NetsRochester, New York is one of those places where everyone has been, knows someone who lives there, or has passed through on their way to somewhere else.  So whether you are just passing through or it is your final destination, here are 5 great places for family fun during the winter season.

 Strong National Museum of Play, One Manhattan Square, Rochester, NY 

As a New Yorker, I always think that as a world class city we have the best of the best.  Well, this museum puts those the big apple to shame.  It is 282, 000 feet of pure fun.  Although technically a history museum, the prime focus of the museum is the history, study and philosophy of play.  You could easily spend all day here and your children would never get bored.  There is something for everyone, like train rides, to carousels, a reading adventureland and areas that feature characters like the Berenstain Bears.

Rochester Museum and Science Center,  657 East Avenue, Rochester, NY

While some of the displays in this place have seen better days, most of the exhibits are engaging for children and provide the tactile, hands-on approach to learning that children love.  This is luxurious to parents because you never have to say, “don’t touch that.”  Kids get to climb, jump, poke, push, pull, spin and hopefully think their way through this museum.

Clock exhibit     
 Powder Mills Park –  154 Park Road, Pittsford, NY

Just southeast of downtown Rochester is Powder Mills Park.  In the 19th century, the park was a mill that manufactured blasting powder until, you guessed it, it blew up!  The land was eventually sold to the county to be used as a park.  This park is the perfect place to teach children how to ski and snowboarder for the first time and where you don’t have spend a lot of money like many winter resorts.  It has a small downhill slope with a rope tow. Equipment can be rented at a low cost.  It also has a number of hills for family sledding. 

Perinton Community Aquatic Center – 1350 Turk Hill Road, Fairport, NY

This community center allows non-members to swim all year round.  While I personally hate to swim in the winter season, (unless I am in the tropics) my child would do it all year round if she could.  Here you can.  For only $2.75 per child, your family can enjoy the center’s large heated lap pool, the waterslide, float along in the mini-lazy river or soak in the whirl pool.  You can also watch the action from a nice dry glassed-in area above while you let grandparents and children enjoy the water.

pool   
  

Genesee Valley Park Sports Complex (indoor)  131 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY

This is a basic all season arena for skaters during those Rochester cold and blustery days.  Not a lot of charm but it has clean facilities and a well maintained rink.

Manhattan Square Park Ice Rink (outdoor)  – 353 Court Street, Rochester, NY

There is something magical about skating out of doors on a bright wintery day.  This rink is newly renovated and features a warming shelter with a fireplace and heated floors where you can enjoy a well deserved hot chocolate.

   hot chocolate