The Strong National Museum of Play
This fun museum in Rochester, New York, celebrates play with activities and exhibits that showcase favorite games and toys.
The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York, is home to more than 525,000 toys, board games, dolls, documents, video games, books and historic materials, making it the world’s largest collection of historical objects related to play. It may just be the most playful place on Earth.
Exhibits include Pinball Playfields, where visitors can try their hand at historic pinball games and learn about the history of the machines. American Comic Book Heroes covers seven decades of iconic characters that have captured our imaginations.
The eGame Revolution portion of the museum presents the history of video games with giant Tetris, classic consoles and other interactive games. More than 300 years of toy and game development unfold in America at Play, a blend of rare artifacts and hands-on activities. Other permanent exhibits include Build, Drive, Go (a history of vehicles), The Skyline Climb aerials course, the Wegmans Super Kids Market and a re-creation of Sesame Street that will make you feel like a kid again.
Summer 2023 brings a 90,000-square-foot Neighborhood of Play expansion to the existing 285,000-square-foot museum. The outdoor space features a board-game-themed exhibit (complete with a fire-breathing dragon from Dungeons & Dragons), an exhibit on the history of electronic games, a new home for the World Video Game Hall of Fame and a Women in Games exhibit.
The Strong National Museum of Play is also home to the National Toy Hall of Fame, featuring inductees such as Lite-Brite and American Girl dolls. The Brian Sutton-Smith Library & Archives of Play further highlights the toys that shaped the nation. While younger kids will have a blast at the museum, there is fun for all ages. Plan for at least a full day to explore this monument to all things play. 1 Manhattan Sq., Rochester, New York 14607, 585/263-2700, museumofplay.org