Are you visiting Rochester, NY for the Thanksgiving holiday? After you have enjoyed all the turkey and stuffing with family and friends, plan on getting out and exploring some of the many things to do in Rochester this holiday weekend.

Here are a few suggestions. For even more ideas on things to see and do when you visit Rochester, please check out our Events Calendar.

1. Catch a performance of The Nutcracker

The annual performance of The Nutcracker by both the  Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Rochester City Ballet is one of Rochester’s most treasured holiday traditions. Plan on enjoying a performance through the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend at the historic Eastman Theatre. This beloved story of a young girl’s Christmas Eve dream never fails to touch the heart, and is the perfect start to the holiday season. 


2. View the Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau exhibit at the Memorial Art Gallery

Enjoy the expressive and seductive work of Alphonse Mucha, characterized by his portrayals of elegant women and elaborate use of color and ornament, played a prominent role in shaping the aesthetics of the decorative style known as French Art Nouveau. This MAG exhibition, Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art, presents more than 70 works that range from rare original lithographs, drawings, and books to portfolios and ephemera.


3. Sweet Creations at the George Eastman Museum

Kick off the holiday season with this sweet annual display of gingerbread houses at the Eastman Museum. This annual display features dozens of cleverly designed and deliciously decorated gingerbread houses and objects. Sweet Creations provides a visual and aromatic treat for visitors of all ages. Most of the confectionery creations are available for purchase through a silent auction. Proceeds from the auction will help support future restoration projects of the National Historic Landmark property.


4. Family Fun at The Strong Museum, Rochester Museum & Science Center and Seneca Park Zoo

There is plenty of fun to be had for visitors of all ages during the holiday weekend in Rochester. Bring the family to The Strong Museum and enjoy the museum’s DC Super Heroes: Discover Your Superpowers exhibit, which allows guest to discover their superpowers, learn about the importance of teamwork, self-discovery, and strength, as you solve problems, fight for justice, and battle civilians in a series of hands-on, fast-paced challenges.

Visit the Rochester Museum & Science Center and check out the new SciFiTech exhibit. Experience the fiction that has become our future! The fusion of science fiction and science fact comes alive in SciFiTech, an exhibit that’s a fantastic voyage through the greatest works of innovation and imagination in history. Some of the biggest breakthroughs often have fanciful beginnings, and SciFiTech bridges the stuff of our dreams with how technology has impacted our lives over the decades to make those connections interactive, informative, and rewarding.

Bring the family to Seneca Park Zoo, which is open throughout the holiday weekend, with the exception of being closed on Thanksgiving Day. Visit with newer additions to the zoo, including red pandas and giraffes. Seneca Park Zoo is open all winter long, rain or shine.


5. Enjoy local craft beverages

Did you know that Rochester is home to one of the best beer scenes in the country? Treat out of town guests to a flight or pint at one of the more than two dozen breweries in Monroe County!  Our favorites include the tasting room experience at the Genesee Brew House (a visit to High Falls is also a must while at the Brew House!), a tour of Rochester’s first craft brewery Rohrbach’s Beer Hall at the Rochester Public Market, enjoying award-winning beers from ROC Brewing at their Union St. brewery and tasting room, or check out what’s pouring at Sager Beer Works and Young Lion Brewing Company.

The tasting rooms at Black Button Distilling, Iron Smoke Distillery, Casa Larga Vineyard, and Living Roots Wine & Co. are also great places to bring visiting friends and family over the holiday weekend. 


6. Shop like a local

The Thanksgiving holiday, and Black Friday, mark the official start of the holiday shopping season. Get started on holiday shopping with some distinctly Rochester gifts and shopping events taking place over the Thanksgiving weekend.


These are just a few of the many things to see and do in Rochester over the holiday weekend. Share your Thanksgiving weekend adventures in Rochester with us using #VisitROC!