Foodie Day Trips / A fun day in Rochester


Total Mileage: 158 mi. (round trip)

Total Drive Time: 2 hrs., 47 min.


Stever’s Candies
623 Park Avenue, Rochester


The Strong National Museum of Play
1 Manhattan Square Drive, Rochester


The Playhouse & Swillburger
820 Clinton Avenue South, Rochester


Whether you’re looking to take the kids on a day trip or simply relive your own childhood, consider a day of eating and playing in Rochester. The drive is relatively easy, and there’s plenty to do once you arrive.


Start the day with a sugar rush at Stever’s Candies, which has been in the game since 1946. Grab your basket at the front door and peruse the countless confections and seasonal specialties. In the summer, Stever’s offers chocolate-dipped strawberries and raspberries, and the fall brings sponge candytake some home to see how Buffalo's stacks up. The shop is closed on Sundays and for the entire month of July, so plan accordingly.


Stever’s Candies

Photos by kc kratt


The next stop is The Strong National Museum of Play, which is “devoted to the history and exploration of play.” It’s as much a tour through history as it is a chance to let the kids explore. Highlights include the Sesame Street exhibit, complete with the brownstone stoop; Build, Drive, Go, with construction toys and vehicles of all sizes; and the Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden. The Toy Hall of Fame features interactive exhibits of everything from alphabet blocks to the View-Master. There’s even a miniature Wegmans supermarket, where kids can make play out of a parenthood chore. It’s packed with enough fun and interesting features to keep adults both with and without kids entertained.


The Strong National Museum of Play

photos by Chastity O'Shei


The museum has a handful of fast food offerings, plus a Bill Gray’s burger shop in a diner car. But, it might be even more fun to end your trip with lunch and games at The Playhouse & Swillburger, just two miles from Strong. Located in a former church, the Playhouse half of the operation is a barcade (bar-arcade) replete with classic video game cabinets and pinball machines, an extensive beer collection, and a full bar. Imagine moseying on up to a game you haven’t played in twenty years, remembering all the special moves and how to defeat the foe, with the added benefit of a drink. Kids are welcome until 9 p.m., at which point it becomes a twenty-one and up venue.


The Playhouse & Swillburger

​PHOTOS BY Josh flanigan


The burgers at Swillburger are meant to feel just as nostalgic, harkening back to old-school burger joints. All the beef is local from Seven Bridges Farm, thin but not smashed (there’s a veggie option as well), while the buns are made by Flour City bread, a local artisanal bakery. Toppings are free, ranging from fresh veggies to housemade sauces to Dad’s Pickles, which are actually made by one of the owner’s fathers. Oh yeah, and there are tots.


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