Media Calendar

Updated: December 2, 2016

 

The Strong Museum
Exhibits and Events Calendar 
December 2016 Through April 2017 

 

Short-Term Exhibits

The Force at Play (Through January 8, 2017)
Explore how the Star Wars movie franchise revolutionized play and playthings in the exclusive The Force at Play—a companion exhibit to Rockets, Robots, and Ray Guns. View dozens of artifacts from The Strong’s collections, including original Kenner Star Wars action figures and spaceships, LEGO sets, an original video depicting the making of the first Star Wars video games, and video game design documents. Also, play arcade video games, such as Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Wars: Battle Pod. Produced by The Strong.

Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and IceTM (Through January 8, 2017)
Go back in time to when dinosaurs roamed the land and get up close with touchable dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes—including a Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops. Uncover fossils with brushes, create drawings of dinosaur environments, venture into a volcano with oozing lava, try on prehistoric insect costumes, and more. Produced by Minnesota Children's Museum. Sponsored by Fidelis Care.

Upcoming Exhibits

America at Play (December 10, 2016–Permanent)
Trace the history of 300 years of play in America—from the introduction of mass-manufactured toys to the video game revolution. View rare artifacts and national treasures from The Strong’s world-renowned collections, including the first, handmade Monopoly set by Charles Darrow, who popularized the game. See what’s new in The Strong’s collections with rotating displays featuring themes such as Disney, Japanese video games, and miniature rooms. Play a three-person toy trivia game, test your memory with a touch-screen concentration game, and enjoy books about toys and play. Produced by The Strong.

Hands-On Harley-DavidsonTM (January 21–May 7, 2017)
Hit the road with America’s most iconic and beloved motorcycle. Explore a pretend engineering lab and motorcycle dealership. Use science, technology, engineering, and math concepts to dream up a bike design, build a prototype, and hop on for a test drive. Learn the skills needed to become a design engineer, step into an engine bay, and create your own race track to speed to victory. Produced by the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum in collaboration with Harley-Davidson Motor Company.

Long-Term Exhibits

Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Learn about luminaries of the video game industry and explore their award-winning creations at the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS) exhibit, which recognizes outstanding achievements for interactive entertainment and showcases recipients of both the Academy’s D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Awards and its Special Awards. Scroll through an interactive, touch-screen timeline to learn about D.I.C.E. award recipients across multiple categories, including computer and console game of the year. Produced by The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games in partnership with the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences.

American Comic Book Heroes: The Battle of Good vs. Evil Meet Superman, Iron Man, Batman, and other comic book heroes in an exhibit that explores the history of superhero comic books in America. Climb up the side of a “building,” test your skills at Super Powers School, “fly” through the air like a superhero, and more. Kids will enjoy superhero dress up and role-play. Produced by The Strong.

The Berenstain Bears®: Down a Sunny Dirt Road An original exhibit straight from the pages of the beloved books. Step into the playful world of the Berenstain Bears including Main Street, Farmer Ben’s Farm, and Brother and Sister Bear’s Club Houses. Mama’s Quilt Shop, and Papa’s Workshop. Produced by The Strong in partnership with the Berenstain Family.

Build, Drive, Go Explore vehicles of all sorts, from trucks and trains to planes and boats. Design a race track, build skyscrapers with LEGO bricks, play I-Spy with dollhouses, work at a construction site using Tonka trucks, and more. View vehicle- and building-related artifacts from The Strong’s collections, including a 1865 tinplate train from George Brown; a 1869 tinplate clockwork boat from Ives, Blakeslee & Co.; and an Ellis, Britton & Eaton log cabin play house from 1870 (a precursor to Lincoln Logs). Produced by The Strong.

Can You Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street? Step onto Sesame Street and go hands-on with activities you see on television. Enter Elmo’s crayon-colored television world, experience the famous brownstone facade of 123 Sesame Street, see yourself on television with the Muppets, “drive” around Sesame Street in a big yellow taxicab, sell movie tickets at the Circle in the Square Cinema ticket booth, and more. Produced by The Strong in collaboration with Sesame Workshop.

Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden® Enjoy tropical weather year-round when you visit this glass-enclosed butterfly garden filled with live foliage, a cascading waterfall, turtles, birds, a chameleon, and other wildlife, and approximately 1,000 colorful North American and tropical butterflies. (Additional admission charge of $5 for the butterfly garden for nonmembers and $4 for members. Prices subject to change.)

eGameRevolution® Play your way through the history of video games from pioneer Ralph Baer’s first Brown Box game to today’s high-tech Xbox 360. Enter a recreated, old-fashioned video arcade featuring more than two dozen operating historic video games, or visit one of several emulator stations around the gallery and challenge yourself to more than 40 classic and contemporary PC and console games. Play rare game such as Giant Tetris—the only machine of its kind available for play in all of North America—or gobble up opponents on Pac-Man Battle Royale, the first four-player Pac-Man game. Join in dodge ball and other games on an LED Lightspace floor. Young children will especially enjoy creating artwork with oversized pegs on a gigantic Lite Brite-like pixel wall. See a display honoring the inductees to The Strong’s World Video Game Hall of Fame®. Produced by The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games.

Field of Play Discover the power of play in human learning and development at a multimedia theater presentation. Then unleash your playful side: walk through a giant kaleidoscope and create and view your own kaleidoscope patterns, use pulleys to power balls through a gigantic overhead ball machine, “drive” a drag racer, lose all perspective in the exaggerated perspective room, climb a rock wall, relax in the Jellyfish Jungle, and so much more. Produced by The Strong.

Game Time! Move like a piece on a giant game board through three centuries of American games, puzzles, and public amusements at Game Time! Check out oversized versions of Connect Four, Rush Hour, and Battleship; and a flashing, electronic, big-screen toy bingo. Challenge yourself to a gaggle of games including Jenga, air hockey, dome hockey, paper football, pinball, word search games, tangrams, puzzles, and dominoes. Trace the history of board, card, and role-playing games through a multimedia timeline showcasing historic artifacts, photographs, advertisements, and videos. Produced by The Strong.

Kid to Kid Let your imagination roam freely through the world of communication. Climb aboard a giant helicopter and pilot the controls; prepare, stamp, weigh, and sort mail in the Kid to Kid post office; board a whaling ship; and so much more. Produced by The Strong.

One History Place Amid original artifacts and reproductions, children explore mini-environments and get a taste of life as it was a century ago. Play dress up in the attic, plink piano keys in the parlor, “pump” water in the kitchen, and pretend to travel across the country at the train station. Produced by The Strong.

Pinball Playfields Play your way through more than 80 years of pinball history and trace the evolution of the pinball playfield—the surface where the ball ricochets through a maze of lights and obstacles to rack up points—from countertop games of the 1930s to the sophisticated electronic versions that remain popular today. View other unique artifacts, including playfield prototypes, original sketches by pinball-machine designers, and more from The Strong’s collections. Play some of Stern Pinball’s most exciting recent games, including one of only 250 produced X-Men Magneto: Limited Edition (2012), Wrestlemania (2015), Kiss (2015), and the brand-new fantasy-filled Game of Thrones: Limited Edition (2015), part of the Stern Pinball Cluster. Produced by The Strong and sponsored in part by Stern Pinball, Inc.

Play Pals Play house, heal a teddy bear, and save the world. Step into a life-size dollhouse; test the vital signs of your favorite stuffed animals in the GUND Teddy Bear Check-Up area; steady your hand and test your reflexes with a teddy bear operation game; and create stories at the action adventure table with toy soldiers, superhero action figures, and ferocious dinosaurs. View unique artifacts from The Strong’s collections including an early G.I. Joe prototype, a 1930s velvet Mickey Mouse stuffed animal, and others. Produced by The Strong. The GUND Teddy Bear Check-Up area is generously sponsored by GUND®. Newborn Nursery baby dolls and clothing courtesy of the Madame Alexander Doll Company.

Rainbow Reef aquarium A 1,700-gallon coral reef tank displays a dazzling array of brilliantly colored fish, corals, anemones, shrimp, crabs, and other invertebrates. Come face-to-face with living creatures of the reef and observe their fascinating behaviors and marvelous survival adaptations. Additional aquarium tanks feature salt and fresh water fish environments.

Reading Adventureland Step into a life-sized pop-up book and follow the Yellow Brick Road into five literary landscapes from children’s books: Adventure Island (explore a pirate shipwreck, scale a cliff, and crawl through cave tunnels); Mystery Mansion (discover what lies behind the secret bookcase, decipher secret codes, and scour for clues like Nancy Drew or Encyclopedia Brown); Fairy Tale Forest (cross the Troll Bridge, step into Cinderella’s pumpkin coach, visit the Fairy Tale Cottage, climb a Beanstalk to the Giant’s Castle, and sit at King Arthur’s Round Table); the Upside-Down Nonsense House (a topsy-turvy house filled with ridiculous rhymes, silly food—green eggs and ham anyone?—tongue twisters, and mirror illusions); and the Wizard’s Workshop (mix up a magic potion and make a wand, wizard hat, or playful puppet). Produced by The Strong.

Wegmans Super Kids Market In this exhibit kids run the store. Cruise the aisles and fill your cart with a selection of colorful produce that looks so real, you can almost taste it. Check out the kid-sized Market Café—complete with organic foods, prepared foods, a coffee bar, and sushi bar. A special themed toddler area features a miniature organic farm; and deli, meat, seafood, and bakery departments are filled with highly interactive stations for dramatic role-playing. Make a “brick oven” pizza, run the bakery, scan bar-coded products at six working check-out counters, and much more! Nearby, kids produce their own commercials and cooking shows in the WKID-TV station. Produced by The Strong in collaboration with Wegmans Food Markets.

Toy Halls of Fame Climb the exhibit staircase and view a gallery of 21 portraits of classic toys, some that move and interact with guests in humorous ways and marvel at a digital Jack-in-the-Box that displays animated favorite toy characters. Step up to a 20-foot bubble tower and create virtual bubbles that can be moved and popped by motion-capture technology; orchestrate a dazzling music and light show with the Crayon Piano; and pose in front of an oversized Etch A Sketch for a virtual portrait that can be shared with friends and family. Use Kinect motion control to play with classic toys and Crayon easels in a 24-foot virtual play room. Marvel at a 20-foot-tall kinetic toy sculpture made up of building blocks, balls, a toy car race track, and more. Learn about inductees to The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame and toy industry luminaries recognized by the Toy Industry of America’s Toy Industry Hall of Fame. The Toy Halls of Fame exhibit is produced by The Strong in cooperation with the Toy Industry Association. This project is supported by New York State's Empire State Development and the I ♥ NY Division of Tourism under Governor Andrew Cuomo's Regional Economic Development Council Initiative. Additional grant funding provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Sponsored by Neil B. Friedman, Funrise Toy Corporation, Hasbro Children’s Fund, Inc., The Hassenfeld Foundation, LeapFrog Enterprises Inc., Tom & Karen Kalinske, LEGO Systems Inc., Mattel Children’s Foundation, Pressman Toy Corporation, Radio Flyer Inc., and Toys“R”Us, Inc.

 

 

DAILY EVENTS
December 2016 through April 2017
December 2016

3

Saturday—Fit Kids Day. Jump, run, or slide into the museum for fitness fun! Learn tips about snowboarding and step on one for yourself with Bristol Mountain. Learn about winter programs and activities in the community from the City of Rochester’s Department of Recreation and Youth Services. See what healthy food the Rochester Public Market has available this season. Included with general museum admission fees.

5 & 12

Monday—Storytime Club. Readings of classic children’s tales at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. Have your Storytime Club passport punched once during each visit. Collect five punches and receive a free children’s book! This month: Holiday Joy. Celebrate the season with tales about traditions and treats. Included with general museum admission fees. 

10

Saturday—America at Play Exhibit Opening. Trace the history of 300 years of play in America—from the introduction of mass-manufactured toys to the video game revolution. View rare artifacts and national treasures from The Strong’s world-renowned collections, including the first, handmade Monopoly set by Charles Darrow, who popularized the game. See what’s new in The Strong’s collections with rotating displays featuring themes such as Disney, Japanese video games, and miniature rooms. Play a three-person toy trivia game, test your memory with a touch-screen concentration game, and enjoy books about toys and play. Opening day only, take a trip back in time and see what play was like in 19th-century America with staff from the Genesee Country Village and Museum. Try your hand at toys of the past, including jackstraws, cup-and-ball, the whimmy-diddle, and more. Included with general museum admission fees. 

12

Monday—Storytime Club. (See December 5 listing.)

17

Saturday—Reindeer Run. Sprint over to The Strong and get into the action at the fifth annual Reindeer Run, a unique, family-friendly foot race. Produced by Yellow Jacket Racing and sponsored by Fleet Feet Sports, the all-ages run is downtown Rochester’s only winter 5K event and includes a kids’ race series. To register, please visit yellowjacketracing.com/races/reindeer-run. Fees apply.

24

Saturday—Museum Closing at 4 p.m. Museum closes at 4 p.m. for Christmas Eve. 

25

Sunday—Museum Closed. Museum is closed for the Christmas holiday.

26–January 2

Dino Days School-Break Week. Explore the Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and IceTM exhibit and see what life was like during the late Cretaceous period. Pose for pictures with Fidelisaurus, the mascot of Fidelis Care. Design and build your very own KitRex Dino Head, a puppet craft created from a paper puzzle. Check out the new Big, Scary, and Extinct display and view artifacts that uncover why dinosaurs fascinate children and inspire their play. Exhibit sponsored by Fidelis Care. Included with general museum admission fees.

31

Saturday—Museum Closing at 4 p.m. Museum closes at 4 p.m. for New Year’s Eve. 

January 2017

9, 23 & 30

Monday—Storytime Club. Readings of classic children’s tales at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. Have your Storytime Club passport punched once during each visit. Collect five punches and receive a free children’s book! This month: Things That Go. Zoom through tales about transportation. Included with general museum admission fees.

7 & 8

Saturday & Sunday—Under the Sea Weekend. Say “hello” to mermaids Tory and Katfish and learn about undersea creatures, such as starfish. Visit Rainbow Reef and play an eye-spy game. Discover the colorful sea world of the PBS Kids show Splash & Bubbles seen locally on WXXI-TV. Try on scuba gear and learn tricks from staff from the Aquatic Center of Rochester. Create a life-sized drawing of yourself as a fanciful mermaid, pirate, or sea creature. Dig for buried treasure at the Kinetic Sand indoor beach. Use puppets to plan out an under-the-sea adventure. Included with general museum admission fees.

16

Monday—Celebrating Diversity: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Enjoy special performances celebrating black history presented by Bright Star Theatre. In Heroes of the Underground Railroad, learn about Harriet Tubman, Levi Coffin, and other powerful leaders during the Abolitionist Movement in the United States. Watch Let It Shine: The American Civil Rights Movement and learn about the pivotal moments that took place in the 1950s and 1960s, including the Montgomery bus boycott. Learn how to encourage positive conversations about race, create a craft to use as a symbol of peace, and explore art created by Art Force Five. Included with general museum admission fees.

20

Friday—Growing Up Harley-Davidson with Jean Davidson. Enjoy a presentation by Jean Davidson, granddaughter of founding Harley-Davidson member Walter Davidson. Learn about her experiences growing up and meeting famous racers, including Evil Knievel. For ticket information, visit museumofplay.org.

21 & 22

Saturday & Sunday—Hands-On Harley-DavidsonTM Exhibit Opening. Hit the road with America’s most iconic and beloved motorcycle. Explore a pretend engineering lab and motorcycle dealership, and use science, technology, engineering, and math concepts to dream up a bike design, build a prototype, and hop on for a test drive. Learn the skills needed to become a design engineer, step into an engine bay, and create your own race track to speed to victory. Opening weekend only, create your own motorcycle and meet with children’s author Jean Davidson, granddaughter of founding Harley-Davidson member Walter Davidson. Included with general museum admission fees.

25

Monday—Storytime Club. (See January 4 listing.)

28

Saturday—Hansel and Gretel Preview. Delight in a preview performance of Hansel and Gretel presented by the Rochester Association of Performing Arts. Watch as a brother and sister journey through the woods and try to escape an evil witch. Included with general museum admission fees.

February 2017

4

Saturday—Mascot Madness. Meet with mascots from local sports teams, including the Rochester Americans, Rochester Knighthawks, Rochester Red Wings, State University of New York (SUNY) Alfred State, and SUNY Geneseo. Vote for your favorite mascot, test your skills with a sports trivia challenge, predict who will win this year’s Super Bowl, and create your own pennant or pompom to cheer on your favorite team. Included with general museum admission fees.

6, 13 & 27

Monday—Storytime Club. Readings of classic children’s tales at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. Have your Storytime Club passport punched once during each visit. Collect five punches and receive a free children’s book! This month: Tropical Tales. Be whisked away with stories set in warm weather climates. Included with general museum admission fees.

11 & 12

Saturday & Sunday—Royal Ball. Dress in your most regal attire and meet Her Majesty, the Queen of Play. Be whisked away for a day full of dancing and lively music in the royal court. Enjoy sprightly dance tunes and soaring melodies from Nonesuch Early Music Ensemble. Complete a quest and be knighted by the queen, try on real chain mail, and visit Rapunzel’s Hair Salon for a fancy braided up-do. Challenge yourself to a game of croquet with the infamous Queen of Hearts. Enjoy a “feast” at the royal banquet table, visit the Fairy Godmother to receive a special bejeweled gift, and more. Included with general museum admission fees.

13

Monday—Storytime Club. (See February 6 listing.)

18–26

Rev Up School-Break Week. Race into The Strong to peddle your way to victory in a fun bicycle course, learn about motocross, and design and draw your own motorcycle in conjunction with the Hands-on Harley-DavidsonTM exhibit. Included with general museum admission fees.

TBD

Meet a Monster Jam Driver. Stop by and see a monster truck, meet a professional monster truck driver, and more from 1 to 4 p.m. Included with general museum admission fees.

27

Monday—Storytime Club. (See February 6 listing.)

March 2017

3

Friday—Eastman Evenings. Join Eastman School of Music students for a short concert followed by a question and answer session in the Caterpillar Atrium. Included with general admission fees.

4 & 5

Saturday & Sunday—Getting Silly with Dr. Seuss. Celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss with silly activities inspired by the beloved author’s tales. Fish for red and blue fish, play Hop on Pop hopscotch, take a journey with the feet from The Foot Book, and other great physical and brain games. Pose for photos with the playful Thing 1 and Thing 2. Craft a miniature book from a single sheet of paper and come up with poems and stories to fill the pages. Included with general admission fees.

6, 13, 20 & 27

Monday—Storytime Club. Readings of classic children’s tales at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. Have your Storytime Club passport punched once during each visit. Collect five punches and receive a free children’s book! This month: Silly Seuss Stories. Honor Dr. Seuss’s birthday with books featuring tongue twisters and silly rhymes. Included with general museum admission fees.

13

Monday—Storytime Club. (See March 6 listing.)

18 & 19

Saturday & Sunday—Brains in Motion Weekend. Back by popular demand, local kinetic art builder StickTrickDominoDude Michael Fantauzzo returns to The Strong to build a masterpiece and detonate it in the museum. Marvel at intricate devices built by the Rochester LEGO User’s Group and more. Included with general admission fees.

20

Monday—Storytime Club. (See March 6 listing.)

25 & 26

Saturday & Sunday—Superheroes Weekend. Meet two of Marvel Comic’s official superheroes—Spider-Man swings in on Saturday and Captain America muscles in on Sunday. Pose for a picture with a superhero at a designated time by picking up a free ticket in the Caterpillar Atrium the day of the event. (Tickets are available one hour prior to designated superhero appearance times while supplies last.) All weekend long, visit with two members PBS Kids' Super Why! and his newest "super reader" friend, Woofster. Learn how you can be a hero for the environment with Larry the H2O Hero. Receive drawing and writing tips from professional artists. Included with general museum admission fees.

27

Monday—Storytime Club. (See March 6 listing.)

April 2017

1–30

Best of the Fest. Throughout April, The Strong hosts Best of the Fest, a collection of award-winning, creative, and educational short films selected from the Rochester International Children’s Film Festival archives. These shorts are made possible through a collaboration with The Rochester Association for the Education of Young Children and screened at the museum in support of the Month of the Young Child. Included with general museum admission fees.

1 & 2

Saturday & Sunday—Princess Palooza. Meet with royalty and learn how STEM— science, technology, engineering, and math—activities help princesses save the day. Build storybook contraptions like towers, catapults, and more with other favorite princesses. Included with general museum admission fees.

14–23

April School-Break Week. Enjoy motorcycle-themed activities in conjunction with the Hands-on Harley-DavidsonTM exhibit. Included with general museum admission fees.

7

Friday—Eastman Evenings. Join Eastman School of Music students for a short concert followed by a question and answer session in the Caterpillar Atrium. Included with general admission fees.

10 & 24

Monday—Storytime Club. Readings of classic children’s tales at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. Have your Storytime Club passport punched once during each visit. Collect five punches and receive a free children’s book! This month: Showers and Flowers. Learn about the changing seasons and hear stories about spring. Included with general museum admission fees.

24

Monday—Storytime Club. (See April 10 listing.)

 

 

About The Strong

The Strong is the only collections-based museum in the world devoted solely to play. It 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, Woodbury School, and the American Journal of Play and houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of historical materials related to play.

Known widely as the nation’s museum of play, The Strong blends extensive collections and high interactivity to explore the many ways in which play encourages learning, creativity, and discovery and illuminates cultural history.

Facts about The Strong:

  • Has the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of toys, dolls, games, electronic      games, and other historical materials related to play—more than 450,000 items
  • Is the largest cultural attraction in all of Western New York
  • Occupies a 285,000-square-foot facility on 13.5 acres
  • Has more than 100,000 square-feet of dynamic, hands-on exhibits and displays of artifacts of play
  • Has upstate New York’s only year-round, indoor butterfly garden

For more information about the museum, please visit museumofplay.org. Public programs underwritten in part by Delta Air Lines, the official airline of The Strong. 

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Museum Hours:

Monday–Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The Strong museum is open 362 days a year. During 2017, the museum is closed only on October 6 (Play Ball Gala), November 23 (Thanksgiving Day), and December 25 (Christmas Day). The museum will close at 4 p.m. on March 4, July 4, December 24 (Christmas Eve), and December 31 (New Years Eve) and will open at noon on January 1 (New Years Day).

Admission Fees: (does not include admission to Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden): age 2 and older $14.50, under age 2 free, members free.

Admission to Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden: General Admission fee plus $4 for members, $5 for nonmembers, under age 2 free. Entry is by timed ticket only.

Parking: Free parking is available at the museum for all guests on a first-come, first-served basis during regular museum hours. Please note that, on high visitation days, the museum lot may reach capacity early in the day. If space is not available on site at the time of your visit, additional parking is available at neighboring municipal garages for a fee. The Strong is not responsible for fees incurred at off-site locations.