I have family that lives near Rochester, NY and with every visit comes a trip to The Strong: National Museum of Play. The Museum of Play is one of my favorite museums aimed at letting kids cut loose and be kids. And while letting my kids be kids, I too have flashbacks to the days I was young and carefree. If you have kids and live near or visit the Rochester area, you must take your kids to this fantastic museum. From Sesame Street to video games, this museum has playtime covered.
Our first stop inside the museum is always the Sesame Street exhibit. In this area, kids can go into Elmo’s room, step inside a taxi, pretend to serve customers from a hot dog cart, and watch memorable Sesame street clips. Throughout this area are images and displays of favorite Sesame Street characters.
Another fantastic area in the museum is an exhibit that takes kids back to early times as they can pretend as they climb aboard an old time train, bake imaginary food on an old time stove, play with dolls, and read books. And from there you can see exhibits where you pretend to be a superhero, climb aboard a boat or a helicopter, and walk through Adventureland, which covers some of the most famous children’s literary characters.
And for the big kids, (like me) there are some very cool arcades that can be found in the museum. Playing centipede and a host of other video games took me back to my youth when I would go to the mall with my mom and spend countless hours inside an arcade. I did get lost in my youth in this area while shelling out coins to my kids. Being taken back was good for my kids though, because I ruled the basketball game and scored a ton of tickets for them.
A trip to the museum would not be complete without visiting a pretend grocery store where kids can pick out items, scan them, and get a receipt. My daughter likes to pretend she needs ingredients to cook a meal and walks through the store looking for items. My toddler loves being able to push a cart his size and throw things into the cart.
Another area to remember being a kid is in the TimeLab. This area has old school toys mixed with new ones and while the kids can play with dolls, dress up clothes, action figures, and pretend living areas, adults can relive their childhood by looking over the toys from days gone by.
There is also a Toy Hall of Fame at the museum, which I usually love to visit, but unfortunately on this day it was closed for renovation.
An added bonus to the museum is a carousel that only costs $1 to ride and a food court that includes Pizza Hut, Subway, and Taco Bell. There is also a restaurant made to look like an old diner inside the museum.
The Strong is located at One Manhattan Square * Rochester, NY 14607.
2 and up – $14. Under 2 years of age is free.
* Disclaimer: I was provided tickets for my review of the museum. The opinions and words in this post are my own.