As a kid, Winter break is one of the most looked-forward-to times during the school year. What kid doesn't like having off of school? Parents often start to hear one of the most feared phrases from their children, "I'm bored." Being that the weather doesn't always allow for outside activities to burn off energy, it falls on the parents to find new and exciting ways to entertain their young ones. What better way than to explore Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes history to present day at one of the many museums that are located in the area. One of the best parts is that the museums mix education with fun, a win-win situation for parents.
Travel back into the past and visit Heritage Village of the Southern Finger Lakes, located in Corning, where history is brought to life with exhibits of life in the 1800's. Visit Benjamin Patterson's Inn to see what an inn and living quarters looked like back in the old days. Kids can get a sense of what school was like for kids from Kindergarten to eighth grade in the one room school house. Visit the working Blacksmith's shop and then pick up a souvenir made on site at the museum's gift shop. Open Monday-Saturday from 10am – 4pm adults are $6, Students 17 and under are $2, and there is a special family rate of $14 for two adults and two kids.
The Corning Museum of Glass offers a great mix of fun and creativity with learning. Experience a hot-glass show, or a glass breaking demonstration. View galleries and collections that feature glass that is over 3,500 years old. The innovation center will get kids thinking and experimenting. Don't forget to stop by The Studio at The Corning Museum of Glass where you can blow your own glass souvenir. Open daily 9am-5pm admission for adults is $18 for adults, $13.50 for students, military members, AAA members, and seniors (55+), and as always kids and teens 17 and under are free!
Stop over to The Rockwell Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, to view some of the greatest works of art in the area. While they have permanent exhibits they also host temporary ones, so there is always something new to see. This family friendly museuem is great at helping kids to get engaged to understand more of what the museum is all about. With the art hunt, kids are challenged to explore the museum's art and match small pictures to the larger works of art. Complete the whole thing and you get a prize, and what kid doesn't love prizes! The Family Exploration Studio is fun for the whole family with puzzles, stories, drawing activities, and more. Open from 9am-5pm adults are $10, students, military members, and seniors (55+) are $9, locals are only $5, and kids and teens 17 and under are free!
Planes, trains, and automobiles oh my! Looking to learn more about our area while seeing some really cool and informative displays about transportation and more? Then we've got you covered. Stop by the Finger Lakes Boating Museum located in Hammondsport where you can see boats, both old and new, from rowboats to sailboats peruse through their vast collection that they have been accumulating for almost 20 years. They are always working on something new so check in with their restoration shop where you can see the hard work and skill of their many volunteers up close. There are interactive rooms for kids to play and learn in so it's a fun place for the whole family. They are open daily from 10am-4pm this winter. Adults are $6 and members and youths are free!
If you haven't gotten your fill of fun yet you're in luck because just a short drive away in Hammondsport is the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum. The museum is home to an impressive collection of motorcycles, planes, cars, and more! There is something for everyone at the Glenn Curtiss Museum. Learn more about what the remarkable Glenn Curtiss achieved in his life, and how those achievements changed the way our lives are today. View their Dollhouse and Miniatures exhibit on display from now until February. Open daily from 10am-4 pm. Adults are $10.00 Students, (7-18) are $7.00, and kids 6 and under are free. Bring the whole family and get a special family rate of just $30.00.
The Hornell Erie Depot Museum celebrates the importance of the railroad history in Hornell. Established in 2005, the museum's goal has been to preserve the history and mementos of the Hornell railroad industry, and to educate the public on the history that is the backbone of Hornell. While viewing their collection chat with one of the knowledgeable volunteers, some of whom have their own railroad past or are connected in some way to the history, that spend their free time educating visitors. The museum is open from Wednesday-Friday from 6pm-8pm, and Saturdays 12:30pm-3pm. The museum is free to all visitors.
There is so much to do and see in Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes, so gather up the whole family and go explore!