Treat your meeting or convention attendees to a unique off-site experience that they won't soon forget. There are many different options for unique experiences for groups of all sizes in the Rochester area. We're sharing some unique ideas for attendees at your next Rochester meeting or event. Looking for additional ideas? Contact the Visit Rochester Event Services team for suggestions tailored for your meeting, convention or event.
Bring out your inner child at The Strong National Museum of Play, a highly interactive, collections-based museum devoted to the history and exploration of play. Groups are invited to embark on a custom experience based on what you’re looking to explore. Go on a behind-the-scenes tour, where you’ll meet with a museum professional to learn more about the museum’s world-renowned collection of toys, games, dolls, electronic games, and other items related to play. Learn about the design and fabrication of museum exhibits and/or view The Strong’s unparalleled play-related library and archive materials. Educational workshops are also available, as well as private rooms for rent to enjoy a catered meal.
Take your event attendees out to the ballgame at Frontier Field with Rochester’s Minor League Baseball team and the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, the Rochester Red Wings. Your group has a couple of options to choose from while enjoying America’s favorite pastime. A large party suite offers a true, VIP experience! Your group will enjoy a spacious and private setting with your own menu selection and personalized service – plus, the best views of the game along with the Downtown Rochester skyline. Groups receive a personalized welcome on the scoreboard and your group name printed on your tickets. If you are more of a picnic bunch, the team’s got you covered! There are five different locations that include a pre-game picnic and a pre-selected block of seats in the ballpark.
Rochester is the "front door" to the Finger Lakes region, but you don't have to go too far to find fabulous food and drink experiences. Plan a custom wine pairing or tasting at Casa Larga Vineyards, one of the oldest wineries in the Finger Lakes region located in the Rochester suburb of Fairport, NY. Treat your attendees to a hands-on truffle making class with Laughing Gull Chocolates. Or, set up your attendees with hands-on cooking classes and other tasting experiences at the New York Kitchen in Canandaigua, NY.
Looking to check out a spot popular with locals? Enjoy group dining and games at Radio Social, which features 34 bowling lanes, full kitchen and craft cocktail bar, or The Playhouse / Swillburger, where you can enjoy burgers, drinks and more than 30 classis arcade games.
In Rochester's Neighborhood of the Arts meeting and event attendees will find Scents by Design, a pour-your-own candle bar. Scents by Design is an independent, woman-owned business, and the only custom fragrance and candle bar in Rochester. They are open for walk-ins for small groups, but recommend reservations for groups of six or more. Private events and offsite events are also available. Consider creating a custom signature scent for your meeting or event!
A visit to the George Eastman Museum is a must-do for visitors attending a meeting or event in Rochester, NY. The oldest photography museum in the world, the George Eastman Museum offers an array of experiences for tour groups of all ages. Whether your group is interested in photography, motion pictures, history, gardens, architecture, or historic houses, itineraries can be customized just for you. The Eastman Museum, located inside the National Historic Landmark home of Eastman Kodak founder George Eastman, can also be rented out for private events for your group. Venues available for group rentals include the historic gardens, mansion, Dryden Theatre, conference spaces and more.
Be transported around the world as you come face to face with Masai giraffes, red pandas, African elephants, a southern white rhino, California sea lions, and much more! In addition to a guided tour around the Seneca Park Zoo, plan your visit around the giraffe feeding schedule, which begins Memorial Day weekend, for a special experience. Your group can get up close and personal with an interactive Animal Presentation that includes animals that are not usually visible to the public. Each experience lasts about 45 minutes and includes three or four live animals, interactive activities and animal-related artifacts.
Travel back in time at GCV&M, the largest living history museum in New York State. Explore the living, working 19th-century village filled with costumed interpreters who bring history to life! Chat with Village craftsmen, smell the aroma of freshly baked 19th-century foods, and stroll through the beautiful gardens. Take your visit beyond the norm and plan a custom, all-inclusive tour for your group. Take a trolley ride through the Historical Village with a knowledgeable guide, selecting stops based on your specific interest and learn more about the subjects most important to your group. When you’re ready to dine, enjoy an intimate meal in a private room. And get hands on, if you choose – with available crafts, beer tastings or chocolate demonstrations and tastings.
Comedy at the Carlson - Coordinate a comedic performance for your group with the Comedy at the Carlson! This comedy club in Rochester's Neighborhood of the Arts offers private event rentals and can connect you with any number of comedians to keep your event attendees entertained.
Take a Cruise on the Erie Canal & Genesee River
The Erie Canal is a 200-year-old modern engineering marvel that runs right through Rochester in different canalside villages and hamlets including Fairport, Pittsford, Bushnell’s Basin, Spencerport and Brockport. There are two different tour boats offering group tours on the Erie Canal to check during your next event.
The Sam Patch is a replica canal packet boat that departs out of the village of Pittsford, NY and takes passengers on a 90-minute interpretive cruise of the Erie Canal. Your group can have a private charter featuring the popular Erie Canal Lock 32 Cruise and the Great Embankment Cruise, or choose a bird watching cruise, live music sunset tours, and add-ons such as beer, wine, and chocolate tastings.
The Colonial Belle departs out of Fairport, NY and is ideal for larger groups. Charter the Colonial Belle and enjoy a cruise customized for your group. The Belle can also accommodate a DJ or live entertainment, with various meal options for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The Colonial Belle offers charters at an hourly rate with optional catering and other upgrades available. Charter rates include the Captain and Crew, as well as a full-service bar onboard for beverages - not to mention the incredible views of the Erie Canal from the Colonial Belle's upper level!
The Riverie is the first cruise boat on the Genesee River since 2013, taking passengers on a ride along the Genesee River and Erie Canal. Offering multiple boat rides including live music sunset tours, a River and Canal cruise, birding and more there are plenty of options to fit the interests of your group.