Top 10 Places to Take Kids in Winter in Greater Rochester
Each year, thousands of parents vote in KidsOutAndAbout's survey of the Top 20 Places to Take Kids in Rochester. (Click here for the full list.) But where to go in WINTER? This nice sub-page shows you the top 10 places that you can take kids during winter.
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Ranked by Child magazine as one of the top 10 children's museums in the country, the National Museum of Play certainly deserves the #1 spot in our poll. In addition to the many traveling exhibitions that make their temporary home at Strong Museum, the Museum features Can You Tell Me How To Get to Sesame Street?"; a restored carousel, a Wegmans Super Kids Market; their wonderful Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden; and Reading Adventureland.
Yes! Really! You can and SHOULD head there in winter! Seneca Park Zoo strikes the perfect balance for many of us parents: It's small enough to "do in a day" -- you can spend enough time in each area that the kids can really learn about the animals -- but it's inexpensive enough that you don't necessarily feel the pressure to do "do it all" in one visit. So we can spend a couple of hours and return another day in the same season to focus on a different area. Also, the Zoo is enjoyable both in summer and in winter. The warmer seasons are more popular with zoogoers, but winter is great there, too: There are a several indoor areas that are popular with kids, especially if they love snakes.
Thanks to the efforts of RMSC Education Director Calvin Uzelmeier, Planetarium Director Steve Fentress, and many others, the Rochester Museum & Science provides unparalleled science education and opportunities to learn about the world around us. Wonderful exhibits, hands-on activities, camps, classes, shows and festivals, and traveling exhibits. Gorgeous giant-screen films about nature and space, many of them produced at the Planetarium, keep kids and adults coming back to learn more.
Kango Play Center, on Jefferson Road in Henrietta, is an active indoor play focused on kids 10 and under, including climbing structures and a jungle gym, bounce houses (including one for the very youngest kids only), gentle roller skating and trike riding rink, a pizza cafe and some amusement games such as skee ball. Kango Play Center is adjacent to Kango Academy, a preschool. They have birthday parties and summer camp as well.
5. Local Library
Of course, the Monroe County Library is not really ONE place, it is MANY places... but it's important to emphasize how valuable libraries are for family learning and fun. The libraries in our area are wonderful about posting their events to the KidsOutAndAbout calendar so you always can get ideas for free things to do with your kids that celebrate education and imagination. KidsOutAndAbout.com takes this opportunity to salute the wonderful children's librarians who serve our community with such dedication.
Bounce-It-Out, an indoor play center meant mostly for kids age 10 and under, is, as its name implies, filled with giant inflatable bounce structures. Features birthday parties, a cafe, and lots of relaxation for parents while kids play and play and play. Located across from Pittsford Plaza on the north side of Monroe Avenue. Go ALL the way around to the back of the "Blockbuster" building to find it.
7. Jump Club
This ndoor PLAY center in Brighton at Winton Place is located at the east end of Brighton-Henrietta Townline Road. Jump Club features extremely active, bouncing play, with large inflatable jumping and climbing structures. Fantastic exercise, guaranteed to tire kids out. Jump Club also opens up at special times for play exclusively for kids with autism and other spectrum disorders, and their families. Birthday parties are their specialty, and the facility also features a cafe and a separate enclosed area for toddlers. High-speed internet and comfy chairs for parents to use while their kids are playing.
8. Jungle Jolt
Jungle Jolt, located in Webster, is the Rochester area's newest addition to indoor fun. In only 7 months of operation it has leaped onto the KidsOutAndAbout Top 20 list at #12!
Mendon Ponds Park is widely acknowledged as having the area's best sledding and cross-country skiing opportunities. Located in Mendon, just south of Pittsford, it is the largest park in Monroe County at over 2500 acres. Hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, and skating (although the park officials discourage skating) are just some of the things to do in Mendon Ponds Park in winter. We also encourage you to head over to the Nature Center, on the west side of the park. There, Wild Wings provides respite, rehabilitation, and housing for engaging information. And from the Nature Center, head out on the Birdsong Trail with some birdseed. Show your kids how to be very quiet, and the chickadees may come up and eat right out of your hand!
Like with the libraries, we did not ask folks to vote for specific Ys. But knowing that the Y is very special to many families in our area, we merged all of the Ys into one category. Lots of readers wrote in comments about their local Y, however, especially Bay View in Webster, Eastside in Penfield, and Southeast in Pittsford.
And some bonus ideas!
KidsOutAndAbout's lists of places to get active in Rochester's Winter:
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