Rochester Red Wings baseball stadium Innovative Field cover

8 Father’s Day Ideas for a Memorable Day with Dad

Father’s Day is just around the corner, falling on Sunday, June 16, 2024, and I understand the importance of making this day extra special for the one who means the world to you. This guide to Father’s Day in Rochester is here to inspire you and help you plan a day that your dad will cherish forever.

Whether Dad’s an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or enjoys good food and entertainment, I’ve got you covered.

Best of Rochester - Day Trips Around Rochester book

Day Trips Around Rochester, New York

Red Wings Game September
Red Wings

1. Take Dad Out to the Ball Game

Come celebrate Father’s Day weekend at Innovative Field! The Rochester Red Wings are playing the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. Stay for fireworks after the Saturday night game, or enjoy a Sunday afternoon game, when the first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a specialty Red Wings baseball.

Please be aware that the Pont de Rennes pedestrian bridge, which connects the west and east sides of the Genesee River, is currently closed and will remain so until later this year. If you plan to have a meal at High Falls Brewing before or after the game, you will need to drive there, as the bridge is not accessible to pedestrians.

Alternatively, enjoy a vintage base ball double-header at the Genesee Country Village & Museum. Watch the museum’s vintage base ball teams unpack their woolen uniforms, brown balls, and double-knobbed bats and play in Silver Base Ball Park, the first and finest replica 19th-century base ball park in the country. Games start at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., so you’ll have plenty of time to explore the village.

Rochester and Genesee Valley Train Ride
Photo courtesy of Rochester and Genesee Valley Railroad

2. Ride the Rails

For the train enthusiasts, there are plenty of options. Take Dad for an exciting train ride at the R&GV Railroad Museum on Saturday, June 15. Round out the weekend on Sunday, June 16, at the New York Museum of Transportation when Dads and Grandpas are admitted free when accompanied by a youth aged 3–12.

Alternatively, plan a road trip to enjoy a two-hour round-trip train excursion on the Arcade & Attica Railroad, with a halfway stop at Curriers Station. You could also take Dad to the Medina Railroad Museum for a leisurely day, enjoying the highly detailed model railroad display and historic artifacts.

For a uniquly active experience, try rail biking with Finger Lakes Rail Riders in Penn Yan.

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Beer on tap

3. Tap into Local Brews, Food, and Live Music

Discover local events that offer the perfect blend of delicious food, craft brews, and live music. Check out the event calendar of your favorite craft brewery or restaurant. I’ll list several fun events as they are announced.

Alternatively, try hosting a tasting at home with a selection of local wines, brews, cheeses, and chocolates.

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Fort Stanwix tunnel
Fort Stanwix

4. Explore Our Military History

Take Dad on a historical journey through the region’s military sites. Choose from renowned forts such as Fort Niagara in Youngstown, Fort Ontario in Oswego, or Fort Stanwix in Rome, each offering unique experiences and breathtaking views.

If you choose Old Fort Niagara, take advantage of the free Discover Niagara Shuttle with a round-trip scenic ride to Niagara Falls.

If you choose Fort Ontario State Historic Site, Dad may enjoy the H. Lee White Maritime Museum.

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The Lake Ontario Seaway Trail runs along the southern Lake Ontario shoreline, from Fort Niagara in Youngstown to Fort Ontario in Oswego.

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Sonnenberg Gardens from Facebook Event

5. Find a Classic Car Show

If your dad is a classic car enthusiast, surprise him with a visit to the Father’s Day Car Show at Sonnenberg Garden and Mansion Historic Park. The beautiful surroundings will impress Mom and Dad alike!

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Located in the City of Canandaigua, Sonnenberg Gardens is an exceptional example of the lavish wealth and philanthropy of the Gilded Age.

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Seabreeze Amusement Park Jack Rabbit night
Seabreeze

6. Fill His Day with Amuseument

For an adrenaline-packed day, visit SeabreezeDarien Lake, or Roseland Waterpark, where you can spend a day with Dad on all his favorite rides.

If you choose Seabreeze, top off the day with a round of golf at Parkside Whispering Pines, the oldest miniature golf course in the United States, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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The Riverie riverboat

7. Cruise the Genesee River or Erie Canal

Embark on a scenic boat tour along the picturesque Genesee River with The Riverie, offering a range of cruises between Corn Hill Landing and Genesee Valley Park, with some extending to Lock 33 in Brighton. Alternatively, experience the impressive engineering of Lock 32 onboard the Colonial Belle from Fairport or the Sam Patch from Pittsford.

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Discover the breathtaking beauty of the Great Lakes, Genesee River, Erie Canal, and Finger Lakes on one of these Rochester-area boat tours.

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Watkins Glen Rainbow Falls
Rainbow Falls

8. Hike or Drive The Glen

Kickstart Father’s Day with an early morning hike through the breathtaking Watkins Glen State Park. Experience the beauty of the gorge before the crowds arrive.

If you’d like to celebrate a day early, you can indulge Dad’s need for speed with a drive on the historic race track at Watkins Glen International. However, the track is unavailable because of race activities taking place on Sunday, June 16.

Also, on Saturday, check out Watkins Glen’s Waterfront Festival at Seneca Harbor Park from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. This free, family-friendly event takes place the Saturday before Father’s Day and features a parade of creative cardboard boats, live music, delicious food, and shopping in the park.

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How do you celebrate Father’s Day?

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 daytrippingroc.com 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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