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“all play and no work, such fun” 5 of 5 stars
Review of National Museum of Play at The Strong

National Museum of Play at The Strong
One Manhattan Square, Rochester, NY 14607
+1 585-263-2700
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Ranked #1 of 43 Attractions in Rochester
Type: Children's Museums, Museums
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Owner description: Come over to play at the only museum in the world devoted solely to the importance of play. The museum blends the best features of both history museums (extensive collections and children’s museums (high interactivity). At 282,000 square feet, the National Museum of Play at The Strong is the largest regional year-round family attraction, and the second largest “children’s” museum in the nation. The museum takes play very seriously. Its philosophy—that play is essential to learning and human development—is reflected everywhere you look beginning with its uniquely whimsical architecture (including a butterfly house built to look like the world’s largest butterfly, an undulating two-story caterpillar-shaped atrium, and a structure resembling a pile of gigantic children’s building blocks). Engaging hands-on exhibits invite you to attend Super Powers School, meet the Berenstain Bears, play your way through the history of video games, enter a giant kaleidoscope, board a whaling ship, see the world’s oldest Monopoly games, step into Sesame Street, walk into the pages of a giant pop-up book, and so much more! The museum is home to the region’s only indoor butterfly garden; the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of dolls, toys, and games; and the prestigious National Toy Hall of Fame®. Amenities include a food court, indoor train and carousel, two museum shops, and an outdoor Discovery Garden.Admission Fees: General Admission (does not include admission to Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden®):2 and older $13.50, Children under age 2 are free, Museum members free.Admission to Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden: General Admission fee plus $3 for members, $4 for nonmembers; children under 2 free. Entry is by timed ticket only. Parking: Free parking is available at the museum for all guests on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that, on high visitation days, the museum lot may reach capacity early in the day. If space is not available on site at the time of your visit, additional parking is available at neighboring municipal garages for a fee. The Strong is not responsible for fees incurred at off-site locations.
Useful Information: Activities for young children
GRAND ISLAND
Top Contributor
564 reviews 564 reviews
225 attraction reviews
Reviews in 162 cities Reviews in 162 cities
282 helpful votes 282 helpful votes
“all play and no work, such fun”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2014

combining scientific history of playthings with the real thing, and a faux market for the youngsters, this is one of the finest children's attractions in the country... came here with the notion of leaving about 4 and had to drag them away, kicking and screaming (but politely) at 7... worth every single penny

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Edmonton, Canada
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Must-visit in Rochester”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2014

Wow, this place is amazing! Don't think it's just for kids either. We visited with a 15-year old, two 13-year olds, and two adults and were all captivated. The first floor is definitely more for younger kids with the Wegman's and play areas and is worth a look, but the second floor is excellent for adults and older kids. The arcade with retro games like Pacman, Ms. Pacman, pinball, and Frogger kept us busy for hours. The toy collections are fantastic, and being a kid in the 70s, they have all the toys of that era including Merlin and Simon and earlier video consoles. We were disappointed that the doll area was under renovation and therefore closed - would have loved to see Ms. Strong's doll but she was not on exhibit. Go see this place!

Visited December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden Full Price”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2014

We were disappointed because we drove a long distance to visit the Butterfly Museum and found out we would have to pay full price Strong Museum entrance in order to get into the $4 Butterfly museum. Since that would have added $15.95 to each $4 ticket, we opted out and went to the George Eastman House instead. Strong Museum should change the website so it clearly says that you have to pay full entry fee at the main museum and visiting just the butterfly section is not an option. On Rochester's Things to do website, there was no indication that they were connected.
Also, we had older teens - seeing the crying, screaming toddlers running around the entry didn't help - the teens were not interested in the main museum at all! Not for teens.

Visited December 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Fun for kids and adults alike!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2014

The National Museum of Play at The Strong is a fun place to visit for the entire family. We spent the entire day there and my kid even "forgot" to take his afternoon nap :) Especially fun exhibits include:
- Wegmans Super Kids Market. At this supermarket, the kids get to "play" shopping at the supermarket - including scanning what they have bought at the cash registers, pick up eggs and carrots at the organic farm, etc.
- Little Builders. Children gets to learn physics and play with construction crane, assembly line, dropping balls into vertical air chutes
- Sesame Street. Children gets to be on TV with Elmo etc.

Visited December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
buffalo, ny
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Kids love the Wegmans store!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2013

My kids, ages 3 and 10 both love the Strong Museum! the kids size Wegmans store with café is their favorite. My little one loves the Berenstein Bear and the Sesame St. play areas. The toy hall of fame is also surprisingly fun. love to end the day with burgers and shakes at Bill Grays (in the lobby) and a carousel ride.

Visited December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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