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“Many interesting sections for all to enjoy”

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 30 June 2014

Adults as well as children will enjoy the great variety of displays and hands-on activities. I especially enjoy the "toy of the year" announcement over the many years of that award's existence.

Thank Nz C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,127 - 1,131 of 1,798 reviews

Reviewed 28 June 2014 via mobile

We have been museum members for years. Last night a friend who visited from California came to the museum as a paying guest. After her visit she walked a couple of corners to listen to jazz. As she came back for our car it was gone, taken by the museum-contracted tow company 40 minutes after closing the museum. There are no signs anywhere stating that after hours parking is not allowed (it is not even printed on the parking ticket as a reason)
We talked to security and even the VP of guest services: her position is that the guests should know that the museum wants to keep its lot clean after they close, and feel that putting up a signs to inform their guests about that would be too troublesome (as their hours change from time to time, and there are private events, and other excuses) Throughout the entire discussion she solely talked about the museum's convenience, could not see the guest's perspective, and kept repeating that the museum takes no percentage of the towing charges (though we never alluded to that, after all that denial one may become suspicious).
The museum itself is nice, though they seem to suffer from a superiority complex, have stern rules, and you will be hard pressed to see signs of actually caring about you, the visitor. I have accepted that for years as our kids loved the place, but this event was too blatant a disregard of their patrons' basic interest. It is an expression of a culture that I consider unacceptable from any institution, especially one in the hospitality industry.
She said the CFO could not afford paying our fee (really?) but they may consider putting up a sign in the future saying no after hours parking. Too bad we will not be back to see if it happens. While we can afford the towing fee, we are not interested in paying for mistreatment and continuing our membership.

5  Thank BeLaZe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2014 via mobile

We've visited several kids' museums (Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, COSI, Kid City, and a variety of smaller versions) and this competes for the "best of" title.

As some have said, the upstairs doesn't have much for little kids, but parents will enjoy visits down memory-lane, and older kids appeared to be enjoying stuff. The Reading Adventure-land, Sesame Street, Barenstein Bears, Wegmans, and a room with an old-school stove, piano, dollhouse, dress-up, etc. kept our 2-year-old entertained for the whole day!

I liked that staff were around cleaning-up constantly, keeping rooms ready for new play. We were there on a sunny weekday, so I'm sure it's a lot more chaotic other times. As it was, we usually had all the elbow room we needed and never had to wait to do things.

Didn't like that all the arcade games cost. Couldn't they at least make it like a penny or nickel arcade? I'm sure they'd still make enough bank off of that.

Could they make more of the Sesame Street characters come to life with animatronics and/or voices? Could some more old toys be hands-on?

$1 carousel and free garden outside are nice ways to ease the "we're leaving now" struggle.

We skipped the butterfly garden. Seemed pricey for such a little one. I'm sure it's pricey to keep up, but sure they could make it work. Maybe it's too small, so they aim to discourage too many people from crowding it.

Thank HobieCat27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2014

If you have ever read any of my other reviews you would know I don't limit myself on age suggestions lol. So,while in Rochester we hit up the National Musuem of Play. I never wanted to leave. It is clean, friendly and so much to do. I would most definitely bring kids to this place again and again. The activites here are endless. We spent about 6 hours here and only left because it was closing. The Sesame Street exhibit was so nostaligic and fun. Tons of hands on play. The mini Wegmans store is a sight to behold, all the ships and dress up areas were breath taking. The Berenstein Bears village made the books come to life. The American Comic section was a dream come true for any superhero fan. The toy museum with the retro arcade section took me right back to being a kid. (you do have to buy tokens to place the arcade games, you get 5 tokens for $1 and each machine takes 1 token) Everything was in great working order and it was amazing to see parents so engaged with their children. I hardly saw anyone playing on their cell phones. Expect to spend lots of time here. Can't wait to go back.

Thank LissyAnn_77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 June 2014

Our 4, 5 and 6 year old had hours of fun there!! They've expanded the museum to include new areas and it seems never-ending--even have a butterfly exhibit where you can go and have all kinds flitter about and even land on your finger. Overall, it was great--tix were a little pricey and you had to pay extra for the butterfly exhibit, so maybe trying to find a combo deal beforehand would have been a better idea. Really great museum!

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

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