All summer long the Genesee Country Village and Museum hosts themed events on the weekends like Highland Days, Civil War Days, and a Fiddlers Fair. In the spring, it’s all about Maple Syrup, in the fall, Trick-or-Treating in the village. In December, it’s Yuletide in the Country which is a fantastic way to get into the holiday spirit while learning about Christmases past–how, where and when today’s traditions began. During the weekdays in the summer, it’s business as usual, and sometimes these are my favorite days to enjoy the village. I had a membership and I would take my toddler for strolls in the village and enjoy the nature center.
They also have a Civil War-era helium balloon that can take visitors 300 feet above the village for a beautiful perspective on the buildings and the Wheatland countryside. Check with the museum if you are interested as this activity has an additional fee, and flight is dependent on the availability of helium.
The lay of the land
First and foremost, there is a trolley available with multiple stops throughout the village. The parking lot and entrance is located at the bottom of this map, the softball field at the top.
Most of the main events and activities take place in the 2 green spaces. The Great Meadow, featuring the gazebo and surrounded by restaurants, an art gallery, gift shop among other buildings, is the center stage for activities like the major Civil War battle reenactments.
The village square features the smaller activities: pie eating contests, games in the park, musical performances, etc.
This is an area of beautiful hiking trails, an education building, and the center of Maple Sugaring activities in the spring.
Naturalization Ceremony on the 4th of July
Every 4th of July, The Genesee Country Village & Museum hosts a Naturalization Ceremony for roughly 50 new American Citizens.It reminds me that the path to citizenship is paved with hard work and determination. The ceremony is quite a thing to witness.
It is also a day-long celebration of all-things-America: pie eating contest, sack races, a parade; as the museum website says, “pageantry, marching bands and merrymaking”.
Visitors can take a ride in this replica Civil War-are helium balloon, enjoying a view of the village from above. Sometimes when there are helium shortages, weather issues or the balloon is in repair it is unavailable, so if this is something you are looking forward to doing, call ahead.
Homes and businesses
From the Genesee Country Village and Museum website
“Our 700-acre complex consists of 68 historic structures furnished with 15,000 artifacts to provide an authentic, 19th-century environment in which visitors can interact with knowledgeable, third-person historic interpreters in period-appropriate dress. Among the buildings preserved in the historic village are Col. Nathaniel Rochester’s house and George Eastman’s childhood home. Visitors experience how life in small towns has changed over time through engaging and enjoyable encounters with the stories, objects, buildings and environments of Western New York.”