Rochester may be known for its snowy winters but summer is when the “Flower City” really blossoms. With its beautiful beaches, historic parks, popular R-Centers and a prodigious line-up of summer events, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The City of Rochester’s summer recreation line-up offers many opportunities to get out and take advantage of the warmer months. From scenic trails to historic sites, the City’s many parks are sure to delight outdoors enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Many feature sports fields, playgrounds, picnic areas, and rental lodges making them the perfect place to play sports or host a family event. City pools, water parks and beaches provide a fun, safe way to learn to swim, join a swim team or just beat the heat. The City’s many R-Centers are jam-packed with programs and activities that inspire people of all ages to stay fit, be creative, learn something new and make friends along the way. R-Center offerings include magnet day programs for youth that focus on the arts, science, technology, sports, nature and the environment. R-Center ArtSmart and Youth Sports fee based summer camps are fun and affordable options for city families. Visitors can also take advantage of R-Center fitness facilities offered at several locations.
Rochester Recreation Summer Programs and Facilities
The City’s ArtSmart and Youth Sports Summer Camps give kids the chance to explore their interests, try new things, and meet new friends. Camp staff specialize in making sure every child feels welcomed, included and challenged to be the best they can be. Breakfast and lunch are included.
Camps are open Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., July 6 – August 21, for youth ages 6 – 13 at the super affordable rate of $85 per week for city residents and $130 per week for those living outside the city. Additional siblings can join in the fun at a $20 discount.
Interested in both ArtSmart and Youth Sports Camp? Sign up for a different camp each week!
Genesee Valley Park Youth Sports Camp at the Genesee Valley Field House
In Youth Sports Camp, located in the historic Genesee Valley Park, kids try a different sport each week—no previous experience necessary. Teamwork, sportsmanship and positive behavior on and off the field are emphasized building the foundation for a successful future. Kids also enjoy fun field trips, including the chance to meet professional athletes.
ArtSmart Summer Camp at the Lake Riley Lodge in Cobbs Hill Park
ArtSmart kids set their imaginations free, exploring painting, dance, music, theatre and more in beautiful Cobb’s Hill Park, conveniently located just off the I-490 Culver Road exit. ArtSmart Camp also includes group games and outdoor activities in a spacious, inspiring, outdoor play area. Field trips to exciting and educational Rochester attractions add to the fun. At the end of camp, families are invited to celebrate with a final creative showcase.
Download an application
Download an information packet
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R-Centers offer opportunities for youth to expand their horizons and explore their passions at magnet sites which feature structured activities in focused interest areas. Each of these sites offers a learning based activity model which includes enrichment activities led by professional staff and consultants, fun group activities, sports, arts & crafts, daily reading times, field trips, play time, and a final showcase event for families. Breakfast and lunch are included. Register at any R-Center to take advantage these exciting summer programs. These progarms are free and run Monday – Friday, 8:30a.m.- 4 p.m.
Kids who play sports do better in school, develop personal discipline, and learn how to get along with others. At Sports Center, kids explore a new sport each week. They learn basic skills through age-appropriate clinics, try fitness exercises, practice as a team, play group games and compete in tournaments. The program culminates with the R-Center “Olympics” at the end of the summer.
Available at these R-Centers: Avenue D & Campbell Street
Creative Arts Workshop
Creativity is using the imagination to see the world or solve a problem in a new way—a valuable skill for academics and life. In this arts-infused program, kids can unleash their imaginations. Local artists and trained staff lead daily activities exploring dance, theater, creative writing, music, arts and crafts and more.
Available at this R-Center: Edgerton
The STEM Explosion
Exploring STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects with hands-on activities, helps kids connect learning to their own lives and the world around them. This program will ignite and expand your child’s interest in science and technology.
Available at this R-Center: Carter Street
Earth Explorer Expeditions
In this program, kids will discover the great urban outdoors. They’ll explore local parks and natural areas and learn about nature, urban gardening, nutrition, healthy cooking, reusing and recycling and more.
Available at this R-Center: Humboldt
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REC on the Move
We’re taking it to the streets! The City of Rochester’s Recreation on the Move van is rolling into your neighborhood! It’s R-Centers on wheels! On board you’ll find: Healthy Snacks • Homework Help • Outdoor Games & Sports • Health & Nutrition Info • Activities & Crafts • Daily Giveaways • Free Books • And More. For a complete schedule, visit www.cityofrochester.gov/reconthemove or call 428-6755.
Earth Explorers & Horticulture Programs
A unique program that immerses youth into the remarkable natural environment. Activities range from outdoor adventures such as nature hikes, field trips, and geocaching, to gardening and cooking with the food we’ve grown. Kids and families are also invited to take advantage of our additional horticultural workshops, projects, and events. Call 428-8820 or visit www.cityofrochester.gov/earthexplorers.
Helping Youth T.H.R.I.V.E
Youth between the ages of 11 and 14, have a unique opportunity to gain important life skills while making positive connections with peers, caring adults from neighborhood youth-serving agencies, and their community. For more information, call 428-6816 or www.cityofrochester.gov/thrive.
Youth Voice, One Vision
Youth Voice, One Vision gives Rochester youth a voice in 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 places to live and work. YVOV members learn leadership skills, develop goals and strategies, conduct meetings, elect officers, meet with community leaders, participate as “youth experts” on local panels, and plan conferences and special events. Youth Voice, One Vision, youth governance groups help to plan activities at R-Centers across the city. Youth, adults, groups and other community organizations are all welcome. For more information, visit www.cityofrochester.gov/YVOV or call 428-7371.
The Girls Coalition brings together “positive girls doing positive things” through the support of caring female advisors and girls-only programming. Adults from City Recreation, Nazareth College and the community act as mentors and role models for the participants. For more information call 428-7371, contact your local R-Center, or visit www.cityofrochester.gov/girlscoalition.
A program that 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 428-6481for more information.
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Each summer, the City of Rochester in partnership with the Rochester City School District provide free breakfast and lunch to city youth 18 years and under through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Summer Food Service Program. Meals are at many city sites, Monday through Friday, except July 3. Sites include community agencies, schools, churches and R-Centers. To view a list of participating R-Centers visit www.cityofrochester.gov/summermeals
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From structured swim lessons for youth and adults to spray parks for families to cool off, there is something for everyone at every skill level.
Cool Sweep helps city residents find relief from the summer heat by extending pool hours, opening fire hydrants and offering air conditioned “cooling centers” at select libraries and R-Centers. For more information visit www.cityofrochester.gov/coolsweep.
Summer Swim Sites
This year, indoor and outdoor pools will be open at: Avenue D R-Center, Adams Street R-Center, Flint Street R-Center, Genesee Valley Sports Complex, Clinton-Baden Community Center, East High School, Northeast & Northwest College Preparatory High Schools at Frederick Douglass, Thomas Jefferson High School, and Wilson Foundation Academy at Madison High School.
Supervised swimming is also available at the beautiful Durand Eastman Beach.
Many R-Centers feature family friendly water spray parks including Carter Street, Edgerton, David F. Gantt, Humboldt and Thomas P. Ryan R-Centers.
The City also offers spray features especially for the little ones, age 6 and under, at the following locations: 4th and Peck Street Park, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park, and at the Troup Street Playground. For more information visit www.cityofrochester.gov/sprayparks
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Adult Leagues and Lessons (Ages 18+)
The City hosts two adult baseball leagues organized by NABA Wood Bat League. The season begins in late May and runs through early August. For a complete game schedule, or to join, visit www.rochesterbaseball.com. For more information, contact Nick D’Ambrosio at: 208-8954 or ndambrosio56@gmail.
Playing a team sport with your friends and neighbors is a fun way to get healthy! Games are played at 5, 6, 7 or 8 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, July 6 – August 17 at the Thomas P. Ryan R-Center. Register at Thomas P. Ryan R-Center, beginning Monday, June 29. For more information, call George Warren at 428-7721.
Nothing says summer like a game of softball! Men’s, women’s and co-ed leagues are available. The season begins in early June and runs through August. Games are played at Cobb’s Hill Park. Cost is $725 per team. For more information or to register, call Andy Yazwinski at 737-2635, or the Bureau of Recreation at 428-6755
Swim Lessons for Adults
Learn to love the water this summer! Affordable swimming lessons for adults are offered at the Adams Street R-Center. Cost is $20 per six-lesson session. For complete information, call 428-7456 or visit www.cityofrochester.gov/adamsstreet.
The City’s Adult Tennis Program, in partnership with the Swing Tennis Academy, offers professional instruction for all levels of play. Morning and evening classes are available during four sessions: June 1-28; June 29 - July 26; July 27- August 23; or September. 8 - October 4. Cost is $96 for eight - 90 minute lessons. Pre-registration and pre-payment is required. For complete information or to download a registration form, visit www.cityofrochester.gov/tennislessons
Youth Leagues and Lessons
Kids ages 13 and under are invited to have fun shooting hoops while developing a sense of sportsmanship, increasing self-esteem and learning self-discipline. Games are played Mondays and Wednesdays, 4 – 7 p.m., July 6 - August 17 at the Edgerton R-Center. Register at the Edgerton R-Center beginning Monday, June 29. For more information, call Kevin Holman at 428-7521.
Youth Flower City Soccer League
Flower City Soccer is a co-ed program that offers high quality soccer instruction for city kids. Players learn the rules of the game, practice their skills, and engage in team play in a fun environment that focuses on fairness and character development. Teams are divided into five age groups: 3-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13 and 14-17. The season runs June 6 through July 24, on Thursdays and/or Fridays, 6 - 8:30 p.m. The League practices at the Thomas P. Ryan R-Center and School #17. Registration is May 18-June 6 at a cost of $15 per session for city residents. For more information, call 424-0828.
City R-Centers sponsor two softball leagues for kids ages 8-15 focusing on skill development, team-play, competition and fun. Try-outs are not necessary and all are welcome. At the end of the season, teams from all the sites vie for the coveted City Championship. League members are also invited to play in the family-friendly Rochester Invitational Softball Tournament on August 4 and 5. To register, call or visit your local R-Center. The season runs from July 6 – Aug. 12, Monday-Thursday, 2 - 6 p.m. For more information call 428-6755.
Flower City Track Club
Find out what track and field has to offer with the Flower City Track Club. Coaches and athletes include sprinters, hurdlers, middle distance runners, jumpers, and throwers. Members range from novice to national and Olympic-class competitors. Youth ages 7-18, participate in workouts tailored to their individual needs and become members of the United States Association of Track and Field. The Club meets and practices at Aquinas Institute, 1127 Dewey Ave. Register on-line at flowercitytrackclub.com/register. For more information, contact Leroy Dixon at email@example.com.
Wrestling requires strength, stamina, speed, technique, strategy and intensity! Wrestling helps kids learn the relationship between effort and achievement. R-Centers, in partnership with the City-Catholic Wrestling Association offer city youth ages 8-14 a chance to try this unique sport. The team meets Mondays and Wednesdays, 6-8 p.m., July 6 – August 12, at the Thomas P. Ryan R-Center. For more information, or to register, contact George Warren at 428-7721 or warreng@CityofRochester.gov.
Summer Swim Academy
The Summer Swim Academy offers free swim lessons for kids ages 6-18, at six different skill levels--from beginner to advanced. Half-hour daytime lesson times vary between 9:30 a.m.-noon, based on skill levels and enrollment. Evening sessions run from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Lessons are conducted at several indoor and outdoor pools around the city. For more information or to register, visit www.cityofrochester.gov/swimlessons. For adult lessons, call 428-7456.
Rochester Rapids Swim Team
The popular Rochester Rapids is a competitive swim team for youth ages 6-18. The team practices 3 to 6 days a week at the Genesee Valley Sports Complex Pool, 131 Elmwood Avenue. Swimmers are divided into practice groups by age and ability so each gets the level of instruction they’ll need to progress. The cost is $380 per year for city residents; $514 for nonresidents. Scholarships are available for city residents. New swimmers can practice with the team for a two-week trial period before committing to joining the Rapids. Register on-line at www.rochesterrapids.com. For more information, call 428-7456 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Youth Tennis Lessons
Learning tennis is like learning to ride a bike; once you learn to play, you never forget. The City of Rochester hosts the Maplewood YMCA’s Love 15 Summer Tennis Camp, where youth ages 8-16 learn tennis fundamentals. Morning and evening sessions run Monday through Friday, July 6 – August 14. For more information, call Sam Chhoeun at 277-1654 or visit rochesterymca.org/locations/maplewood.
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Rochester Recreation offers a variety of special events to promote our parks and trails, offering free family fun and increasing awareness of our environment while highlighting Rochester’s history and heritage.
Flower City Kids Picnic and Planting Day. Friday, June 5,10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Ontario Beach Park, 4800 Lake Avenue
Each year, thousands of Rochester City School District students visit to Ontario Beach Park to plant flowers that they’ve grown in their classrooms. Kids enjoy a day of gardening, free lunch donated by Wegmans, and free rides on the historic Dentzel Carousel. This event is co-sponsored by the Frontier Pioneers.
Maplewood Rose Celebration. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 12-15
Maplewood Rose Garden, corner of Lake Ave. and Driving Park Ave.
Bring your family and friends for a photo opportunity with over 5,000 roses. Held during the peak of the blooming season, the event focuses on the beauty of more than 300 rose varieties within the historic Maplewood Rose Garden. The 25th Anniversary Celebration Kick-off begins on the Driving Park Bridge, Friday, June 12 from 7-10 p.m. Find the full schedule of events at www.cityofrochester.gov/maplewoodrosefest.
Summer Kick-off Celebration. Saturday, June 27, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
David F. Gantt R-Center, 700 North Street.
Step into summer with the R-Center’s Summer Kickoff Celebration. The event begins with a peace march from the Thomas P. Ryan R-Center, 530 Webster Avenue along Bay Street to the David F. Gantt R-Center, 700 North Street. From noon to 3 p.m., the David F. Gantt Center, enjoy a community cookout picnic lunch, musical entertainment, 3-on-3 basketball tournament, a bounce house and more. Local youth organizations will also be on site with information and giveaways.
Beach Bash. Tuesday, June 30, 6-9 p.m.
Roger Robach Community Center, 180 Beach Avenue.
Get into summer at the annual Beach Bash hosted by the City of Rochester, Youth Voice, One Vision Youth Council, and the Campbell and Edgerton R-Centers. City teens ages 13-18 are invited to enjoy music provided by a DJ, dancing, dinner, performances, free rapid HIV testing and career resources on-site. Admission is $5 at the door, $3 for youth in registered youth groups that attend with an adult advisor. Youth must present school ID.
Rochester Kids Triathlon. Saturday, July 18, 8:15 a.m.; Race check-in begins at 7:30 a.m.
Genesee Valley Park This triathlon is designed just for kids ages 6-17. It’s Rochester’s only youth-friendly, youth-only, youth-distance triathlon. If you can swim, ride a bike, and run or walk, come out and give it a try. Pre-registration is required before 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, July 16. There will be NO registration on race day. To register, call 360-3748, email kidstri_info@RochesterTriathletes.com, or go to www.rochestertriathletes.com/kidstri.
Cost: city residents, $5; non-residents, $15. Cost for Teen Super Sprint: city residents, $7; nonresidents, $20
Buffalo Bills Training Camp. Monday, July 21, 2:10 p.m., Wednesday, August 6 at 2:10 p.m., or Tuesday, August 12 at 8:10 a.m. Come see how the pros do it! Join one of three City R-Center trips to the Buffalo Bills Training Camp. As part of this field trip, kids ages 6-14 can meet and interact with the Bills players and try skills challenges in the Bills Experience. It’s pure fun! Transportation and lunch provided. Call your local R-Center to register.
Rochester Red Wings Camp Day. Thursday, July 23 at 11 a.m. R-Center kids ages 6-14 are invited on our annual Rochester Red Wings Camp Day field trip. Come on out and cheer our hometown team! Transportation and lunch provided. Call your local R-Center to register.
Rochester Invitational Softball Tournament. August 4 and 5, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cobb’s Hill Park, Culver Rd. at Norris Dr.
Kids who participate in the city-wide R-Center softball league are invited to play in this family-friendly season ending tournament. Families are invited to cheer on the teams. Visit your local R-Center to learn how your child can enjoy summer softball fun. The Rochester Invitational Softball Tournament is free for kids who are members of the city-wide R-Center softball league.
End of Summer Bash. Friday, August 14, 12-4 p.m.
Edgerton R-Center, 41 Backus Street.
Kids and families--don’t let summer slip away without one last celebration! Join the fun at the City’s End of Summer Bash. Check out performances, displays and interactive activities showing-off the amazing accomplishments of kids and teens in City summer programs. Enjoy a cookout style lunch and musical entertainment. Win prizes, play games, try a new craft, bounce in an inflatable and much more!
For more information, contact your neighborhood R-Center.
Twilight Criterium. Saturday, August 15
Back in Rochester for the first time since 2008! A Criterium, often described as “NASCAR on 2 wheels”, is a bike race designed for city-center streets and staged in spectator-friendly course loops that provide incredible lap-after-lap excitement. Watch the fast-paced action for free and be amazed by the athletes’ extraordinary bike-handling skills and explosive speed. For more information, visit www.rochestercrit.com.
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