Nazareth College students campus cover

Rochester-Area Experiences for College Students

Whether you’ve grown up in the Rochester area or have recently moved here to further your education at our world-class universities, make time to explore off-campus. Take advantage of discounts for college students—many places offer deals on admission, food, and activities.

Remember that these discounts vary from place to place, so it’s a good idea to inquire about student deals wherever you go.

Best of Rochester - Day Trips Around Rochester book

Day Trips Around Rochester, New York

Top 10 City of Rochester Experiences for College Students

ARTISANworks retro room 2

1. ARTISANworks

Open year-round. Explore the 360-degree canvas and discover hidden gems that can surprise, inspire, and sometimes shock you.

Cobbs Hill October

2. Cobb’s Hill

Open year-round. The view from Cobbs Hill, the quiet, the breeze, the friendly nature of people walking and taking it all in—there’s nothing quite like it in Rochester.

High Falls Rochester NY Genesee River rockbed

3. High Falls

Viewable year-round and especially spectacular when frozen and after heavy spring rains.

Lamberton Conservatory holiday show path

4. Lamberton Conservatory

Open 10 a.m.–4 p.m. year-round, except Thanksgiving and Christmas Days. During the Holiday Show, it is open until 9 p.m. on Fridays and Sundays.

Memorial Art Gallery

5. Memorial Art Gallery

Open year-round. MAG boasts a rich permanent collection, an impressive range of traveling exhibitions, and a diverse schedule of classes and events, like third-Thursday DeTOURs.

planetarium holiday laser

6. RMSC and Strasenburgh Planetarium

Open year-round, with holiday laser shows in November and December. Don’t miss the two singing Tesla coils in the Electricity Theater.

Rochester Public Market

7. Rochester Public Market

Open year-round on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, plus special events. You can find a wide variety of fresh produce, meat, seafood, coffee shops, and restaurants.

ROC Holiday Village ice skating building

8. Roc Holiday Village

Open for 17 days in December. Offering free ice skating, shopping, dining, live music, and a visit from Santa Claus, it’s the quintessential holiday destination.

Seneca Park Zoo polar bear standing

9. Seneca Park Zoo

Open year-round. While many animals prefer to stay comfy-cozy inside or in a den, some species, such as polar bears and Amur tigers, enjoy the long, cold Rochester winters.

Strong National Museum of Play World Video Game Hall of Fame

10. Strong National Museum of Play

Open year-round. The Strong houses the world’s largest collection of play-related materials, the Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden, the National Toy Hall of Fame, and the World Video Game Hall of Fame, ensuring plenty to see and do for an entire day.

Savvy Savings: How College Students Can Make the Most of Discounts in Rochester

As college students, navigating the world on a tight budget is an art form. The good news is that here in Rochester, you hold a golden ticket to savings, and it’s right in your wallet: your student ID.

Many places in the city offer special discounts for college students, whether you’re looking to explore museums, satisfy your culinary cravings, or engage in exciting activities. Let’s dive into how you can make the most of these discounts and turn your student status into a key to affordable adventures.

Rochester is home to various museums and cultural attractions, many of which offer a welcoming hand to college students. Just flash your student ID, and you’ll often enjoy reduced admission fees or free entry.

Explore centuries of creativity at the Memorial Art Gallery, experience hands-on science activities at the Rochester Museum & Science Center and Strasenburgh Planetarium, or immerse yourself in the unusual at ArtisanWORKS. These discounts allow you to immerse yourself in art, culture, and knowledge without burning a hole in your pocket.

There are plenty of entertainment options available for students in Rochester. You can often get discounted tickets using your student ID, whether planning to watch a movie, attend a live performance, or participate in recreational activities like bowling. Check out local event listings and websites to save on your next night out.

In Rochester, your student ID isn’t just a piece of plastic; it’s your key to unlocking a world of savings and experiences. So, embrace your status as a college student, and use these discounts to explore, dine, learn, and have fun without stretching your budget. With some research and your trusty student ID, you can make the most of your time in Rochester while keeping your wallet happy.

Everyone, including college students, enjoy free admission to Lilac Fest Concerts
Lilac Fest

Live Music: Enjoy free jazz and classical performances at the prestigious Eastman School of Music, including their free live stream. Local bars, cafes, and restaurants also host free events, board games, live music, and open-mic comedy. Festivals like the Rochester Lilac Festival in May and the Rochester International Jazz Festival in June also offer free outdoor concerts.

College students can feed the birds along Mendon Ponds Park's birdsong trail
Mendon Ponds Park Birdsong Trail

Parks: Explore Rochester’s beautiful parks year-round. Experience the best of each season: fall in Mount Hope Cemetery‘s arboretum, winter feeding the chickadees and sledding at Mendon Ponds Park, and spring at Highland Park, with the world-famous lilac collection blooming in May. Are you planning to be in Rochester for the summer, too? Ontario Beach Park offers a sandy beach and swimming in Lake Ontario, one of the five Great Lakes. And take advantage of the area’s nature centers and preserves as quiet, safe spaces.

Now that you have this guide, make the most of your college experience in Rochester without breaking the bank!

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What Rochester experiences are you looking forward to this semester as a college student?

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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