Rochester Things to Do

  • Maplewood Rose Garden
    Maplewood Rose Garden
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  • Driving Park Bridge and Genesee River
    Driving Park Bridge and Genesee River
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  • Lower Falls
    Lower Falls
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Best Rated Things to Do in Rochester

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    Walking the Scenic Route

    by rdywenur Updated Oct 28, 2007

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    Wooded trail
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    You can walk through a quite wooded area at the beginning and find yourself walking along Lake Ontario which will take you all the way to Charlotte. This was just developed last year. Walking through the wooded part you are bound to see deer or some type of woodland creature that still calls it home. You will also see joggers and people biking along the way.

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    Ducks and Swans

    by rdywenur Updated Aug 29, 2007

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    Follow me guys!!!!
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    With so many ponds and lakes in the area a favorite past time is to drive to the lake or pond and watch or feed the ducks and swans. Two favorite spots are Irondequoit Bay and Durand Lake across from Lake Ontario. Bring a bag of bread crumbs.

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    Susan B. Anthony House

    by davecallahan Written May 30, 2007

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    Susan B. Anthony was the ultimate original women's libber. The place where she lived during her politically active life has been dedicated to her memory. Tours by local historians are given daily and start at the visitor's center, go into the memorabilia room and then through the house and finally out into the gift shop.

    from the press release:
    "It is a learning center where Miss Anthony’s life and work, championing the cause of women’s rights, is shared and interpreted with thousands of visitors each year. Its programs inspire and challenge individuals to effect positive change in their lives and communities."

    So if you are into Women's history you are going to love this place and if you are not into that then take a walk around downtown Rochester instead.

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    Strong Museum... National Museum of Play

    by davecallahan Written May 8, 2007

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    (from the ads)
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    Recently the Strong Museum has expanded its venue to become the National Museum of Play.
    This is a great place to take the kids if they are with you on vacation. They can be kept busy and happily occupied for hours at very little cost (and they might even learn something).

    The museum is room after room of hands-on exhibits about science, math and industry but presented so that they look like toys and games and play to the kids.
    There are always special events and presentations that change with season and interests.

    In the museum complex is a nice gift shop where you can get momentos of your visit or an erector kit or chemistry set. There restrooms conveniently placed in the building and a snack shop to get something to drink and some finger foods.

    see the website below for times and dates and entrance fees.
    the website also has a great virtual tour of the whole museum.

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    visit the gardens of Highland Park

    by davecallahan Written May 12, 2007

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    map of the park

    The most memorable of Rochester's parks must be Highland Park. It is promoted every year for the Lilac Festival of the Flower City. But every day from spring to fall the park is a place to go for natural beauty and peace and quiet and lovely architecture.

    There are at least five garden areas in the park and each one has some memorial theme around which the plantings are centered (Vietnam Memorial, Aids Memorial, Wedding Arches, Lamberton Conservatory, Victims Rights Memorial, Poets Garden). The area is a favorite spot for wedding party portraits as well as joggers and pleasure walkers of all ages.

    The gardens have different blooms for each season: lilacs, roses, azaleas, rhododendruns, pansies, magnolias. The air is filled with scent and the eyes are filled with color.

    Come and spend a few restful hours browsing nature here at Highland.

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    Great views!

    by Lorelle1313 Written Dec 26, 2007

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    If your not picky about which building you go to, try the Top of the Rock! Its got amazing views and a lot less people!
    The view is also fairly unobstructed as compared to the Empire State Bldg as well- Top of the Rock has tall glass panes vs. Empire State Bldg has big thick bars.

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    visit the Veterans' Memorial At Highland

    by davecallahan Updated Jul 17, 2007

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    pictures by allydog
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    In Highland Park there is a fine memorial for veterans of Viet Nam war who have died (in battle or in captivity or MIA). It is not much advertised and there are no neon signs in the park pointing to it. But if you get one of the Rochester brochures that has the park layout at the visitor center, then you can easily find the memorial in Highland. It has a winding path with name plates along it and a memorial with flags at the crest of a hill.

    Take a few moments to locate it when you are in Highland Park and take a few pictures.

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    activities at the Blue Cross Arena

    by davecallahan Written Jan 7, 2008

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    Whether it be Monster Trucks or WWE wrestling or the Rochester Americans Hockey game or a special orchestra or rock concert or a Disney Show on Ice or the Harlem Globetrotters or any of another interesting events, you can bet they will be at the Blue Cross Arena (formerly known as the Rochester War Memorial).

    Tickets are available at TicketMaster: http://www.ticketmaster.com/venue/161/?brand=bluecrossarena
    but you need to get tickets for big events early or be prepared to be disappointed or severely scalped.

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    Rochester Harbor Fest

    by davecallahan Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    fireworks finale

    The first weekend in June and its time for the Rochester Harbor Fest.

    Tall ships with sails are docked in the mouth of the Genesee River and open for tours.
    Three of the area lighthouses sponsor tours also.
    Live entertainment is setup in the Ontario Beach Park along with arts and crafts tents and plenty of food vendors. You can watch or join the 10K race along the River Trail.

    This popular festival attracts over 100,000 visitors with a spectacular RG&E "Energy in the Sky" fireworks on the last evening. For details on the three day event see the website below.

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    Rochester Museum and Science Center RMSC

    by davecallahan Updated May 30, 2007

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    RMSC is 95 years old (2007). Its has influenced many minds over those years with its science exhibits, demonstrations of geology and anthropology, reminding the next generation what the great advances were in the previous generations.
    Three stories of glass enclosed dioramas, antique mechanical and artsy objects, memorabilia of important historical significance to Monroe County, dinosaurs, beadwork from Native Americans, mechanical gadgets that show how things work.

    This is not as much fun for the younger kids as the National Museum of Play (Strong Museum) but adults and older kids will have an hour or two of interesting things to see and do.
    Entrance fee is a hefty $10 but most of that goes back into a fund for new exhibits for the museum.

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    visit Seneca Park

    by davecallahan Written May 12, 2007

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    This Park is on the northern end of the city, along the east side of the Genesee River. Parts of the park overlook the Genesee Gorge and there are even some walking trails (with caution signs galore) along the precipice.

    The park is a thin band of greenery with a single entrance/exit road. Inside the park are picnic areas, swimming pool and water-spray areas, a large pond, a zoo, and plenty of hiking and birding paths.
    The hilly nature of the park and the cool air among the trees and by the pond, make it a favorite place for joggers.

    The zoo is the last one left in Rochester. See information about it at:
    http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/North_America/United_States_of_America/New_York_State/Irondequoit-840083/Things_To_Do-Irondequoit-R-1.html

    The pond has some stock goldfish and small bait fish. It is fished mostly by children.

    The picnic areas have picnic tables and restrooms and rentable pavilions. There are grill-stands for cooking and areas where you can play horseshoes, volleyball or badminton.

    In general, the park is a nice place for city folks to come and relax or cool off on a hot summer day. The park is NOT a good place to be very late at night and the entry-road "closes" at 8pm.
    Other than the late-night issue, the park is very safe for a family outing.

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    Strong National Museum of Play

    by rdywenur Updated Jul 29, 2009

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    Main Entrance of Museum
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    Today I played tourist and went to see the recently revised museum but mostly for the "Dancing Wings" butterfly garden. One of the newest additions. A timed 20 minute entry with groups of no more than 20. It is a very humid place (85*F) and lush with folliage ans some interesting flowers/plants. Also very tight quarters. The butterflies are spooked easily so walk slowly and quietly for them and they just might decide to land on you.

    First level as you enter you will see a carousel and a dining car converted into a Bill Gray's Restaurant (hambergers and hots). Just past that is where you will find many play areas of all kinds. A mini Wegmans for kids to play store. Games, Sesame Street , butterfly garden and much more.

    The second level holds most of your favorite toys from long long ago. Doll, Doll houses, Bears and all types of playthings from long ago.

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    see Rochester's River of Light

    by davecallahan Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    laser light show

    Rochester is hosting a summer-long laser light show every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night for one hour starting at 9:30pm. The best viewing is the Platt Street area with best parking at the State Street Parking and High Falls Garage.

    see the calendar on the website below for the exact dates and rain-dates

    the shows look like fire-works without the big bang. Colors are sprayed on the Genesee River falls and along the river bank to produce a myriad of images.
    The crowds are the greatest in the first week and Friday nights and holiday weekends.
    After you have seen it twice, the grandeur and excitement are pretty much gone; but you owe it to yourself to catch the light show at least once while your are visiting the Rochester area.

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    Clothesline Festival at the Art Gallery

    by davecallahan Written May 22, 2007

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    The Memorial Art Gallery displays some of the best of its local talent in a two-day presentation known as the Clotheline Festival. Over 500 artists display their works indoors and outdoors (in tents). The crowds will also be entertained by live bands and dance groups. Food vendors abound to help keep the people feed and watered.

    Bring the kids too; special activities (face painting, Japanese caligraphy, sand doodling) are planned to keep the kids busy while the parents browse.

    see the website for dates, times and parking arrangements.

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    Rochester Jazz Fest

    by davecallahan Updated May 29, 2007

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    A week of music for $130 per person.
    100 individual concerts, some indoors and some at outdoor stages.
    500 artists, singers and band members.
    All this for your entertainment; that is if you like JAZZ!

    If you can't afford the week pass price or don't have a week of time to spend, then maybe $25 for a one-day attendance will suit you better. In any case, you will be happy with your visit to the Rochester International Jazz Festive, which occurs every year in mid-June.

    see the website below for all the details on times/dates, schedules and costs.

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Rochester Things to Do

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