Winter Recreation Programs 2018-19

 18 DRYS Winter Guide page header

Rochester is a Winter Wonderland

18 DRYS Winter guide COVER for web

Download 2018-19 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 35th 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.


2018-19 Winter Adventures 

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 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 5, through February 26, 2019. 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 2019 are held on the following dates:
March 5 - May 2 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. No classes on 4/3 and 4/5 due to school recess.
May 6 -11 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 14 - 23 
Recertification Fees: CPR- ($25) Lifeguard and CPR-($75) 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 455-8833 or e-mail for more information.

Swim Lessons
Become a skilled swimmer and seize the opportunity to enjoy the water. Sessions are  Jan. 4 through  April 20 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 1/4/19 - 2/15/19 on either Friday nights 6 - 8 p.m. or 1/5/19 - 2/16/19 Saturday mornings 10 a.m. - noon 
  • Spring Swim Lessons begin 3/1/19 and end 4/12/19 on either Friday nights 6 - 8 p.m. or Saturday mornings 10 - noon 3/2/19 - 4/13/19
    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 428-6908.

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 4, 2019. 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 1/5, 1/12, 1/19,  and 1/26/19 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 2, 2019. Fee per person is $30.00.                                          

Adult Basketball Leagues Coming Winter 2018-19 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. 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.  Open to youth ages 8 - 14.  Program begins on Monday, December  and concludes in April  2019.Call 428-7721 (Ryan R-Center) or Leo Rhodes 733-9693 for more information.

Girls ROC Athletics

The Frederick Douglass R-Center located at 999 South Ave. (across from Highland Hospital) and Flint St. R-Center  located at 271  Flint St., will be host a new and exciting program exclusively for girls between the ages of 8 - 14. The program meets on Mondays from 5:30 - 7 p.m. at Frederick Douglass R-Center and Wednesdays from 4 - 5 p.m. at Flint St. R-Center. 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. For more information call  428-6015.

Rochester 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 January. For soccer contact Nicole Hercules, our Program Coordinator at 305-1136 or Don Corey at 428-7592 for more information

Ice Skating


Genesee Valley Ice Arena
The GVP Sports Complex, located at 131 Elmwood Avenue, hosts a newly renovated ice arena perfect for all ages. The arena is available for open skating as well as sports programs including a youth hockey club, adult ice hockey leagues, and speed skating. Book your next skating party, too! The arena remains open until April 8, 2019. Adults interested in leagues should call 428-7888. 

2018-19 Ice Arena Schedule:

Open Skate 
Monday - Friday, 12:00 - 1:15 p.m.
Saturday, 5:00 - 6:15 p.m. (Except 10/28 and 11/4)
Sunday, 1:00 - 2:15 p.m. and 2:30 - 3:45 p.m.

 Adult Skate (Ages 18+) 
Monday - Friday, 10:30 - 11:45 a.m. (except during school recesses)
Sunday, 9:45 - 11 a.m.

Skate and Shoot (16 and Up) 
Monday – Friday, 1:30 - 3 p.m. $5.00 (Helmets required)
During recess weeks 10 and Up

Youth Hockey Program

Saturdays, 10:15 - 11:45 a.m. Ages 6 - 12 (Free to City Residents)


Indoor Skating Fees

Adults- $5
Youth (17 & under)- $2
College Students w/ID - $3
Families- $14
Season Pass for GVP- $125 


GVP Special Events:


Sled Hockey Clinics on Saturdays

December 15, 12 - 1:30 p.m.

January 12, 3 – 4:30 p.m.

February 16, 12 - 1:30 p.m.

March 16, 12 - 1:30 p.m.

 Special Olympics

February 24, 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. Players of all ages and ability are invited and encouraged to come out to this free Family-friendly event.  Learn the amazing art of sled hockey.

 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Ice Skating Rink

This ice skating rink, located at 353 Court Street, nestled in the heart of downtown is the perfect place for a family outing. Skaters will enjoy a warming shelter with heated floor and fireplace. The rink is also available for rent. The skating season runs through March 17, 2019 (weather permitting).

2018-19 Rink Schedule:

Open Skate 

Monday - Friday: 12 - 1:30 p.m., 3:40 - 5:10 p.m., 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. & 7:20 - 8:50 p.m. (On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays  rink rentals may preclude open skate in this time slot.)

Saturday: Noon - 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 )

  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. 6 to Feb. 10, 2018. Students will enjoy a 20-minute group lesson and additional 40-minute practice time to hone their skills. Lessons are open to youth ages 4-15. Call 428-7541 to register.

Outdoor Skating Fees

Adults- $5
Youth (17 & under) - $2
College Students w/ID - $3
Families- $14
Season Pass for MLK- $60
Ice Bike Rental - $10 per session

Stay fit riding on our ice bikes during the winter!

 MLK Special Events

 Liberty Pole Lighting Open Skate

Dec 1,  4 - 8 p.m. Free admission; $3.00 for skate rental

  New Year’s Eve Skate

Dec 31, 5:00-7:00 p.m. Free family Skate (Skate Rental $3.00) 7:30-9:30 p.m.  16 & Up Free Skate

(Skate Rental $3.00)

 MLK Skate to Commemorate

Jan 21, 12:00 - 1:30, 1:50 - 3:20, 3:40 - 5:10 p.m. (Free Admission with 2 new non-perishable items)

  Free Family Skate

Feb 2, 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Skate with the Superstars

 Sweetheart Skate

Feb 14, 6 - 8 p.m. ($4.00 per couple if dressed in Red)

  Free Family Skate (Summer Theme)  

Mar 2, 7:20 - 8:50 p.m. for Family Skate and 9:10-10:40 p.m. for Adult Skate

  St. Patrick’s Day Skate

Mar 16, 1:50 - 5:10 p.m. (Free Admission if dressed in Green)


 Fitness Centers
 Achieve your fitness goals at R-Centers near you. These R-Centers now have blood pressure pulse machines so you can keep an eye on your heart health rate and AEDs (Automatic External Defibrillators) for your safety. Workout facilities and class are located at the following R-Centers:

Adams St. R-Center (85 Adams St.) 428-7266
 Fitness Center: Mon-Fri. 6 - 9 p.m. 

Ave. D R-Center (200 Ave. D) 428-7934
Fitness Center: Mon-Fri. 3 - 9 p.m. and Saturdays 10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 
Exercise Program:  Saturdays 10:15 - 11:15 a.m.

Flint St. R-Center (271 Flint St.) 428-7001
Fitness Center: Mon-Fri 3 - 9 p.m. and Saturdays 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Frederick Douglass R-Center – Formerly South Ave. (999 South Ave.) 428-6015

 Fitness Center:  Mon-Fri. 2:30 - 9 p.m. and Saturday 11:00a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
 Ladies Fitness Class:  Saturdays 12 - 2 p.m.

David F. Gantt R-Center (700 North St.) 428-7149
Fitness Class:  Mon-Friday 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Saturdays 11-4:30 p.m. 

 Zumba Class:  Tuedays  6 - 7  p.m.



Rochester Public Market

  FRESH SINCE 1905, AND 52 WEEKS A YEAR. Rochester's historic and iconic city-run Public Market has served the community at its 280 N. Union Street site since 1905. Bargains and local goodness abound Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays 52 weeks a year. (Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturdays 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Over 300 vendors on the busiest Saturdays-offer local products and produce from around the country and world; meats and seafood; eggs and dairy products; ethnic delicacies; prepared foods; specialty items; general merchandise; and so much more. In addition, an array of independent local businesses-cafes, food stands, coffee shops, florists, specialty food purveyors, breweries, and more-can be found on Market grounds and in the surrounding Market District. On regular Market days, community organizations offer helpful information, nutrition education, free samples, and more!


In July 2017, the Market completed an $8.5 million renovation and expansion project, adding a new outdoor covered vendor shed and replacing the indoor/enclosed shed with a state-of -the -art, beautiful new structure. In addition, the four stand-alone food stands on the Market were replaced with new structures made from custom-fabricated, repurposed steel shipping containers.  Come down and rediscover your Public Market! 

SO MUCH MORE THAN FOOD SHOPPING. In addition to over 150 regular shopping days a year, the Market offers an additional 50 days with family-friendly, free-admission special events including Community Garage Sales, Flower City Days, Food Truck Rodeos, Bands on the Bricks, Flicks on the Bricks, Gospel Jubilee, Halloween at the Market, Holidays at the Market, and more! 

HAVE SNAP BENEFITS? USING THEM AT THE MARKET…IS A SNAP! The City of Rochester Public Market also operates the most successful farmer’s market SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or “food stamp” program) in the country.  On all regular Market days (Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays), SNAP recipients can visit the Market Token Center behind the Market Office and get Market Tokens that are usable like cash with dozens and dozens of Market vendors.  (Not sure if you qualify for SNAP?  Call 585-295-5624 or 295-5626.