Media Calendar

Updated: February 8, 2016

 

The Strong Museum
Exhibits and Events Calendar 
February through April 2016 

Short-Term Exhibits

Hot Wheels: Race to Win (Through April 24, 2016)
Zoom into see the Hot Wheels: Race to Win exhibit. Race a Hot Wheels diecast car down an adjustable track then take the pit stop tire change challenge! View authentic racing gear, investigate the scientific process for designing super-fast cars, and more. Produced by the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. HOT WHEELS and associated trademarks and trade dress are owned by, and used under license from, Mattel. © 2015 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.

Playing with Power: Celebrating 30 Years of the Nintendo Entertainment System (Through April 24, 2016)
Explore the history of Nintendo and trace the evolution of its groundbreaking Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Learn about Nintendo’s storied past as a producer of games, toys, and other playthings by viewing unique Nintendo-produced artifacts from The Strong’s collections. See original NES hardware design documents and watch a video of Masayuki Uemura, the NES hardware designer, talk about his career and the development of the system. Jump into the action with playable original games, including Duck Hunt and Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, and 3. Playing with Power: Celebrating 30 Years of the Nintendo Entertainment System is an original exhibit produced by The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games in partnership with Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan. Image courtesy of Nintendo of America. Nintendo properties are trademarks and copyrights of Nintendo.

 

Upcoming Exhibits

Pinball Playfields (February 27, 2016permanent)
Play your way through more than 80 years of pinball history at Pinball Playfields, a new permanent exhibit on the museum’s first floor, adjacent to Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden. 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.

Rockets, Robots, and Ray Guns (June 11–September 5, 2016)
Zoom into the imaginative universes of popular science-fiction series at the new, original Robots, Rockets, and Ray Guns exhibit. Learn about the ways that science-fiction books, toys, movies, and video games have captured people’s imaginations and shaped the way they play. Travel to distant futures and faraway galaxies to explore key themes such as space heroes, robots, time travel, and extraterrestrial life. Become part of a science-fiction scene and take photographs to share with family and friends. Try your hand at interactive elements, including science-fiction arcade games, such as Tron, Johnny Mnemonic, and Terminator 2; magnetic puzzles; an alien art gallery; a time machine; and a giant version of Space Invaders. Discover unique artifacts from the Strong’s collections, such as ray guns, toy rockets, and popular science fiction characters, from Buck Rogers to Transformers.

 

Long-Term Exhibits

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). An original exhibit 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, birds and other wildlife, and approximately 1,000 colorful North American and tropical butterflies. (Additional admission charge of $4 for the butterfly garden for nonmembers and $3 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. Show off your pinball powers on classic machines such as TRON: Legacy and The Addams Family. Young children will especially enjoy creating artwork with oversized pegs on a gigantic Lite Brite-like pixel wall. See the new display honoring the 2015 inductees to The Strong’s World Video Game Hall of Fame®. The World Video Game Hall of Fame recognizes individual electronic games of all types that have enjoyed popularity over a sustained period and have exerted influence on the video game industry or on popular culture and society in general. Inductees to the inaugural class of the World Video Game Hall of Fame were DOOM, Pong, Pac-Man, Super Mario Bros., Tetris, and World of Warcraft. 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.

Monopoly: An American Icon Discover the surprising story of one of America’s favorite games in this display of rare and historic versions of Monopoly never before gathered in one place. On view are significant landmark games including a 1913 John Heap Monopoly set, which was a key piece of evidence in a Monopoly copyright dispute, and two hand-made Monopoly sets by Charles Darrow (1933), who is credited with marketing and popularizing the game fans have come to know and love. 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.

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. An original exhibit 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.

TimeLab Take the Translocation Capsule (or climb the stairs) to The Strong’s second floor and travel through time as you explore changing American trends in toys, music, popular culture, and more. This unique learning laboratory brims with objects from America’s past and present including historic toys, sports gear, video games, and television and movie clips. Marvel at a display of historic Parker Brother board games from from The Strong’s renowned collection, view video games and other artifacts from Broderbund Software, test out your skills at Pac-Man on the original Atari 2600 video game system, and more. Produced by The Strong.

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.

 

DAILY EVENTS
February through April 2016
 

February 2016

1, 22 & 29

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: Build, Drive, Go. Dig into construction-themed stories about trucks, buildings, and more. Included with general museum admission fees.

6

Saturday— Exhibit Opening Celebration Hot Wheels: Race to Win. Zoom in to see the Hot Wheels: Race to Win exhibit. View authentic racing gear, investigate the scientific process for designing super-fast cars, and more. Race a Hot Wheels diecast car down an adjustable track then take the pit stop tire change challenge! Opening weekend only, meet local Micro Sprint race car driver Mike Austin and check out one of his race cars. Design a racing tunnel, car wash, or parking garage for a Hot Wheels® car. Produced by the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. HOT WHEELS and associated trademarks and trade dress are owned by, and used under license from, Mattel. © 2016 Mattel. All Rights Reserved. Included with general museum admission fees.

10 & 11

Wednesday & Thursday—Homeschool Program: ELA Skill Building Theme Days. Students talk, laugh, listen, write, and play with ELA skills while exploring museum exhibits for inspiration. Mini-lessons are facilitated by museum educators throughout the exhibits and focus on the following 6+1 Traits of Writing: sentence fluency, ideas, word choice, and voice. Students receive personalized ELA skills handbooks to take with them. Recommended for grade 3. Tickets must be purchased online museumofplay.org/education/homeschool-students and are non-refundable. Space is limited so interested families are encouraged to register early.

8

Monday—Monday Kicks for Ages 2 to 6. Playful learning activities designed for 2- to 6-year-olds, one Monday a month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This month: Let’s Create. Express your creativity with visual arts, movement, and music activities. Included with general museum admission fees.

13–21

Saturday–Sunday— Race to Win School Break. Make a racing medallion, design and decorate a race car doodle, and enjoy other thrilling activities in conjunction with the Hot Wheels: Race to Win exhibit. Included with general museum admission fees.

22

Monday—Storytime Club. (See February 1 listing.)

27 & 28

Saturday & Sunday—Celebrating Dr. Seuss. Meet a Dr. Seuss character and celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss (March 2). Enjoy stories and tongue twisters, play games, make Dr. Seuss-inspired art, and more in conjunction with the National Education Association’s Read Across America Day. Included with general museum admission fees.

29

Monday—Storytime Club. (See February 1 listing.)

March 2016

5 & 6

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. Enjoy a “feast” at the royal banquet table, and visit the Fairy Godmother to receive a special bejeweled gift, and more. On Saturday only, enjoy Rochester Lyric Opera’s production of Little Red’s Most Unusual Day, a one-act opera for the whole family. Included with general museum admission fees.

7

Monday—Monday Kicks for Ages 2 to 6. Playful learning activities designed for 2- to 6-year-olds, one Monday a month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This month: Fun with Fairy Tales. Be whisked away to faraway places with fairy-tale-themed imaginative play, stories, and activities. Included with general museum admission fees.

8, 9 & 10

Tuesday–Thursday—Homeschool Program: Fairy-Tale Fantasy Theme Days. Literature comes alive and students get the royal treatment as they make fairy-tale costumes and crafts for the Royal Ball! Students meet the Queen of Play, dance in the banquet hall with lords and ladies from the Queen’s court, play knights and dragons, and practice bow and arrow skills in Sherwood Forest. Students leave the museum happily ever after. Recommended for pre-K through grade 3. Tickets must be purchased online museumofplay.org/education/homeschool-students and are non-refundable. Space is limited so interested families are encouraged to register early.

12

Saturday—It’s Easy Being Green. Get in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit! Meet a famous green character, participate in interactive story readings, and make a green craft! Included with general museum admission fees.

14 & 21

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 tongue twisters and silly rhymes. Included with general museum admission fees.

19–31

Saturday–Thursday. Fat Brain School Break. Fatten up your brain through play. Follow the trail to find favorite Fat Brain toys throughout the museum including Twig, HexActly, Squigz, Tobbles, and more. Included with general museum admission fees.

21

Monday—Storytime Club. (See March 14 listing.)

April 2016

1–30

Friday–Saturday—Best of the Fest. Throughout April, The Strong will host 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.

4,18 & 25

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: New Beginnings. Delight in vibrant stories that celebrate the beginning of spring. Included with general museum admission fees. 

 

9 &10

Saturday & Sunday—Superheroes Weekend. Do-gooders unite for a hero-filled weekend that includes heroic characters, superhero training, and a variety of other superhero-themed activities. Meet Marvel’s official Spider-Man on Saturday and Iron Man on Sunday. Included with general museum admission fees.

11

Monday—Monday Kicks for Ages 2 to 6. Playful learning activities designed for 2- to 6-year-olds, one Monday a month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This month: Things that Go. Fly, ride, or zoom in for a day of movement activities, stories, and imaginative play related to transportation. Included with general museum admission fees.

18

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

24 Sunday—Playing with Power: Celebrating 30 Years of the Nintendo Entertainment System Exhibit Closing. Explore the history of Nintendo and trace the evolution of its groundbreaking Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Learn about Nintendo’s storied past as a producer of games, toys, and other playthings by viewing unique Nintendo-produced artifacts from The Strong’s collections. See original NES hardware design documents and watch a video of Masayuki Uemura, the NES hardware designer, talk about his career and the development of the system. Jump into the action with playable original games, including Duck Hunt and Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, and 3. Playing with Power: Celebrating 30 Years of the Nintendo Entertainment System is an original exhibit produced by The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games in partnership with Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan. Image courtesy of Nintendo of America. Nintendo properties are trademarks and copyrights of Nintendo.

24

Sunday—Hot Wheels: Race to Win Exhibit Closing. Last chance to enjoy hands-on experiences with Hot Wheels diecast cars and view authentic race gear. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the world of racing and investigate the scientific process for designing super-fast cars. Produced by the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. HOT WHEELS and associated trademarks and trade dress are owned by, and used under license from, Mattel. © 2016 Mattel. All Rights Reserved. Included with general museum admission fees.

25

Monday—Storytime Club. (See April 4 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 the best features of both history museums (extensive collections) and children’s museums (high interactivity) to explore the 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.

 

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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. In 2016, the museum is closed only on November 24 (Thanksgiving Day) and December 25 (Christmas Day). The museum will close at 4 p.m. on 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, under age 2 free, members free.

Admission to Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden: General admission fee plus $3 for members, $4 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.