Strong Butterfly Garden winter cover

14 Ideas for Staying Warm & Active throughout the Winter in Rochester

Don’t let winter in Rochester force you into hibernation. If snow sports and hiking don’t appeal to you, think of all the things there are to do indoors! Try some of these places that will keep you warm and active during the colder months.

Winter in Rochester: ARTISANworks retro room

1. ARTISANworks

You can spend hours and hours at ARTISANworks and never see the same thing twice—at least, not from the same perspective. Look up, look down, look all around—art is everywhere!

Date Night in Rochester: Arc Flame
Arc + Flame

2. Try something new for date night

Whether it’s your first date night in Rochester or 50th, spending time exploring with your partner is a great way to connect and learn about each other.

Although many of the ideas on this list are outdoor activities, you’ll find inspiration for indoor activities as well. Try a place that brings the outdoor experiences in like Central Rock Gym or RockVentures.

Or places that let you create something together like Arc+Flame, Corning Museum of Glass, and Splatters, or destroy something at Smash Therapy.

Or play together with Geeks Who Drink, The Playhouse // Swillburger and Radio Social.

Winter in Rochester: Lamberton Conservatory tropical Bird of Paradise
Lamberton Conservatory

3. Enjoy tropical temperatures inside Lamberton Conservatory

Each December through early-January, 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!

Winter in Rochester: Rochester Museum Science Center 1969 Retro Room
Rochester Museum Science Center

4. Rochester Museum & Science Center

Between the science center and the planetarium, a nasty day outside becomes an inspiring one inside! Experience the vastness of the Universe, the confinement of hiding along the Underground Railroad, an ice age and an age of electricity all in a single day.

Caledonia Village Inn
Caledonia Village Inn

5. Try a new restaurant this winter in Rochester

Rochestarians frequent these establishments because the food and atmosphere is consistently amazing. These are places the locals go several times a year, if not more, and recommend them to friends and visitors.

Winter in Rochester: Memorial Art Gallery
Memorial Art Gallery

6. Memorial Art Gallery

While away the hours among masterpieces and traveling exhibits. Take an art class, enjoy brunch at the bistro, or attend a special event.

Escape winter: Strong Museum of Play Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden landed on wrist
Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden

7. Strong National Museum of Play

With “play” in the name, it’s a place that you can’t help but feel lighthearted in. 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!

Historic Inns Around Rochester American Hotel Lima
American Hotel in Lima

8. Spend dinnertime at a historic inn

These historic inns around Rochester offer unique dining experiences. Unlike bed & breakfasts, their dining rooms are open to the public. Unlike restaurants, they offer lodging. And their food is as extraordinary as their stories. The American Hotel in Lima specializes in a vast selection of homemade soups.

Dutch Connection
George Eastman Museum

9. George Eastman Museum

What could be cozier than the mansion of Rochester’s most prominent citizen? Explore George Eastman’s home, see a movie in the Dryden Theater, see what’s new in the gallery, have lunch, and learn about the man who guided Rochester into a new phase of life as the Image City.

Edgerton Model Railroad autumn display
Autumn Scene – Edgerton Model Railroad

10. Edgerton Model Railroad

Each of the Edgerton Model Railroad’s four season-themed layouts tells a different story of life on the move in the 1950s, with operating model trains. Stop in for an hour or two on the last Saturday of each month.

Diner-Car Diners Lake Effect
Lake Effect Diner

11. Head to a diner for breakfast

Diners were modular–manufactured in one place and moved by rail to the final location. They were designed to look like a train’s fine dining car. Plus, they serve all makes and models of comfort food.

Winter in Rochester: Scottsville Free Library
Scottsville Free Library

12. Spend time in a library

Each library has its own amenities and environments so spend some time this winter exploring a few! 

Small World Books in Rochester
Small World Books in Rochester

13. Wander a used book store

You never know what books you’ll discover on the shelf, but when you find the right one, grab a warm cuppa and find a cozy spot to read.

Shop Local Rochester

14. Shop local during winter in Rochester

You don’t have to wait for Small Business Saturday to shop local! We have some incredibly talented individuals throughout the Rochester area.

Where are your favorite places to stay warm but active during winter in Rochester?

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


1 thought on “14 Ideas for Staying Warm & Active throughout the Winter in Rochester”

  1. The National Susan B Anthony Museum and House! This is the 100th anniversary of the Susan B Anthony 19th Amendment to the Constitution giving women the right to vote.

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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.