Rochester Lilac Festival concert

Rochester, NY Events & Activities: The Ultimate Month-by-Month Guide to Year-Round Fun

From Rochester events and festivals to seasonal harvests and indoor attractions, we’ll give you insider tips on monthly must-do activities.

Whether you’re looking for a fun weekend activity, a date night idea, ideas for celebrating a holiday, or a family-friendly outing, these twelve monthly special occasion guides will have something for everyone. So, join me as I explore the best things to do around Rochester all year, starting with April and springtime when we awake from hibernation.

Best of Rochester - Day Trips Around Rochester book

Day Trips Around Rochester, New York

Best of Rochester Award-Winning Book for Best Published Literary Work of 2023.

April

April Events: A Guide to Rochester’s Spring Fling Activities

As winter’s chill begins to fade, we eagerly await the start of spring, with its promise of warmer weather, longer days, and April events.

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Child-Sized Fun: 10 Ideas for Enjoying Spring Break in Rochester

This guide offers a variety of fun activities for you and the kids to enjoy around Rochester during the spring school break.

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Earth Day 2024: Get Involved in Activities Around Rochester

Spring is in full swing, and it’s the perfect time to observe Earth Day (April 22, 2024) and embrace sustainable practices for a better future.

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Springtime in Rochester

Enjoy delightful early springtime day trips around Rochester filled with March migrations, April showers, and May flowers.

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16 Places to Visit After Heavy Rains

These creeks, rivers, and waterfalls rage after heavy rains or quick snow-melts, offering a spectacular multi-sensory experience.

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May

May Events: Celebrating Rochester in Full Bloom

Perhaps the most eagerly anticipated May event is the Rochester Lilac Festival, a 10-day celebration of the city’s vibrant floral heritage.

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Make Mom’s Day: 7 Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day 2024

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 12, 2024. And if you’re wondering how to make this day extra special for your mom, we’ve got you covered.

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4 Ways to Spend Memorial Day Weekend Around Rochester

Over Memorial Day Weekend, May 24–27, 2024, we gather as a community to honor our fallen heroes and kick off the summer season in Rochester.

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Opening in May for the Summer Season

Opening in May after being closed for the winter, we’re excited to spend these warmer spring days at our favorite places and businesses.

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June

June Events: A Guide to This Month’s Jazzin’ Festivities

Many of the recurring summer events begin in June, such as Food Truck Rodeos, Party in the Park, Zoo Brew, and Concerts by the Shore.

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Our Top 10 Father’s Day Ideas for a Memorable Day with Dad

Treat Dad to a drive at the Glen, a ride on a large-scale model railroad, a classic car show, and more for an unforgettable Father’s Day.

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🍓 Strawberries: 14 Places to Pick Your Own

Here are a few places to pick your own strawberries, plus festivals to taste everything from jams to shortcakes to strawberry wine.

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July

July Events: Rochester’s Red-Hot Celebrations and Activities

Discover an exciting lineup of July events, from classic carnivals and art shows to food & wine tastings and community celebrations.

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🎡 2023 New York State & County Fairs

Originating from the early 1800s, state and county fairs offer a blend of 4-H competitions, agriculture, amusement, and entertainment.

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🍒 Cherries: 9 Places to Pick Your Own

Here are a few places you can pick your own cherries near Rochester. The season runs mainly in July, but start checking in late June.

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🌸 Raspberries: 10 Places to Pick Your Own

Here are a few places around Rochester you can pick your own raspberries, starting in July. Fall varieties ripen in late August.

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August

August Events: Savor the Summer with Rochester’s Cultural Food and Music Festivals

With a rich history dating back to 1841, The Great New York State Fair is the oldest state fair in the United States.

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🫐 Blueberries: 9 Places to Pick Your Own

Here are a few places around Rochester you can pick your own blueberries. The season typically runs from early- to mid-July through August.

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🌻 Sunflower Season 2023: 3 Fabulous Fields Around Rochester

Lose yourself in a sea of sunflowers! Each August, acres of bold blooms become the perfect backdrop for family photos and sunny selfies.

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🍑 Stone Fruit: 3 Places to Pick Your Own

Peaches, plums, nectarines and apricots (stone fruit) hit their prime mid-August-mid-September. Here are a few places you can pick your own.

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Escaping Extreme Heat

When temperatures rise above ninety degrees for several days, we all need to find a place to cool down. Water and shade are critical.

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September

September Events: A Guide to Rochester’s Best Festivals and Celebrations

September marks the beginning of fall in Rochester, offering fun seasonal favorites from fry cakes to farm-themed events and activities.

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Autumn in Rochester

Scenic train rides, leaf-peeping, bird migrations, and ghost walks happen only in autumn in Rochester—take advantage of them while you can!

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🍎 Apple Everything! Rochester’s best ciders, fry cakes, fritters, pies, and more

Come mid-September, we begin to crave all things apple. Apple cider. Apple cider donuts. Apple fritters. Apple pie. And warm fry cakes.

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🍎 Apples: 16 Places to Pick Your Own

Many of our farms offer a family-fun experience, with hay rides, cider & donuts and activities for the kids, in addition to pick your own apples.

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🍇 Grapes: Pick Your Own at Jerome’s

My family has been going to Jerome’s U-Pick Grapes for 20 years. To avoid the crowds, go the week before or after the Naples Grape Festival.

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October

October Events: Fall Foliage, Pumpkin Patches, and Halloween Happenings

Enjoy scenic train rides, leaf-peeping in our arboretums, fall bird migrations, ghost walks, and fun on the farm this October.

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🎃 Pumpkin Patches & Farms Around Rochester

Experience the perfect autumn day at our Rochester-area pumpkin farms with wagon rides, fresh apple cider and donuts, and corn mazes.

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Roc the Riverway Weekend: October 6–8, 2023

Enjoy Roc the Riverway Weekend with activities highlighting the beauty, history, and significance of Rochester’s majestic Genesee River.

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Paranormal Activities: Our Favorite Haunts for 2023

There is something about October that piques our interest in paranormal activities. Explore the other side of Rochester!

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22 Fabulous Fall Hikes in Monroe County

Our favorite fall hikes offer a variety of elements and views. The presence of water, trees, and solitude helps rank these high on our list.

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🍁 Fall Foliage: 7 Breathtaking Views Near Rochester

If you’re looking for picturesque autumn scenery, these locations offer stunning fall foliage and unique landscapes.

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November

November Events: Bountiful Harvests and Festivities to be Thankful For

Our favorite November events include live performances, cherished traditions, visual spectacles, and opportunities to support local talent.

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Skaneateles Dickens Christmas 2023

Experience the magic of Skaneateles’ Dickens Christmas with festive performances, carriage rides, and a cast of merry-making characters.

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December

December Events: A Heartwarming Guide to Rochester’s Festivities and Traditions

It’s December, and Rochester is a picturesque winter wonderland filled with joyful melodies, glistening lights, and festive jubilations.

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Our 4 Favorite Extreme Christmas Lights Around Rochester: 2023 Edition

Enjoy our four favorite extreme Christmas lights, plus more extraordinary Rochester-area homes and holiday-themed events.

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🌲 20 Christmas Tree Farms Around Rochester

As December nears, it’s time to start thinking about one of the most beloved family traditions—selecting and decorating the Christmas tree.

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Celebrate New Year’s Eve 2023-2024 in Rochester

I’ve compiled a list of some playful places to celebrate New Year’s Eve on December 31, 2023, and welcome 2024 in style!

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Child-Sized Fun During the Holiday School Break

This guide offers a variety of fun activities for you and the kids to enjoy around Rochester during the holiday school break.

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January

January Events: First-Day Hikes, Winter Sports, and Indoor Entertainment

Begin the new year with a guided First Day Hike, available at scenic destinations like Letchworth, Taughannock, and Hamlin State Parks.

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First-Day Hikes on January 1, 2024

Welcome the New Year with a guided First-Day Hike at several parks, including Highland, Letchworth, and the Genesee Valley Greenway.

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26 Easy Winter Walks Around Rochester

Each destination offers a unique perspective of the Rochester area’s natural beauty, from snow-covered parks to picturesque waterfronts.

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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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Escape Winter: 5 Warm & Cozy Places

With tropical temperatures or cozy environments, these Rochester-area destinations offer pleasant snowy-day getaways—at least for a few hours.

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February

February Events: Rochester’s Winter Wonders and Frosty Fun

As Rochester embraces the winter season in February, there are several entertaining events and activities to look forward to.

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12 Ideas for Staying Warm & Active Throughout the Winter in Rochester

Don’t let winter in Rochester force you into hibernation. If snow doesn’t appeal to you, think of everything there is to do indoors.

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March

March Events: Celebrating Rochester’s Sweetest Month

We celebrate spring’s arrival in March by tapping maple trees for syrup and observing the return migrations of Canada and snow geese.

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High School Musicals and Plays in Monroe County

Celebrate the talented young actors performing in high school musicals and plays as they bring classic and contemporary pieces to life.

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🍁 Maple Weekends: 13 Sweet Sugar Shacks Near Rochester

During Maple Weekends, March 16-17 and 23-24, 2024, producers open their sugar shacks to honor the art and science of turning sap into syrup.

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Year-Round Fun

Things to Do in Rochester This Weekend

Discover the best concerts, festivals, community events, special events, and other things to do in Rochester this weekend or anytime!

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Museums Around Rochester

Rochester is home to world-renowned museums and thought-provoking galleries. You can spend weeks exploring our rich cultural heritage.

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200+ Places to Shop Locally Around Rochester, New York

Shopping locally is about discovering something uniquely Rochester while directly impacting the lives of our families, friends, and neighbors.

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Street Art: Exploring Rochester’s Murals & Graffiti

Rochester has a vibrant street art culture, with dozens of murals, graffiti, and other forms of public art on display throughout the region.

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Theaters Around Rochester

Sit back, relax, and enjoy a show on stage or screen. Experience diverse artistic expression, from Broadway productions to classic movies.

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Nature Centers and Preserves Around Rochester

The various nature centers, preserves, and management areas all work to protect and maintain natural spaces for the benefit of all.

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Geologic History of the Rochester Area

These day trips into Rochester’s geologic history will remind you just how amazing our corner of the Earth is.

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Easy Waterfalls

Not all waterfalls are hidden in dark ravines. Many of the region’s most stunning waterfalls can be viewed from the road or a short walk.

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Fun, Family-Friendly Restaurants, Cafes, and Breweries

I asked our day-trip community: “Do you know of any Rochester-area restaurants that are great for date night and kid-friendly but not kid-centric?” Here’s what you said!

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600+ Highly Recommended Restaurants Around Rochester

Some food destinations are well-established, while others are quickly becoming favorites as Rochester’s culinary scene explodes.

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Explore Letchworth State Park

Letchworth has something for everyone, from hiking one of the park’s 29 trails and picnicking beside a waterfall to taking a scenic drive.

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Shared Rochester Experiences that Make Great Gifts

Giving the gift of shared Rochester experiences offers rewards that go well beyond mere personal joy—where less is genuinely more.

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Give the Gift of Rochester! 5 City Shops that Celebrate Regional Novelties

These Rochester gifts are more than mere objects; they are nostalgic expressions of the city’s soul, making them a joy to give and receive.

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Lamberton Conservatory

The 2024 Lamberton Conservatory Spring Show opens in late March and features hyacinths, daffodils, tulips, and other flowering bulbs.

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31 Craft Breweries in Rochester and Monroe County

Considering all the breweries that call the Greater Rochester area home can be overwhelming. Let’s focus on the ones here in Monroe County.

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Roadside Attractions

Have fun finding these fun roadside attractions—shoe trees, a skeleton army, a metal dragon, a shark girl—within two hours of Rochester.

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What are your favorite things to do around Rochester each month?

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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