Known to havethe world’s largest collection of toys, games, dolls and all things related to play, this museum is all about the art of play. From toddlers to teens to the retired, all ages can truly play at The Strong.
There are play areas designed specifically for babies and toddlers, make-believe areas like the museum’s own Wegman’s grocery store (Wegman’s was founded in Rochester in 1916) and interactive games throughout the 285,000-square-foot museum. All kinds of video games can be found throughout The Strong, along with a room full of Pinball machines just waiting to be played! There is a tropical butterfly sanctuary perfect to visit on a winter day, and there’s a Super Hero room, book room, a carousel, a replica of the actual Sesame Street, slides, climbing walls and so much more.
The Strong is also home to the World Video Game Hall of Fame and the National Toy Hall of Fame. Kids and adults will love to check out the throwback toys behind glass cases, but they are mixed among new toys or reinventions of the old toys, like a giant Etch-a-Sketch that will draw your portrait, and allows for a hands-on experience amongst the nostalgia. The first Barbie doll and G.I. Joe prototypes are housed here, along with the first creation of the game Monopoly, which had a circular board so it could fit nicely on a coffee table.
The Strong also houses a huge archive of toys so it is always swapping out toys for something new, or opening a new short-term exhibit.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday
Things to Know/Bring
Expect large crowds when the kids are off from school on school holidays. However, the space is so large that there really is room for everyone to play. Look for special adults-only happy hour events, as well as sensory-friendly days that take place almost monthly. Noise cancelling headphones are always available at the front desk. Children under 2 years old are free to enter.
There is an onsite, sit-down restaurant at the main entrance to the museum (it’s an actual diner that was lowered into the museum), as well as a food court.
Limited free parking is available onsite and there are municipal parking garages that surround the area.