
At Seneca Park Zoo, visitors can encounter animals from around the world in naturalistic habitats designed to mimic their native environments. The zoo is home to over 90 species, including elephants, lions, zebras, giraffes, gorillas, red pandas, otters, wolves, and a variety of birds and reptiles.
One of the highlights of the zoo is the Animals of the Savanna exhibit, where you can observe majestic African animals such as elephants, zebras, and white rhinos. The Rocky Coasts exhibit features playful sea lions and a stunning view of Lake Victoria. Then step Into Africa exhibit immerses visitors in the African animal and you will see species like baboons, hyenas, and African lions.
This zoo is the perfect zoo to take the whole family to. It is easy to walk around and the animals are easy for the kids to see when they are looking into the animal exhibits.
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Rochester Museum & Science Center
Engage in hands-on learning at this museum, which includes interactive exhibits, a planetarium, and a science laboratory.
The Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) is a dynamic institution located in Rochester, New York, that combines education, exploration, and hands-on learning. It serves as a hub for scientific discovery, cultural exploration, and the celebration of local history.
The museum offers a wide range of interactive exhibits that cover various fields of science, technology, and natural history. Visitors can immerse themselves in the wonders of the universe at the Strasenburgh Planetarium, where they can enjoy captivating star shows, laser light displays, and astronomy presentations.
Overall, the Rochester Museum & Science Center is a captivating destination where visitors can engage with science, history, and the natural world in an interactive and stimulating environment. It encourages exploration, critical thinking, and a deeper understanding of the world around us.
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Susan B. Anthony Museum & House
The Susan B. Anthony Museum & House is a historic site located in Rochester, New York, dedicated to preserving the legacy and memory of Susan B. Anthony, one of the most influential figures in the women’s right movement in the United States.
The museum is situated at the actual residence where Susan B. Anthony lived from 1866 until her death in 1906. It offers visitors a unique opportunity to step into the world of this renowned activist and gain insight into her life, work, and the fight for women’s rights.
The Susan B. Anthony Museum & House features guided tours that take visitors through the various rooms of the house, including Susan B. Anthony’s study, library, parlor, and bedrooms. All of the rooms are furnished with period pieces and personal artifacts. This provides a glimpse into Anthony’s daily life and the time in which she lived.
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Take a walk thru Mount Hope Cemetery
Mount Hope Cemetery is a historic and picturesque cemetery located in Rochester, New York. It is one of the oldest Victorian cemeteries in the United States and was Established in 1838. The cemetery is renowned for its beauty, serene atmosphere, and rich history.
Mount Hope Cemetery spreads across 196 acres and serves as the final resting place for many notable individuals. You will find the gravesites for prominent figures from Rochester’s past, such as Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, and Nathaniel Rochester (the city’s founder). The cemetery’s tranquil and meticulously landscaped grounds provide a peaceful setting for reflection, remembrance, and contemplation.
Visitors to Mount Hope Cemetery can explore its winding paths and discover a wealth of stunning monuments, mausoleums, and gravestones. The cemetery’s diverse architectural styles reflect the different eras. You will notice the cultural influences of the past, offering a glimpse into the city’s history and the lives of those buried there.
This is a great place to add to your list of things to do in Rochester New York with kids if you are wanting to add some history learning to your trip.
Memorial Art Gallery
The Memorial Art Gallery features a diverse range of art forms, including paintings, sculptures, prints, photography, ceramics, and decorative arts. The collection encompasses works from Europe, America, Asia, and Africa, providing visitors with a comprehensive exploration of art history and global artistic traditions.
The museum’s permanent collection includes notable works by renowned artists such as Monet, Rembrandt, Cassatt, Cézanne, and Matisse, among many others. You can admire classic masterpieces, modern and contemporary artworks, and thought-provoking pieces that reflect a wide range of artistic movements and expressions.
While visiting the kids can go on a scavenger hunt that makes it interactive for kids. This gets the kids enjoying the art they are seeing and learning about.
While you might think that a trip to an art museum with young kids would be something not to put on the list of things to do with kids in Rochester, this museum kept all of the kids entertained and they all enjoyed it.
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Long Acre Farms
Long Acre Farms is a family-owned agri-tourism destination located in Macedon, New York, near Rochester. It offers a variety of fun and engaging activities for visitors of all ages, making it a popular destination for families and those looking for a unique farm experience.
One of the highlights of Long Acre Farms is its expansive corn maze. Every year, the farm designs a new and intricate corn maze with a different theme, offering visitors the chance to navigate through the tall stalks and solve the maze puzzle. The corn maze is both challenging and entertaining, providing a memorable adventure for all participants.
Beyond the corn maze, Long Acre Farms offers additional attractions and activities. The farm features a Farm Market where visitors can purchase fresh produce, locally made products, and seasonal items. They also have a café serving delicious meals, snacks, and homemade ice cream made from locally sourced ingredients.
Get tickets here.
Eat at Morgan’s Cereal Bar
This is a must-add location when you are planning things to do with Kids in Rochester. Not only is it a great place to eat, but it is a totally family-friendly environment. The staff is super nice and helpful when trying to figure out what to order.
Home to the famous cereal-infused waffle this is a must-visit breakfast spot. The menu consists of everyone’s favorite cold cereals that you can top with tasty toppings and warm options like waffles that are infused with cereal and topped with toppings that sound more like a dessert. With large portions, it is best to come hungry when you are stopping here.
White Rabbit Dessert Experience
We had fun one night and made dessert for our dinner. I am so glad we did as the portions are huge and none of us would have finished our dessert had we eaten dinner beforehand.
White Rabbit Dessert Experience is a sit-down dessert experience that offers made-to-order Waffles and Crepes that are served with ice cream, Sundaes, Cakes, Brownies, huge milkshakes, and much much more. In fact, there are over 70 different dessert items on the menu to pick from! The homemade ice cream is made daily in their shop and you can tell the difference!
Donut Delite is a beloved and iconic donut shop located in Rochester, New York. Established in 1958, it has become a local institution and a favorite destination for donut enthusiasts.
Donut Delite is known for its freshly made, delicious donuts that are made from scratch using traditional recipes and high-quality ingredients. The shop offers a wide variety of flavors and styles, ranging from classic glazed and chocolate frosted to creative options like maple bacon and fruity pebbles.
In addition to their tasty offerings, Donut Delite is known for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere. The shop has a nostalgic vibe, with retro decor and a cozy seating area where customers can enjoy their donuts with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate.
Rochester New York with Kids 4 Day Itinerary
We spent 4 days in Rochester New York, while you can spend longer as there are many other things to do including Ontario beach park, Genesee country village & Museum, and Seabreeze amusement park. I hope that our 4 days of adventure and things to do with kids in Rochester New York with Kids will give you a starting place for planning your trip.
We arrived mid-day in Rochester New York and headed right to the Rochester Museum and science center. After the museum we checked into our hotel, we stayed at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Rochester. After checking into the hotel we had dinner at Sticky Lips.
We started our day with Breakfast at 1872 Cafe. We then headed to the Susan B Anthony’s house tour. After the tour, we went to the Mount Hope Cemetery so we could find the Susan B Anthony Gravesite that we had learned about. We spent a bit of time walking around the cemetery looking for other important people who were buried there.
After our walk around the cemetery, we headed to Seneca Park Zoo. We got snacks while at the zoo as no one was really hungry for lunch. After the zoo, we headed to the hotel so the kids could swim for a bit. After swimming we had dinner at Bill Grey’s.
We started the day with breakfast at Morgan’s cereal bar. This is a must-visit place for kids who love cereal. Everything is amazing and every breakfast item includes cereal, including the pancakes! We then headed to the Memorial Art Gallery. For lunch, we ate at DogTown before we headed to Long Acre Farms. Since we had a late lunch we thought we would make dinner fun and do Dessert for Dinner at the White Rabbit Dessert Experience.
We stopped at Donut Delite for breakfast and then spent the day at The Strong Museum of Play.
Where is Rochester New York Located?
Rochester, New York, is located in the northwestern part of the state, near the southern shore of Lake Ontario. It is situated in Monroe County, New York. It is approximately 70 miles (113 kilometers) east of Buffalo and 90 miles (145 kilometers) west of Syracuse. Rochester is part of the larger region known as Western New York. It took us about 4.5 hours to drive from the Pocono Mountains.
Is Rochester NY Family Friendly?
Yes, Rochester, New York is known to be a family-friendly city with a wide range of activities and amenities for people of all ages. There are plenty of things to do with kids in Rochester New York that you will have a fun-filled trip.
Is Rochester NY Worth Visiting?
Yes! Our whole family had a great time exploring Rochester and eating delicious food. My kids have talked about the trash plates and donuts ever since our trip. They have even made their own trash plates at home because they enjoyed them so much on our trip.
Are there any must-eat foods when in Rochester New York?
Absolutely! Rochester, New York has a few iconic and must-try foods that are deeply rooted in the local culinary culture. Here are some popular dishes and food items you should consider experiencing when visiting Rochester:
- Garbage Plate. The Garbage Plate is a legendary Rochester dish that has become an iconic symbol of the city’s food scene. It typically consists of a base of macaroni salad and home fries, topped with your choice of meats such as burgers, hot dogs, or sausage, and then smothered in a special meat sauce, onions, and mustard.
- Zweigle’s Hot Dogs. Rochester is known for its unique style of hot dogs, specifically those made by Zweigle’s. These red and white hots are made with a blend of pork, beef, and spices, and they have a distinctive flavor. Enjoy them with your preferred toppings and a side of mustard. You can even grab some in the grocery stores to bring home with you!