Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester

If you live anywhere in the Western New York area I am sure you have heard of The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester.  It is one of the most well known, interactive, kid museums in the area.  Matt and I were intrigued with all the hype... we HAD to go. ;-) Living in Buffalo, the Strong Museum is about a one hour drive.  We easily could have driven there and back in one day, however we wanted to make the weekend special; so we decided to also spend the night as well!

The Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong Museum is AMAZING!  Packed with hands on activities and TOYS everywhere!  If you plan to go, I would definitely recommend carving out a good chunk of your day for it because there is SO much to do and see!
Dylan and Christopher are ages 3 and 1 years and I felt like they were at the perfect age for the museum.  However, looking back, there were so many activities that they couldn't do yet, so it really would be good for any age kid... and even adults!

There are over 20 different exhibits to visit throughout the museum.  We couldn't even get to them all.  Our two favorite exhibits were the Wegman's Grocery Shopping exhibit (a permanent exhibit) and the Thomas the Train exhibit, which is a temporary exhibit until May 6, 2018.  The boys LOVED the Thomas exhibit and we literally had to bribe them to leave because I think they would have stayed there ALL day if we had let them.  LOL!  The Wegman's Grocery exhibit was soooo cool!!!  They each got a shopping cart and could grocery shop throughout a miniature Wegmans store and "buy" the pretend food (that all had bar-codes so it would ring up at the register) taking turns being the store worker.  The cash register even printed out a receipt!  It was amazing and so cute for kids to reenact what they see their parents do every week!  We also loved the pretend news/weather set (with cameras and a TV to see yourself presenting the news!) and a few other exhibits such as Berenstain Bears, Sesame Street, Fairy Tales, Pinball, Arcade games, etc.
I did notice a sign when we arrived that you are not permitted to bring your own snacks, however there are plenty of options for food when you are in museum.  Our favorite was Bill Grey's, which offered a "happy hour" half off milk shakes; it was SO yummy!
This is the number one reason why we still hadn't visited the museum yet!  I am always SO paranoid about the boys getting sick from hands-on places!  I have to say, despite all the people that were there when we visited, I really felt like the whole place was very clean!  Also, there were hand sanitize stations at each exhibit and bathrooms all around the museum.  Whenever we passed a bathroom, we stopped and washed our hands and also used the hand sanitizer at every spot.  It was funny, because the first few days that we arrived home I felt the boys' foreheads every morning when they woke up assuming they would be sick....  but, nothing!  Thank goodness!! :)

After we finished up at the museum, we decided to get some fresh air and walk around Rochester.  We passed the most adorable ice skating rink and walked along Park Ave and even stopped in a cute little shop for some coffee and dessert.  I can't even imagine how wonderful it would be to stay in Rochester in the summer and go to the museum during the heat of the day and then enjoy everything Rochester has to offer in summer!  Really, anytime of year is a great time to bring your family to the Strong Museum and let your kids learn through play! :)


We teamed up with the Strathallan Hotel for our family weekend trip and it really helped make the experience SO enjoyable and stress free for Matt and me, as well as for the boys!  When we first arrived, the receptionist handed each of us the hotel's specialty walnut chocolate chip cookie- which was still warm, by the way, and FULL of chocolate chips (just how I like them! 😉)  The boys LOVED their cookies and gobbled them right up! :)

To Sleep: 
Our room was just perfect for our family.  We stayed in one of their luxury suites which had two big rooms including: a king size bed, separate living room area, huge bathroom with a separate shower and tub, kitchen area with a coffee maker, sink and fridge, and two patios one off each room.  We love staying in suites when we travel with our kids because it's soo nice to have separate sleeping rooms instead of us all sleeping in one big area together.

The Strathallan was also perfect for our boys because it had a POOL! Lol!  Since there isn't a lot to do in the winter time, we knew the hotel pool would be the perfect activity for the boys the evening that we arrived at the Strathallan.

To Eat:
The next morning we woke up bright and early and headed down to the Strathallan's buffet breakfast.  Wow!  We were so impressed!  Eggs, sausage, bacon, croissants, bagels, berries, yogurt, granola, you name it.  I think Christopher ate at least 20 raspberries and Dylan had a plate full of bacon! Lol!  I loved that we could eat breakfast at the hotel because it definitely saved us time to not have to leave the hotel and find another restaurant for breakfast!

Little Extras:
The Strong Museum of Play is literally walking distance from the Strathallan, but since it was early and still quite a bit chilly, we used the Strathallan's complimentary shuttle!  It was soooo nice to not have to worry about parking at the museum... and getting door to door service made it so much less stressful (and less cold! 😉)


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