The Best Museums To Visit With Kids In Rochester

The George Eastman Museum in Rochester, NY.
The George Eastman Museum

Rochester sure has no shortage of historical figures to honor who have made a difference in our society. In that same vein, our city has a plethora of museums to explore. At these museums, kids and adults alike can learn more about endless topics, from our local history to outer space, with hands-on activities and exhibits galore! If you have a day to fill, and you and the kiddos need to get out of the house to burn some energy, look no further!

Pro Tip: Check out a V.I.P. Pass at a Monroe County Library for discounts on many of the museums below!

Extra Fun Museums with Kids

Strong National Museum of Play

A whimsical building for the Strong National Museum of Play

1 Manhattan Square, Rochester, New York 14607

Can you believe Rochester, New York is home to the world’s largest museum dedicated to PLAY?! This gem provides hours — no, DAYS — of fun for kids of all ages. There is more than enough to keep kiddos busy and intrigued each time you visit. From exhibits on video games, superheroes, Toy Hall of Fame, a miniature Wegmans, different storybook play areas, a butterfly garden, play lab, a ropes course, carousel, and train — there is something for each child! Sensory-friendly events happen regularly for those who need a quieter space. Paid parking is available in their dedicated parking garage next door.

Rochester Museum & Science Center

A mastodon skeleton towers high in the Rochester Museum & Science Center.

657 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607

Science, technology, and Rochester history, oh my! This center holds rooms upon rooms of curious topics for all ages: music, electricity, animals, and native history, to name a few. Parents, big kids, and little kids are sure to learn something new here. Although it is multi-level, there are elevators available for strollers and wheelchairs. Also on site is the Strasenburgh Planetarium offering memorable, spectacular shows within a dome structure that is sure to awe the littlest of explorers.

Genessee Country Village & Museum

1410 Flint Hill Road, Mumford, NY 14511

This is the largest living history museum in New York. A 600-acre museum, it offers interactive programs, workshops, historical exhibits, gardens, a gallery, and a farm. A working 19th-century village spans three time periods to show the progress in lifestyles, technology, etc. Watch live artisan demonstrations and learn from costumed educators who keep the village alive. Shop handcrafted village goods, and either enjoy on-site restaurants or bring a picnic to enjoy outside!

Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum

A vintage locomotive.

282 Rush Scottsville Road, Rush, NY 14543

The largest operating railroad museum in our state, climb aboard restored vintage trains with your little ones! Take a train ride around the grounds, and check out the indoor and outdoor exhibits. Various themed events take place throughout the year, so be sure to look ahead and snag your tickets! Pack a picnic to enjoy outside. There is a gift shop for souvenirs and snacks, and restrooms/porta-potties are available.

New York Museum of Transportation

6393 E River Road, West Henrietta, NY 14586

For a low-cost outing, marvel at these historic vehicles, operating model railroad, and various exhibits reflecting local transportation history. Two-mile trolley rides are available throughout the year, just be sure to visit their website for when they are open for the season, and hours each week!

Rochester History Museums

George Eastman Museum

The George Eastman Museum.

900 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607

The world’s oldest photography museum, this is a great outing to check out the history of our local Kodak company, enjoy galleries, and admire the vastness of early 1900s mansion architecture and gardens. In November and December, be sure to check out the Sweet Creations Gingerbread Display — where many local artisans display their gingerbread creations! Kids can go on a scavenger hunt around the building to find the gingerbread displays that coincide with the clues given.

Susan B. Anthony House

A house in Rochester that was the residence of Susan B. Anthony.

17 Madison Street, Rochester NY 14608

Make a reservation and visit where women’s rights activist Susan B. Anthony lived for a large portion of her life, and where she was arrested in 1872 for voting in the presidential election. Park next to the Visitor Center, and be sure to check out the gift shop. Keep in mind, the first floor of the home is the only accessible area for strollers and wheelchairs.

Charlotte-Genessee Lighthouse

A lighthouse and brick building.

70 Lighthouse Street, Rochester, NY 14612

Located at the Port of Rochester, this historical lighthouse offers insight into the history of the village of Charlotte, as well as a chance to climb the winding staircase up to the tippy top of the lighthouse! There is a gift shop, and picnic tables on the grounds for attendees to enjoy their own picnic lunch if they so choose.

Lamberton Conservatory

The entrance to the Lamberton Conservatory.

180 Reservoir Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620

The Lamberton Conservatory is a wonderful attraction in the heart of Rochester. Just off of Highland Park, The Lamberton Conservatory offers seasonal exhibits to explore with small creatures to visit.

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Rochester Heritage Trail

Did you know there is a self-guided Heritage Trail available downtown? Put on your walking shoes, and follow the trail to find historical sites and plaques that tell more stories of our great city!

Frederick Douglass MuseumComing Soon!

Art Museums

500 University Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607

Discover over 5,000 years of art history at this museum! The MAG offers various art workshops for all ages. Shop at The Store @ MAG (free to enter) to support local artisans! Check out the Charlotte Whitney Allen Library for art-related browsing. Don’t forget, the Centennial Sculpture Park outdoors is always open to the public.

ARTISANworks

565 Blossom Road, Suite L, Rochester, New York 14610

Touted as more than a museum, but an experience — explore this art space supporting regional artists! Rent, purchase, or simply admire art at this eclectic collection in our city.

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Amanda G.
Amanda grew up on the west side of Rochester before getting married and moving to Charleston, SC. She and her husband adopted their two boys as toddlers from South Korea in 2017 and 2019. She loves adventuring, watching her boys try new things, and helping out at their schools. Amanda has a social work degree and a background in non-profit work. She is currently Managing Editor for Charleston Moms after being a contributing writer for several years. After a decade in the southern heat, her little family decided they would thrive more in the Rochester area, and found their home on the east side in 2022. Amanda is thrilled to now be contributing locally for Rochester Mom Collective! She is a quirky, creative soul who enjoys expressing through writing, art/decor, dance, drums, and singing (commonly incorrect lyrics).