COVID-19 NOTE: Some of the information you find in our articles may currently be inaccurate due to closures and cancellations.
Strong Museum Dancing Wings Indoor Butterfly Garden

Escape Winter: 7 Warm & Cozy Places

In December, January, February, and March, we’re all looking to escape winter in Rochester, at least for a few hours!

Lots of folks look for ways to recreate their outdoor activities indoors, like spending more time at the gym or walking through the mall. These places with tropical temperatures or cozy environments will also help you can find comfort through the winter months.

People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.

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

1. Strong Museum’s Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden

The butterfly garden is the only year-round indoor butterfly garden in upstate New York. With a rain-forest environment it’s the perfect retreat from winter!


Escape winter: Lamberton Conservatory orange tree
Lamberton Conservatory

2. Lamberton Conservatory

Tropical plants need tropical temperatures, so visiting Lamberton Conservatory in winter is a welcome escape from the cold!

Each December, the Holiday Show welcomes you with holiday lights, greens and poinsettias.

The Spring Show opens around the 1st weekend of spring (March 23) through the Lilac Festival in May. They feature hyacinth, daffodils, and tulips; the color and aroma make for a welcome retreat from winter!


Irondequoit Library
Irondequoit Library

3. Monroe County Libraries

Signing up for a free library card gives you access to all 32 Monroe County libraries! The Monroe Country Library System comprises town & village locations, Rochester Public Library branch locations, and the Central Library.

Each library has its own amenities and environments so spend some time this winter exploring a few! Or check out a book store!


Rochester Museum and Science Center Planetarium
Strasenburgh Planetarium

4. RMSC + Planetarium

In the Science Museum you’ll interact with immersive installations like At The Western DoorRochester’s Underground RailroadScience on a SphereExpedition EarthAdventure ZoneElectricity Theater and the Singing Tesla Coils, and a recently-restored diorama of Rochester, The Young Lion of the West. There are always new and innovative exhibits that keep each visit unique.

The renovated Strasenburgh Planetarium now allows us to explore space from all viewpoints, not just from Earth looking out. It’s an extraordinary asset for the Rochester community and I highly encourage you to go explore the Universe, especially if you have not been in years.


5. 93 Other Museums Around Rochester

We’re all familiar with the big four museums around Rochester: Rochester Museum and Science CenterThe Strong National Museum of PlayGeorge Eastman Museum, and the Memorial Art Gallery.

Those are fabulous museums—incredible!—but take some time to explore some lesser-know, off-the-beaten-path, and odd-collection museums.

Historic Inns Around Rochester: Inn on Broadway

6. Historic Inns

These historic inns around Rochester offer unique dining experiences. Unlike bed & breakfasts, their dining rooms are open to the public. Unlike restaurants, they offer lodging. And their food is as extraordinary as their stories.


Ohmann Theater Lyons NY

7. Historic Movie Theaters

There is something about a 100-year-old small movie theater that enhances your experience and transcends you through space and time.


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Whether it’s your first date night in Rochester or 50th, spending time exploring with your partner is a great way to connect and learn about each other.

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4 Old Country Stores Around Rochester

When you walk into one of these old country stores, you feel like you are stepping back in time with aisles of old fashioned toys, knickknacks and candies.

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Wintertime in Rochester

It’s cold, it’s snowy, it’s dark. It’s wintertime in Rochester! Here are a few suggestions to help embrace our winter season.

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Holiday & Winter Break: 24 Ideas for All Ages & Interests

The weather over holiday and winter break can be unpredictable! Here are several ideas for spending your days off outside or inside!

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Snow Sports: 6 Ways to Stay Active in Winter

Skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, skating, & snow tubing are great snow sports to shake the winter doldrums with exposure to fresh air, exercise, & sunshine.

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How do you like to escape winter in Rochester?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!


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COVID-19 NOTE: Please follow the most current recommendations from the CDC and New York State for spending time away from your home.

The great outdoors can provide a well needed respite & escape during stressful times. Please move quickly through parking lots, trail heads, and scenic areas. If crowded, choose a different park, trail, or time to visit. Please day trip responsibly and locally—seek solitude!