Off the Beaten Path: Some of Rochester's hidden family-friendly secrets
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KOA reader Julie says:
- As part of a requirement for our Cub Scouts, we needed to attend a sporting event. We decided to attend the Varsity Basketball game at Rush Henrietta. Now I realize if people have older children or relatives playing they already attend this sort of thing. I was really surprised that we had five boys around the ages 4,6, and 7 and they LOVED IT... $2 adults, $1 school-age and the 4-year-olds were free. I do have to say it was REALLY LOUD during the time they played the music, but the excitement outweighed that. There Mascot was real friendly (photos ops) and to top it off RH won and we were almost front row! The kids were cheering when they made a shot and yelling with the crowd. We certainly didn't have to worry about keeping them QUIET in a place like that! Anyway I just thought it'd be a great reminder that in a loss for inexpensive things to do...spectating at your local school.....encourage school spirit...introduce them to a new sport...and have some family fun!
Grandma Diann suggests:
- Tree Houses in Henrietta: www.mystrees.com
- Pageant of Steam: pageantofsteam.org
- New York Museum of Transportation - Rush nymtmuseum.org (who are incidentally great about putting their events up on KidsOutAndAbout.com)
- We love to letterbox. Go to
- to find a letterbox anywhere in the world! It's similar to geocaching. You follow clues to find a hidden box. In the box is a pad that you stamp and sign and then you take the stamp in the box to stamp your own pad. We've discovered a lot of places and trails in the Rochester region that we'd never known of (and my husband and I grew up here). We've also enjoyed hiding some boxes ourselves. A word of advice - stick with the boxes that have been hidden recently. You're more likely to find them. Sometimes the boxes that were hidden years ago have been moved/taken.
Denise has ALL KINDS of suggestions:
- Village Sports Pay & Play program in Perinton:
- Ropes course, ball pit, slides, moon-bounce - all the things kids love to play with.
- : From project basics to giving your child the opportunity to say, "I built it!", our Build and Grow kid's clinics are a great way to help build confidence! Bring the kids into any Lowe's store and build a FREE wooden project. Each participant also receives a free apron, goggles, a project themed patch, and a certification of merit upon completion of their project.
- Kids Workshops are FREE "How-To Workshops" designed for children ages 5-12. The hands-on sessions are offered on the first Saturday of each month at all Home Depot Stores. In addition to the newly constructed project kit, each child receives a kid-sized orange apron, similar to The Home Depot associates' aprons, and an achievement pin.
- Little Dude Ranch is owned and operated by Neysha Parulski. A pony farm offering programs for children ages 2-11. Well-mannered, gentle ponies. There are a wide-variety of programs to meet a child's every needs; traditional lessons for children ages 2-11, birthday party packages and more.
- Located in the old New York Central freight depot in Medina, NY, the Medina Railroad Museum is the largest freight depot museum in the country. The building itself was built in 1905, and is one of the largest (301ft. by 34ft.), last surviving wooden freight depots in the United States. Featuring the largest collection of artifacts and memorabilia known to exist under one roof. Also see the longest HO scale layout and diorama all on one floor, an immense 14ft. by 204ft, currently under construction. Enjoy a 2 hour train ride along the Erie Canal.
- Tinker Nature Park is a 68 acre, handicap accessible park with a 1.2 mile walking/exercise trail and a 1/2 mile nature trail. The Hansen Nature Center is free and open to the public. Nature exhibits change with the seasons, open Tuesday-Saturday 9:00 am-3:30 pm. Nature library, extensive taxidermy collection, special events, indoor honeybee observation hive, seasonal programs.
- Ganondagan (ga•NON•da•gan), the site of a Native American community that was a flourishing, vibrant center for the Seneca people. Visit this site where thousands of Seneca lived 300 years ago, tour a full-size replica of a 17th-century Seneca Bark Longhouse, walk miles of self-guided trails, climb the mesa where a huge palisaded granary stored hundreds of thousands of bushels of corn, and learn about the destruction of Ganondagan, Town of Peace, in 1687.
- Tours are appropriate for any age group. ARTISANworks offers a delightful interactive experience of the art world. Guests are given a thorough introduction to the museum facilities and collection, with opportunities to meet and observe artists-in-residence.
- Wild Wings is a not-for-profit educational organization that houses and cares for permanently injured birds of prey (raptors), which are unable to survive on their own in the wild any more. Just outside the Wild Wings Cottage Store entrance is the house which for many years was the Mendon Ponds Nature Center. Wild Wings maintains two rooms of nature exhibits there for visitors to enjoy. Behind the old Nature Center is Sharon’s Sensory Garden in which grows a varied collection of plants selected for providing for opportunities to touch, smell and see. A waterfall combines with the nearby plants and trees to create a tranquil, natural sound, especially when a breeze is blowing.
- 7958 Wickham Blvd, Sodus Point, NY 14555 Take a picnic lunch to the sand beach in Sodus Point and relax while the kids swim under lifeguard supervision and play on the playground at the beach.
- Ontario Parks & Recreation - Casey Park Casey Park - Located at 6551 Knickerbocker Road, approximately 1 mile north of Route 104, 3 miles south of Lake Road. The park is available for family picnics, ball games, swimming, boating (canoe and paddle boat rental), and nature walks or hiking. Picnic kits (a bag filled with a soccer ball, bases, bat, bocce set, kickball, horseshoes, volleyball, Frisbee & whiffle ball) all for a $9.00 rental charge. Open year round, 9:00AM to dusk. Swimming at sandy beach permitted when lifeguards are on duty. Canoes & paddle boats available for rental.
- SUNY Geneseo's performing arts department has some great activities. Of particular interest to me is the student recitals which, at the college level, can be really good. They are always free. I'm sure most, if not all, colleges/universities have these. Geneseo actually posts them online:
Please do submit your own ideas as well, either by commenting with the link below (you must be logged in) or email email@example.com. Thanks, Debra Ross Publisher, KidsOutAndAbout.com