America at Play Exhibit Opens December 10

The Strong News Release
One Manhattan Square Rochester, NY 14607 585-263-2700

November 18, 2016

For Immediate Release

Shane Rhinewald, 585-410-6365,

Noelle McElrath-Hart, 585-410-6325,

Permanent America at Play Exhibit
Opens December 10
at The Strong® Museum

Dive into the past and explore more than 300 years of play and pastimes at the original, permanent America at Play exhibit opening at The Strong museum on Saturday, December 10. Through a blend of rare artifacts and hands-on activities, learn how play influenced America's cultural history.

View hundreds of toys—both past and present—to see how play in America has changed and has stayed the same. Compare a toy soldier from the 1800s, a G.I. Joe from the 1960s, and a Master Chief action figure (of the Halo video game series) from the 2000s to understand how wars affect the way we play. See how emerging technologies transform playthings, including how the simple Victorian stereoscope morphed into the high-tech virtual reality devices of today.

Marvel at cases of timeless toys from simple bubbles and spinning tops, to the more active jump ropes and kites. And progress into the 1800s to see some of the most important artifacts of play from that century, including the Game of the American Revolution, Rough Riders, and Bicycle Race board games. Step into the early 1900s to learn how key events such as the first airplane flight; introduction of Mickey Mouse and moving pictures; and the rise in popularity of sports such as boxing, basketball, and baseball changed play. And encounter early toy airplanes, a 1920s Charlie Chaplin doll, original Raggedy Ann dolls, and the Babe Ruth National Game of Baseball board game.

See the effect of World War II and the metal shortage of the 1930s and 1940s on the production of toys by viewing a Buddy L Wrecker truck made entirely of wood! And view examples of the iconic board game Monopoly, including the first handmade set by Charles Darrow, who popularized the game as we know it today. And, moving through the rest of the century, explore the impact of rock and roll, including the rise of Elvis Presley, and see related toys such as “The King’s” licensed toy guitar.

View rare and iconic artifacts from every era scattered throughout the exhibit, including the world’s largest Erector Set. A display case showcases some of the newest collections acquired by The Strong, beginning with a range of Disney-branded toys.

Finally, put your newfound knowledge to the test and challenge family members and friends to a three-player toy trivia game or memory concentration game.

America at Play is the final exhibit on the history of play that transformed the museum’s second floor. eGameRevolution explores the history of video games; Game Time! examines the history of games and puzzles; Play Pals celebrates centuries of dolls, action figures, stuffed animals, and other figures of play; and Build, Drive, Go explores construction toys and vehicles.  This project is made possible in part by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Entry to America at Play is included with general museum admission fees.



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.

General 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.