Year-Round Family Fun in Genesee County, NY
Here are some great ideas for a day trip in Genesee County, New York!
By Lindsay Hawkins
Genesee County is perfect for a day trip – or a longer stay! An ideal location, Genesee County lies between Buffalo and Rochester and is situated along major roadways. From amusement parks and quirky museums, to wildlife adventures and trails, it’s a great family destination.
Home to Darien Lake Amusement Park, New York’s largest theme park, Genesee County offers endless fun. One day might not be enough time to ride all the roller coasters, scream on the thrill rides, slip down water slides, and win at the arcade games! Darien Lake has over 100 rides and attractions spread over 250 acres, so you’re sure to find something everyone can enjoy. On a hot summer day, slather on some sunscreen and float along the lazy river after the kids have worn themselves out on the water slides and million-gallon wave pool!
Depending on your music taste and children’s ages, you could also catch a national act at Darien Lake’s Performing Arts Center! Country names are always a hit in Genesee County. Too young for a concert? A laser light show at the end of the night is an incredible, memorable, up-past-their-bedtime treat!
What about when the weather is not so favorable? Genesee County has you covered there, too! Palm Island Indoor Water Park is the newest attraction in Genesee County. With two 24 foot waterslides, a swim lagoon, and an arcade and restaurant on-site, it could be a blizzard outside and you’d never know it! Located in the Clarion Hotel, stay the night and enjoy an extra day of fun.
The Great Outdoors
Get away from the city and buildings and take in the great outdoors in Genesee County, where agriculture is the number-one industry. You’ll see “homemade" and "handmade" everywhere! Enjoy a visit to an alpaca farm (there are six!), where you can pet alpacas and learn about this interesting animal.
You don’t need to cross over into Canada to go on an animal safari – Hidden Valley Animal Adventure in Varysburg has all kinds of exotic animals, like zebras and camels. Hour-long guided tours where the animals come right up to the trolley are exciting for the whole family!
Make sure to wash your hands after petting the animals, and then have a picnic at the Genesee County Park & Forest and Interpretive Center in Bethany, the oldest county forest in New York State! Fun trails wind through 431 acres of rolling hills, with picnic pavilions, playgrounds, and easily accessible restrooms dotted throughout the grounds. Make a game out of who can spot the most wildlife animals!
Playgrounds and U-pick farms are scattered throughout the county. In season, you can pick strawberries, blueberries, apples, raspberries, and pumpkins. If you’re visiting between June and September and your family enjoys America’s oldest pastime, be sure to catch a Batavia Muckdogs game!
Quirky Museums and History
Everyone’s favorite dessert has a museum dedicated to it in Genesee County! We hope you’re thinking of JELL-O … and maybe even sang along with the spelling! The JELL-O Gallery Museum in LeRoy is the area's quirkier claims to fame. Older generations can appreciate the old advertising and little ones will enjoy the fun facts.
Pack a little history into your visit with the Holland Land Office Museum. The site where over three million acres were surveyed and sold by Dutch settlers, (hence Batavia's reputation as the birthplace of Western New York), school-aged children will be fascinated by dainty Victorian clothing, ghost legends, and one of the state's only remaining gibbets.
Play Here, Stay Here!
If you decide to stay longer than a day, Genesee County has a wide selection of comfortable, family-friendly accommodations! Between hotels and motels with indoor swimming pools and a multitude of campgrounds, we’re sure you’ll find a cozy place for your family to lay their heads. Many restaurants are located near the hotels – from sit-down to drive-thru to late-night ice cream, we won’t let anybody’s belly grumble!
Visit Genesee County's web site to see everything else they have to offer, and to get some help planning your Genesee County adventure.