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Visiting the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester New York

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If you are looking for an amazing day trip to add to visiting Rochester New York with kids then you must add visiting The Strong Museum of play. This family-friendly attraction in the city of Rochester is the perfect place to take the whole family.

Strong Museum of Play

Visiting the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester New York

I never thought that we would fall in love with this museum, but all of the kids have been talking about it since we went over a year ago and asked to go back. While they want to go thru the exhibits we already saw again they also want to check out the new exhibits that have been added. I am sure there will be another trip to upstate New York in our future.

Our whole family had so much fun exploring this museum. From playing with the toys and learning the history of toys. I was actually shocked that my kids spent so much time walking thru the comprehensive collection of historical materials. All of them are toy related and they liked learning about them I thought they would want to spend most of their time playing especially the younger ones. But they enjoyed the historical stuff just as much.

We started our day in the Play lab where they were able to spark some creativity. Then we moved to the National Toy hall of fame, and worked our way thru the whole museum. There are multiple floors so you can start wherever you want to and go at your own pace. We loved our experience and are excited to share all about it with you!

This Children’s Museum is one of the leading museums in the country. They know the importance of play and used the study of play to create an atmosphere that is all things play and play-related objects. All of these things will make visiting this museum one of the best memories your family makes.

What Is the Strong National Museum of Play?

The Strong Museum of Play is a children’s museum that features interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, and a collection of more than 500,000 objects related to play and its history. This museum uses the exploration of play to educate children and is the ultimate play destination for kids. The founders of the museum understand the importance of play. They have made it so there is a fully interactive exhibit space for each area that is filled with fun and educational activities that are all family friendly and a ton of fun.

Where is The Strong Museum of Play located?

The Strong Museum of Play is a museum located in Rochester, New York. The exact address is One Manhattan Square, Rochester, New York 14607

Why Should I plan a trip to the Strong Museum of play?

There are many reasons that a trip to the Strong Museum is a great place for families. I can tell you now that you are going to love taking your family here! Are you ready to hear some of the many reasons why the Strong Museum of Play is a must-visit for families? Here we go!

  • Fun and Interactive. The Strong Museum of Play is one of the most fun and interactive museums you’ll ever visit. It’s full of exhibits and activities that are designed specifically for kids, from toddlers to teenagers. Whether your child loves playing video games, building with Legos, or pretending to be a firefighter, there’s something here for everyone.
  • Toys, toys, and more toys! One of the museum’s biggest attractions is its collection of classic toys and games. You’ll find everything from Barbie dolls to Hot Wheels cars, board games to video games, and more. Kids can see how toys have evolved over the years, and even try out some of the classics for themselves.
  • Hands-on learning. The Strong Museum of Play isn’t just about nostalgia. It’s also a place where kids can learn and explore in a hands-on way. There are exhibits on science, history, and even the natural world, all presented in a way that’s engaging and fun for kids. For example, the museum has a whole section devoted to the science of optics and light. Kids can learn about how light works, experiment with mirrors and lenses, and even create their own kaleidoscopes. It’s a great way to teach kids about a complex scientific topic in a way that’s accessible and enjoyable.

What Exhibits are at the Strong Museum of Play?

The whole museum is filled with family-friendly activities. You can visit this museum with a group of kids of different ages and they will enjoy their time there. When we went not only did the kids enjoy themselves but so did the adults. It really is the perfect place for the whole family to have fun and enjoy.

In addition to its permanent exhibits, the museum also hosts a variety of temporary exhibits throughout the year. These exhibits focus on a range of topics related to play, such as board games, video games, and outdoor play. There are 23 different permanent exhibits and there are times that they have short term exhibits as well.

Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences

Discover the innovators and their award-winning creations that have contributed to the video game industry in an exhibit that honors exceptional achievements in interactive entertainment. The exhibit showcases winners of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Awards and its Special Awards. Browse through a touch-screen timeline to learn about recipients of D.I.C.E. awards in various categories, including Game of the Year, Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction, Family Game of the Year, and more.

America at Play

Immerse yourself in the history of play and pastimes in America by visiting the permanent exhibit, America at Play, at The Strong museum. With over 300 years of history, this exhibit showcases rare artifacts and interactive activities that demonstrate how play has impacted America’s cultural heritage. Admire a custom-made Harley-Davidson and explore popular outdoor pastimes, such as biking, boating, sledding, skiing, and fishing. Get a glimpse of rare board games from the 1800s, including the Game of the American Revolution, Rough Riders, and Bicycle Race.

American Comic Book Heroes

Immerse yourself in the world of superheroes and leap into action at the American Comic Book Heroes: The Battle of Good vs. Evil exhibit. Discover the history of iconic characters who have battled against evil for seven decades in the comic book universe, inspiring generations of kids with their adventures. Get hands-on at Super Powers School, where visitors of all ages can become superheroes by participating in a range of interactive activities. Don a cape and let your imagination take flight! If you love comic books then this is a spot you don’t want to miss!

Aquariums at Rainbow Reef 

Immerse yourself in the vibrant world of Rainbow Reef exhibit at The Strong museum and engage in exciting activities inspired by its underwater inhabitants. Witness an impressive digital aquarium that brings marine life to life. Unleash your artistic side by designing and coloring a fish on a sheet, and watch it come to life on a projected fish tank filled with coral reef after scanning it onto a monitor. Observe the mesmerizing behaviors of saltwater fish and coral in the 1,700-gallon coral reef aquarium that features a large and low viewing surface.

Strong Museum of Play Bereinstein bears exhibit

The Berenstain Bears: Down a Sunny Dirt Road

Down a Sunny Dirt Road: This interactive exhibit is based on the popular children’s book series and allows kids to step into the world of the Berenstain Bears. Kids can explore the bear family’s treehouse, dress up in costumes, and learn about the values and lessons the books teach. This place is great for the younger kids.

Experience the joy of riding on the beautifully restored Elaine Wilson Carousel, which features leaping horses, ponies, a chariot, and a whirling tub. The carousel has been lovingly restored and preserved, allowing visitors to take a ride back in time.

sesame street at Strong Museum of Play

Can You Tell Me How To Get To Sesame Street?

Everyone loves Sesame Street and the classic characters from the beloved children’s television show. This is a must visit exhibit with young kids. Kids will get to discover interactive elements that encourage families to delve into concepts related to letters, words, numbers, inclusion, and diversity. Meet Big Bird and take a seat on the iconic 123 Sesame Street stoop. Kids will get to hang out with Elmo, Dorothy, and Mr. Noodle in the brightly-colored Elmo’s World and make your TV debut with Abby Cadabby. Get cooking in the Cookie Monster Foodie Truck.


Explore the evolution of video games from the earliest days of Pong to current gamer trends at eGameRevolution. A highly interactive exhibit produced by The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG). This exhibit offers something for every generation, allowing visitors to play their way through the history of video games. Try your hand at Giant Tetris using an oversized joystick, the only machine of its kind available for play in all of North America. You can team up with friends to gobble up opponents on Pac-Man Battle Royale, the first 4-player Pac-Man game. Step back in time with a recreated video arcade featuring nearly 4 dozen classic arcade games to enjoy.

Field of Play

At The Field of Play exhibit, kids will engage in interactive and imaginative play activities and discover hundreds of intriguing artifacts that exemplify the six fundamental aspects of play: anticipation, surprise, pleasure, understanding, strength, and poise. Begin your visit with a captivating multimedia display on the significance of play in human development and innovation, then fully immerse yourself in this exceptional play laboratory. Wander through a massive kaleidoscope and design and observe your own kaleidoscope patterns. Operate pulleys to activate a colossal ball machine above your head.

One History Place

Transport yourself back in time with the One History Place exhibit at The Strong museum, where families and children can experience a snapshot of life from a century ago. Amidst a collection of artifacts and reproductions, guests can explore mini-environments and participate in hands-on activities reminiscent of the past. Role-play as a teacher or student in a one-room schoolhouse from the 19th century, or enjoy a game of dress-up with turn-of-the-century clothing found in the attic.

Imagination Destination

Unleash your creativity and explore new possibilities in The Strong’s permanent Imagination Destination exhibit. Become an astronaut, rescue pilot, construction worker, actor, and more as you immerse yourself in inspiring spaces bursting with physical challenges. Step into a rescue helicopter or construction site and let your imagination run wild. Blast off into space aboard a rocket ship or take center stage in a theater. Take command of the bridge on the U.S.S. Strong, a futuristic spaceship complete with lights and sounds inspired by your favorite science-fiction movies.

Pinball Playfields

Dive into the world of pinball and experience over 80 years of pinball history at The Strong museum’s Pinball Playfields exhibit. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of pinball, from the pops and thumps to the satisfying dings of the scoreboard. Follow the evolution of the pinball playfield, from the earliest countertop games of the 1930s to the advanced electronic versions still enjoyed today. Admire pioneering pinball machines from The Strong’s collections, and play your way through this exciting exhibit.

Play Pals

Immerse yourself in the Play Pals exhibit, where you can heal teddy bears, play house, and even save the world. Explore the evolution of dolls, action figures, toy soldiers, and plush animals across three centuries of American history, and encounter rare treasures from The Strong’s collections. Engage in role-playing, test your reflexes, and bring your imaginative worlds to life at interactive stations. Step into a life-size dollhouse that features a complete kitchen, nursery, garden, and family car, and let your creativity run wild.

Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden

No trip to The Strong museum is finished without exploring the Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden, the sole indoor butterfly garden in upstate New York that operates year-round. Step into the luxurious rainforest environment and stroll amidst a multitude of strikingly colorful tropical and native butterflies, fluttering around and occasionally perching on you! Don’t miss the opportunity to witness free-flying butterflies and the emergence of butterflies in the chrysalis case. Follow the paved pathway that winds through tropical foliage, past a turtle pond, and under a cascading waterfall.

Wegmans Super Kids Market

This was all of the kids favorite exhibit that we went to, including the teens. This exhibit is designed to teach children about healthy eating habits by allowing them to explore a child-sized supermarket and learn about nutrition. This exhibit allows kids to experience what it’s like to go grocery shopping, but with a twist. They can play the role of a cashier, stock shelves, and even learn about healthy eating habits.

Play Lab

The Strong’s Play Lab, situated on the museum’s first floor near the Field of Play exhibit, offers a space for innovation, construction, and creativity. Kids will be immersed in the educational potential of play by exploring a playful maker area that features daily programming centered on monthly themes. Each month there is a new topic of exploration, such as printmaking, sound, or circuitry, allowing the kids to experiment with related tools and equipment like looms, saws, and Oculus. With the support of museum staff and guest creators, you’ll have access to scaffolding assistance to bring your ideas to life.

Skyline Climb

Ready to take on a thrilling challenge? Embark on an adventure like no other at The Strong’s latest addition, the Skyline Climb high ropes course. Suspended above the museum’s carousel atrium, both adults and children can explore the course’s beams, balance obstacles, ropes, wobbly bridges, and even take a leap off a zipline platform. Developed by RCI Adventure Products, Skyline Climb features two courses designed for various sizes and skill levels.

Toy Halls of Fame

This exhibit showcases iconic toys and games from throughout history, such as Barbie, Monopoly, and the Game of Life. Each year, a select few toys are inducted into the Hall of Fame. Explore the Toy Halls of Fame exhibit and discover firsthand the innovative toys that have captured the hearts of generations, alongside the visionaries who have transformed the way we play. Witness displays showcasing both the National Toy Hall of Fame inductees and the esteemed honorees of the Toy Association’s Toy Industry Hall of Fame. Ascend the striking exhibit staircase to encounter a collection of 21 portraits featuring beloved classic toys, some of which move and engage with visitors in delightful and amusing ways.

Reading Adventureland 

This exhibit encourages a love of reading and storytelling in kids. It features a 19th-century printing press, a puppet theater, and interactive exhibits that allow kids to step into the pages of their favorite books.

Peanuts and Play Display

Admire the collection of artifacts showcasing the beloved characters created by author and illustrator Charles M. Schulz, located near the entrance to The Strong’s Field of Play exhibit. Don’t miss the opportunity to take a photo with the impressive six-foot-tall statue of Snoopy and his loyal companion, Woodstock. Delve into the Peanuts characters’ influence on both play and pop culture, and explore the other comic strips that drew inspiration from Schulz’s stories. Discover the histories of other iconic comic strip characters, including Buster Brown and Little Orphan Annie, and view the toys that were popular during the Baby Boom era.

Game Time!

Take a journey through three centuries of American games, puzzles, and popular board games in Game Time!, located on the second floor of The Strong museum. Move like a game piece on a giant board as you explore oversized toy props and marvel at rare, historic treasures from The Strong’s game and puzzle collections. Join in on the fun with interactive and hands-on activities suitable for the whole family.


Experience the rhythm of different eras and create vivid, dynamic shadows with DanceLab, a captivating exhibit at The Strong museum. Let your body groove to a range of musical genres, from lively swing tunes to modern-day hits. Get your feet tapping and your body moving to popular pop songs or relive the disco era with classic beats. Take it back in time with the Twist and the Charleston or join in with the Sesame Street soundtrack. This dynamic exhibit, produced by The Strong, promises a fun-filled and memorable dancing experience.

Build, Drive, Go

Enter a world of vehicles and transportation history at The Strong museum’s Build, Drive, Go exhibit. From trains and trucks to boats and planes, explore the evolution of vehicles in America over three centuries. Take a fun picture at the giant traffic light, climb into a dump truck and operate its levers and controls. At the Big Build area, build towering structures with oversized blocks, or unleash your creativity at the Build Table and create your own unique creations using various materials.

Museum Hours

Monday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Tuesday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Wednesday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Thursday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

How Much does it cost to visit the Museum?

There are a few different options for pricing when you visit the museum.

  • General Admission: Age 2 and older $19 Under age 2: FREE
  • General Admission + Butterfly Garden: Age 2 and older $25 Under age 2: FREE
  • General Admission plus High- rise ropes Course: $29
  • General Admission plus low- rise ropes Course: $25
  • General Admission plus High- rise ropes Course and butterfly garden: $31
  • General Admission plus low- rise ropes Course and butterfly garden: $29

Tips for Visiting The Children’s Museum with kids

  • Dress comfortably. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes that allow for movement and exploration. Kids may want to climb, run, and explore, so make sure they have dressed appropriately.
  • Check the schedule of events. The museum may have special events, demonstrations, or workshops that you and your kids can participate in. Check the schedule and plan to attend any events that interest you.
  • Have fun.The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the experience with your kids. The museum is a great place to learn and explore, so take advantage of all that it has to offer.
  • Make it interactive. Encourage your kids to participate in the exhibits and activities. Ask them questions, engage them in conversations, and let them explore at their own pace.
  • Plan ahead. Research the museum’s website and utilize this blog post for any exhibits or events. Make a plan for what you want to see to make sure you see everything that the kids want to.
  • Be flexible. Kids have their own pace and interests, so be flexible with your plan and let them explore what they find interesting. There were some exhibits that I did not expect the kids to be super interested in and then they were so we spent more time at them than I thought we would.

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