Humphrey Nature Center Letchworth State Park

Child-Sized Fun: 10 Ideas for Enjoying Spring Break in Rochester

Whether you’re a local resident or visiting the area, Rochester offers a wealth of activities and attractions for families looking to make the most of their school’s spring break. From interactive museums to nature adventures and delicious dining experiences, this guide has everything you need to create unforgettable memories with your loved ones. Take a look and start planning your perfect spring break!

Best of Rochester - Day Trips Around Rochester book

Day Trips Around Rochester, New York

Best of Rochester Award-Winning Book for Best Published Literary Work of 2023.

1. Edgerton Model Railroad Room

Edgerton Model Railroad autumn display
Autumn Scene – Edgerton Model Railroad

Step into a miniature world of trains and tracks at the Edgerton Model Railroad Room. This hidden gem delights visitors of all ages with its intricate model layouts, detailed landscapes, and moving trains. Kids can marvel at the craftsmanship while learning about railroad history, making it a perfect educational and entertaining stop for families.

Each of the four season-themed layouts tells a different story of life on the move in the 1950s, with operating model trains touring throughout each scene. Explore the details of each display during the open house layout tours, which take place on the last Saturday of each month from 11 am to 2 pm. The March open house is Saturday, March 30, 2024.

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Edgerton Model Railroad

Each of the Edgerton Model Railroad’s four season-themed layouts tells a different story of life on the move in the 1950s.

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2. ARTISANworks

ARTISANworks toothbrush

I have heard ARTISANworks described as a walk-through kaleidoscope and a space that transcends boundaries, displaying art across a 360° canvas. It is a place that cannot be fully captured in words and must be seen to be believed. It’s surprising, inspiring, and sometimes even shocking. It’s an experience that bombards your senses and defies all expectations.

Immerse yourselves in a blend of art, creativity, and imagination at ARTISANworks. This dynamic art space features a diverse collection of artworks, sculptures, and installations from local and international artists.

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I’ve heard ARTISANworks described as a walk-through kaleidoscope, a bombardment on the senses, a 360° canvas, a space that defies all boundaries.

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3. Lamberton Conservatory

Lamberton Conservatory turtles
Lamberton Conservatory

Escape into a tropical oasis at the Lamberton Conservatory, where lush greenery, vibrant flowers, and exotic plants await. Stroll through different botanical environments, from desert landscapes to rainforest settings, and discover a variety of plant species from around the world. You will also be able to spot turtles basking by indoor ponds, while tiny button quail and tortoises roam around the area. It’s an educational and peaceful experience that nature enthusiasts of all ages will enjoy.

The theme of the Seasonal Display Room changes five times throughout the year. The 2024 Lamberton Conservatory Spring Show features hyacinths, daffodils, tulips, and other aromatic flowering bulbs.

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Lamberton Conservatory

The 2024 Lamberton Conservatory Spring Show opens in late March and features hyacinths, daffodils, tulips, and other flowering bulbs.

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4. Nature Centers

Sterling Nature Center
Sterling Nature Center

Embark on outdoor adventures through Rochester-area nature centers, where families can hike scenic trails, observe wildlife in their natural habitats, and learn about environmental conservation. With activities like bird watching, nature crafts, and guided tours, these centers offer a perfect blend of fun and learning for a memorable spring break getaway.

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Nature Centers and Preserves Around Rochester

The various nature centers, preserves, and management areas all work to protect and maintain natural spaces for the benefit of all.

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5. Rochester Museum & Science Center

RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium Rochester Museum Science Center
RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium

Explore the fascinating world of science and history at the Rochester Museum & Science Center. With interactive exhibits, planetarium shows, hands-on experiments, and educational programs, there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy. Discover ancient civilizations, dive into space exploration, and engage in STEM activities for an enriching and fun experience.

Don’t miss the two singing Tesla coils in the Electricity Theater. Audience members can volunteer to stand inside a Faraday cage while the coils sing a duet with lightning.

In the planetarium, you’ll experience a state-of-the-art view of our solar system and the visible universe using near-real-time data. The lounge chairs in the planetarium are not fixed to the floor, making the space accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.

ECLIPSE EVENT: ROC the Eclipse Festival, April 6–8

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Rochester Museum & Science Center

Between the star shows, laser shows, interactive exhibits, and Singing Tesla Coils, the Rochester Museum and Science Center will entertain you for hours!

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6. The Strong National Museum of Play

Escape winter: Strong Museum of Play Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden landed on wrist
Strong Museum

Discover a world of fun and imagination at The Strong National Museum of Play, where visitors of all ages can experience the joy of gaming, toys, and childhood memories. With classic arcade games, interactive exhibits, outdoor play areas, and storytelling sessions, this museum celebrates the importance of play in creating memories and inspiring creativity.

The Strong boasts the world’s most extensive collection of play-related historical materials. It all began with Margaret Woodbury Strong, a little girl who shared her parents’ passion for collecting, and they happily supported her.

The Strong National Museum of Play completed a multi-year expansion project in 2023 with the opening of the World Video Game Hall of Fame. Toward the back of the museum is a new cafe and outdoor Hasbro Game Park, themed around classic board games like Candy Land, Monopoly, Simon, and Scrabble.

The Neighborhood of Play is also new, introducing several bars and restaurants, including Nerdvana, which offers an upscale food and cocktail menu paired with video and board games.

ECLIPSE EVENT: Solar Spectacular: April Break Week

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Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong National Museum of Play boasts the world’s most extensive collection of play-related historical materials.

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7. Family-Friendly Restaurants, Cafes, and Breweries

pure imagination cafe
Pure Imagination Cafe

Rochester offers an exciting selection of restaurants, cafes, and breweries that serve delicious culinary treats in a kid-friendly environment. Whether you are in the mood for comfort food, gourmet cuisine, or local specialties, there is a diverse range of dining options to satisfy every taste bud. You can enjoy farm-to-table meals, sample craft beer, or relax and have a great dining experience with your family.

Or head to the Avon Vintage Drive-In to enjoy dinner and a movie!

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Fun, Family-Friendly Restaurants, Cafes, and Breweries

I asked our day-trip community: “Do you know of any Rochester-area restaurants that are great for date night and kid-friendly but not kid-centric?” Here’s what you said!

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8. Monroe County Libraries

greece public library
Greece Public Library

Fuel your love for reading and learning at Monroe County Libraries, offering a treasure trove of books, resources, and engaging activities for families. From storytime sessions and book clubs to educational workshops and computer labs, these libraries provide a welcoming space for exploration, discovery, and community engagement during spring break.

Explore the unique characteristics of the thirty-one Monroe County libraries and their surrounding communities.

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31 Monroe County Libraries

A free library card allows you to access 31 Monroe County libraries, including Central Library and Libby, the digital library.

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9. Spend Time with Animals

Northampton Park Springdale Farms
Springdale Farm

Connect with nature’s furry, feathered, and fishy friends by visiting animal sanctuaries, farms, and petting zoos around Rochester. Kids can interact with farm animals, observe wildlife up close, and learn about animal care and conservation. It’s a heartwarming and educational experience that fosters empathy and appreciation for the natural world.

Take the kids to Rochester’s Seneca Park ZooRosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, or the Buffalo Zoo. Farms such as Powers Farm MarketLollypop Farm, and Springdale Farm offer the opportunity to observe animals and hands-on experiences like feeding and petting. Dive into aquatic wonders at the Aquarium of Niagara or the avian world at WildWings at Mendon Ponds.

ECLIPSE EVENT: Seneca Park Zoo Eclipse Weekend, April 6–8

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Seneca Park and Zoo

The Seneca Park Zoo is only a small part of the 297-acre Seneca Park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1893.

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10. Take a Short Spring Break Road Trip

corning museum of glass show
Corning Museum of Glass

Plan a short road trip to a nearby children’s museum for a fun spring break mini-adventure.

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Museums Around Rochester

Rochester is home to world-renowned museums and thought-provoking galleries. You can spend weeks exploring our rich cultural heritage.

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Explore Corning

Corning’s Gaffer District features nearly one hundred boutiques, specialty and antique shops, art galleries, glass studios, and restaurants.

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Explore Ithaca

Spend a day in the City of Ithaca, exploring the waterfalls, restaurants, shops, and festivals that make this Ivy League college town unique.

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Explore Niagara Falls, USA

Niagara Falls is majestic year-round, and I recommend going at different times throughout the year to witness the uniqueness of each season.

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BONUS for 2024: A Total Solar Eclipse!

Visit Rochester Eclipse Guide

Enjoy your bonus day off from school by experiencing a once-in-a-generation event right from home!

While the total solar eclipse takes place between 2:07 p.m. and 4:33 p.m. (for zip code 14607) on April 8, the weekend leading up to the event is packed with activities. At last check, 120+ eclipse-themed events are planned throughout the Greater Rochester area. Buses will shuttle people between downtown parking garages and major museums to reduce car traffic.

Here are a few events to consider:

Don’t miss the RPO Eclipse Spectacular performance at Blue Cross Arena on Sunday, April 7!

Discover even more ideas at rochestereclipse2024.orgthe official source for Rochester-area eclipse information. And check out Visit Rochester’s eclipse guide and their digital brochure, Rochester’s Path of Totality Awesome: Total Solar Eclipse Guide, also available in area hotels.

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2024 Total Solar Eclipse: Where will you be when all of Rochester looks up on April 8?

When future generations ask where you were during the April 8, 2024, Rochester Total Solar Eclipse, what story will you tell them?

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April Events: A Guide to Rochester’s Spring Fling Activities

As winter’s chill begins to fade, we eagerly await the start of spring, with its promise of warmer weather, longer days, and April events.

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Earth Day 2024: Get Involved in Activities Around Rochester

Spring is in full swing, and it’s the perfect time to observe Earth Day (April 22, 2024) and embrace sustainable practices for a better future.

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What are your favorite spring break activities?

Your insights and experiences are valuable. Please share them in the comments.

Debi Bower, Day Trips Around Rochester NY

Debi Bower is the founder and creative director of and author of the award-winning book Day Trips Around Rochester, New York.

People often ask me if I get free access to places while exploring. The answer is no unless I’m invited to previews or granted behind-the-scenes access as part of my media role. Generally, I don’t mention my project, Day Trips Around Rochester, NY, because I want the same experience you would have. I create and share content simply because it brings me joy. I would appreciate your support—a cup of coffee or two to help fuel future field trips—if you have found valuable information here that has helped you explore the Rochester area.

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