Some of the best museums I have ever visited are the museums around Rochester. The Rochester museums have something for everyone to love from arts to outdoor living museums, you will find something to explore anytime of the year.
Whether you are planning a morning of family fun or looking to plan a family day trip in Rochester, these museums are great choices. A few are not centrally located in Rochester but are great to visit for a day trip.
Most of these museums on the list we have personally visited but I added a few that I would like to visit in the future and hope to take the family to soon.
Best Rochester Museums to Explore
Strong Museum of Play (Best Kids Museum Around Rochester!)
The Strong Museum of Play is one of the best children’s museums ever! We love the nostalgia of the Berenstain Bears and Sesame Street exhibits as well as the new interactive play exhibits.
One of the things we really love about the Strong Museum of Play is that your kids can grow up going and always find something that interests them.
When the kids were small they love shopping at the kids size Wegmans. Now that they are older they like checking out the arcade areas, the traveling exhibits, and the Fairytale area. The Fairytale area has a fun mystery scavenger hunt we like!
There is so much to see at the Strong Museum of Play. Read this post, The Best Things to See at Strong Museum of Play, to help plan your day and make sure you don’t miss anything!
Genesee Country Village Museum
Genesee Country Village & Museum is the largest living history museum in New York State. We always love visiting because the staff are so knowledgeable and interactive, we learn something new each time!
It is a great place to take the learning outside the classroom and experience what life was like in the early settlements.
The historic village takes you from the late 1700’s to the early 1900’s. Each area reenacts what life was like and you will see something new every visit. One time we watch a class all about moustaches and how they played a part in society.
Its always a fun surprise to see what events and interactive activities they have going on.
Rochester Museum and Science Center
We are members of the Rochester Museum and Science center and it is great because it gives you access to the Museum, Planetarium, and Cumming Nature Center.
The museum is where we visit most often. One of my favorite things to do there is see the electricity theater show. They show how electricity is conducted and you can get on stage to participate as well. It’s a really cool show and we try to see it during our visit.
The Planetarium is on the same campus as the museum. They offer star and laser shows at an additional cost. The Cumming Nature center is located in Naples, NY and is a great way to get outside with your family. All three are included in your membership.
The Eastman Museum is best for the 8+ crowd. You will see the history of photography and how far technology has come in capturing the moments of our lives.
They do have a hands-on children’s area that has been closed due to COVID-19. We still enjoyed walking around the exhibits, exploring the house where George Eastman once lived, and learning more about photography.
If you visit during the warmer months you can also explore the outside gardens. Before you visit check the upcoming traveling exhibits. Most recently we saw a Looney Tunes one that was great for kids!
Memorial Art Gallery
An art gallery may not seem like the first choice with kids but I think you can use it to encourage your kids creativity. The Memorial Art Gallery is a great museum in Rochester, NY that offers a few outdoor exhibits as well as indoor.
We like to stop by the sculptures outside before we head inside. They are actually 11 spots along the sculpture park map. You can see them all here.
We include a stop at the sculpture park on our Rochester Scavenger Hunt article. This is fun to do anytime of the year!
Once we arrive we explore each room together discussing what we like and don’t like. Usually there is a scavenger hunt activity offered by the museum, but if not I will encourage the kids to find a piece they are inspired by and we create our own art work at home.
Museums Around Rochester
If you are willing to travel a little further these museums around Rochester are a good pick:
- Corning Museum of Glass
- Rockwell Museum
- National Comedy Center
- Museum of the Earth
- Sonnenberg Gardens
- Artisan Works
As a family we have made awesome memories and learned a lot at these Rochester museums. With virtual learning being part of our school this year the museums provide a great option for us to continue the learning outside the classroom.
Read Next: Fun Things to Do in Rochester, New York
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