‘Tis the season and many of us in the area may have guests staying from out of town, or you’re using some of your vacation time to close out the year, and of course the kids are home from school. It all adds up to an important question: what to do? Luckily the Greater Rochester area always has quality choices for holiday family activities. Here are a few suggestions.
1) For the young ones – and the older who ones who loved the show when they were kids – there’s the Ninja Mutant Turtles: Secrets of The Sewer exhibit at the Strong Museum of Play. The Ninja Turtles of course are the mega-popular crime-fighting turtles named for Renaissance artists that have an underground lair in a sewer. Talk about a strange blend of themes – proving once again that you can’t predict what’s going to capture the imagination! The exhibit features team-building challenges, mazes, bridge construction models, Ninja training and much more! Kids and kids at heart will all love it! Of course the Strong Museum of Play has other great exhibits going on, too, including the Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden; this is one of those holiday family activities that you don’t want to miss!
2) If you have family and guest who love to get outdoors at any time of year, there are plenty of options. Penfield hiking trails include walks for various durations and challenge levels. There’s a Tots Trail included here and others that range from about a half mile to a couple miles, with a few that can extend beyond if that if so desired. Sherwood Fields Park, Harris Whalen Park Trails, Veterans’ Memorial Park Nature and Fitness Trails, Channing H. Philbrick Park, Abraham Lincoln Park, Ellison Park Trails and more are all included with maps of the trails perfectly fit for a
3) For the theatre and literature lovers who may be spending the week with you, try Little Women: The Musical. It’s playing from December 15th through the 31st at Blackfriars , one of Rochester’s intimate theatre gems that has been producing quality shows for decades now. The novel by Louisa May Alcott is beloved by millions of every generation, so this is a play that every age group will enjoy. It’s sure to stir fond memories for the older family members, and it’s a great introduction to the magic of live theatre for the younger ones.
4) Holiday Light Shows have grown in popularity over the years. The creativity, originality, and effort that people put into their home displays are just amazing. Here’s an interactive map identifying some of the most breathtaking displays in the Greater Rochester area. Fill up the tank, put your guests in the car, and enjoy a fun evening taking in the dazzling sights!
5) For a New Year’s Eve party for family and friends, there’s First Night at the Bill Gray’s Regional Iceplex off of I-390 near MCC’s main campus. The evening offers great family entertainment, a DJ playing kid-friendly music, bounce houses, big screens showing the countdown in Time Square, and of course three rinks of ice skating!
6) And finally, bring your visiting guests downtown on New Year’s Eve for a fantastic – and free – fireworks display that will be a beautiful visual extravaganza to say goodbye to 2017 and welcome in 2018! The fireworks blast off at 10 P.M. and there’s free parking at many of the garages and a festive atmosphere for all.
Enjoy your family and friends this holiday season. We all work hard in one way or another each year, and the end of December really is a special time to step back, take a deep breath, and enjoy the fruits of our labor and our loved ones; all while spending time doing family activities over the holidays! Here’s to a safe and prosperous 2018!