More fun things to do in Rochester,NY while the weather is nice!

Rochester, NY is not a large city by any means with a city population of roughly 210,000 people, but the city does offer some great activities during the summer.  Many are free to attend while some cost very little.  I detailed some of the more popular festivals as well as some nearby attractions for short day trips.  Here is another list of things to do in Rochester this summer.

Party in the Park.  Every Thursday is a party in downtown Rochester!  Great music and a small cover charge of $2.00 makes Thursday’s Party in the Park a must attend.  Concerts are for ten consecutive Thursdays starting June 16, 2011.  Here is a schedule of confirmed shows:

Los Lonely Boys June 16, 2011 5:00pm
Ozomatli June 23, 2011 5:00pm
Bootsy Collins June 30, 2011 5:00pm
Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad July 7, 2011 5:00pm
Spanish Harlem Orchestra July 14, 2011 5:00pm
moe. July 21, 2011 5:00pm
Big Gigantic July 28, 2011 5:00pm
Robert Randolph and the Family Band August 4, 2011 5:00pm
The Romantics August 11, 2011 5:00pm
Shooter Jennings August 18, 2011 5:00pm

Big Rib Barbecue and Blues Fest.  A great chance to eat some great food and enjoy some music.  Try out many different barbecues as restaurant owner4s and seasoned chefs (pun totally intended) compete to be the best barbecue in Rochester!  When barbecue chef’s compete, you win!  Music is included in the price and children under 12 are free.   

Thursday, July 14 11:30am-10pm Lunchtime Admission is Free, $5 after 4pm
Friday, July 15 11:30am-10pm Lunchtime Admission is Free, $10 after 4pm
Saturday, July 16 11:30am-10pm Lunchtime Admission is Free, $10 after 4pm
Sunday, July 17 11:30am-9pm Lunchtime Admission is Free, $5 after 4pm

Park Avenue Fest.  Another one of Rochester’s well known festivals.  There are many crafts, small shops, specialty foods, and music.  

Sea Breeze Amusement Park.  A Rochester landmark, Sea Breeze is a medium size amusement park  and one of the oldest in the country.  It’s an old-fashioned style theme park though has been updated to give a nice mix of old and new.  The Jack Rabbit is the main ride which is one of the oldest active wood roller-coasters. Sea Breeze has a great water-park; I actually think it’s better than Six Flags Darien Lake (see note in article) plus there is less of a wait!  It also has a lazy river which is a great relaxing water tube ride.  

Finger Lakes and Wine Country.  Pretty much everyone in Rochester hits up the Finger Lakes at least once in the Summer.  Great scenery, peace, and serenity abound.  Canandaigua lake is a nice place to go sit by the lake and have some ice cream.  There were some presidents who had summer homes on Canandaigua lake and other areas of the Finger Lakes.  There are also many great wineries in the area, too many to sample in a day!  Also check out some concerts at CMAC (Constellation Brands Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center).  This year Yes and Styx are performing on July 7, Steely Dan on July 23, Further on July 26, Kid Cudi on July 27, OAR on August 6, Bob Dylan on August 9, Tony Bennett on August 20, Kenny Chesny on August 24, Lynyrd Skynyrd on August 25, B.B. King and Buddy Guy on August 26, and Lyle Lovett on August 27.  

Six Flags Darien Lake.   If you want to experience a big brand theme park it’s here.  Many gigantic rides such as the Superman, Viper, and Mind-Eraser are here.  Pretty much anything you would expect from six flags.  Many great concerts come to Darien Lake as well, so it’s great to go to the theme park and then head over to a concert for a nice full day of fun.

Golf.  Rochester has many great public and semi-private golf courses.  There are over 80 courses ranging from par-3 only to difficult par-72 courses.  The prices vary but the cheapest are the county courses such as Genesee Valley and Durand Eastman.  More expensive public courses include Greystone, Ravenwood, Eagle Vale, ans Shadow Pines.  There are too many to list here so if you do a search you will be sure to find a tee time somewhere.  

Summer Chess League for adults, camp for kids.   The Rochester Chess Center is one of the best kept secrets in Rochester.  Nestled on Norris Dr. near Cobbs Hill Park it’s a great place to play chess and analyze games with great people.  All ratings and age groups are represented.  The Chess Center has leagues each season that last for 10 weeks, played every Monday.  If you have younger kids interested in chess they run a chess camp during the day where they they play and learn chess as well as engage in outdoor activities.  A nice mind and body combination!

Niagara Falls.  Rochester is in close enough proximity to make this a Rochester thing to do.  It’s about an hour and a half drive but worth it, especially if you have never been to Niagara Falls. Bring your passport if you want to go to the Canadian side where most of the activities and themes are located.  The USA side does have one great “secret” and that is Goat Island.  It’s great place to have a picnic and is very scenic.  There is one spot where you can literally get right next to the river (you can touch it, but don’t go in, it’s illegal).  A very cool spot indeed.

Town Carnivals.  Every surrounding town has its own carnival, proceeded by a parade.  The carnivals can be small with a few small rides food booths, to larger carnivals with Farris wheels, rides, entertainment, games, food, and music.  There’s always a town carnival happening each weekend during the summer.

Corn Hill Arts Festival.  A large local festival that displays local artist’s work, along with food, crafts, and music.  This is a very popular festival that averages 200,000 -250,000 visitors for a weekend.