Strong Museum Dancing Wings Indoor Butterfly Garden

Escape Winter: 5 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.

Table of Contents:

  1. Strong Museum’s Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden
  2. Enjoy tropical temps inside Lamberton Conservatory
  3. Curl up with a good book at the library
  4. Leave the planet behind inside RMSC’s Planetarium
  5. Explore 100+ other museums around Rochester

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

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

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!

Lamberton Conservatory tropical flower
Lamberton Conservatory dessert room
Lamberton Conservatory tangerine
Lamberton Conservatory
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
Rush library
Scottsville Free 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
RMSC Carl planetarium
Planetarium walk
RMSC Saturn
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.

New York Museum of Transportation Midtown Monorail
NY Museum of Transportation
Paleontological Research Institution and its Museum of the Earth in Ithaca NY
Museum of the Earth
Art Museum of Rochester
Art Museum of Rochester

5. 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 100+ lesser-know, off-the-beaten-path, and odd-collection museums.

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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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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: Some of the information you find in our articles may currently be inaccurate due to closures and cancellations.

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.