The Strong National Museum of Play

#8 in Best Things To Do in The Finger Lakes
The Strong National Museum of Play picture
Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance

Key Info

1 Manhattan Square Dr.

Details

Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.0scorecard
  • 3.5Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Who wouldn't love a museum dedicated to play? The Strong National Museum of Play in downtown Rochester has something for kids of any age. From "Sesame Street," board games, dolls and books to the latest electronic games, the museum is home to the world's most comprehensive toy collection. Interactive exhibits include a replica Wegmans grocery store – where kids can shop and use a cash register – and an area devoted to the history of vehicles, from trucks and trains to planes and boats.

Many recent visitors, as well as local residents, call this interactive facility a "gem" and a great place to take kids and grandkids, saying it's great for children ages 2 to 10. Some parents recommend bringing drinks and snacks (you can picnic on museum grounds or dine in a designated area in the museum) and several say the butterfly conservatory is worth the extra money.

The museum is open 362 days a year, closed only on Thanksgiving, Christmas and for the annual Play Ball gala. General museum admission costs $14.50; entrance to the museum and the butterfly garden costs $19.50 (ages 2 and younger get in for free). Various general admission discounts are also available. To find out more, visit the museum's website.

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#1 Skaneateles Lake

Located about 23 miles southwest of Syracuse, Skaneateles Lake is the sixth-largest of the Finger Lakes. The name means "long lake" in the Iroquois language and indeed, the 16-mile-long lake crosses three counties: Onandaga, Cayuga and Cortland. The historic Skaneateles Village dates back to the Revolutionary War and is filled with local shops, restaurants, inns and bed-and-breakfasts. The sparkling, clear lake is a favorite for boating and fishing. 

Many recent visitors to Skaneateles Lake said it was a favorite stop and loved the charming, historic town, saying that both dining and shopping were excellent. Visitors also commented on the lake's calm and clean "crystal clear" waters and said that even though it's off the beaten path it's well worth a visit. Several recommended one of the local boat tours, such as those provided by Mid-Lakes Navigation, as a way to learn the history of the area. 

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