Calling all families! Get ready for an extraordinary playtime experience at The Strong National Museum of Play’s new expansion. Dive into a world filled with innovative play zones, immersive exhibits, and larger-than-life adventures. Here’s what awaits you and your little ones, guaranteeing magical memories and endless fun!
The Strong National Museum of Play Expansion
The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York, opened its new expansion on June 30, 2023, and I was happily there for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The expansion has been in the works for several years and adds more than 100,000 square feet of exhibit space to the museum.
The new space features two major exhibits: ESL Digital Worlds and Hasbro Game Park. ESL Digital Worlds is a 24,000-square-foot exhibit that explores the history and impact of electronic games. Visitors can learn about the earliest arcade games, the rise of home consoles, and the latest trends in mobile gaming.
The Strong National Museum of Play Expansion – ESL Digital Worlds
The Strong National Museum of Play is the world’s largest and most comprehensive museum dedicated to the history and impact of play. This year, the museum opened a new expansion called ESL Digital Worlds, which features two interactive exhibits that explore the history, culture, and technology of electronic games.
The first exhibit, ESL Digital Worlds: High Score, takes visitors on a journey through the history of video games, from the early days of Pong to the latest AAA releases. The exhibit features a variety of interactive elements, including playable games, historical artifacts, and interactive timelines. Visitors can learn about the pioneers of the video game industry, the impact of games on popular culture, and the latest trends in gaming technology.
The second exhibit, ESL Digital Worlds: Level Up, allows visitors to become the main character in a life-sized video game. Visitors create their own personalized avatar and then embark on a series of challenging and puzzle-solving quests. The exhibit features five distinct zones based on the actions of games: Choose, Move, Create, Compete, and Solve. Visitors can test their skills in a variety of physical and mental challenges, such as tower defense, stealth, and creative building.
Additionally, I love the fact that I received a scannable band that offers a customizable experience. Throughout the area, make sure you look for blocks to collect.
ESL Digital Worlds is a must-visit for any video game fan. The exhibits are engaging and informative, and they offer something for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re a casual gamer or a hardcore enthusiast, you’re sure to have a blast at ESL Digital Worlds.
Here are some additional details about the two exhibits:
- ESL Digital Worlds: High Score
- Features a 90-foot digital timeline of electronic game history
- Highlights iconic games and trailblazers who changed how we play
- Includes a playable Women in Games tour
- Offers visitors the chance to test their skills in a variety of classic and modern games
- ESL Digital Worlds: Level Up
- Allows visitors to create their own personalized avatar
- Features five distinct zones based on the actions of games
- Offers visitors the chance to test their skills in a variety of physical and mental challenges
The Strong National Museum of Play Expansion – Hasbro Game Park
Hasbro Game Park is a 17,000-square-foot outdoor exhibit that features a variety of classic and modern board games. Visitors can play games like Chutes and Ladders, Monopoly, and Jenga and try out new games from Hasbro. Okay, and while I love to be inside during the summer (hello, air conditioning!), I found myself drawn to this outdoor area because it’s so interactive. There are shaded areas to check out, including giant Monopoly houses and a full-sized silver car playing piece, but the big draw is the five-headed dragon. It spurts smoke and blazes fire randomly, and it’s a massive addition to the park area.
If you’ve ever been to Walt Disney World and love the fact that you feel shrunken down in Toy Story Land, I got that same vibe in the Hasbro Game Park.
The Strong National Museum of Play Expansion – What Else?
The expansion also includes a new welcome atrium, a gift shop, and a new connection building that links the museum to the existing parking garage.
The Strong is the world’s largest museum of play, and the expansion is a major milestone for the institution. The new space will allow The Strong to showcase its extensive collection of toys, games, and other play-related artifacts in a new and innovative way. It will also allow the museum to attract more visitors from around the world.
The expansion is made possible by the generous support of individual donors, corporations, foundations, and government agencies. The Strong is grateful for the support of its partners and looks forward to welcoming visitors to the new space in June 2023.
Here are some additional details about The Strong National Museum of Play Expansion :
- The total cost of the expansion is $72 million.
- The expansion was designed by the architectural firm SmithGroup.
- Construction on the expansion began in 2020.
- The expansion is located on the former site of the Midtown Plaza shopping mall.
- The expansion is expected to create more than 100 new jobs.
- The Strong projects that annual attendance will increase from 600,000 to nearly 1 million visitors by 2026.
The Strong National Museum of Play is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the history and impact of play. The new expansion will add even more to the museum’s already impressive collection and exhibits. If you’re planning a trip to Rochester, be sure to add The Strong to your itinerary.