Should you be planning a trip to the Rochester area of New York with the family in tow then, don’t fear, you’ll find a great deal to entertain the youngsters – both in terms of indoors and outdoors activities. In fact, there’s so much to get stuck into, you’ll be spoilt for choice…!
The Strong National Museum of Play
(1 Manhattan Square, 14607/ open: 10am-5pm Monday-Thursday; 10am-8pm Friday-Saturday; 12noon-5pm Sunday)
Arguably one of the greatest family attractions in the country, this museum – which is dedicated to discovering and giving a go practically everything associated with play – features a roster of travelling exhibitions all-year round, as well as a restored carousel, a butterfly garden and an indoor playground dedicated to kids’ literature of all kinds (it’s billed as an ‘artifact-rich, life-size pop-up book’). Who could say no to all that?
Seabreeze Amusement Park
(4600 Culver Road, 14622/ open from Saturday 19th May onwards; opening hours vary)
To be found on the edge of Lake Ontario (specifically at the head of Route 590 to the east), this amusement- and water-park is one attraction not to pass up. Brimming with the likes of kiddie slides, a wave pool and a lazy river, as well as brilliant rides for adults (such as the Jackrabbit, which is one of the oldest and grandest roller-coasters in the country), fantastic family rides (including the Carousel and Train) and cracking kids’ rides for the under-eights (the Kiddie Swings, for instance), Seabreeze truly does live up to its motto of delivering ‘liquid fun for everyone’.
Clubhouse Fun Center
(70 Jay Scutti Boulevard, 14623/ open: 10am-11pm Monday-Friday; 10am-12midnight Saturday-Sunday)
Bursting with a bevy of activities for families (both young ’uns and older ones) including arcade games, go-karting and a newly opened mini-golf course, this activity center is perfect for those staying at hotels in Rochester NY stuck for something to do of an afternoon. It’s also an especially ideal venue for kids’ birthday parties. A word to the wise – check it out its social media pages for deals and cost-savings.
Horizon Fun F/X
(675 Ling Road, Rochester NY, 14612/ open: 6-9pm Friday; 11am-9pm Saturday; 1pm-4.30pm Sunday)
Alternatively, if the weather’s not so good, this indoor venue’s really got it all – laser tag, rock climbing, a video game arcade, a roller rink (complete with in-line- and quad-roller-skates to hire) and an enormous ‘jungle gym’. Parents’ll be pleased to hear there’s a snack bar too! Both open and private sessions (i.e. birthday parties and special occasions) can be booked here.
Bounce It Out
(3300 Monroe Avenue, 14618/ open: 10am-5pm Monday-Thursday; 10am-8.30pm Friday; 10am-3pm Saturday-Sunday)
For younger kids, there really is nowhere quite like Bounce It Out. Why? This is a playground composed almost entirely of a 17,000-square-feet inflatable surface, on which those aged up to 10-years-old can play, climb, jump and do (almost) anything their imaginations desire.
The Playhouse Swillburger
(820 South Clinton Avenue, 14620/ open: 11.30am-10pm Sunday-Friday; 11.30am-12midnight Saturday)
Finally, after all that family fun, all that play and stimulation, you and yours’ll be in need for some sustenance. In which case, this place (easy to get to, indeed, for those staying at the Rochester Riverside hotel) is a combination of eatery and arcade, featuring terrific old-school arcade games and, of course, the Swillburger as the highlight of its eclectic menu. All in all then, it’s an awesome modern twist on the classic burger joint. Note: 21+ entry at 10pm and thereafter.