So you are staying in Rochester for spring break. Maybe you need to do homework and stay at school. Maybe you blew all your money on Chipotle instead of saving for that trip to Mexico like you wanted. Whatever the reason, staying in Rochester does not have to be dull. There’s tons to do around town all week, it’s just a matter of knowing what’s out there. There’s a whole world of music, food, museums and entertainment for the discerning RIT student to enjoy.
If you are looking to enrich yourself, Rochester has a number of museums that are always showing something new. For example, the George Eastman Museum will be holding a tintype photography workshop, where participants have their portraits done using an early camera. The Eastman Museum also has several special exhibitions on display right now.
If you’re looking more in the realm of the sciences, Rochester Museum and Science Center always has some interesting exhibits and events. This weekend, March 11, the Cumming Nature Center will be having a demonstration of how to tap a maple tree for sap. For something a little more out of this world, the Strasenburgh Planetarium has various shows going on all week. It’s not all educational material, either. On Saturdays in March, the planetarium runs laser shows based around the music of Radiohead and the Dave Matthews Band.
The Strong Museum of Play is great for those who want to indulge the inner child. Their collections include all sorts of exhibits totally devoted to play, and are entertaining whether you are 2 or 22. Especially interesting for many of us here at RIT is the simply massive collection of video games from every era.
There are plenty of other historical landmarks and museums around Rochester. Some good spots to check out are Mount Hope Cemetery, the Susan B. Anthony house, Memorial Art Gallery, and Gallery R. These are all open throughout break, and often have special exhibits depending on the time of year.
While it is supposed to be cold this weekend, a thick coat and some hot coffee can get you through a walk in one of the many City and State Parks in the area. There are over 3,500 acres of parks in Rochester. There are also a number of beautiful New York State Parks in the region, such as Watkins Glen, Letchworth, or Stony Brook. These are all open this time of year and offer some great hiking opportunities, no matter what the temperature is.
Even though RIT will be mostly closing down for the week, this is far from the case for the City of Rochester. A number of events will be happening over the course of the week. One major event is the Rochester St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which is happening Saturday, March 11. This will run along East Ave throughout the morning. Other events in the area include Amerks games and concerts, if parades aren’t your thing.
Rochester has plenty to offer if you’re looking for entertainment after dark. Areas like East and Alexander and the South Wedge have a number of restaurants, bars and clubs to go to. Popular spots include Murphy’s Law, Butapub, or The Daily Refresher. Even closer to campus in places like Lovin Cup, Shramrocks, Texas BBQ in Park Point offer some fun within walking distance to campus. Many places will be doing St Patrick’s Day specials that Friday as well, offering food and drink specials. Just remember, you should always designate a driver or take a cab if you plan on participating in the festivities. The luck of the Irish will only get you so far, but certainly not out of a DUI charge.
Rochester has a lively music scene, with a number of concerts happening around town every single night. These range from huge acts at the Blue Cross Arena to small bands playing venues like the Bug Jar. Even Lovin’ Cup in Park Point hosts regular shows, hosting both local and national bands. The hard part is sifting through the dozens of concerts to find the one you want to go to, and trust me you will find one. Great resources for finding concerts are sites like bandsintown.com, which has a pretty exhaustive list of all the bands coming to Rochester and the surrounding areas. As you can see, the period between March 11 and 19 takes up quite a bit of space. On top of sites like this, it’s always a good idea to keep your ears open online as well, regularly checking band social media pages and the events pages of local venues. You never know when your favorite band might be coming to town. On top of popular music acts, you can never go wrong with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, which performs regularly in downtown Rochester.
This makes up only a fraction of what is going on over the break. Make sure to keep an eye out for more events, concerts, museums, and more. Rochester has a lot to offer no matter what you want to do. Whether you want to quietly reflect on a piece of art or dance the night away, the only thing you need to do is get out there and find it.