Summer may seem like the obvious season to visit us and stay at one of the best hotels in Rochester – when there’s so much vibrancy and so many outdoor activities going on – but don’t dismiss a family visit to our city in the fall. There’s so much to experience…
(656 South Road, Scottsville NY 14546)
If you fancy a low-key, low-cost, back-to-the-earth and, yes, non-commercialised day out for the family, then this farm’s the place to head to in the Rochester area – and at this time of the year – all right. As Halloween approaches, its pumpkin patch’ll be full of the bulbous orange vegetables, while its harvest fest is certainly not to be missed and, should you be visiting the city that bit later, so too will its Christmas trees – in time for the festive period. A real memory-maker of a venue, this one.
(1821 Fairport Nine Mile Point Road, Penfield NY 14526)
Another farm-based attraction that absolutely makes the most of everything it has to offer for family visitors, Wickham Farms (to be found off Route 250 in the nearby town of Penfield) is a great day-out venue. Perhaps its biggest highlight, though, is its three-acre corn maze, which opened mid-way through August this year), especially because it’s ideal for little ones; being far from the most overwhelming maze, but possessing just the right level of challenge for maze novices – of all ages, in fact! Additionally, your little tykes are bound to enjoy the kiddies’ train ride, the hayride, jumping on a jumping pillow and hunting down exactly the right size and shape of pumpkin.
The Garden Factory
(2126 Buffalo Rd., Rochester NY 14624)
If your visiting family’s up for a plethora of carnival rides, games, arts and crafts, as well as meeting cuddly animals, trying tasty delicious delicacies and witnessing a singing pumpkin lightshow (why not!), then The Garden Factory is where to set off for. Its ‘Fall Family Fun’ activities run from the last weekend in September to the last weekend in October (11am-4pm daily). Quite frankly, it sounds like they have pretty much everything under the autumnal moon to engage and delight every possible visitor staying at Rochester accommodation.
Halloween and Fall Foliage Trolley Rides
(New York Museum of Transportation, 6393 East River Rd, W. Henrietta NY 14586/ 16th September-28th October)
How about stepping aboard a vintage, electric trolley bus, riding through glorious green scenery and decamping at the ‘Pumpkin Patch’ where your kids’ll get the chance to decorate a free baby pumpkin and tuck into terrifically tasty donuts (and cider too for the adults)? How about it, indeed! And once ensconced in the warm Museum of Transportation itself, there’s also the opportunity to give trick-or-treating ago in specially decorated trolley cars. Great fun, for sure – but you’ll have to book in advance. Rides are free along with entry price to the museum and operate every half-hour from 11.30am onwards, but be aware they only take place on Sundays between the dates quoted above and on Saturday 20th October.
Go on a hike in Rochester and/ or the Finger Lakes
Finally, if you’re visiting the Rochester area but without the kids in tow this fall, then you’ll doubtless want to take advantage of all its fabulous natural beauty – specifically for getting snap-happy with your camera. Yes, this time of the year is absolutely ideal for going on a leisurely hike or two into the ‘wilds’ of the city and the wider Finger Lakes region and, of course, to take in all the sensational golds, bronzes, browns, auburns, oranges, reds and yellows nature bestows us with in the fall. And, quite frankly, maybe it’s something to try and do with the kids too – after all, it’s the ideal opportunity for them to engage with the countryside and delight in all the sights, smells and tactile wondrousness it offers.
This coming season we recommend the following hiking trails:
- Quinn Oak Openings in Rush – for an oak opening where a Midwestern prairie’s surrounded by an oak forest
- The western shore of Canadice Lake on the Canadice Lake Trail – for views of hillsides oh-so rich in colour
- Linear Park in Penfield – for watching salmon jump the waterfalls in Irondequoit Creek as they make their way upriver to spawn
- Mossy Bank Park in Bath – for a spectacular view of the Cohocton River Valley, spreading out down beneath the cliff you’ll find yourself on.