Winter Recreation Programs 2016-17


Rochester is a Winter Wonderland


Download a Winter/Spring Guide  

Winter in Rochester means we’re warming up to celebrate with festivals, outdoor sports and even icy dips in Lake Ontario.

The City of Rochester’s winter/spring recreation line-up offers many opportunities to get out and stay active during the colder months. From snowshoe races to garden talks, our annual Winter Adventures Series will delight any nature enthusiast. Our R-Centers are jam-packed with activities and programs that inspire people of all ages to get fit, be creative, learn something new and make friends along the way. To top it all off, the City hosts a variety of winter-themed events including the 33rd annual Lakeside Winter Celebration where you can be a judge in the Chilly Chili contest, sample local wines and join your friends in the ever-popular Polar Plunge.

Embrace winter and don’t get cold feet! Try something new this winter and take advantage of the opportunities available in our city. Have a fun, safe and active season!

Rochester Recreation Winter Programs and Facilities

R-Centers Programs - Something for Everyone

R-Centers After School
The fun of learning and being with friends doesn’t have to end when the school day does. R-Centers offer fun, engaging, exciting after school programs that provide homework help, group games, reading programs, sports, arts & crafts and a wide variety of enrichment activities. In addition, R-Centers offer the popular After School in the Park Program in Cobbs Hill Park for city youth in grades K-6. For more information on After School in the Park visit

Rec on the Move Winter Fun
This winter, the popular Rec on the Move mobile R-Centers will be offering fun events for kids to get out and stay active this winter. Activities include snowshoeing, sledding, ice skating, snow-painting, crafts and more. For more information visit: or call 428-6755.

Earth Explorers
A unique program that immerses youth into the remarkable natural environment. Activities range from outdoor adventures (such as nature hikes, field trips and snowshoeing) to gardening and cooking with the produce grown at R-Center gardens. Youth and families are also invited to take advantage of horticultural workshops, projects and events such as community gardening, nature tours and more. Call 428-8820 or visit or for more information.

T.H.R.I.V.E. (Teens Helping to Reinvent Identity, Values and Empowerment) programs provide youth the necessary support and opportunities to prepare for successful adulthood. T.H.R.I.V.E. is a structured, youth-driven 9-month after-school program offered in eleven of the City’s R-Centers, in which youth voices are heard through invigorating group discussions lead by certified facilitators. Topics include goal setting, healthy choices regarding relationships, school and achieving necessary life skills to become successful adults. For more information, call 428-6816 or

Youth Voice, One Vision
Youth Voice, One Vision gives youth a voice about what goes on in their community. Participants collaborate with other youth leaders, adult advocates and local officials to develop ideas to make their communities better. Members learn leadership skills, develop goals and strategies, participate as “youth experts” on local panels and plan conferences and special events. Youth governance groups help to plan activities at R-Centers across the city. Youth, adults, groups and other community organizations are welcome. For more information, visit or call 428-7371.

Girls Coalition
The Girls Coalition brings together “positive girls doing positive things” through the support of caring female advisors and innovative girls-only programming. Staff from Rochester Recreation and volunteers from Nazareth College and the community act as mentors and role models for the participants. Call 428-7371, contact your local R-Center, or visit

Team I.M.P.A.C.T
Team I.M.P.A.C.T focuses on boys’ natural strengths and broadens their understanding about culture and being positive and productive males in today’s society. Adult mentors lead activities and dialogue that challenge myths about what it means to be a “real man.” Call 428-6481 to join.

Danforth Seniors

Come and join neighborhood senior citizens at the Danforth Auditorium for activities such as horseshoes, breakfast and lunch clubs, cards, “Get Fit Club” and field trips throughout the season. Call 428-6746 for more information.

RocMusic is a unique educational program that engages children and their families in the experience of making and appreciating music. The program is a joint partnership between the City of Rochester, Eastman School of Music, Eastman Community Music School, Hochstein School of Music & Dance, Rochester City School District and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. RocMusic operates three days per week during the school year at the David F. Gantt and Edgerton R-Centers. Visit: or call 428-7149.

Open Basketball
On Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays, 7-9 p.m., R-Center gyms offer open basketball for youth 6 - 18.

Friday Family Fun Night

On Fridays, families can get together and enjoy a host of fun family oriented events like healthy living programming, creative arts, movies, dance parties and other fun events at the R-Centers.
For more information visit or call your local R-Center.

Stardust Ballroom Series
Step back in time and dance at the Stardust Ballroom! Each year the century-old, historic Edgerton R-Center hosts this open ballroom dance series featuring terrific live music. Admission is only $3.


  • 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15 - Johnny Matt Band 

  • 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20 - Gateswingers 

  • 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17 - Music Makers

  • 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14 - Nostalgic Reunion

  • 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Mar. 7 - Greece Jazz Band 

  • 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Mar. 28 - Rochester Metropolitan Jazz Band


2016 Flower City Feeling Good Winter Adventures Series

 Get out, be active, discover nature and get a breath of fresh air! Enjoy the great outdoors. Have fun, get in shape and make some new friends along the way.

Saturday Garden Talks
The City is proud to partner with Master Gardeners from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County to offer FREE garden talks at Rochester Public Library locations around the city.  Check out the garden talks below and expand your gardening knowledge this winter!

  • Saturday, Jan. 7. Birds, Bees and Butterflies Attracting Pollinators to Your Landscapes. Charlotte Library, 3557 Lake Ave. 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, Jan. 21. Gardening with Perennials. Lyell Library, 956 Lyell Ave. 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 4. Getting Down and Dirty: Composting in your Home Garden. Arnett Library, 310 Arnett Blvd. 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 25. Preserving Nature’s Bounty: Soups, Dips and Sauces from Dried Plants. Monroe Public Library, 809 Monroe Ave. 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Weekend Park Hikes

Explore all that the outdoors has to offer. Bring your family and friends for a wonderful winter hike. Most hikes are in collaboration with the Genesee Valley Hiking Club. Dress for the weather and wear appropriate footwear.
All hikes start at 10 a.m.

  • Monday, Dec. 26. Durand Eastman Park-West Side Moderate 5-6 mile hike. Joint hike with the Rochester Hiking Meetup Group. Meet in the golf course parking lot off King’s Highway.
  • Monday, Jan. 2. Durand Eastman Park-West Side Moderate 5-6 mile hike. Joint hike with the Rochester Hiking Meetup Group. Meet in the Golf Course parking lot off King’s Highway.
  • Sunday, Jan. 15. Seneca Park. Moderate ~6 mile hike. Meet in the main Zoo parking lot (park as far away as possible from the Zoo entrance).
  • Sunday, Jan. 22. Cobb’s Hill Park & Washington Grove. Moderate, hilly 5 mile hike. Meet in the parking lot in Cobb’s Hill Park on Norris Drive, just off Culver Road.
  • Sunday, Feb. 5. Genesee Valley Park. Meet in the parking lot of the Genesee Waterways Center, off of Elmwood Ave.

Snow Cheap Trail Race Series
A fun filled winter trail series held Wednesday Nights from December through February in Cobb’s Hill Park. Everything you loved about the Dirt Cheap Series now for the winter. Low price, crazy fun, great vibe, and tons of value. Meet at Lake Riley Lodge in Cobb’s Hill Park, Norris Dr. & Culver Rd. Preregistration required no later than 6:45 p.m. on the day of the race. Races will be held snow or no snow. Headlamps are required for all races. Post-race party, door prizes and fun!

Dates: Wednesdays: Dec.14, Dec. 28, Jan. 11, Jan. 25, Feb. 8 and Feb. 22.
Registration: 6:45 p.m.
Races Start: 7:15 p.m.
Prices: One Race- $13.00; $50.00 for all races. Increased registration fee after 12/13.

For more details and to register, please visit

Passport to Family Wellness
The “Passport to Family Wellness” brochure is a great way to learn about parks and trails in the region. Submit your completed passport for a chance to win prizes including a $100 Wegmans gift card. Pick up the City of Rochester Passport to Wellness at the City of Rochester Public Market Office, Genesee Valley Park Sports Complex and the Department of Recreation Offices at 400 Dewey Ave.

Snowshoe Rentals
Snowshoeing is a great family friendly activity! Adult and youth snowshoes are available for rent at the Recreation Bureau Office at 400 Dewey Ave.

Rental Rates
Adults: $10 a day or $15 for the weekend. Youth: $5 a day.

For more information or to reserve snowshoes call: 428-8820.


Athletics and Aquatics untitled-325-2

Leagues & Lessons

Lifeguarding Prep Class
Aspiring lifeguards 15 and over can build their swimming skills in preparation for lifeguarding classes in March. Prep Classes start on Tuesday Dec. 6 and run every Tuesday till Feb. 14 (Except during December School break 12/27). Registration is available on an ongoing basis. Call 428-7456 for more information.

Lifeguarding Class
Become a City of Rochester lifeguard and earn great pay this summer. Classes are held March 7 - May 4 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30-9:30 p.m. No classes on 4/18 and 4/20 due to School Recess.
May 8 -13 on Mon-Fri. 5:30-9:30 p.m. and Sat. 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Registration Fees: City Students, free Non-City Student $75, Adults $125.

Recertification classes are held on Tues - Thurs. 6:30- 9:30 p.m. on May 16 - 18 or May 23 - 25.
Registration Fee: Students and Adults $75 * Required book and mask are not included in registration fee.

Rochester Rapids Swim Team

The popular Rochester Rapids Swim Team is a competitive swim team for ages 6 - 21. Youth receiving free or reduced lunch will have their registration fee waived. The team swims competitively in the USA Swimming Niagara District. Call 428-7456 or e-mail RRST Swim Team Head Coach Shane Logan at for more information.

Swim Lessons

Become a skilled swimmer and seize the opportunity to enjoy the water. Sessions are Dec. 9 to Jan. 21 and Feb. 17 to March 25 on Friday nights
6 - 8 p.m. or Saturday mornings 10 a.m. until noon. Call 428-7456 for more information.

R-Centers Basketball League
Youth ages 10 - 15 are invited to participate in a city-wide competitive basketball league at R-Centers during the week. Players ages 10 and up play on Monday and Wednesday nights. Players ages 13 and up play Tuesday and Thursday nights. League play begins the week of February 27. Visit your neighborhood R-Center to register.

County-Wide Basketball League
Girls and boys ages 6 - 12, from across Monroe County are invited to participate in a developmental and intermediate level basketball league. Participants not playing on R-Center teams can register on Jan. 7, 14 and 21 at the Thomas P. Ryan R-Center from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Player evaluations and draft will be held in Feb. at the Ryan R-Center. Practice begins on Feb. 13. Season begins March 4. Game times vary between 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Saturdays.
Registration Fees: $30 per person
Call 428-7592 for more information.

Youth Floor Hockey

City-wide indoor hockey for youth ages 15 and under, supported by the Rochester Amerks. Season begins Dec. 6. Game Days are Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday and are held at Adams St. Carter St. and Frederick Douglas R-Centers. Game times are 5:30, 6:30 or 7:30 p.m. Participating R-Centers include: Adams St., Ave. D, Campbell, Carter, Flint, Gantt, Roxie Sinkler, Ryan and #42 School. Call 428-6755 for more information.

Youth Wrestling
Sponsored by the City-Catholic Wrestling Association, R-Center youth are exposed to one of the world’s oldest sports at the Ryan R-Center (Mon. & Wed. 6 - 8 p.m.) and Roxie Sinkler R-Center. (Tues .& Thurs. 6 - 8 p.m.) Open to youth ages 8 - 14.
Call 428-7721 (Ryan R-Center) 428-7827 (Roxie R-Center) for more information.

Youth Skating Lessons
Learn how to skate for FREE with the pros from the Go Figure Skating School. Sessions are held at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park Ice Rink from Jan. 7 to Feb. 11. Students will enjoy a 20-minute group lesson and additional 40-minute practice time. Lessons are open to youth ages 4-15. Call 428-7541 to register.

NFL Flag Football
Look for 5-on-5 NFL flag football competition to begin in late spring 2017. Call 428-7592 for more information.

Ice Skating

Genesee Valley Ice Arena

The GVP Sports Complex, located at 131 Elmwood Ave., hosts a newly renovated ice arena perfect for all ages. The arena is available for open skating as well as sports programs including ice hockey leagues and speed skating. Book your next skating party too. The arena remains open until April 1, 2017. Adults interested in leagues should call 428-7888.

2016-17 Ice Arena Schedule
Open Skate
Monday - Friday, 12 - 1:15 p.m.
Saturday, 5 - 6:15 p.m.
Sunday, 2:30 - 3:45 p.m.
Adult Skate (Ages 18+)
Tuesday - Friday, 10:30 - 11:45 a.m. (except during school recesses)
Sunday, 9:45 - 11 a.m.

Special Event: Skate w/Santa Sunday Dec. 18, 1 - 2:15 and 2:30 - 3:45 p.m.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Ice Skating Rink

The outdoor ice skating rink, located at 353 Court St. in the heart of Downtown, is the perfect place for a family outing. New this year, skaters can enjoy riding new ice bikes. The rink is also available for rent. The skating season runs through March 11, 2017.

2016-17 Rink Schedule
Open Skate
Monday-Friday: 12 - 1:30 p.m., 3:40 - 5:10 p.m., 5:30 -7 p.m.
& 7:20 - 8:50 p.m. (Rink rentals may preclude open skate on Tues., Wed., & Thurs.)
Saturday: 12 - 1:30 p.m., 1:50 - 3:20 p.m., 3:40 - 5:10 p.m., 7:20 - 8:50 p.m.
Sunday: Noon - 1:30 p.m., 1:50-3:20 p.m., 3:40 - 5:10 p.m., 5:30-7 p.m.
Adult Skate (Ages 18+)
Monday - Friday, 1:50-3:20 p.m.(except during school recesses)

Indoor & Outdoor Skating Fees
Adults $5
Youth 17 & under $2
College Students w/ID $3
Families $14
Season Pass for MLK $60
Season Pass for GVP $125


Fitness Centers
Achieve your personal fitness goal at an R-Center near you. Workout facilities are located at Adams St. David F. Gantt, Frederick Douglass, Avenue D and Flint Street R-Centers. These locations have Blood Pressure Pulse machines so you can keep an eye on your heart health and automated external defibrillators for your safety. Call individual R-Centers for times and equipment availability.


Adams Street Indoor Pool
This heated indoor pool is open year-round in the historic Corn Hill neighborhood. The aquatics program features both youth and adult swim lessons, adult lap swim, family fun nights, birthday parties and the Rochester Rapids Swim Team. For more information, call 428-7456.

Clinton Baden Indoor Pool
This 25 yard, six-lane indoor swimming pool has gone under major renovations recently to improve lighting and ADA accessibility improvements. For more information, call 325-4910.

Dr. Freddie Thomas Indoor Pool
Looking to hit the water this winter and stay in shape? The Freddie Thomas Learning Center Pool offers open swim for all ages on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning January 10, 2017. For more information, call 428-7888.


Special EventsDSC_4928

New Year’s Eve Celebration - Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016

Light up your New Year’s Eve with FREE fun for the entire family!

Family New Year’s Eve Party
Ring in the new year at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center, 123 E. Main St. from 7-10 p.m. Admission is free. There’s a party with Jimmy C’s Music Machine, giant bounce houses, obstacle course, airbrush tattoos, photo booths and more. Meet a popular princess and snowman character along with your favorite superhero! The City’s Rec on the Move staff will also have fun and crafts for the kids. Snacks and beverages available for purchase.

Ice Skating at the MLK Rink
Head over to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park Ice Rink from 5 – 9:30 p.m. for free ice skating! Skate to music by Beale’s Rock & Roll Review. Family skating is available from 5 - 7 p.m., adult only skate runs from
7:30 – 9:30 p.m.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks Display
Enjoy a spectacular fireworks display at 10 p.m.

Free Parking

Park for free from 6 - 11 p.m. at the following garages: South Ave. Garage, 39 Stone St.; Washington Square Garage, 111 Woodbury Blvd;
Sister Cities Garage, 28 N. Fitzhugh St. and Court St. Garage, 194 Court St.

Skating Events at MLK Rink

Family Night at the Rink
Jan. 6, Feb. 3 & Mar. 3: from 7:20 - 8:50 p.m. Free skating (Rental fee for skates available $3.00).

Friday Night Late Skate
Jan. 6, Feb. 3 & Mar. 3: 9:10 - 10:40 p.m.
Adults 18 and over are invited to skate under the stars. Come out and bring your special date or just have a fun night out with friends. Regular fees apply.

MLK Skate to Commemorate
Jan. 16: Noon, 1:50 & 3:40 p.m.
Youth Voice One Vision presents a free skating event designed to commemorate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. $2 admission fee waived with the donation of two non-perishable hygiene, cleaning or household items.

Sweetheart Skate
Sat., Feb. 14: 6 - 8 p.m.
In the mood for love? Go skating with your loved one and make this Valentine’s Day truly special. Dress in red for a surprise and enjoy the music of DJ Beale under the stars and snowflakes at the “Little Rockfeller Center” of Rochester. $4 per couple.

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

Sat., Mar. 11: 1:50 - 5:10p.m.
After the St. Patrick’s Day parade, continue your celebration by skating with your friends and family. Admission is free if green attire is worn.

Lakeside Winter Celebration - Sat., Feb. 11 & Sun., Feb.12
Celebrate Winter at the 33rd annual Lakeside Winter Celebration at Ontario Beach Park. This year, the celebration will feature a wide array of activities including the 6th Annual Lake Ontario Wine and Craft Beer Festival and the “Polar Plunge”. Charlotte area merchants will offer specials and discounts all weekend.

This event is organized by the all-volunteer Ontario Beach Park Program Committee and sponsored by the City of Rochester, Monroe County, Harbortown Merchants Association and Wegmans.

Saturday, Feb. 11, 1 - 6 p.m.

Lake Ontario Wine & Craft Beer Festival
Chilly Chili Challenge
Ultimate Frisbee Challenge
Horse-drawn carriage rides
Dog sled demonstration
Outdoor children’s games with Rec on the Move
Ice sculpture demonstration
Snow sculpture contest
Winter hike: Turning Point Park, 1 p.m.
Fireworks over the river, 6 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 12, 12 - 4 p.m.
Polar Plunge - a fundraiser for the Special Olympics, noon.
Frostbiter’s sailboat racing
For more information, visit