Guide to Rochester Children’s Museum The Strong Museum of Play

Families planning a visit to Rochester, New York need to add The Strong Museum of Play to their itinerary. This guide to Rochester Children’s Museum the Strong Museum of Play will help you plan your visit.

rochester childrens museum strong museum of play guide

The Strong National Museum of Play located in the Rochester area is fun for the whole family. It is home to the National Toy Hall of Fame and one of the best children’s museums in the United States.

This children’s museum has interactive exhibits, pinball machines, and so much more. People of all ages will love exploring during their visit.

Whether you are planning a day trip to Rochester or are local you will have the best time visiting The Strong Museum of Play.

When visiting Rochester be sure to include a visit to the science center, Seneca Park Zoo, and George Eastman House. Learn more about the different Rochester Museum options.

Rochester Childrens Museum: The Strong Museum of Play

There is over 150,000 square footage at this museum and in June 2023 they added a 90,000 square feet expansion.

This museum is one of the largest museums I have ever visited. It will take time to explore.

It is a great place to visit in the city of Rochester and has one of the world’s largest collection of toys and memorabilia.

The Strong Museum focuses on the joy of play through so many different ways. They feature electronic games, interactive experiences, and an indoor butterfly garden to engage all of your senses.

Permanent Exhibits at The Strong Museum of Play

  • Sesame Street
  • Play Happened Here (Outside Exhibit)
  • Pixel Landing
  • ESL Digital Worlds: High Score (World Video Game Hall of Fame)
  • ESL Digital Worlds: Level Up
  • Age of Empires
  • Hasbro Game Park (outside exhibit)
  • Play Lab
  • Toy Halls of Fame
  • Skyline Climb (extra fee)
  • Danicing Wings Butterfly Garden (extra fee)
  • Wegmans Super Kids Market
  • Reading Adventureland
  • Play Pals
  • Pinball Playfields
  • Peanuts and Play Display
  • One History Place
  • Imagination Destination
  • Game Time!
  • Field of Play
  • Dance Lab
  • Build, Drive, Go
  • Carousel and Train
  • The Berenstain Bears
  • Aquariums at Rainbow Reef
  • American Comic Book Heroes
  • Short-Term Exhibit (these rotate during the year)

As you can see there are a lot of different areas to explore and play at. We discover something new almost each time we visit.

rochester childrens museum strong museum of play board game

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FAQ’s for Rochester Children’s Museum The Strong Museum of Play

What is the cost of tickets for The Strong Museum of Play

Tickets prices start at $25.00 and guests can save $2.00 by purchasing online. There are also add-on options available. Check updated pricing here.

What are the hours for The Strong National Museum of Play

The museum is open from 10:00am to 5:00pm daily. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday they are open until 8:00pm.

How long does it take to Visit The Strong Museum of Play

I would plan at least 3-4 hours to visit the Strong Museum. Due to it being an interactive exhibit space and play-based you may find yourself needing more time.

There are so many hands-on exhibits and play areas that most kids will stay in one space for hours if you let them. You will need to plan your day around areas you want to see the most.

I suggest a good pair of sneakers for your visit! It also tends to be a little chilly so wear layers like a hoodie or sweatshirt.

Can you bring food to The Strong Museum of Play

Yes, guests can bring their own food to eat at the food court. No food or drink is allowed in the museum exhibits.

There is a food court at The Strong Museum of Play as well as a Bill Gray’s restaurant that offers mobile ordering.

They have also added a café at the entrance of the outdoor Hasboro Game area.

Is there parking at The Strong Museum of Play

Yes there is a parking garage at the museum. Bring your ticket to be validated at the kiosks after your visit.

Tips for Visiting The National Museum of Play

  • Arrive early! If you want to see and do as much as possible arrive early. This will allow you plenty of time to see the entire museum.
  • Expect large crowds during the weekends and school breaks. I like to visit when they have later closing hours because it tends to be less busy.
  • Decide on a few exhibits you really want to see and start at those. You may not get to everything in one visit.
  • Consider purchasing a membership if you think you will visit multiple times. For our family of five it is worth a membership if we visit more than twice a year.
  • Be prepared to walk. It is important that you wear good sneakers during your visit.

Can’t Miss Things to Do at The Strong Museum of Play

Aquarium at The Rainbow Reef

This area has a coloring area that the kids can color and then put their image up on the screen. There is also a fish tank.

On a recent visit we stayed for the fish feeding and it was really interesting and fun to watch. We learned more about the fish at the museum and their eating habits. I suggest checking it out.

rochester childrens museum strong museum of play aquarium

Wegmans Super Kids Market

Wegmans Super Kids Market is a full grocery store complete with a coffee shop, cheese store, and cash registers. The kids can go shopping and then scan and pay for their “food”.

There is a 5 item limit on what you can put in your shopping cart and at the end you must put everything back in its place.

Near the cash registers there is a smaller play area that has pretend carrots and apples to pick and count.

This seems to be a favorite with young kids. It is make-believe at its finest and kids love shopping for groceries.

American Comic Book Heroes

My kids love super heroes, especially when they were younger. This area has huge statues of Superman, Hulk, Batman and other super hero characters.

The walls in this area are lined with movie posters, comic books, and super hero memorabilia. It is great for adults and kids.

There is a strength exhibit that you get “zapped”(a green light) with gamma ray and become strong like Hulk.

There is a dress up area, a few arcade games and make your own superhero. You take your picture and then email yourself the picture.

There is also a photo op where it looks like you are climbing a building like spiderman. This is a must do if you have a super hero fan in your house.

Small children may be frightened by the size of the superhero statues. You can avoid this area by walking through the Reading Adventureland.

the strong museum of play the hulk

Reading Adventureland

There is so much in this area I do not even know where to start!! A favorite of my kids is directly to the right when you enter, it is a Mystery House.

In it there are different puzzles/riddles to solve. I have to be honest we didn’t discover this area until a year ago!!

There is just so much to do here. There is a climbing bean stalk area for kids, a fairy tale cottage with beds/kitchen stuff, a garden, Cinderella’s pumpkin, a pirate ship, and a giant puppet the kids can move and make talk.

All through this area there are quotes from authors, book displays, and craft areas.

It is really an amazing place to discover. I love checking out all the little hallways and areas. This is also a place where kids can get lost quick!! There is so just so much and kids are always so excited!!

Hasboro Game Park

Hasboro Game Park is a new outside exhibit area that was my favorite on our recent visit. Your favorite board games like Monopoly, Life, Scrabble, and Jenga are enlarged to create an interactive play area.

This area is so well themed and it is a nice break from museum to walk along the bright colors and flowers.

rochester childrens museum strong museum of play hasboro

Caterpillar Atrium/Toy Halls of Fame

The Caterpillar Atrium is the area before you enter Reading Adventureland and American Comic Book Heroes. At times they use this area for special events.

There are bathrooms, a nursing/family room, and elevators to upstairs. The windows in this room are so pretty and if you time it right the sun setting can be great!

I always try to stop and appreciate it before we make our way upstairs.

When walking up the stairs from the atrium they have moving pictures that interact with each other. Barbie, Lego Mini-figures, G.I. Joe and a teddy bear come to life! It is full of surprises!!

This is a must see if you haven’t visited recently!! At the top we discovered this crayon music maker. When you move your hand over it up and down it makes the sound change.

rochester childrens museum strong museum of play atrium

Video Games/Pinball Games

My kids enjoy playing video games, and I do too…but not all the time. There are a lot of new ways technology is being incorporated in the museum.

At the entrance of Berenstain Bears there is a Pinball Area. Some of the games are old and are really neat to look at.

Most of them cost a quarter. There are token machines to exchange your money.

Upstairs they have video games that require tokens and video games that are free. My kids like the dodgeball floor game the best.

There is no charge for this. I have to be honest there are times when we avoid the games all together, times when each kid gets a dollar, and times when we play a lot.

Usually when we go I want to get away from the electronics in my own house and spend unplugged time with the kids, but there are times when we are all playing the games together and that can be well spent family time too.

They do have some vintage games that take me back to my own childhood and the kids laugh at how much the technology has really changed.

Friday Nights at Strong Museum of Play

Level Up

Level Up is an interactive video game area that is interactive and physical. Guests receive a bracelet, that is returned when they leave, that they can use to scan the games.

Each game allows guests to earn rewards. A lot of the games involved movement and obstacles. This is a great addition to the museum and something we have really enjoyed on recent visits.

When visiting the Finger Lakes region with your family you definetly have to add Rochester Children’s Museum the Strong National Museum of Play to your visit. You won’t regret it!

Read Next: Fun Things to Do in Rochester, New York

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