Rochester New York Field Trip Ideas ~ Part I

As homeschoolers we are often afforded the opportunity to be out and about more than those in a traditional school setting. Given that we have more flexibility to be out, that often means we have been to many different places in our local area. This is Part I of a series on Field Trips in and around the Rochester, New York Area.

Rochester New York Field Trip Ideas ~ Part I from Starts At Eight

Welcome to my homeschool field trips series.  I am beginning locally by  exploring Rochester Area NY field trips.  In this edition we will cover Museums, Historical Locations, Environmental Sites, Local Theater Opportunities, Indoor Physical Activities, and Community Resources.  This is by no means a totally inclusive list, but covers a great deal of things to do and see in the area.

In Part II of the Rochester New York Field Trip Ideas, I cover Nature Centers, Farm/Animal Related, Berry Picking, Outdoor Fun, and Local Sports Teams. Many of the activities listed in a category may very well fit into another category as well.  My goal was to try and break it down as best as possible to make it easier to find what you are looking for.

Rochester New York Field Trip Ideas – Part I:


The Rochester Museum & Science Center offers three floors of hands-on exhibitions exploring science and technology, natural science, and the Rochester region’s cultural heritage.

In addition to ongoing favorites such as Expedition Earth, several new traveling exhibits each year make the Rochester Museum & Science Center a popular destination for families.

You can also find exhibits like the Keva Planks that we enjoy so much.

National Museum of Play Ranked by Child magazine as one of the top 10 children’s museums in the country, The National Museum of Play is a highly interactive, collections-based educational institution devoted to the study and exploration of play.

It carries out this mission through five “Play Partners.” These are the National Museum of Play, the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, the National Toy Hall of Fame, the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, and the American Journal of Play.

A visit to the Memorial Art Gallery is a journey through more than 5,000 years of art history. From the relics of antiquity to works in the vanguard of contemporary movements, the Gallery offers a panorama of the world’s art.

The Gallery’s permanent collection of more than 12,000 objects has been called the best balanced in the state outside of metropolitan New York City. In addition to its collection, the Gallery offers a year-round schedule of temporary exhibitions, lectures, concerts, tours and family activities.


Genesee-Charlotte Lighthouse 1822The Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse is America’s Oldest Surviving Lighthouse on Lake Ontario!

The Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse Museum is owned by the County of Monroe and run by the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse Historical Society. The Society is an all volunteer organziation.

Originally, the tower was close to the lake. In 1829 after the piers were built to prevent sand bars from forming across the river mouth, sand was deposited instead along the piers and a beach began to grow, leaving the tower farther from the lake each year.

Genesee Country Village & Museum features costumed interpreters in restored historic buildings, breathing life into an authentic 19th-Century Country Village. One of the largest living history museums in the country located just outside of Rochester, NY, in Mumford.

Throughout the year they host holiday festivals, Civil War Days, as well as school and homeschool days too!

George Eastman The George Eastman House is the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the world’s oldest film archives, opened to the public in 1949 as an independent, non-profit museum.

It combines the world’s leading collections of photography and film with the stately pleasures of the landmark Colonial Revival mansion and gardens that George Eastman called home from 1905 to 1932. The Museum is a National Historic Landmark.

Travel back in time as one of our knowledgeable docents leads you through the Granger Homestead and Carriage Museum. Listen to stories of the four generations of Grangers, who lived in this magnificent home from 1816-1930.

Through the museum’s collection of historic vehicles and photographs, trolley rides and track car rides and model railroad displays, research library and gift shop, and the museum’s dedicated volunteers, they honor our area’s transportation history, bringing it to life for today’s visitors and preserving it for the future.

Sam Patch Tours are committed to lifelong learning about the Erie Canal and Genesee River — their history and impact on the nation, present development, and future promise. Each year, thousands of young people, as well as learners of all ages, experience American history on the Erie Canal firsthand through their onboard cruises and education programs.

They offer live, on board narratives on every cruise. Additionally, we provide onboard field studies for school groups and home schools. Imagine your students exploring our nation’s cultural heritage, history, technology, natural science, and more from the unique vantage point of the waterways that have so powerfully influenced life in the NY region and our nation!

The National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House shares the story of Susan B. Anthony’s lifelong struggle to gain voting rights for women and equal rights for all. Her vision is kept alive and relevant by the preservation of her home and the collection of artifacts and research materials directly related to her life and work. The museum makes these resources available to the public through tours, publications, the internet, and interpretive programs.


The Frank E. VanLare plant is located on the south shore of Lake Ontario. VanLare dates back to 1916 and is the largest Waste Water Treatment Facility in Monroe county. The operating permit for flow is 135 million gallons per day (mgd) with a capability of handling 660mgd during storm events. Located at Pine Grove Avenue,Rochester, NY 14614 in Irondequoit.

We recently took a field trip to this facility and will have an article (Coming Soon!) up for you to read and see video that we took of the plant.

Alpco was founded on family values and is totally committed to the earth and the global concerns over our non-renewable resources and raw materials. The company collects, processes and transports thousands of tons of recyclable materials every year. This dedication to recycling and renewal keeps this material out of the overburdened landfills of the Northeastern United States and ensures that it can be reused in the manufacture of new products and finished goods. It is located at 846 Macedon Center Road, Macedon NY 14502, Phone: (315) 986-8900

We took a field trip with our Girl Scout troop here. This was by far my favorite field trip! It was incredibly well done by our guide and so incredibly interesting!


GevaGeva Theatre is located at 75 Woodbury Boulevard in the heart of downtown Rochester. Geva offers professional theatre productions by developing new plays, re-imagining the classics and promoting innovation in all areas of the theatre!

TYKEs TheatreTYKEs offers a promise of, “the most spectacular children’s theatre in town!”

From their oustanding costumes and sets, to their professional actors and inspiring scripts, Tykes will transport you to faraway lands, fantastical places and exciting new experiences.

TYKEs performances take place in the Hart Theater at the JCC, 1200 Edgewood Avenue in Brighton. At this location they have free parking, an small, intimate theater space, state-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment, plenty of clean restrooms, healthy snacks and a huge, comfortable lobby area.

Let them entertain and inspire your whole family with best-loved fairy tales, favorite bedtime stories and children’s books… all seen through the magic of live theatre.

RCT is a professional company of adult actors that brings literature to life for children of all ages. All productions take place in the beautifully renovated Nazareth College Arts Center’s Callahan Theatre.

Their Mission is to offer high quality, affordable cultural experiences that entertain while fostering enrichment, communication, positive values and an awareness of literature to as broad and diverse an audience as possible.


Auditorium CenterThe Rochester Broadway Theatre League’s (RBTL’s) mission is to provide opportunities for all people to experience, understand and enjoy the best in arts and performance through its education programs, events and activities.

RBTL owns and manages Rochester’s Auditorium Theatre. The Auditorium Theatre is home to a full season of touring Broadway shows. The Auditorium Theatre also hosts a number of live concerts, comedy and dramatic events throughout the year and is used by local performing groups for recitals and other presentations.

Indoor – Physical Activities:

  • Ice Skating

Even though the weather is usually cold in this part of New York, you can find ice skating rinks during warm and cold weather alike!
From Manhattan Square Park outside during the winter to many indoor arenas such as: Lakeshore Hockey Arena, Genesee Valley Ice Arena, Skating Institute of Rochester

HorizonWith more than 32,000 square feet Horizon offers not just roller skating and blading, but Laser Tag, video games, playland and more!

Located at 675 Ling Road, Horizon offers themed nights, birthday parties, roller hockey league, and school events too!

  • Gymnastics

There are multiple area gyms that offer a wide range of programs from Homeschool Classes, to tumbling, cheerleading, as well as boys and girls competitive gymnastics teams.

The Victors Gymnastics, Bright Raven, Rochester Gymnastics Academy(RGA), Gymnastics Training Center(GCT) , Northern Hemisphere Gymnastics

  • Indoor Play Centers

Kango Kango is unique in that they offer daycare, and preschool in their facility.
Bounce It Out They even host tween nights!
Jump Club Come bounce, climb, slide, and explore with us on enticingly fun, larger-than-life inflatables!
Jungle Jolt (Webster, NY)

Community Resources:

  • Fire House & Volunteer Ambulance

VF PatchContact any local firehouse or volunteer ambulance to arrange a group tour of the facility. The volunteers there are eager to educate those in the community about fire prevention and safety, and basic first aid.

A network of 30+ libraries all with their own book selections and varied children and adult programs. Join books clubs, learn how to knit, join in on Lego day and so much more through the programs at your local library.

“For Youth Development, For Healthy Living, For Social Responsibility”

From Preschool to camps, birthday parties, swimming and fitness, the local YMCAs offer family activities year round both indoors and out.

While this is not at a complete representation of the so many wonderful places and things to visit and see in the Rochester, New York area, this is a fairly comprehensive highlight of field trips for you to begin with. I highly recommend checking out Kids Out and – Rochester, NY for more ideas and information.

Homeschool Field Trip Series:

  • Part I – Rochester New York Field Trip Ideas Part I {This Post}

Finally if there are great sites to see or things to do that you would like to add, please leave a comment and share with us!