For many of us, the winters here in Rochester make us want to hibernate until Spring can prove temperatures above 40 degrees for a few days in a row. It's either so cold you hear the crackling and crunching of the snow beneath your feet, or it finally warms up and makes a slushy mess of the place. But winter is the best time to take advantage of some things you just can't - or don't want to do when the weather is beautiful outside.
Here are 8 places to take advantage of this winter:
1. Ice Skating at MLK Jr. Memorial Park
The first one is an obvious winter pastime. For the most part, ice skating outdoors can only happen in the winter. What are you waiting for, grab your friends and your skates (or rent them there, the skates, not the friends...) and get out on the ice!
2. George Eastman Museum | Dryden Theatre
George Eastman, innovator, entrepreneur, founder of Eastman Kodak, leaving a legacy behind at Eastman School of Music, Eastman Dental Dispensary, University of Rochester, and many many more places around the world... called Rochester home. Exploring the George Eastman Museum and catching a film at Dryden Theatre are perfect things to do year round - why not head inside when you don't want to be outside!
3. Memorial Art Gallery
The Memorial Art Gallery is the MET of Rochester. Inside you'll find over 5,000 years of art history; Matisse, Degas, Monet, van Gogh, and so much more...even an Italian Baroque organ that dates back to the 17th century. The Gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday, but be sure to stop in on Thursday nights for Tapas and live jazz. "Visit the Gallery (offering 1/2 price admission and open until 9 pm), browse the Gallery Store, listen to live music, and enjoy wine, beer and food for purchase" (more info).
4. Free Concerts at Eastman School
One of our favorite things to do throughout the year is to enjoy a FREE concert at the Eastman School of Music. Yes, there are ticketed concerts, but there are also FREE ones put on by the students almost every day or night of the week. Where else can you hear world class musician/trainees play for FREE? ESM Concert Listings
5. Strong Museum of Play | Butterfly Garden
And when the temperatures are unbearably cold, head to the Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden for a mid-winter tropical oasis. Here you will be inspired for your next Caribbean vacation in the warm, humid atmosphere that keeps this place growing with activity.
6. Rochester Museum & Science Center | Strasenburgh Planetarium
Another place to let your inner childhood curiosity free is the Rochester Museum & Science Center. Get hands-on with 3 floors of exhibits in the science center then head over to the Planetarium for a show - a great place to take your beau for an unexpected, romantic date-night in the winter. Throughout the year the Museum & Science Center is now holding after-hour events for the 21 and over crowd. Check it out.
7. Rochester Central Library
Maybe a trip to the library is a flashback to elementary school trying to search through an encyclopedia that was bigger than you were. But the library is more than just a place to do your homework - find books, audio books, and more on any topic that interests you, whether it's a hobby, a growing business, or finding that great novel you've longed to read. Head to the new Media Center at the Central Library to take out movies, CD's, audio books, and more.
BONUS: we all know that peace and quiet time becomes more sparse as we get older. The library can provide a reprieve to your hectic life with a good coffee or tea in hand, a good read, or simply following through with your New Year's resolution to allow yourself more concentrated, thinking time. What a concept!
8. Artisan Works
Artisan Works is unlike any other "art gallery" here in Rochester. In a 40,000 square foot factory you'll find art floor to ceiling, literally! Get lost in the art and eclectic fun you'll find inside. Don't want to wander aimlessly? Try a tour, these are every Saturday and Sunday at 2pm and included with admission.
Winter is here, there's no denying it. While we know there are people who love this season, we also know many people think it's not one of Rochester's most alluring qualities. We say embrace it either way and if you don't like the cold temps outside, enjoy the heat indoors with some of Rochester's amazing places this winter. Before long, the weather will be nice and we'll all want to be outdoors again enjoying the sun.
Stefanie is co-Founder and Editor of the Rochesteriat. She doesn't necessarily like the cold, but tries to make the best of it, even if you can barely see her under all of the layers and scarves.... Find her with a camera & phone in hand, taking photos for @theRochesteriat on Instagram. Follow along on Twitter.