Date Night in Rochester NY

230+ Rochester Date Ideas: The Ultimate Guide for Spending Quality Time Together

We’ve broken these Rochester date ideas into themes to help you find a topic you already love or want to try.

Whether it’s your first date or 50th, spending time trying new activities with your partner is a great way to connect, learn more about each other, and avoid the routine rut or feelings of isolation.

Table of Contents

  1. Earth
  2. Air
  3. Fire
  4. Water
  5. Explore
  6. Plan a Getaway
  7. Play
  8. Create
  9. Go Wild
  10. Dine Out
  11. Be Entertained
  12. Holiday Spirit

75+ Date Night Ideas Around Rochester in a Time of Social Distancing ►

Please visit our newest article for a more streamlined list of ideas. Many of the options listed below are unavailable or undesirable at this time.

EARTH

Rochester Date Ideas - rock climbing
Panama Rocks

Take a hike

  1. Monroe County Parks
  2. National Natural Landmarks
  3. Seek Solitude
  4. Get Away From It All
  5. New York State Parks
  6. Wonderful Winter Walks
  7. Hiking Trails
  8. Gorge Trails
  9. Geo-caching
  10. Rock Cities
  11. Genesee Riverway Trail in the City
  12. Genesee Valley Greenway south of GVP
  13. Nature Centers & Wildlife Preserves

Below the surface

  1. Search for fossils at Penn Dixie Fossil Park and Nature Reserve
  2. or Herkimer “Diamonds” at the Herkimer Diamond Mine or Ace of Diamonds Mine
  3. or the glowing calcite heart in Howe Caverns

Ride the rails

  1. Arcade & Attica Railroad
  2. Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum
  3. New York Museum of Transportation
  4. Medina Railroad Museum & Train Rides
  5. or dine at a train-themed restaurant

Stop & smell the roses

  1. Public Gardens & Arboretums
  2. The Flower City
  3. and Lamberton Conservatory all year long

Try some snow sports

  1. Rent Snowshoes
  2. Go Sledding
  3. Downhill and Cross-Country Skiing
  4. Outdoor and Indoor Ice Skating Rinks

Get your motor running

  1. Motocross
  2. Monster Trucks
  3. Speedways
  4. Go-Carts: Outside and Inside
  5. Watch a race at Watkins Glen International Speedway
  6. or Drive the Glen yourself!
  7. Lake Alice Mud Bogs

AIR

Rochester Date Ideas - Aerial Adventures at Bristol Mountain
Aerial Adventures at Bristol Mountain

Zip & climb

  1. Central Rock Gym
  2. Aerial Adventures at Bristol Mountain
  3. Niagara Falls Adventure Park
  4. Canyon Climb at Destiny USA
  5. The Niagara Zipper in Lockport
  6. RockVentures

Up, up & away

  1. Balloons Over Corning
  2. Balloons Over Letchworth
  3. High Hopes Balloon Co.

Fly high

  1. East Hill Flying Club
  2. Finger Lakes Soaring Club
  3. Harris Hill Soaring Club
  4. Finger Lakes Seaplanes

Free fall

  1. Rochester Skydivers
  2. Western New York Skydivers
  3. Frontier Skydivers
  4. Finger Lakes Skydivers
  5. Skydive Central New York

Helicopter

  1. Rochester Helicopter Rides and Tours
  2. Rochester Helicopter Charters
  3. Buffalo Helicopter Charters
  4. BAC Helicopters
  5. Rainbow Air Helicopter Tours
  6. WNY Helicopter Tours
  7. FirstAir

Hang gliding

  1. Rochester Area Flyers

FIRE

Rochester Date Ideas - Cobbs Hill sunset winter
Cobb’s Hill

Watch the sun set (or rise!)

These suggestions link to Google image search results to give you an idea for each area. We’ll be writing an article soon to capture these and more! In the meantime, you can take a scientific approach using this calculation of the sun’s position at a given time, date and location. Try August 8 at 18:30 (sunset is 18:55) at Cobb’s Hill (43.1396542, -77.5723119) and you can see below why this is very popular place to watch the sunset!

Or, you can logically pick a spot with a higher elevation than obstacles to the west. Add in some water or architectural elements and you’ve got a great spot. Here are a few to start with.

  1. Anywhere along Lake Ontario, especially when there is open water to your west. (Ontario Beach Park pier, Summerville pier, Webster Park pier, Marge’s Lakeside, Hamlin Beach, Braddock Bay Area, including the ponds)
  2. SUNY Geneseo gazebo
  3. Lodge at Woodcliff
  4. High Falls (from the waterfall viewing platform or rooftop at Genesee Brew House)
  5. Cobb’s Hill
  6. Or anywhere you can see the beautiful Rochester skyline!

Stargazing

  1. RMSC Strasenburg Planetarium Saturday night laser show and telescope viewing
  2. Find the Darkest Sky Near Rochester

WATER

Rochester Date Ideas - Kayaking Canandaigua Lake
Canandaigua Lake

Rent a kayak or canoe

  1. Genesee Waterways Kayak & Canoe Rentals
  2. BayCreek Paddling Center
  3. Oak Orchard Canoe & Kayak
  4. Lighthouse Kayak & Canoe Rental
  5. Erie Canal Boat Company
  6. Or if you have your own, put in at one of Rochester’s water trails

Go for a swim

  1. Natural swimming areas
  2. Ontario Beach Park
  3. Durand Eastman Park
  4. Hamlin Beach State Park
  5. Explore other great lakes around Rochester

Discover a new waterfall

  1. Roadside Waterfalls
  2. Our Favorite 5 Waterfalls

Explore the Genesee River

  1. Genesee Valley Park
  2. Turning Point Park
  3. High Falls
  4. Maplewood Park
  5. Seneca Park
  6. Letchworth State Park
  7. Hike or bike the Genesee Riverway Trail in the City, or the Genesee Valley Greenway south of GVP.

Rent a boat or jet ski

  1. Bayside Boat & Tackle
  2. South Bay Boat & Tackle
  3. Keuka Watersports
  4. Southpoint Marina Jet Ski Rentals

Whitewater rafting

  1. Adventure Calls Outfitters
  2. Zoar Valley Canoe & Rafting

Take a boat tour

  1. Sam Patch Erie Canal Tours
  2. Colonial Belle Erie Canal Cruises
  3. Canandaigua Lady
  4. Maid of the Mist
  5. Whirlpool Jet Boat Tour
  6. Skaneateles Mail Boat

Go fishing

  1. Places to fish
  2. or Ice Fish
  3. Bait shops
  4. Charters

EXPLORE

Date Night in Rochester: Highland Park
Highland Park Pansy Bed in May

Discover the strange and unusual

  1. Paranormal activities
  2. Visit Lily Dale for a spirited reading
  3. Explore one of our 90+ museums
  4. Quirky roadside attractions
  5. Street art

Explore a hidden place around Rochester

  1. Corbett’s Glen
  2. Sunken Garden
  3. Grimes Glen
  4. Old Canal Lock 62
  5. Rochester’s Hidden Sidewalk
  6. Channing H. Philbrick Park
  7. Turning Point Park
  8. Washington Grove
  9. Helmer Nature Center
  10. Holley Canal Falls
  11. The Jump Off
  12. Akron Falls
  13. Havana Glen
  14. Thomas Creek Wetland Walk
  15. Bergen Swamp
  16. Griffis Sculpture Park

Take a scenic drive

  1. Breathtaking Fall Foliage Views
  2. Lake Ontario Seaway Trail
  3. Spend a Day in the Finger Lakes Region
  4. Lighthouses along Lake Ontario
  5. 15 miles on the Erie Canal
  6. Transcend space, time or state of mind

Wander around a small book store

  1. Small World Books
  2. Liftbridge Bookstore
  3. Books, ETC.

Or record store

  1. House of Guitars
  2. The Record Archive

Learn something new

  1. Rochester Brainery
  2. RMSC’s Science on the Edge

PLAN A GETAWAY

Skaneateles Lake shopping
Village of Skaneateles
  1. Skaneateles
  2. East Aurora
  3. Lewiston
  4. Letchworth
  5. Routes 5 & 20

PLAY

Rochester Museum Science Center
Rochester Museum Science Center After Dark 21+

Enjoy a playful 21+ date night in Rochester

  1. RMSC After Dark
  2. Strong Happiest Hour
  3. Zoo Brew
  4. Genesee Country Village & Museum special events
  5. Geeks Who Drink
  6. DeTOURS at the Memorial Art Gallery

Pinball & games

  1. The Strong National Museum of Play
  2. The Playhouse // Swillburger
  3. Silverball Saloon
  4. Board games over a bowl of cereal at POP ROC
  5. Millennium Games
  6. Just Games
  7. Bowling plus giant Jenga, cornhole, pool, shuffleboard, skee ball, ping pong, and seasonal outdoor games at Radio Social
  8. Veracity VRcade
  9. Lasertron

Professional sports

  1. Red Wings baseball
  2. Rochester Americans hockey
  3. Rochester Knighthawks indoor lacrosse
  4. Rochester Rhinos soccer
  5. Rochester RazorSharks basketball
  6. Buffalo Bills football
  7. Buffalo Sabres hockey

Team Up

  1. ROCsports
  2. Kickball
  3. Curling
  4. Fencing

Amuse yourselves

  1. Amusement & Water Parks
  2. New York State and County Fairs
  3. Ride the carousel at Ontario Beach Park

Escape together

  1. The Great Escape Room
  2. Breakout Rochester
  3. Lockout Escape Rooms

Break stuff

  1. Smash Therapy
  2. Bad Axe Throwing
  3. Axes & Ales
  4. Riot Room

CREATE

Date Night in Rochester: Arc Flame
Arc Flame

Explore artistic outlets

  1. Flower City Arts Center
  2. Memorial Art Gallery Creative Workshops
  3. Find inspiration at the annual Rochester Maker Faire

Create with glass or metal

  1. Studio 34 Creative Arts Learning Center
  2. Arc+Flame
  3. Corning Museum of Glass

Paint together

  1. Paint Nite
  2. Painting with a Twist
  3. Wine & Design
  4. or grab your paint, brushes, canvas, and an easel, and plan a day to paint outside (en plein air)

Glaze your own pottery

  1. Splatters
  2. Color Me Mine
  3. Jade Pottery & DIY Studio

Make music

  1. Join a drum circle
  2. Sing in a chorus
  3. Learn to play an instrument

Swing your partner round

  1. Big Band Dances at Ontario Beach Park
  2. Line dancing at Nashville’s
  3. Rochester Swing Dance Network
  4. Groove Juice Swing
  5. Rochester Cajun Zydeco Network
  6. and so many more!

Write

  1. Writers & Books
  2. Gell Writers Retreat

GO WILD

Winter break: Seneca Park Zoo
Seneca Park Zoo

Spend time with animals at the zoo

  1. Seneca Park Zoo
  2. Rosamond Gifford Zoo
  3. Buffalo Zoo
  4. Hidden Valley Animal Adventure

On the farm

  1. Springdale Farm
  2. Old McDonald’s in Sackets Harbor
  3. Alpaca Trail
  4. Wickham Farm
  5. Stokoe Farms

Or with rescue animals

  1. Farm Sanctuary
  2. Crackerbox Palace Farm Animal Haven at Historic Alasa Farms
  3. Asha Farmed Animal Sanctuary
  4. Lollypop Farm

Birds of prey

  1. Braddock Bay Raptor Research
  2. Wildwings

Marine life

  1. Niagara Falls Aquarium
  2. Caledonia Fish Hatchery
  3. Powder Mills Park Fish Hatchery

Nature reserves

  1. Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge
  2. Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge
  3. MacKay Wildlife Preserve
  4. Helmer Nature Center
  5. Or any one of our many Nature Centers, Wildlife Preserves, Management Areas, Refuges, and Observatories

Rodeo, racing & shows

  1. Genesee Valley Hunt Races
  2. Attica Rodeo
  3. Ellicottville Championship Rodeo
  4. Walnut Hill Farm Driving Competition
  5. Knox Farm Polo Cup in East Aurora

DINE OUT

Date Night in Rochester: Historic Inns Around Rochester: Inn on Broadway
Historic Inn on Broadway

Rochester date ideas for dining out

  1. Historic inns
  2. Authentic “dining car” diners
  3. Or another highly recommended restaurant
  4. Top ice cream shops
  5. Rochester’s Public Market
  6. Monroe County breweries
  7. Wineries with scenic Keuka Lake views
  8. Culinary trails and self-guided tours
  9. Pack a zero-waste picnic

BE ENTERTAINED

New Years Eve Around Rochester: Comedy at the Carlson
Comedy at the Carlson

Comedy

  1. It’s Just Comedy Club
  2. Comedy at the Carlson
  3. Photo City Improv

Movies

  1. See a classic or first-run movie at a small, historic movie theater
  2. Pick a gorgeous summer evening and head to the Avon Drive-In Theater, the Charcoal Corral & Silver Lake Drive-In in Perry, or Auburn’s Finger Lakes Drive-In.
  3. Free movies in the park at Highland Bowl and Ontario Beach Park, or Movies with a Downtown View

Concerts & events

  1. Cheap & Free Outdoor Concerts
  2. Annual Events & Festivals
  3. Rochester Festivals – Six in the City

Performing arts

  1. Kodak Center
  2. Blackfriars Theatre
  3. Rochester Broadway Theater League 
  4. Geva Theatre Center
  5. Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
  6. Downstairs Cabaret 
  7. Multi-use Community Cultural Center
  8. or other Performing Arts Venues around Rochester

Mystery theater

  1. The Mystery Company
  2. Erie Canal Murder Mystery Tour on the Colonial Belle
  3. Mansion Mysteries at Sonnenberg
  4. Murder Mystery Train (Arcade-Attica RR)
  5. ACME Mystery Company (Syracuse)

HOLIDAY SPIRIT

Date Night in Rochester: Ice Skating at Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Park
Ice Skating at Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Park

Rochester date ideas during the December holidays

  1. Our Favorite Christmas Lights
  2. Get Into the Holiday Spirit
  3. Christmas Caroling
  4. ROC Holiday Village
Ontario County Park Gannett Hill Jump Off Trail viewing platform
Jump Off Trail viewing platform in Ontario County Park on Gannett Hill

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What are your favorite Rochester date ideas?

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

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2 thoughts on “230+ Rochester Date Ideas: The Ultimate Guide for Spending Quality Time Together”

  1. Don’t forget Charcoal Corral for a night of mini golf, arcade games, ice cream, dining and a drive in! They do classic car nights during the summer too!

    Also, Jade Pottery is another option for creating in Henrietta!

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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.