Powered by Play: A Campaign for The Strong

In 2023, The Strong National Museum of Play opened a transformative, 90,000-square-foot expansion—part of the all-new Neighborhood of Play in Rochester, NY. The expansion includes three major exhibits dedicated to electronic games—ESL Digital Worlds: High Scoreand Level Up, and Age of Empires—along with the outdoor Hasbro Game Park and many other new experiences and programs. All of this was made possible by Powered by Play: A Campaign for The Strong and the many museum friends, members, and donors who supported the campaign.

The new admissions center welcomes children, families, and other visitors from around the globe. Annual attendance is projected to grow from 600,000 to nearly 1 million visitors annually by 2026.
Upstairs, the ESL Digital Worlds gallery features all-new exhibits and experiences. ESL Digital Worlds: High Score houses the World Video Game Hall of Fame, which highlights iconic games and trailblazers who changed how we play.
ESL Digital Worlds: Level Up allows guests to become the main character in a life-sized video game.
The Play Lab hosts interactive workshops, classes, and activities that encourage guests to explore messy play, tinkering, technology, inventing, mechanics, and more.
A soaring high-adventure ropes course provides challenging, yet safe, physical play.
Outside, Hasbro Game Park encourages physical and collaborative play among guests of all ages and abilities. Developed in partnership with Hasbro, the museum’s first-ever outdoor exhibit celebrates classic tabletop games that shaped how we play, from Monopoly to Candyland, Simon, and Dungeons & Dragons.
A larger and newly renovated Woodbury School allows for more students, new programs, and additional play-based professional development opportunities for districts across the region.
The expansion includes new, state-of-the-art digital preservation labs and additional climate-controlled storage space, allowing The Strong to further grow the world’s largest collection of toys, video games, and other play-related materials, more than 500,000 items.

Powered by Play: A New Neighborhood and a Bigger Museum

The Strong’s expanded museum is at the heart of the Neighborhood of Play—a new, vibrant, walkable neighborhood, revitalizing the downtown area that surrounds The Strong. With The Strong as its centerpiece, the new neighborhood will generate $130 million in annual tourism revenue for Rochester and includes:

  • The expanded Strong National Museum of Play, now housed in a 375,000 sq. ft. building featuring new interactive exhibits and educational, play-based experiences
  • A national, family-friendly hotel operated by Indus Hospitality Group
  • Market-rent housing and a mix of retail businesses operated by Konar Properties
  • A colorful parking garage with ample covered spaces for visitors.

To fund the museum’s portion of this transformational project, The Strong launched Powered by Play: A Campaign for The Strong in 2018. The campaign, which concluded on December 31, 2023, raised $75 million to build a bigger and better museum, preserve the history of play, promote the educational power of play, and bring joy to millions of children and families.

Everyone at The Strong is so grateful to generous people like you—our members, friends, and leaders in the toy and video game industries—who supported the campaign. Thank you!

To learn more about the expansion project or supporting The Strong, contact Lisa Feinstein, 585-410-6370, lfeinstein@museumofplay.org

For media inquiries, contact Shane Rhinewald, 585-410-6365, srhinewald@museumofplay.org

The Strong’s expansion was made possible with the support of individual donors, corporations and other organizations, foundations, and government funders. The Strong is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit.

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