Meet an Old Fashioned Santa

And see a Gigantic Dollhouse and Two New Toy Displays

Enjoy a magical time at the many family holiday events at Strong National Museum of Play during the month of December. Tell your wishes to the Jolly Good Fellow during Holiday Cheer weekends (December 13 & 14 and 20 & 21) and feast your eyes on a giant dollhouse, a new Lionel® Train display, and a rare early version of the game Monopoly®.

Holiday Cheer: Saturdays, December 13 & 20, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays, December 14 & 21, from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. Meet the Jolly Good Fellow, Strong’s old-fashioned Santa, and tell him your holiday wishes. Take part in an interactive performance of The Mitten—an old Ukrainian tale of a boy who loses his white mitten in the snow. Join the many woodland creatures that crawl into the missing mitten and be part of the hilarious climax! Performances take place on Saturdays at 11:30 a.m., and 1:00 and 2:30 p.m.; and on Sundays at 1:00 and 2:30 p.m.

Miller Manor Farm: Marvel at a giant 19th-century-style dollhouse—one of the biggest dollhouses in the museum’s collection (7 feet long and 4 feet high) with 24 rooms, 5 stories, and 12 miniature fireplaces—on view November 24 through January 1. The handmade dollhouse is festively decorated for the holidays and ablaze with scores of real electric lights and tiny holiday decorations.

Lionel® Train Display: All aboard! See the latest permanent exhibit installed in the museum’s National Toy Hall of Fame®—a Lionel Train display elaborately landscaped with Monopoly street names, marble waterfalls, jigsaw-puzzle trees, a Tinker Toy trestle, and scores of other National Toy Hall of Fame toys used in whimsical, colorful ways to create the most playful train layout you’ve ever seen. Three sets of Lionel trains chug through toy-filled overpasses, valleys, and tunnels with sound effects and lights every 15 minutes!

Rare Version of Monopoly: A rare early version of Monopoly (one of only two such sets known to exist) hand colored on oilcloth rollup board by Charles Darrow, will be on display from November 6 through January 1. Monopoly, the most popular board game in history, began life as The Landlord’s Game in 1904. Elizabeth Magie originally devised the game to point out the social pitfalls of unequal wealth among people and circulated it informally. The game gained popularity when Pennsylvanian Charles Darrow produced the first commercial version in 1934. He made 5,000 copies at his own expense and sold them through a Philadelphia department store. Parker Brothers bought the rights in 1935 and sales soared. Since then, Monopoly has appeared in 40 countries and 25 foreign languages.

Note: The museum closes at 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 24 (Christmas Eve) and is closed on Christmas Day (December 25). All Holiday Cheer activities and displays are included with general museum admission fees.


Strong National Museum of Play®, located in downtown Rochester, New York, is the only museum in the world devoted solely to the study of play as it illuminates American culture.

Museum Hours:

Monday–Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.;

Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Sunday, 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m.

Admission Fees:

General Admission (does not include admission to Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden®):

Adults $9.50; Seniors $8.50; Children (2–17) $7.50; Children younger than two free; Strong members free.

Admission to Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden®:

General Admission fee plus $3.00 per person for nonmembers and $1.50 per person for members; Children younger than two free. Due to limited capacity, entry to Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden® is by timed ticket only. Advance purchase is recommended. Please call 585-263-2700 to reserve and purchase timed tickets.

Parking: Free parking is available at the museum for all guests on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that, on high visitation days, the museum lot may reach capacity early in the day. If space is not available on site at the time of your visit, you will be directed to additional parking at neighboring municipal garages (fees may apply).   Contact: Susan Trien, 585-410-6359