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“Big kids (i.e. adults) will have a blast too”

The Strong National Museum of Play
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The Strong Museum Admission
Ranked #2 of 148 things to do in Rochester
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The Strong is a highly interactive, collections-based museum devoted to the history and exploration of play. It is one of the largest history museums in the United States and one of the leading museums serving families. The Strong houses the world's largest and most comprehensive collection of historical materials related to play and is home to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, the National Toy Hall of Fame, the World Video Game Hall of Fame, the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, the Woodbury School, and the American Journal of Play. Together, these enable a multifaceted array of research, exhibition, and other interpretive and educational activities that serve a diverse audience of adults, families, children, students, teachers, scholars, collectors, and others around the globe.
Useful Information: Activities for young children
Reviewed September 7, 2013

Credit for this find goes to wife and while the visit was suppose to be for our 11yrs old daughter, it might have been even more fun for me (40+).

If you visit the National Museum of Play at The Strong's website and read the other reviews here they can tell you all you need to know about the attractions, the immense joy the young kids will have and how amazingly interactive and "playful" this museum really is. My wife commented "this is what the Brooklyn Children's Museum strives for but doesn't quite reach."

What I want to share is how a 40'something male was returned to his early childhood and tween/teen years with the eGaming exhibit. OMG! they have it all. An original Atari 2600 box (I forgot how big the box was). On display original Atari consoles, Intellivision, Commodore 64, Apple II's, ... sooo much more, and more vintage cartridges then you can remember. Also included are the near past and present consoles. Nintendo, Sega, 3DO, Sony, X-Box. Then there are the FULLY OPERATIONAL stand up gaming cabinets. Yes you need a token to play but you can get 6 for $1. There's even a token dispensing machine that takes credit cards in $1, $5 or $10 transactions. 6 plays for 1 dollar ... that's even better than the bygone days at the pizzeria after school. Just to name a "few" there was Asteroids, Tron, Gauntlet, Ramparts, Defender, Tempest, Pole Position, Kung Fu, Galaxian, Zaxxon, etc etc etc. That's all upstairs. There's a "Boardwalk" exhibit downstairs with more and I only breezed through here so I can't really recall all the cabinets but I saw Donkey Kong, Fix'It Felix, Pac-Man, etc etc etc.

I guess you can tell I was big into video games. This museum had me "playing" titles I hadn't seen in over 20 years! Maybe 30! Oh the memories brought back to the surface. If only BattleZone was there my experience would have been complete.

There was more ... sooo much more that we enjoyed. They had the biggest Perplexus my daughter has ever seen but sadly it was limited in how it could be manipulated. Still cool to see. There is an entire section devoted to Comics and I most enjoyed standing in front of an old vintage cabinet radio listening while original episodes of "Superman" played. There was a nice selection of bound comic collections that could have kept me busy for the entire visit and then some. There were displays full of vintage toys, board games, dolls, a circular Monopoly game (round? really!), Legos, Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, Erector Sets ... and that's just what I "played" attention too. I'm sure they have things from your childhood joys that will take you back to a happy place.

Yes I guess I'm still a big kid.

As for the real kid in our family, my daughter had a blast. She thought the "kiddie" stuff on the first level to be amusing and though I can't get her to admit it, she enjoyed the massive grocery store mockup. Mother and daughter also had great fun playing a game of oversized chess in a tree house. This is truly a place for all to find enjoyment in Play.

We spent 4 hours here. We tore ourselves away to head over to the Rochester Museum and Science Center (also 5 stars!!). Next time we're in Rochester, we'll have to plan to do things differently. One day for EACH museum as there's plenty here at National Museum of Play at The Strong to fill a day by itself.

Thank ShanRich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,305 - 1,309 of 1,798 reviews

Reviewed September 4, 2013

My husband and I took our 4 grandsons (9,9,6,2) for the day. They had a blast. The Wegman's Store was a big draw, until they found out they had to put back any items in their carts over "5". If you have this many kids of various ages, it is very helpful to have 2 adults to help keep track of them. There is also an arcade, which I understand is new. Inside that room is a "sand box" using little plastic pellets as the sand. We found another one of these boxes located elsewhere. This place is wonderful for a full day adventure. Some areas are good for children of various ages together. In the food court I did not find the prices out of line at all. There was a pizza place, alongside Subway, and probably others that I didn't notice.

Would we go there again? Definitely. The 1.5 hour trip for us was very much worth it, and the admission price is very reasonable--actually cheap compared to some amusement parks, for sure. I think it was $13/person that is aged 2 and older.

Thank grammygail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

The sesemee Street Area is wild, the Video Game and Pinball Classic Acade is incredible, There are exhibits on history, and art, The Imagination is examined , proded, stimulated and encouraged everywhere in the meuseum! and you MUST come play with the live butterflies in the butterly garden! There is a food Cout that is fully stocked, a working carosel, A Gift store, A mini wegman's grocery where kids can "shop" for full scale plastic "food"- (this"store" is as big as their school rooms easily...) Allow at least several hours.

Thank Matt D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

Very good collection.
Though many visitors are parents with smaller children, this museum is very worthwhile for everyone

Thank Vanezza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 3, 2013 via mobile

We planned a trip here for our sons 2nd birthday and we were not disappointed. Our son played on Sesame Street, walked their butterfly garden, played arcade games and made believe in numerous themed playrooms. $13 admission for hours of learning, socal skills development and imagination is a steal. Thoroughly recommend this for anyone with young children, we will definitely plan a return trip.

Thank BrandonA33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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