Winter Recreation Programs 2017-18


Rochester is a Winter Wonderland



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 34rd 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.

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.

Winter Adventures 

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.

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. Dates and times vary.

  • Friday, November 10, 10 a.m. Durand-Eastman Park. Moderate/hilly 5 mile hike. Joint hike with the Rochester Hiking Meet up Group. Meet at the golf course overflow parking lot on Kings Highway (across the road and directly west of the golf course main lot).
  • Sunday, November 26, 10 a.m. Tryon Park. Moderate/hilly 5 mile hike. Meet at the new Tryon Park lot on Tryon Park (Road), on the north (left-hand) side immediately after the end of the bridge passing over I-590.
  • Saturday, December 9, 10 a.m. Highland Park & Mount Hope Cemetery. Moderate 5 mile hike. Park on Robinson Drive near the corner with South Avenue (next to the Highland Bowl).
    Sunday, December 17, 1 p.m. Seneca Park to O'Rorke Bridge Loop. Moderate 6 mile hike. Meet in the Seneca Park Zoo parking lot.
  • Sunday, December 24, 9 a.m. Genesee River Walk. Leisurely 4 mile walk. Meet at Genesee Valley Park skating rink parking lot on Elmwood Avenue. Stop for hot beverages during the second half of the hike.
  • Saturday, December 30, 9 a.m. El Camino Trail & Maplewood Park Hike. Easy/moderate 5 mile hike. Meet in the parking of Seneca Park Zoo. Stop for hot beverages after hike.
  • Sunday, January 7, 10 a.m. Durand-Eastman Park West. Moderate/hilly 5 mile hike. Park in the golf course parking lot off King's Highway.
  • Sunday, January 28, 10 a.m. Ellison Park Loop. Moderate 5 mile hike. Meet at the large parking lot on your left as you turn off Blossom Rd toward Hazelwood Lodge. Parking lot is before going over the bridge. 

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. 

Spring 2018 Garden Workshops Series

Rain Gardens 101 Workshops: This free workshop will discuss the importance of rain gardens, and how you can construct a beautiful rain garden in your yard or community garden. Rain gardens improve storm water management and provide habitat for pollinators and birds. This workshop will cover garden design, plant selection, maintenance, and other related topics.

Workshops are open to City of Rochester residents interested in learning how to design, install and maintain a rain garden in their yard. Registration is required. Space is limited to 10 participants/workshop. Call 820-8860 to register.

  • Thursday, April 19. 6-7:30 p.m. Bureau of Recreation Office, 400 Dewey Aven   ue. Registration required by Monday, April 16.
  • Thursday, April 26. 6-7:30 p.m. Bureau of Recreation Office, 400 Dewey Avenue. Registration required by Monday, April 23.

Build Your Own Rain Barrel Workshops 

Create your own 55- gallon rain barrel and take it home — we supply everything but the rain. Rain barrels help reduce storm water runoff to storm drains by collecting and storing rainwater runoff from rooftops. Connect your rain barrel to a gutter downspout on your house, collect rainwater, and conserve tap water by using the rainwater on your gardens and landscaping.
Workshops are open to City of Rochester residents interested in learning how to build, install, and maintain a rain barrel system in their yard or community garden.

  • Space is limited to 10 participants/workshop. Cost: $20 (sliding scale fees are available). Registration required. Call 820-8860 to register.
  • Tuesday, May 15. 6-7:30 p.m. Adams Street R-Center (85 Adams Street). Registration required by Friday, May 11.
  • Tuesday, May 22. 6-7:30 p.m. Ryan R-Center (530 Webster Avenue). Registration required by Friday, May 18.

2018 Flower City Looking Good Summer Series

The annual Flower City Feeling Good series offers many opportunities to get fit and be fascinated around Rochester's neighborhoods and natural areas. Explore nature and the City’s amazing historic parks and neighborhoods by bike, on foot, or in canoes by participating in Tuesday and Thursday Nature Nights, and more! Check out for a full schedule starting in June 2018!

Athletics and Aquatics

Leagues & Lessons

Lifeguarding Prep Class

Aspiring lifeguards ages 15 and over can build their swimming skills in preparation for lifeguarding classes in March. Prep classes run Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning on February 6, through March 1, 2018. 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 in 2018 are held on the following dates:
March 6 - May 3 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. No classes on 4/3 and 4/5 due to school recess.
May 7 -12 on Mon-Fri. 5:30 - 9:30 p.m. and Sat. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Registration Fees: *City Students (Free) * Non-City Students $75; Adults $125

Recertification Classes are held on Tuesdays through Thursdays from 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. either on May 15 - 17 or May 22- 24
Recertification Fees: CPR- ($25) Lifeguard and CPR-($75) Book and Mask are not included in registration fee.

Aqua Zumba Class

Stay fit in the Adams St. pool on Tuesdays from 5:10 - 5:50 p.m., from December 5, 2017 until June 12, 2018.

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.
• Free Swim Lessons (Level 1 - 6)
• Winter Swim Lessons are 12/8/17-1/26/18 on either Friday nights 6 - 8 p.m. or Saturday mornings 10 a.m. - noon
• Spring Swim Lessons begin 2/2/18 and end 3/23/18 on either Friday nights 6 - 8 p.m. or Saturday mornings 10 - noon
Please call 428-7456 for more information.

Winter Swim Pool Facilities

Adams St. Indoor Pool - This amazing 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 is home to the Rochester Rapids Swim Team. For more information, call 428-7456.

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

Athletics Information

R-Centers City-Wide Basketball League

R-Centers invite youth ages 10-12 and 13-15 to participate in a City-Wide Competitive basketball league at local R-Centers. League play begins the week of March 3, 2018. Hit the court and develop and enhance basketball skills with coaches that are certified by the National Alliance for Youth Sports (N.A.Y.S.) Registration is required but, is free of charge.

R-Center Community-Wide Basketball League

Three age divisions are available for both girls & boys: 6-7, 8-9, 10-12 for R-Center Community-Wide Basketball Developmental League on Saturdays. Individual player registration (youth not playing through R-Centers) is on Saturdays 1/6,1/13, and 1/20/18 at the Ryan R-Center from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Player evaluations and draft will be held in February at the Ryan R-Center. Practices begin in February. The season begins Saturday, March 3, 2018. Fee per person is $30.00.

Adult Basketball Leagues Coming Winter 2017-18 thru ROCSPORTS

Coming in Mid-January, Roc Sports will holding adult basketball leagues
• 8 game season, including playoffs
• 5 on 5; with a maximum roster of 10
• Play 2 - 20 minute running halves
• $500 per team
• Potential for weekend tournament(s)
Call585-278-0654 or E-Mail to

Youth Floor Hockey
A City-Wide Indoor Floor Hockey League for youth ages 15 and under with support from the Rochester Amerks. Season begins December 5, 2017. There is no charge for this program. Game Days: Tuesdays at Frederick Douglass R-Center and Wednesdays & Thursdays at Carter Street R-Center. Game Times: 5:30, 6:30, or 7:30 p.m. Call 428-6015 for more information.

Youth Wrestling
Sponsored by the City-Catholic Wrestling Association, R-Center youth get exposed to one of the world’s oldest sports, wrestling, at Ryan R-Center (Mon, Weds. & Fri. 6 - 8 p.m.). Open to youth ages 8 - 14. Program begins on Monday, December 4 and concludes on April 21, 2018.
Call 428-7721 (Ryan R-Center) for more information.

Girls Rock Athletics
Frederick Douglass R-Center
The Frederick Douglass R-Center located at 999 South Ave. (across from Highland Hospital) will be hosting a new and exciting program exclusively for girls between the ages of 8 - 12. The program meets on Fridays from 3 - 5 p.m. The program focuses on fundamentals, development of skills, and of course, lots of fun! Mentors will provide additional learning opportunities with guest speakers and coaches from the local community. The program has three components scheduled for the winter/spring season; Volleyball (1/5-2/16/18), Basketball (3/2-4/27/18) and Softball (5/4-6/18/18). For more information call Rocky Glessing at 428-6015.

Flower City Soccer Futsol Program
Stay Tuned for exciting opportunities for our Soccer program at various R-Centers. There will be a soccer clinic on Saturday November 18th at the Ryan R-center. The season will begin the first week of December. For soccer contact Nicole Hercules, our Program Coordinator at 305-1136 or Don Corey at 428-7592 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