This collection of tips, inspired by guest feedback, may assist in planning your next visit to The Strong museum.
Length of Visit
The museum offers 100,000 square feet of dynamic exhibit space, so give your family enough time to explore. The length of a typical visit is around four hours, but many guests choose to play all day long. Be sure to check the museum event calendar to see if there are special activities or themed programs taking place during the day of your visit so you can schedule accordingly. The food court and Bill Gray’s at the Skyliner Diner offer many choices for snack and meal time.
Limited free parking is available at the museum for all guests during regular museum hours on a first-come, first-served basis. 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, you will find additional parking (fees apply) at neighboring municipal garages. The museum does not reimburse guests for parking off site.
A sizeable food court features a variety of options—Pizza Hut® Express, Taco Bell® Express, and Subway™, plus Louie’s Sweet Shoppe, which serves ice cream and smoothies. Bill Gray’s Restaurant, housed in the vintage Skyliner Diner, serves burgers, hot dogs, fries, and more. The food court is busiest between noon and 2 p.m., so you may want to consider having an early or late lunch to avoid waiting in line.
Dining tables and chairs are reserved for restaurant customers only. Guests are welcome to picnic on museum grounds or enjoy snacks from home in lunch room C. Food and beverage is not allowed in the exhibit areas of the museum.
Butterfly Garden Tickets
The museum is home to Upstate New York’s only year-round indoor butterfly garden, so if this is your only trip to the museum, you will want to visit Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden. Admission is by timed ticket for entry. Tickets for the 20-minute visit may be purchased at the museum admission desk with general museum admission. Please note that advance purchase of butterfly tickets is available and is highly recommended for high visitation times such as during summer and school-break weeks. Advance ticket purchase is available by calling 585-263-2700 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Strong museum is fun for all ages. American Comic Book Heroes: The Battle of Good vs. Evil, eGameRevolution, Pinball Playfields, and Game Time! exhibits appeal especially to older children and adults. The entire family will find lots to enjoy in the Field of Play and Reading Adventureland exhibits. Preschoolers particularly will enjoy the Build, Drive, Go, Can You Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street?, Play Pals, and Berenstain Bears: Down a Sunny Dirt Road exhibits. Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden is popular with guests of all ages, as is the Toy Halls of Fame exhibit.
All children ages 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
National Toy Hall of Fame
You won’t want to miss the National Toy Hall of Fame on the museum’s second floor. More than 50 all-time favorite toys have been enshrined in the hallowed hall. You’re sure to recognize toys that you played with as a kid. Reminisce as you play with some of the classic toys at activity tables within the hall. There is no extra fee for admission to the National Toy Hall of Fame.
There are plenty of hands-on, interactive opportunities that are sure to satisfy high-energy kids, but there are also many low-key alternatives for children who prefer quieter activities. The museum features multiple craft tables, cozy book nooks, three aquariums, and an outdoor Discovery Garden. Additionally, Guest Rests are a pleasant option when you need a quiet, out-of-the-way space for you and your child.
Allow extra time to browse (and buy!) at our great museum shop and ride the colorful historic carousel or passenger train. Each ride costs $1 per person. Your best bet is to purchase a six-ride punch card for $5, available at the admissions desk or the Everything for Play! shop.
Most playable arcade and pinball machines throughout the museum require purchased tokens. Money collected from the sale of tokens helps maintain these original artifacts.
Credit Cards and ATM
The museum accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover cards. There is also an ATM just inside the museum entryway.
Wheelchairs and Strollers
The museum offers complimentary use of a limited number of wheelchairs and strollers that are available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you choose to bring your own stroller, you may take it along with you anywhere in the museum. Valuables should not be left in unattended strollers.
An ample number of restrooms are scattered throughout the museum, including two family restrooms, one behind the Kid to Kid exhibit on the first floor and the other to the right of the men’s restroom on the second floor. You will find changing tables in all restrooms.
You’re likely to enjoy your visit so much that you’ll want to return again. Museum membership provides free general museum admission for one year and represents a cost-effective way for families to visit the museum frequently. If you join as a member before paying general admission, you can use your free-admission benefit immediately. If you purchase general admission and decide to become a member before leaving the museum, you can apply some of your admission fee toward the cost of an annual membership—you just need to hand in today’s dated receipt when you join. Museum members enjoy many other exclusive benefits, such as a $1 general admission discount for guests, a $1 discount on butterfly garden admission, and a 10% discount in the museum shops. Members who join at the Patron level or above receive even more benefits like discounted admission to nearly 200 children’s museums across the United States and Canada. Visit the membership page for details. Parking privileges are not a benefit of membership.