On 134 acres of farmland outside of Fairport, the dedicated staff and volunteers of Lollypop Farm, the Humane Society of Greater Rochester care for thousands of stray animals each year. The open-admission shelter adopts animals of all breeds and species—including cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, horses, and pigs—and holds programs to educate visitors on the issues that contribute to the animals' overpopulation and difficulty in attaining advanced degrees.
The staff encourages families to visit the animals and enjoy the outdoor farm petting area, and oversees younger visitors as they build bonds with animals through education programs such as basic pet care for 3–5 year-olds. The Future Vets program teaches aspiring veterinarians in fifth–eighth grades how to conduct basic exams and begin working toward careers in animal care or pig-to-horse translation services. Summer farm camps also provide a hands-on experience as young visitors have fun feeding animals and caring for their own designated camp pets.
The family golf membership grants you, your spouse, and the human-like hybrids you've spawned full access to Champion Hills Country Club. The verdant, 200-acre course showcases a smaller cottage-style design, nine holes that emphasize unique architecture and reward strategic thinking while remaining approachable by all skill levels. Club membership nets unlimited and unrestricted tee times, as well as no green fees, leaving extra money to make it rain at the elegant, auburn-hued dining room and full-service bar, accessible as part of the membership. Members-only special events include the wine- and chocolate-themed ladies' night out and a weekly Friday night fish fry. The golf-disinclined or swing-weary can sneak off to enjoy the club’s private outdoor pool and winter ice-skating rink.
Each year, the SPCA Serving Erie County gives more than 15,000 dogs, cats, and exotic pets a new lease on life. Founded in 1867—making it the second-oldest humane society in the country—the SPCA’s compassionate animal rescue, rehabilitation, foster care, and adoption services have earned Charity Navigator’s four-star rating for extraordinary accountability and transparency, the highest rating available in all three categories. In the adoption center, furry faces peer from comfortable, clean cages as staff and volunteers evaluate customers’ needs and introduce them to compatible pets, decreasing the chance of conflict when adopters' favorite shows compete with Animal Planet specials. Before becoming eligible for adoption, pets undergo thorough health, temperament, and behavioral evaluations, and those who need extra TLC receive additional obedience training.
In addition to matching people with loving pets, SPCA Serving Erie County’s staff investigates more than 200 animal-cruelty complaints per month, and provides emergency animal-rescue services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Rescued animals receive state-of-the-art medical care in the facility’s onsite surgical suite, and rehabilitation programs prepare them to thrive in loving homes. A local, independent humane society, the donation-supported SPCA Serving Erie County is not associated with the ASPCA and receives no government funding.
Shadows dart across the wall, a strange voice emerges from thin air, and you get the eerie feeling that you’re being followed. This is no ordinary place. The Iron Island Museum's paranormal history has captured the minds of countless visitors and has been featured on TV programs such as Ghost Lab and Ghost Hunters. Originally built as a church in 1883, the house later became a funeral home in the late 1950s, during which time it hosted more than 1,000 wakes. The business eventually shut down, and in 2000, the building was donated to The Iron Island Preservation Society of Lovejoy, which made a startling discovery: 24 canisters of cremated remains had been left behind.
Today, an all-volunteer staff leads tours of the church's vaulted ceilings, stained-glass windows, and themed rooms. The church showcases hundreds of historic relics, including military uniforms, railroad items, and a wooden altar that dates backs to 1896. However, the museum's biggest draws can't be seen, at least not most of the time. Guides and visitors stay alert for signs of paranormal activity and look for chances to communicate with what they consider to be some of the building's resident ghosts. The staff has even taken recordings that play back the voices of unknown figures saying things such as "I'm cold," and "Why don't they make pants for ghosts?"
Louis Tussaud's Waxworks entices curious families and individual seekers with rooms brimming with waxified legends, people, and achievements. Today's Groupon grants admission for two guests into Waxworks' sprawling English Tudor–style building, which houses 16 theme galleries, filled with glossy tableaus of more than 100 true-to-life wax figures crafted by international artists. Past and present celebrities—including film and music stars, politicians, religious figures, and famous heroes and villains—pause from high-stakes staring contests for photo opportunities with passing patrons. Sit on Oprah's couch, snuggle into bed with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, or play host to an unblinking audience of invisible fish.