The air is getting crisper, pumpkins are popping up on everyone’s porch and it can only mean one thing-fall is here in Rochester, New York. Fall is an amazing time of year to live in the Northeast because there are so many family things to do in Rochester. We take full advantage of each fall weekend to explore, and recently enjoyed a Halloween inspired family day out!
Year after year we continue family traditions that make fall so special for our family. We drive around looking at the leaves and decorations in our neighborhood. We take a hike or spend the day at Letchworth State Park for a picnic at the park. We visit fall festivals and events that celebrate the season.
Every year I also like to visit new places and find new ways to enjoy fall. This year we partnered with Visit Rochester to plan a fall family day out. We visited 3 new places and continued our family tradition of having new fall adventures in Rochester.
Family Halloween Itinerary: Fall Things to Do in Rochester, New York
Rochester & Genesee Railroad Museum
Our first stop was a 10:30 train ride to the pumpkin patch at the Rochester & Genesee Railroad Museum. I loved the history of the museum. The history of the American railroad system is really neat to discover and talk to the kids about.
After we arrived and had our train tickets stamped we headed over to the Freight train and Baggage car to see what was inside. The Freight train contained photos through the years and stories of what the train used to carry. The Baggage car had old signs and artifacts local to the Rochester area.
As you wait for your train to arrive there is a petting zoo for the kids to play at. They had kangaroos, llamas, and other animals to feed and pet. There was also a play area and snacks to purchase.
The train whistle blew and we were ready to board the open air cart and start our short journey. The train ride is a short 1.5 mile trip that lasts about 10-15 minutes. It was the first time my youngest son had been on a train and it was a fun ride.
After the short train ride you exit and have about 30 minutes to explore. There is a full model train village that the kids loved. Next to the model train is the cider(hot/cold) and a snack. The kids really enjoyed watching the trains go around and seeing all the interactive pieces. There are also buttons that make different things happen on the track and create an interactive element to it.
Outside there are more train cars to explore. Walking in and out of different trains from different times we discovered some of the ways trains were used for transportation. I loved seeing how trains played an important part in the history of American transportation.
Lastly we headed over to the pumpkin patch to pick our pumpkins. The kids each picked out a pumpkin and we lined up to catch the train back to the station. On our way back we rode on the caboose and it was fun to experience a different ride.
The pumpkin patch train rides are offered select weekends in October. You can purchase tickets online or at the station. Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum also offers Trick or Treat train rides, Santa Train Rides, and Steam Train rides through the year.
Lunch at Lovin Cup: Bistro and Brews
It was lunch time when we finished our train ride and we were hungry. The next stop on our itinerary was Lovin’ Cup for lunch. Lovin’ Cup has an extensive menu of burgers, salads, and sandwiches. They also have a kids menu that makes it a great place for families.
One of our family favorite appetizers are fried pickles and we were excited to try them at Lovin’ Cup. They received a thumbs up from all of us and we really enjoyed the entire meal. Initially I wasn’t sure if this would be a good fit for families but I highly recommend it. The food was delicious and everyone had a great meal.
ZooBoo at the Seneca Park Zoo
ZooBoo is the Seneca Park Zoo’s Halloween annual event. Kids come dressed in their best Halloween costumes to enjoy special booths throughout the zoo. There are games, costumed characters, Halloween themed crafts, face painting, Conservation graveyard, animal enrichment experiences, and special treats. There is also a costume contest daily.
This was our first visit to ZooBoo and it was a fun way to get excited about Halloween. The kids each received a special ZooBoo map that showed us where all the ZooBoo stops were along the way. You don’t need to do every stop to receive your gift bag at the end, but it is fun to try them all.
I like to let my kids take the lead on activities like this and they picked where they wanted to visit. Our favorite stop was playing the ring toss near the new area of the zoo. The recently added area of the zoo has giraffes, zebras, ostriches, as well as a new area for the rhino and a new inside area.
We love the new addition and ZooBoo was a fun way to enjoy a day at the zoo with a little Halloween fun. ZooBoo is held Saturday and Sunday in October and requires an extra ticket to participate.
Watch the short video below for more of our Halloween inspired day out in Rochester. I highly recommend planning a family fall day to enjoy some distraction free family time and because the events are so much fun!
Rochester is an awesome place to live for families and Halloween is one of the best times of the year to get outside and spend time together as a family. Read More -Check out family activity ideas in Rochester and start planning your next family adventure!
Leah has been traveling with her family of 5 since 2012 and sharing her expertise on planning family vacations and visiting theme parks since 2016. Leah has been featured in Visit Rochester, Undercover Tourist, and Home Publications. She has worked with brands like Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, Hersheypark, Toyota, and various Tourism boards and destinations. Leah creates family travel itineraries based on real trip experiences with her family. Her guides and tips help others plan great family vacations. Learn more about Leah and Five for the Road.