Can’t-Miss Winter Activities in Rochester

The following blog post was written by Braden Dwyer, 2016 MS in Finance Candidate

I would like to preface this post by letting you in on a little secret…I’m actually from Orlando, FL, and this winter is the first REAL winter that I have ever experienced. That is, in part, why I chose to write this piece; while all of the born-and-raised northerners get annoyed and distraught by the first sign of snow, I look at it with the same childish view that I had the first time I saw snow some 15 years ago.

For simplicity, I broke this piece down into two categories: “Outdoor Activities” and “Keep-You-Warm Activities.”

Outdoor Activities:
I’ve learned that sometimes you can’t escape the cold, so you might as well embrace it. Rochester has plenty of activities to help you do just that. For starters, you could go downtown to the Blue Cross Arena and catch a hockey game. The Rochester Americans are an AHL (not NHL, but that just means the beer is cheaper) team that plays from October to late April, and tickets are relatively inexpensive.

Students hang out on a lift at Hunt Hollow during the annual ski trip on Feb. 20, 2016. (Photo provided by Mikalya Hart, 2016 MBA Candidate.)

Students hang out on a lift at Hunt Hollow during the annual ski trip on Feb. 20, 2016. (Photo by Mikalya Hart, 2016 MBA Candidate.)

If you’re looking to get outside and play in the snow, you won’t have to go far. The City of Rochester’s Recreation Bureau schedules park hikes on weekends from 10:00-11:30 a.m. to tour different parks. But if you’re a more advanced hiker and are looking for something more challenging, the Recreation Bureau rents out snowshoes so you can go search out your own trails.

Now if you were wondering if I was saving the best for last, well then you’re in luck! Each year Simon holds an annual ski trip hosted by the Simon Outdoor Adventure Club. It’s a day-long event on a Saturday near the end of February and it’s a can’t-miss event for sure. You can choose to ski or snowboard, and if it’s your first time don’t worry, because lessons are available.

Keep-You-Warm Activities:
The key to staying warm in a Rochester winter is staying inside. Now you could go the easy route, buy a Netflix subscription, some hot cocoa, a blanket and hunker down on your couch, but that’s too obvious and a few of you reading this have probably already marked something like that down in your calendar. Instead, I suggest you make the quick drive to a few of these local places to enjoy the winter from a warmer (indoor) perspective.

One thing in particular that I have really come to enjoy about Rochester is its overwhelming supply of microbreweries. Rochester is home to roughly 15 microbreweries and counting.  Many of the breweries offer tours and tastings, which come in handy after a long week of studying.  But if beer isn’t your thing, don’t worry, because there are plenty of distilleries and wineries in the surrounding Finger Lakes area, so it won’t be hard to find your perfect getaway.

Rochester also has more than its fair share of music and concert venues. If you fancy the finer things, you could catch a show at the Eastman Theatre, which is home to the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Eastman Opera. Eastman hosts over 700 shows per year, meaning you should be able to find at least one that works for your schedule.  On the other hand, if you prefer to listen to some live music from bands on tour, the Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial hosts all kinds of popular artists.  Dates are set pretty far in advance, so check ahead to see what’s coming while you’re in town.

I hope I’ve provided enough reasons to get out and enjoy the Rochester winter!

If you have questions about life in Rochester or any other part of the Simon student experience, feel free to contact me!

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