Main menu Open search menu

Top Things To Do In Rochester

Over 200,000 New Yorkers call Rochester home and close to a million live in the metro area. The shopping and tourism industries are drawn to scale serving towns near Rochester too. With so many festivals, art shows, historical landmarks, and natural wonders to see, fun adventures can be found in almost every corner of Rochester. Browse popular attractions, exciting activities, and other fun things to do in the city.

Rochester boasts dozens of unique events each year like the Rochester Lilac Festival or the annual Festival of Food. The city is also home to beautiful shopping districts and popular tourist attractions.

Some of the best things to do in Rochester:

  • Seneca Park Zoo, home to more than 90 animal species
  • Highland Park, an arboretum in downtown Rochester
  • Ontario Beach, soft, sandy beaches on the southern shores of Lake Ontario
  • Manhattan Square Park, an urban park and Martin Luther King Jr. memorial
  • Frontier Field, a baseball stadium in downtown Rochester

Finding fun ways to spend the day in Rochester is easy, and doing so affordably can be too. Between museum free days and live music performances, there’s no shortage of free things to do in the city.

Cheap or free things to do in Rochester include:

  • A trip to the Rochester Museum and Science Center
  • Visiting the Rochester Contemporary Art Center
  • The free historic walking tour at Mount Hope Cemetery
  • Learn more about exhibits at Genesee Country Village & Museum
  • Compare old and new art collections at Memorial Art Gallery

When visiting Rochester there are several famous attractions the travel guides have dubbed must-sees. Such as touring George Eastman’s museum, the oldest museum dedicated to photography, and the home of Susan B. Anthony, a leading advocate in the Women’s Rights Movement.

Popular attractions near Rochester include:

  • George Eastman Museum, one of the world’s oldest film archives
  • Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse, built in 1822 and towers 40 feet over the mouth of Genesee River
  • Susan B. Anthony House, tour the home of a legendary civil rights activist
  • The Warner Castle, the Scottish castle replicate
  • Hungerford Building, filled with small businesses and a diverse group of artisans

Exploring Rochester during the day may consist of shopping at farmers markets, golfing, museum tours, or another outdoor activity near the city. Read more about exciting activities and other fun things to do in Rochester today.

Exciting activities near Rochester include:

  • Walk the river and check out some art in High Falls
  • Touring the Irondequoit Bay State Marine Park, a 44-acre state park and boat launch
  • Play 18 holes at Webster Golf Club
  • Shop around the Powers Farm Market in Pittsford
  • Or go to the Rochester Public Market, open on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays

From dollar movies to bowling there are plenty of things to do in Rochester at night. Learn more about the city’s up and coming escape rooms, historical theaters, popular bars, trending shopping districts, and more.

Other things to do tonight in Rochester include:

  • Dollar movies on Tuesdays at The “Dollar Theater”
  • Sunday and Monday after 9pm bowl for just a buck at Bowl-A-Roll
  • Wine tastings at Via Girasole Wine Bar
  • Comedy acts at the Kodak Center
  • Rochester City Ballet performances

Weekends in Rochester are unforgettable. Spend an afternoon barbecuing in Mention Harris Whalen Park, the perfect family picnic spot. The sports fields and courts are well-maintained and there is a play area for younger kids.

Things to do in Rochester this weekend:

  • Visit Tinker Nature Park and the Hansen Nature Center
  • Find multi-use trails and popular fishing spots at Abraham Lincoln Park, a bayside recreational area
  • Take a ride to the Strong Museum to see the Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden
  • Go camping at Braddock Bay Wildlife Management Area, a marsh area famous for wildlife observation and fishing
  • Black Button Distillery tours and tastings

Rochester city parks are a perfect place to relax while the kids run around and play. Greece Canal Park is on the outskirts of town but it’s dog-friendly, has a play place, athletic facilities, and camping areas.

Things to do with kids in Rochester include:

  • Get lost in the Wickham Farms corn maze or play a few rounds of mini golf
  • Learn about the history of Jell-O at Jell-O Gallery
  • A trip to Seabreeze, a historical amusement park in Irondequoit
  • The National Toy Hall of Fame is another exciting exhibit in the Strong Museum
  • Explore the Minnesota Children’s Museum in downtown Rochester

Looking for romantic things to do in Rochester for your next date night? Plan a picturesque getaway at one of Rochester’s best bed and breakfasts like Edward Harris House Inn & Cottages or the Dartmouth House.

Other date night ideas in Rochester include:

  • Play a round of tennis or fish in the Maplewood Park pond
  • Take a stroll through Sunken Garden or Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion
  • Sign up for paddleboarding lessons for two by BayCreek Paddling Center
  • Watch the sunset at Corbett's Glen Nature Park
  • Book a couples massage at one of the best spas in Rochester
p>Things to do in Rochester for groups can range from kayak rentals to fully-guided group tours. Explore deals on activities for groups near you, ticket bundle packages, and more.

Things to do with your friends in Rochester include:

  • Riding the Erie Canal on a Sam Patch Tour Boat
  • Learning more about the Rochester beer scene during a TourRoc
  • Scheduling a public or private group tour at Crush Beer and Wine Tours
  • Playing paintball at NVP Paintball
  • Taking a Wacky Walks guided tour

Relax and unwind inside at one of Rochester’s world-class museums, historical theaters, spas, resorts, or even at the public ice skating rink.

Things to do indoors in Rochester include:

  • An escape from the bustle of city life at Lamberton Conservatory
  • Ice skating at the Ritter Ice Arena
  • Touring the National Center for the History of Electronic Games
  • Marvel at old cars in the Rochester Auto Museum
  • Enjoy star shows, giant-screen films, and laser light shows at the Strasenburgh Planetarium

Rochester is home to several iconic bridges and other cool sightseeing opportunities. The historical Broad Street Bridge and the newer Frederick Douglass–Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge are most popularly recognized, but several other Rochester bridges make great sunset seats.

Outdoor activities and things to see in Rochester include:

  • Head to Irondequoit Bay Marine Park for boating and fishing access to Lake Ontario
  • Catch a view of High Falls, one of three waterfalls on the Genesee River
  • Kayaking and canoeing at Lucien Morin Park
  • Drive out to Cobbs Hill Reservoir, Rochester’s drinking water supply
  • Get a good view of the Genesee River at Lower Falls Park

Rochester sits right under Lake Ontario, making it close to several state parks and free camping areas. Discover Rochester hidden gems and learn more about popular destinations near the city.

Must-see places near Rochester include:

  • Head 30 minutes east to spend an afternoon in Long Acre Farms
  • Find the secret room hidden behind a swinging shelf in the children’s section of the Central Library Building
  • Register for Buffalo Bills’ training camp in Pittsford
  • See a movie at the Vintage Drive-In Theatre in Avon
  • Drive 90 minutes west for stunning views of Niagara Falls