It’s cold, it’s snowy, it’s dark. It’s wintertime in Rochester! Once the December holiday-honeymoon is over, Rochestarians have to find ways to enjoy what January, February, March, and possibly into early-April have in store for us.
Here are a few suggestions to help embrace our winter season.
Webster Park Pier Enjoy the great outdoors
Our outdoor spaces take on new personalities in the winter. There is a quiet serenity, a silent lucidity. The crunch of snow. The shadows cast from a sun low on the horizon. Birds that will eat from your hand in a desperate search for food. Partially-frozen creeks and falls; ice-covered piers.
These are a few of my favorite things!
Snow Sports: 5 Ways to Enjoy Winter
Snow sports and other outdoor winter activities are a great way to shake the winter doldrums with exposure to fresh air, exercise, and sunshine.
First Day Hike: 10 NYS Parks to Visit Jan. 1
Celebrate the New Year outdoors with a First Day Hike! Each one of these local New York State parks offers a guided hike on January 1st.
14 Hidden Places Around Rochester
We drive past some of Rochester’s most unique features every day, completely unaware that these hidden places are just minutes away from where we live.
34 Roadside Waterfalls Near Rochester
Impressive waterfalls are not all buried in dark ravines accessible only by difficult trails. And for some, you do not need to get out of your car.
Taughannock Falls State Park
Taughannock Falls is one of the most accessible waterfalls in our park system. You can walk in the creek and play in the tiny cascades along the gorge.
20 Monroe County Parks
Monroe County parks are free, so take advantage of 12,000 acres of natural, zoological, horticultural, historical and geological experiences!
51 Nature Centers, Preserves, Refuges, and Observatories Around Rochester
Our nature centers, wildlife preserves, management areas, etc., all serve to protect and sustain life, while making nature accessible to people to enjoy.
Maple Syrup: 14 Sweet Sugar Shacks
In March, local producers open their sugar shacks to the community to celebrate the innovative process of turning sap into syrup during Maple Syrup Weekend.
Ontario Beach Park
Lake Ontario Beach Park is located at the northernmost tip of the city of Rochester, and is bordered on the East by the mouth of the Genesee River.
Read more Mendon Ponds Birdsong Trail Attend a Winter Event
These festivals & events around Rochester bring our community together throughout the year. Check out these annual events happening in
January, February, March, and April.
Specific ones that come to mind are
Mendon Ponds Winterfest, Lakeside Winter Celebration (and Polar Plunge) at Ontario Beach Park, and Maple Syrup Weekend events. Lamberton Conservatory Enjoy Wintertime in Rochester Indoors
Not every winter day is filled with sunshine! Take advantage of the ones that are! But for those gray days when you’re feeling winter’s funk, here are a few places that will either cheer you up or distract you from what’s outside.
Escape Winter: 5 Warm & Cozy Places
There are several places around Rochester with tropical temperatures or cozy environments to escape winter, at least for a few hours!
Date Night in Rochester: The Ultimate Guide for Spending Quality Time Together
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.
Tropical plants need tropical temperatures, so visiting Lamberton Conservatory in winter is a welcome escape from the cold!
32 Monroe County Libraries
Signing up for a free library card gives you access to all 32 Monroe County libraries in towns, villages, the city, and Central Library.
Books! 30+ Book Sellers, Groups, and Events for Rochester Bibliophiles
When reading books, the destination is the journey. You can travel the world, through all of time and space. Here are a few places to start your adventure!
Rochester’s Fun Facts: Oldest, Original, Only, & More!
I’ve been gathering Rochester’s fun facts for several years and am so excited to gather them all together here! Just some of what makes Rochester special!
Rochester Museum and Science Center
Between the star shows, laser shows, interactive exhibits, and Singing Tesla Coils, the Rochester Museum and Science Center will entertain you for hours!
Strong National Museum of Play
The Strong National Museum of Play has a wealth of interaction for toddlers, school-aged children and adults, including play-shopping at Wegmans!
George Eastman Museum
The George Eastman Museum is a beautiful tribute to his life & legacy, and is the world’s oldest photography museum with one of the oldest film archives.
12 Historic Small Movie Theaters
There is something about a 100-year-old small movie theater that enhances your experience and transcends you through space and time.
Memorial Art Gallery
Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery has an extensive permanent collection, an incredible variety of traveling exhibitions, & a well-rounded calendar of events.
ARTISANworks – Where Art Lives!
I’ve heard ARTISANworks described as a walk-through kaleidoscope, a bombardment on the senses, a 360° canvas, a space that defies all boundaries.
93 Other Museums Around Rochester
Explore some lesser-know, off-the-beaten-path, and odd-collection museums around Rochester, like the ones dedicated to trains, planes, and brains!
Read more Canadice Lake Start planning your warm-weather day trips!
Wintertime is the perfect time to daydream about your next adventures. Grab your notebook, a cuppa, a warm blanket, and curl up on the couch while you explore!
Planning Your Next Rochester Day Trip
We’re always researching new ideas for your next Rochester day trip! Filter our day trips by drive-time, direction, or season.
105 Resources for Rochester Day Trip Inspiration
This is where it all began: searching libraries, bookstores, travel information racks, the Internet, and friend’s experiences for Rochester day trip inspiration.
Springtime in Rochester
There is no better way to usher in springtime in Rochester than with maple syrup, bird migrations, April showers, and May flowers!
Opening in May for the Summer Season
Rochester is open for the season! We’re excited to enjoy the warmer days of springtime at our favorite places and businesses opening in May.
Routes 5 and 20 Road Trip
Routes 5 and 20 is a beautiful 67-mile stretch of highway where NY-5 and US-20 converge, following an ancient foot trail of New York’s first people.
Spend a Day in the Finger Lakes Region
The Finger Lakes Region is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and right in our backyard! It is easy to get out there and explore.
The Lake Ontario Seaway Trail
The Lake Ontario Seaway Trail is the portion that runs along the southern Lake Ontario shoreline, from Fort Niagara in Youngstown to Fort Ontario in Oswego.
Street Art: Exploring Rochester’s Murals & Graffiti
The term street art means different things to different people. Here, we interpret street art to mean any outdoor, free, public wall art.
Read more How do you find joy during wintertime in Rochester?
Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!