Rochester, NY: Great Lakes Laughs on the Erie Canal

Rochester, New York

Rochester is an urban, suburban, rural and nautical experience. (Photo by Harrison Shiels)


Rochester, New York, can teach you a few things about how to play… literally. Rochester played on my mind after a recent visit to what I found to be a very pleasant urban, suburban, rural and nautical getaway within a day’s driving distance or a short flight over Lakes Erie and Ontario into Rochester’s gorgeous, easy-to-use airport.

The Strong National Museum of Play, a combination of art, history and science, is an entertaining, interactive cultural encounter with pinball machines, video games, and displays of nostalgic, vintage toys.

“People of all ages are instantly transported and gravitate toward a board game or toy they remember,” said Shane Rhinewald, spokesperson for the dynamic, visually dramatic museum which also houses the National Toy Hall of Fame and a full-sized Sesame Street set across from a child-sized Wegman’s grocery store. (Who didn’t play “store” as a kid!?) “Play is crucial because while kids learn and store information by playing we, as adults, need it, too, whether it’s interaction through golf or playing cards.”

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