Rochester Museum & Science Center, a popular destination for families (Photo by Keith Walters)
By SALLY PARKER
Have a couple of days to explore Rochester's museums? Here are our picks.
Day One is a tribute to international celebrities who lived in Rochester. Start with a tour of Susan B. Anthony House, a museum that tells the story of the suffragist's remarkable life. From her home here, Anthony spent more than 60 years traveling the country stirring up crowds and disrupting the status quo. (Women finally got the vote in 1920, 14 years after she died.)
Grab lunch on Park Avenue, then head to nearby George Eastman House International Museum of Photography & Film. This is one of the world's major archives of motion picture film and photographs; Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee have their collections here. "See: Untold Stories," running through Sept. 16, is the first of several photography exhibitions showcasing rarely seen items in the museum's collections. Don't miss the Kodak founder's 50-room mansion, with its two-story conservatory and pipe organ, formal gardens and camera displays.
The Memorial Art Gallery, part of the University of Rochester, is open late on Thursdays. Take in the current exhibition and view the museum's permanent collection spanning 50 centuries. Wrap it up with a visit to the Gallery Store, which sells regional craft, jewelry, books, posters and accessories.
Day Two begins with a visit to the Rochester Museum & Science Center. Marking its 100th year in 2012, RMSC has interactive exhibits on natural science, technology and local history. Create power in the "Energize It!" exhibit, climb the rock wall, make a tornado or record a weather forecast.
After lunch in RMSC's cafe, head downtown to the Strong National Museum of Play, one of the largest children's museums in the country. Home of the National Toy Hall of Fame, the Strong is a 150,000-square-foot kids' dream. Nearly 20 permanent exhibits, from Sesame Street to eGame Revolution (with its recreated arcade of historic video games) teach and celebrate the importance of play. Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden is a big draw year-round.
Wrap up the day with a restored film at the Dryden Theatre at the Eastman House or a laser light show at Strasenburgh Planetarium, part of RMSC.
Have another day? Visit Genesee Country Village & Museum in Mumford. A re-created, 19th-century Western New York town, it's one of the nation's leading living history museums. At Ganondagan State Historic Site in Victor, where volunteers share the history and culture of the Seneca Nation of Indians, summer evenings are filled with the traditional game of longball for all ages, followed by storytelling around the fire.
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