Ice Fishing Conesus Lake

Wintertime in Rochester

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.

2023 Best of Rochester Award Winner

Day Trips Around Rochester, New York

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

Enjoy the Great Outdoors

Webster Park Pier frozen
Webster Park Pier

Our outdoor spaces take on new personalities in the winter.

There is a quiet serenity. 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!

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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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Snow Sports: 6 Ways to Stay Active in Winter

Skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, skating, and tubing are fun winter activities that offer exposure to fresh air and sunlight.

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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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23 Hidden Places Around Rochester

From secret gardens to enchanting waterfalls, exploring hidden places around the Rochester area is the ultimate way to add some spice to your travel experiences.

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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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Taughannock Falls State Park

Taughannock Falls’s 0.75-mile hard-packed gravel gorge trail leads to the base of the falls and is open year-round.

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22 Monroe County Parks

Monroe County parks are free and offer 12,000 acres of natural, zoological, horticultural, historical, and geological experiences.

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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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🍁 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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Ontario Beach Park

Besides a sandy Lake Ontario beach with plenty of parking, enjoy the boardwalk, carousel, pier, and an original 1902 Abbott’s Frozen Custard.

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Stay Cozy Indoors

Lamberton Conservatory bench
Lamberton Conservatory

Not every winter day is filled with sunshine. Very few of them, in fact. 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.

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Kindling Community: A Guide to Finding Rochester’s Cozy Fireplaces

I’ve curated a list of spots around the city perfect for quiet reading or community engagement next to a comforting fireplace.

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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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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 Monroe County Libraries

A free library card allows you to access 31 Monroe County libraries, including Central Library and Libby, the digital library.

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New & Used Bookstores Around Rochester

Books take us on a journey through time and space. If you’re looking for a new adventure, check out these bookstores around Rochester.

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Rochester’s Fun Facts: Oldest, Original, Only, & More!

Rochester’s fun facts will inspire you to explore more. And these are just some of the historical tidbits that make Rochester special.

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Rochester Museum & 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!

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Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong National Museum of Play boasts the world’s most extensive collection of play-related historical materials.

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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.

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Memorial Art Gallery

The Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester boasts a rich permanent collection and an impressive range of traveling exhibitions.

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ARTISANworks

I’ve heard ARTISANworks described as a walk-through kaleidoscope, a bombardment on the senses, a 360° canvas, a space that defies all boundaries.

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Enchanting Evenings: Rochester’s Most Romantic Restaurants Revealed

Discover the most romantic restaurants for date nights, milestones, and memorable culinary delights within a two-hour drive of Rochester.

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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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Attend an Event

Lake Ontario Polar Plunge
Lake Ontario Polar Plunge

Embracing social interactions and attending events during the winter season can bring about a multitude of benefits that extend beyond the cozy confines of one’s home. In the chilly months, when the temptation to hibernate is strong, engaging in social activities can act as a natural mood booster. Socializing can help alleviate the winter blues, combating feelings of loneliness and providing a sense of belonging within a community.

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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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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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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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For the Love of Valentine’s Day: Enjoy Dining, Entertainment, and Spending Time Together in Rochester

From Valentine’s Day-themed dinners and events to enjoying live theater or hiking together, Rochester sets the stage for memorable moments.

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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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🍁 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.

Read more

Start Planning Your Warm-Weather Day Trips

Canadice Lake kayaks
Canadice Lake

Wintertime is the perfect time to daydream about your next adventures. Grab your notebook, a cuppa, and a warm blanket, and curl up on the couch while you explore!

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Day-Trip Destinations

These day trips are filled with carefully chosen options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as memorable experiences and events.

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Unplugged and Offline: Take the Day Trips Around Rochester, New York, Guidebook on the Road

Day Trips Around Rochester, New York, the book, encourages offline spontaneity, serendipity, and the joy of getting lost in the right direction.

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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.

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Additional Resources for Rochester Day-Trip Inspiration

In addition to my website, here are some links to Rochester travel and tourism sites, blogs, and magazines to inspire your day-trip plans.

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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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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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Explore Routes 5 & 20

Routes 5 & 20 is a 67-mile stretch of scenic highway where NY-5 & US-20 converge, following an ancient foot trail of the region’s first people.

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Explore the Finger Lakes Region

The Finger Lakes region is a popular tourist destination, featuring 11 lakes, charming cities and villages, and scenic farmland.

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Explore The Lake Ontario Seaway Trail

The Lake Ontario Seaway Trail runs along the southern Lake Ontario shoreline, from Fort Niagara in Youngstown to Fort Ontario in Oswego.

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How do you find joy during wintertime in Rochester?

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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