Expansion at the National Museum of Play

The Strong Museum of Play, Photo by New York Upstate.

By Emily Johnson

The butterfly exhibit at the National Museum of Play, Rochester, NY.
The butterfly exhibit at the National Museum of Play, Rochester, NY.

Upstate New York’s largest cultural attraction is launching an expansion. Rochester’s National Museum of Play is expanding its domestic and international group tour and foreign independent traveler programs.

As the only collections-based museum devoted to play, it houses 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.”

With the addition of tourism sales associate Karen Dodson, the museum will introduce itineraries for individuals of all ages and backgrounds, created by Dodson and other operators.

Several student-and adult-focused itineraries will be offered. The specific programs will appeal to individuals with different interests. Self-guided tours are available in multiple languages.

Toy Halls of Fame

Lego Travel Adventure exhibit at the museum.
Lego Travel Adventure exhibit at the museum.

The museum recently opened the Toy Halls of Fame exhibit, which showcases America”s favorite toys. Certain iconic artifacts on display at this exhibit include the first handmade Monopoly set, Thomas Edison’s talking doll, the first LEGO sets, and Barbie No. 1.

Visitors can also enjoy and test their skills with rare artifacts like two-player Tetris and four-player Pac-Man.

Among the museum’s sites are a carousel from 1918, 20 interactive exhibits, 48 historic video games and dozens of pinball machines, 150 species of fish and coral in the Rainbow Reef Aquarium, 300 species of plants in the museum’s outdoor Discovery Garden, and 1,000 free-flying tropical and native butterflies.

The museum is a great stop for any families traveling in the upstate New York area seeking a site that meets the interests of everyone. The museum hopes to illuminate to visitors the ways in which play encourages learning, creativity and discovery and has shaped cultural history.

The Today Show recognized the Strong in 2016, and FamilyFun Magazine named the museum the “Number One Family Travel Destination.”

The National Museum of Play, formerly Strong National Museum of Play, is part of The Strong in Rochester, New York, United States. Wikipedia

Address: 1 Manhattan Square Dr, Rochester, NY 14607


Open daily 10 AM–5 PM

Phone: (585) 263-2700

Founded: 1969

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