2222 St Paul St, Rochester, NY 14621
Today’s wild adventure included roaring lions, howling wolves, and slithering snakes... Can you guess where we went? Seneca Park Zoo!
Some people don’t think of the zoo as a fun winter adventure, but it is!! As long as you dress in suitable cold weather attire, it is the perfect place to visit. During our entire one and a half hour visit we saw all of 10 people.
Masks are being enforced, as well as social distancing.
At the entrance we were given free hot drink (hot cocoa, coffee, or tea) coupons for the Eagle Landing Cafe!! There are multiple indoor areas open, the polar bear/sea lion viewing room, and the reptile/otter viewing room. These are great check points to get inside and warm up during your visit. Most of the animals seemed to be out and interactive, although some stayed hidden inside their habitats.
Remember to visit the gift shop (members get 10% off) and the Tropics Adventure Zone during your zoo visit!
Note- You must reserve tickets online. Everyone over 2 must wear a mask.
We opted for a change in scenery and made the drive to visit the Festival of Lights at Castel Grisch Winery!
The light display was really beautiful but the best part was the life size dinosaurs at the end. A lot of the displays move and the dinosaurs make realistic noises. My kids loved it and we're not afraid!
The cost is $20 per vehicle (up to 6 people) and tickets must be purchased in advanced at https://castelgrisch.com/festival-of-lights. The winery is in Watkins Glen which is about 1.5 hours from Rochester. The display is happening now until January 31.
So, is it worth the drive? I would say it depends! We reserved the 6:30 time slot along with dozens upon dozens of other visitors so it took about 20 minutes of stop and go traffic just to reach the lights. The light display loop itself was fairly small and took another 20 minutes to drive through. With that said, the 5:30 time slot didn't have any line so it went by much faster. It sounds like the earlier you go the less likely there will be a long wait; At least on a Friday night!
Because of the drive, we decided we would make a fun road trip out of it and get food along the way. Unbenounced to us, many of the restaurants in that area are closed so it took some searching. We ended up getting some pizza for the road which worked out well for the long wait once we arrived to the winery!
To the adults, the trip kind of felt like a flop because our dinner plans fell through and we were a bit taken back by the long wait. However, the kids (ages 2 and 5) were completely overjoyed, unaware of the change of plans, and very much in awe of the dinosaurs and lights. So if you ask them, they would say it was totally worth the drive and the wait
We were lucky enough to watch the cows get some special pumpkins left over from Halloween and they really enjoyed them! As a side note- if you have whole pumpkins that are not carved you can donate them to the animals after Halloween. Both the cows and pigs love them they are a favorite snack!
We then went on to see the ducks at the pond and there was many there! We even saw a few that looked like George Washington! Be on the lookout for them, they are adorable! After this we went inside the shelter. You are not allowed to see the small animals at this time in the front, but you could walk the hallways and see the dogs and cats. We also went around out the back door where the large cow statue is and saw that they moved the potbelly pigs up to the front so you can visit them easier.