Top 20 Places to Take Kids in Greater Rochester | Kids Out and About Rochester

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Top 20 Places to Take Kids in Greater Rochester

As voted by Rochester-area parents!

In summer 2015, thousands of local parents, grandparents, and caregivers weighed in on their favorite places to take kids in greater Rochester, NY. There are literally hundreds of wonderful places to take your kids in our area. For other fantastic places to take kids, just click on any of the links that interest you on the left-hand navigation bar. 

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1. The Strong National Museum of PlayStrong Museum

Ranked by Child magazine as one of the top 10 children's museums in the country, the National Museum of Play certainly deserves the #1 spot in our poll. In addition to the many traveling exhibitions that make their temporary home at Strong Museum, the Museum features Can You Tell Me How To Get to Sesame Street?"; a restored carousel, a Wegmans Super Kids Market; their wonderful Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden; and Reading Adventureland.


2. Seabreeze Amusement Park

Seabreeze is the amusement park and water park closest to home, located right on the shore Lake Ontario at the top of Route 590 to the East. Seabreeze has both thrilling adult rides such as the Jackrabbit (the fourth oldest operating coaster in the country), classic family rides such as the Carousel and Train, and some great rides for the under-8 set such as the Kiddie Swings. The waterpark section of Seabreeze has "liquid fun for everyone"--includes adult and kiddie slides, wave pool, lazy river, and more. It's not too big, and not too small, and it's a very good price (rates vary per ticket type; click here for current rates.


Seneca Park Zoo3. Seneca Park Zoo

Seneca Park Zoo strikes the perfect balance for many of us parents: It's small enough to "do in a day" -- you can spend enough time in each area that the kids can really learn about the animals – and it's inexpensive enough that you don't feel the pressure to do "do it all" in one visit. So we spend a couple of hours and return another day in the same season to focus on a different area. Also, the Zoo is enjoyable both in summer and in winter. The warmer seasons are more popular with Zoo visitors, but winter is great there, too: There are a several indoor areas that are popular with kids, especially if they love snakes. The Zoo is the natural place for families: a place for serious fun, committed to serious conservation efforts.


4. Stokoe Farms

Stokoe Farms is a short hike to the southwest of Rochester, in Scottsville, and it is especially noteworthy that they made our Top 20 list when they are only open for fall family fun for seven weeks: From mid-September through the end of October. Stokoe Farms sure makes an impression on families, though: Hours of farm-fresh fun in the corn maze and a wide variety of outdoor active activities. Kids can play in the straw fort and slide down a huge slide, pet a large number of animals, and chomp on delicious cider donuts. Thousands of families then return the weekend after Thanksgiving to watch Santa parachute for the start of the Christmas Tree season.


5. Rochester Museum & Science Center / Strasenburgh Planetarium

The Rochester Museum & Science provides unparalleled science education and opportunities to learn about the world around us. Wonderful exhibits, hands-on activities, camps, classes, shows and festivals, and traveling exhibits. Gorgeous giant-screen films about nature and space, many of them produced at the Planetarium, keep kids and adults coming back to learn more.

 

6. Clubhouse Fun Center

Open year-round for indoor fun, and seasonally for outdoor fun, Clubhouse Fun Center is located on Jay Scutti Blvd in Henrietta. It features arcade games, birthday parties, go karts, and a fabulous new mini golf course that opened in June of 2014. Bring your kids, or the whole family! You can join their e-club and get exclusive specials. Like them on Facebook for exclusive coupons.

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7. Lollypop Farm

Lollypop Farm is maintained by the Humane Society of Rochester and Monroe County and located in the Hamlet of Egypt off of Route 31. It provides a free opportunity to introduce kids of all ages to all kinds of farm animals and pets. The Humane Society at Lollypop Farm is committed to building lifelong bonds between people and animals through education, community outreach programs, and the prevention of cruelty. Inside, Lollypop Farm houses dogs, cats, and other small animals that are ready for adoption, as well as a Family Learning Center where families can learn about pet care together. Outside, take a walk through the Farm's pastures of horses, llamas, goats, deer, geese, ducks, and chickens. Stroll to the nearby playround and have a picnic lunch!


8. Darien Lake Amusement Park

Darien Lake Amusement Park is about an hour west of Rochester, south of Batavia.  For a day or two (overnight accommodations are available in the hotel or campground) of excitement and variety nothing beats Darien Lake, home of more than 50 rides, including six world-class roller coasters; dozens of family-friendly rides and entertainment; the region’s largest water park complete with wave pool; and top- notch performing artists!


9. TYKEs Theatre (Theatre Young Kids Enjoy)

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Inspiring families with best-loved fairy tales, favorite bedtime stories and children’s books... all seen through the magic of live theatre, TYKEs's season typically runs from November through April or May. Professional actors present great shows to families and also to schoolchildren. Performances take place in the Hart Theater at the JCC, 1200 Edgewood Avenue in Brighton.


10. My Local Library

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Of course, the libraries in the Rochester area are not really ONE place, but MANY places... but it's important to emphasize how valuable libraries are for family learning and fun. The libraries in our area are wonderful about posting their events to the KidsOutAndAbout calendar so you always can get ideas for free things to do with your kids that celebrate education and imagination. KidsOutAndAbout.com takes this opportunity to salute the wonderful children's librarians who serve our community with such dedication.


11. Genesee Country Village & Nature Center

Genesee Country Village and Nature Center is located about a half-hour to Rochester's southwest in Mumford. The Village features 59 restored houses, businesses, and places of worship from the 19th century. A stroll through the village (especially on one of their event days such as Laura Ingalls Wilder Days, War of 1812 Encampment, and Civil War Reenactment) brings parents and kids alike back to the 1800s. The GCV's Silver Base Ball Park is the only place where you're likely to hear "Fine hurl, sir!" meant as a polite compliment. The GCVM also features a nature center.


12. Rochester Red Wings Baseball

The Rochester Red Wings are a Triple-A baseball team based in Rochester, New York. The team plays in the International League and is the top minor league affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. The Red Wings play in Frontier Field, located in downtown Rochester.


13. Wickham Farms

 

 The Wickham family has been growing pumpkins in Penfield for nearly 30 years. Today, they offer a jumping pillow, mini-golf, batting cages, great food & ice cream, a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program, and a corn maze in the fall. They host birthday parties, field trips, story times, and annual events, making Wickham Farms a popular destination for Farm Fresh Family Fun! New in 2015, U-Pick apples will be available in the fall!

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14. Erie Canal hiking or biking

Active family fun is easily accessible any time in the Rochester area: Just head over to the Erie Canal path with your bike, your roller skates, your stroller, or just your feet. The Erie Canal has beautiful scenery, a terrifically maintained trail, interesting history, and intriguing wildlife, including (did you know?) minks!


15. Sky Zone

Indoor trampoline park located in Greece. They opened in late 2013, and offer open jump, a SkySlam court, SkyPerform fitness classes, and Ultimate Dodgeball (when available) for just about any age, shape or size, from toddler through grownup, It's a wonderful workout where safety is a high priority.


16. Rochester Public Market

Rochester's city-run Public Market has served the community at its 280 N. Union Street site since 1905. Bargains and local goodness abound Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, 52 weeks a year. Vendors--over 300 on Saturdays!--offer fresh produce, ethnic delicacies, specialty items, general merchandise, and so much more.

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17. YMCA

Like with the libraries, we did not ask folks to vote for specific Ys because there are so many locations. But knowing that the Y is very special to many families in our area, we merged all of the Ys into one category. Lots of readers wrote in comments about their local Y, however, especially about Bay View in Webster, Eastside in Penfield, and Southeast in Pittsford.

 

18. Bounce-It-Out

Bounce-It-Out, an indoor play center meant mostly for kids age 10 and under, is, as its name implies, filled with giant inflatable bounce structures. Features birthday parties, a cafe, and lots of relaxation for parents while kids play and play and play. Located across from Pittsford Plaza on the north side of Monroe Avenue. Go ALL the way around to the back of the building to find it.


19. The Sandbox Indoor Playground & Consignment

The Sandbox is an indoor play center designed just for kids ages 1-7. They offer families a clean, safe and creative space for children to play and socialize. They host both private and semi-private birthday parties all weekend long.


20. Wild Wings / Mendon Ponds Park

Wild Wings is a not-for-profit educational organization for permanently injured "raptors" which are unable to survive on their own in the wild. Eagles, owls, hawks, falcons, and more are displayed for viewing, free of charge.

 

 

Winners in Special Categories

In the second part of our survey, we asked readers to select their favorites in several categories. Here were their choices.

Favorite Kid-Friendly Museum

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The Strong National Museum of Play

Favorite Nature Center

Mendon Ponds Park / Wild Wings

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Favorite Performing Arts

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TYKEs Theatre

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Favorite Indoor Recreation Center

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Sky Zone

Favorite Kid-Friendly Farm

Stokoe Farm

Favorite Outdoor Fun/ Amusement Park

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Seabreeze

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Favorite Professional Sports Team

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Rochester Red Wings

Favorite Miniature Golf

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Clubhouse Fun Center

Favorite Arts Education

Rochester Academy of Music & Arts

Favorite Sports Education

Rochester-area YMCA branches

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Favorite Family-Friendly Festival

Imagine RIT


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Over 60 of the most BEAUTIFUL places to take kids in greater Rochester

Get some wonderful ideas from our 3-minute music video Build Myself in Rochester NY. Which are new to you?


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