Make yours a magic seven: 7 must-dos at the Rochester Museum and Science Center


The city of Rochester offers many attractions that are ideal for visitors with young ones in tow. And for those staying in Rochester hotels for a few days, one of the family-friendly venues they simply must check out is the city’s Museum and Science Center. Here are seven reasons why…

Tennis ball cannon


The first highlight you come across, this bit of kit gives young ones the chance to, yes, launch a tennis ball into the air, allowing them a hands-on, tactile experience of physics and what forces are capable of. Given its location (right inside the entrance), your little tykes’ll be unlikely to resist giving it a go as soon as they enter – and before they exit too.

Dig for a mastodon

What’s a mastodon, you may ask? Well, rather like a mammoth, it was a prehistoric forerunner of the elephant and this activity gives you and yours the opportunity to dig for fossils of this (what would have been) magnificent beast. Brushes and goggles are provided, so long as you return them once you’re done! And, to give eager diggers a good idea of the point of the activity, a life-size mastodon replica stands tall and impressively next to the dig site itself.

Have a virtual adventure

The Museum and Science Center’s home to two simulators. It’s free to step inside the first with your entry ticket (a nice perk; one to chalk up next to all those experienced while staying in one of the best hotels in Rochester NY). Once inside, you’ll get the chance to relish a diving experience on Lake Ontario. The second simulator requires a small admission charge and its ‘adventure’ is different each month.

Experience an earthquake!


Yes, you read that right; to step on to this particular platform at the museum is to get to experience the physical alternative of a real-life earthquake. Don’t worry, though, there’s no need to quake in your boots at the thought of it; the thing’s entirely safe and is merely supposed to give you an impression of the awesomely powerful forces involved when the earth moves due to a ’quake.

Could you be an inventor?

Fuelled by a specific engineering task (e.g. making an object, device or projectile that hovers), this activity’s aim is to encourage and nurture school-age children’s capacity to create pragmatically. Inventing is all about solving problems; being faced with a challenge and trying out ideas to come up with a practical solution. Maybe your little ones will discover their vocation as the next Nikola Tesla or James Dyson!

Generate power through pedal power


It’s amazing what you can do if you put your mind to it – or you back into it – and so your kids will discover should they give this fun thing a try. The aim and its realisation are simple; switch on as many rows of light bulbs as you can by riding a stationary bicycle as fast, as hard and for as long as possible. The take-away here, of course, being the relationship between energy input and output.

Discover the stars at the Strasenburgh Planetarium

Next-door to the museum is this excellent planetarium that affords visitors the chance to discover an array of the wonders of the solar system to which Planet Earth – and, thus, each and every one of us – belongs, as well as several ‘secrets’ of the universe (or, at least, how it works). Thanks as well to a few space-themed activities, this place is unmissable for astronauts-to-be already turned on to the idea of space exploration. The sky’s (not) the limit!