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10 Fun Activities in Rochester to Do This Spring

February 27, 2024
Activities in Rochester NY

Events and activities in Rochester occur all year round, but as the days grow longer and the temperatures start to rise, our city starts to come alive with the vibrant energy of spring. From blooming flowers to outdoor adventures, there are countless ways to celebrate the season. Whether you're a local resident or a visitor passing through, here's a guide to some of the best activities in Rochester during the springtime that will help you make the most of this delightful season.

Fun Spring Activities in Rochester

Visit the Lilac Festival

   Each May, Rochester hosts the beloved Lilac Festival, a celebration of spring's arrival and the city's rich horticultural heritage. Stroll through Highland Park, home to over 500 varieties of lilacs, and marvel at the stunning displays of colorful blooms. One of the most well-known activities in Rochester, you can enjoy live music, food vendors, arts and crafts, and family-friendly activities throughout the festival. Don't forget to snap a photo in front of the iconic Lilac Arch for a memorable keepsake of your visit. This year, the Lilac Festival will run May 10th-19th, 2024.

Attend the Lilac Run

   Lace up your running shoes and join in the fun at the annual Lilac Run, a beloved Rochester tradition that is a part of the Lilac Festival events. Whether you're a seasoned athlete or a casual jogger, the Lilac Run offers a variety of race distances to suit every skill level, including a 5K, 10K, and a kids' fun run. Runners are treated to a scenic course through Highland Park, lined with blooming lilac bushes and cheered on by spectators. After crossing the finish line, celebrate your accomplishment with post-race refreshments and festivities at the Lilac Festival. This year's Lilac Run will be held May 19th, 2024.

Explore the Rochester Public Market

   Spring is the perfect time to visit the Rochester Public Market and sample the season's freshest produce, flowers, and artisanal goods. Browse the stalls filled with locally grown fruits and vegetables, indulge in freshly baked pastries and gourmet treats, and soak up the lively atmosphere as you mingle with vendors and fellow shoppers. Be sure to check their schedule for the market's variety of activities in Rochester, including special events like cooking demonstrations and live music performances. The public market's regular hours are 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

Take a Walk Along the Genesee Riverway Trail

   Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in nature along the Genesee Riverway Trail. With over 16 miles of scenic pathways winding along the Genesee River, this picturesque trail offers breathtaking views of waterfalls, gorges, and lush greenery. Pack a picnic lunch and stop at one of the many scenic overlooks to enjoy a leisurely meal surrounded by the beauty of the outdoors. Whether you're walking, jogging, or biking, the Riverway Trail is a great destination for outdoor recreation and relaxation.

Looking for a park that's closer to you? Check out some of our other favorite parks in the area!

Enjoy Outdoor Dining

   As the weather warms up, Rochester's vibrant culinary scene spills out onto sidewalk cafes and outdoor patios. Take advantage of the sunshine and dine at one of the city's many restaurants offering outdoor seating. Whether you're craving farm-to-table cuisine, ethnic flavors, or classic comfort food, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Savor a leisurely brunch, lunch, or dinner outdoors and soak up the sights and sounds of springtime in Rochester.

Attend a Rochester Red Wings Game

   Baseball is one of our personal favorite spring activities in Rochester. Nothing says spring like the crack of a baseball bat and the roar of the crowd at a Rochester Red Wings game. Head to Frontier Field and cheer on the city's beloved minor league baseball team as they take to the field for an exciting season of America's favorite pastime. Enjoy ballpark favorites like hot dogs, popcorn, and ice-cold beer as you root for the home team and soak up the festive atmosphere of springtime baseball.

Visit the Lamberton Conservatory

   Step into a tropical oasis at the Lamberton Conservatory and escape the lingering chill of winter. Located in Highland Park, this historic conservatory is home to a diverse collection of exotic plants and flowers from around the world. Wander through lush gardens filled with vibrant orchids, towering palms, and fragrant blooms, and marvel at the beauty of nature in bloom. This is one of our top picks for free activities in Rochester! The conservatory offers a peaceful retreat where you can relax and rejuvenate surrounded by the sights and scents of spring.

Take a Day Trip to Letchworth State Park

   Just a short drive from Rochester, Letchworth State Park is known as the "Grand Canyon of the East" and offers endless opportunities for outdoor adventure. Hike along miles of scenic trails that wind through lush forests, rugged cliffs, and cascading waterfalls, or enjoy a leisurely picnic in one of the park's picturesque picnic areas. With its breathtaking natural beauty and abundance of recreational activities, Letchworth State Park is the perfect destination for a springtime day trip from Rochester.

Activities in Rochester Letchworth State Park
Letchworth State Park

Explore the Erie Canal

   Discover the rich history and scenic beauty of the Erie Canal with a leisurely boat tour or canal-side bike ride. Rent a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard and paddle along the canal, taking in views of historic landmarks, charming towns, and picturesque landscapes along the way. If you prefer to stay on land, rent a bike and explore the scenic Erie Canalway Trail, which follows the historic towpath of the Erie Canal and offers miles of flat, paved pathways perfect for cycling and walking. Whether you're on the water or on the trail, the Erie Canal offers a variety of exciting activities in Rochester, and an opportunity to experience the beauty and history of our waterways.

Attend a Spring Festival or Event

    Rochester comes alive with festivals and events during the spring months, offering something for everyone to enjoy. From arts and crafts fairs to music festivals to cultural celebrations, there's always something happening in the city. Check our local events calendar for upcoming festivals and events, and plan to attend one or more of these awesome activities in Rochester to experience the vibrant energy and community spirit in the springtime.

Best Spring Activities in Rochester, NY

With its vibrant festivals, scenic parks, and outdoor adventures, there are countless activities in Rochester to embrace the beauty and excitement of spring. Whether you're exploring the city's cultural attractions, shopping local businesses, enjoying outdoor recreation, or simply soaking up the sunshine, there's no shortage of fun activities in Rochester during this delightful season. So grab your sunglasses, pack a picnic, and get ready to make the most of springtime in our city!

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