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15 of the best things to do in Rochester

Jul 25, 2023

Rochester, a vibrant city nestled along the shores of Lake Ontario, is a treasure trove of exciting activities and experiences for young adventurers aged 12 to 13. Whether you are a resident or a visitor exploring this beautiful city, there are countless opportunities for fun and learning.

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In this essay, we will unveil 15 of the best things to do in Rochester, designed especially for children seeking thrilling adventures and new discoveries.


Strong National Museum of Play

Prepare for a day of non-stop fun and learning at the Strong National Museum of Play. This interactive museum is a haven for kids, featuring exhibits that celebrate the power of play. From exploring the history of toys to getting hands-on with science experiments, there's something for everyone. Don't miss the Toy Halls of Fame and the butterfly garden, which are sure to captivate young minds.


Seabreeze Amusement Park

Head over to Seabreeze Amusement Park, where thrills and excitement await! This historic amusement park boasts a variety of rides, including roller coasters, water slides, and classic carnival attractions. Feel the rush of wind on your face as you ride the Jack Rabbit or cool off in the water park on a hot summer day. Seabreeze promises a day filled with laughter and adventure.


Seneca Park Zoo

Step into the wild world of animals at the Seneca Park Zoo. This family-friendly zoo is home to over 90 species, including lions, elephants, penguins, and more. The zoo offers exciting exhibits and educational programs that allow you to learn about wildlife conservation and the importance of protecting our planet's diverse creatures.


Rochester Museum & Science Center

Expand your knowledge of science, history, and the natural world at the Rochester Museum & Science Center. This dynamic museum features interactive exhibits, a planetarium, and a hands-on science lab. Journey through time, explore the wonders of the cosmos, and participate in engaging experiments that will ignite your curiosity.


Genesee Riverway Trail

Take a bike ride or a leisurely stroll along the Genesee Riverway Trail, a scenic path that follows the Genesee River. Enjoy the stunning views of the river, waterfalls, and green landscapes. This trail is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts looking to connect with nature and enjoy some fresh air.


Rochester Public Market

Discover a world of flavors and cultures at the Rochester Public Market. This bustling marketplace is an excellent place to sample delicious food from various vendors, find fresh produce, and browse unique crafts. The vibrant atmosphere and diverse offerings make it an exciting destination for locals and tourists alike.


Highland Park and Lilac Festival

Visit Highland Park during spring to experience the enchanting Lilac Festival. This annual celebration showcases over 500 varieties of lilacs in full bloom, filling the air with their delightful fragrance. The park also features beautiful gardens, walking trails, and the Lamberton Conservatory, a tropical oasis amidst the flowers.


Memorial Art Gallery

For young art enthusiasts, the Memorial Art Gallery is a gem waiting to be explored. This museum houses an extensive collection of artworks from various cultures and time periods. Admire paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts, and participate in art-related activities and workshops that inspire creativity.


Cobbs Hill Park

Escape to Cobbs Hill Park, a serene and picturesque spot with hiking trails and a large reservoir. Pack a picnic and enjoy the breathtaking views of the city from the top of Cobbs Hill. The park also offers opportunities for birdwatching, playing sports, and enjoying the outdoors with family and friends.


Charlotte Beach

Experience the joys of summer at Charlotte Beach, located along the shores of Lake Ontario. Take a refreshing swim, build sandcastles, or simply bask in the sun on the sandy shores. The beach also has playgrounds and picnic areas, making it a perfect spot for a day of relaxation and family fun.

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George Eastman Museum

Immerse yourself in the world of photography and cinema at the George Eastman Museum. The former home of George Eastman, the founder of Kodak, now serves as a museum dedicated to the art of photography. Explore the exhibits that showcase the evolution of photography and film, and even try your hand at creating your own pictures.


Ontario Beach Park

Ontario Beach Park is another delightful beach destination in Rochester. This family-friendly park offers not only sandy shores and refreshing waters but also a vintage carousel that adds a touch of nostalgia to your visit. Enjoy a ride on the carousel and relish the joy of being by the water's edge.


Sam Patch Erie Canal Tour

Embark on a unique adventure with a Sam Patch Erie Canal Tour. Hop on a boat and cruise along the historic Erie Canal, learning about its significance in shaping Rochester's history and the nation's development. This engaging tour offers a glimpse into the past while enjoying the tranquility of the waterway.


Mendon Ponds Park

Get back to nature at Mendon Ponds Park, one of the largest parks in Monroe County. This vast natural area offers opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and exploring diverse ecosystems. Follow the trails through meadows, woodlands, and wetlands, and keep an eye out for deer, foxes, and other wildlife.


The Strong Express Train Rides

All aboard! Hop on The Strong Express Train, a miniature train that takes you on a charming ride through the scenic landscapes of the Strong National Museum of Play. This delightful experience is perfect for young train enthusiasts and adds a touch of magic to your museum visit.


Rochester, with its array of exciting activities and cultural experiences, is a playground for young explorers aged 12 to 13. From the interactive exhibits of the Strong National Museum of Play to the thrilling rides at Seabreeze Amusement Park, this city offers a wide range of adventures for everyone to enjoy.

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The educational museums, serene parks, and beautiful waterfronts provide endless opportunities for fun, learning, and creating lasting memories. So, embrace your sense of wonder and embark on an unforgettable journey of exploration in the charming city of Rochester!

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