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Genesee Valley Great Outdoors Week

Wednesday, July 24 - Sunday, July 28

A week jam-packed with outdoor family fun!

Join us for a celebration and exploration of all things in, about, and for the outdoors and our Genesee Valley region! This week is jam-packed with hands on family fun, explorations in nature, and new avenues to experience the great outdoors. Explore, connect, learn, taste, and try all things outdoors. Nature is for everyone! 
Don’t miss the highlight of Great Outdoors Week – the New York State Lumberjack Association’s Demos & Competition on Saturday, July 27, and Sunday, July 28! 
Event partners: 
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Palmer Food Services Logo

New York State Lumberjack Association's Competition

Demos on Saturday July 27, Competition on Sunday, July 28

Join us Saturday to watch professional lumberjacks and lumberjills demonstrating fascinating forestry feats on the Great Meadow – even try out some of their moves! 

Then, don’t miss the highlight of Great Outdoors Week – a Lumberjack Competition on the Great Meadow! See professional lumberjacks and lumberjills throwing axes, rolling logs, and showcasing historical forestry practices. Try Axe Throwing on Saturday, July 27! 

Don’t miss the jack and jill crosscut and single buck sawing competitions! Real lumberjack professionals, real competitions, real stakes! 

Program sponsor:


Explore the great outdoors – right outside of your doorstep! Join us for these exciting activities that showcase just how easy it is to get outdoors and explore: 

  • Orienteering 101 (Interactive programs on our Nature Trails) with Rochester Orienteering Club! 
  • Take a guided trek to our private Oatka Creek property with a naturalist (Wednesday); walk our trails with Roc Mycology to find mushrooms (Saturday), or walk and learn with Rochester’s urban tree ambassadors at GCV&M (Sunday.
  • Dip into our Nature Center pond to see what critters you find! 
  • Join a naturalist for a trek on the Maple History Trail 
  • Every day at 12:30 p.m.: Take a garden tour in the Historic Village with Interpretation Staff
  • Every day at 2 p.m.: Meet the brewer at Grieves Brewery, take a tour of the Hop Yard, and see inside the Hop House (rare opportunity!)
  • Thursday and Saturday at 11 a.m.: Meet at Village Square Stage for a farmer-led tour of our crop fields


Nature is for everyone – and it is a grounding concept that brings us together in so many ways. Connect with nature, your fellow humans, and our animal friends when you join us for Great Outdoors Week! Don’t miss: 

  • Join our staff for a Nature and Wellness talk on the Village Square Stage, July 24 at 1pm
  • Explore Indigenous connections to the natural world through Indigenous Storytelling with guest Perry Ground (Onondaga, Turtle Clan), July 27 & 28 
  • Get in touch with nature that is all around us at a Nature Illustration Workshop with local illustrator Julian Plum, July 27 & 28 
  • Try out Guided Musical Meditation with guest performer Alyssa Rodriguez, July 27 & 28


Learn something new when you join us for Great Outdoors Week! Here’s a sampling of some of the educational opportunities you’ll find throughout the week: 

  • Meet our on-site partners to learn about different aspects of the region, our environment, and ecology: Seneca Park ZooMobile, Trillium Health, Sierra Club, 
    Impact Earth, DEC: Hunter, Division of Hunter Education,  and Climate Solutions Accelerator 
  • Attend a talk on the Mount Hope Cemetery Daffodil Project with Bill Whitney (1 p.m. in the John L. Wehle Gallery on July 28) 


Nature is for everyone! It is an undeniable truth that there are members of our community who haven’t always been or felt welcome or included in outdoor spaces. Explore with us during Great Outdoors Week: 

  • “Black Outdoors: Where Race, Nature, & History Meet (A Conversation with Jacqueline L. Scott)” on Saturday, July 27, at 1 p.m. 
  • Learn about Indigenous maple sugaring with Leon Briggs (Tonawanda Seneca, Hawk Clan) on Sunday, July 28 


Exploring the great outdoors is FUN! Enjoy these activities, experiences, and opportunities to get hands-on with all things natural: 

  • Attend our Pollinator Party on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in the Nature Center! Tour our outdoor apiary and pollinator gardens, play Bee Bingo, shop honey and bee products from local vendors, try a hands-on craft, take a walk along the honey-themed story trail, sit in on a “Pollinator Plants 101” talk, and so much more.
  • Shop local vendors on-site for the festivities including: Beech Contracting, Blue Groove Coffee, Elaina’s Heavenly Goods, Julian Plum Illustration, Lowly Mountain Banjos, and Tim the Blacksmith
  • Jam with Alyssa Rodriguez (on the fiddle) and Fred Brown (on the banjo) during an Open Jam Session (10:30 – 11:30 a.m. July 27 & 28)
  • Create a GCV&M BBQ sauce with Eli Tate of L.I.T. Sauces! Watch it get bottled and hear about the Museum and 19th-century-specific ingredients it takes to make this secret sauce


Try your hand at something new during Great Outdoors Week! Here’s a sampling of our crafting, creating, and hands-on opportunities to try something new: 

  • Try making your own cordage into a bracelet or bookmark (10:30 a.m. – 2: 30 p.m. on July 24) 
  • Try a sample of locally made Laughing Gull chocolate and learn how chocolatiers source their goods from smart farms around the globe (11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on July 27 & 28) 
  • Feeling inspired by the Lumberjacks and Lumberjills? Try your hand at axe throwing (11 a.m. – 3 p.m. on July 27) 
  • Visit the Seneca Park ZooMobile and try rolling your own seedball (11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on July 28)


Come hungry when you join us for Great Outdoors Week! 

  • Lumberjack Burger (Palmers’ Ridiculous Steakburger grilled to perfection! Served on a brioche bun, topped with spicy pub cheese, caramelized onions, bacon, arugula, tomato,
    & Fat Ox BBQ sauce 
  • Lumberjill Chicken Sandwich (Marinated and grilled chicken breast topped with spicy capicola, breaded fresh mozzarella slice, peach chutney, arugula, tomato & a drizzle of balsamic reduction, served on a brioche bun)
  • Lumberjane Veggielicious Sandwich (Grilled portabella mushroom, zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper and red onion, stacked high on a brioche bun with fontina cheese, arugula, tomato and basil aioli)
  • Visit the Depot Restaurant and Freight House Pub to enjoy a selection of special offerings, including Venison & Wild Mushroom Hand Pies, Salmon Leak & Potato Hand Pies, and Brie & Wild Berry Hand Pies 
  • Shop historical treats, sweets, and baked goods in the D.B. Munger & Co. Confectionery (open Saturday and Sunday) 

Ticket Information

Museum Members: FREE 

Adults: $23 

Seniors: $20 

Students (13 – 18): $20 

Youth (3 – 12): $17

Children 3 and under: FREE

Purchase tickets online in advance to save $2! 

® I LOVE NEW YORK is a registered trademark and service mark of the New York State Department of Economic Development; used with permission.



Is there ample parking?

Parking is free and plentiful! Park in any of the main lots at the front of the Museum. Please leave the first two bays available for handicapped parking. 

How do I show my purchased tickets?

Please have your ticket(s) either printed out OR pulled up on your phone screen and ready for scanning for quick and easy check-in. Pro-tip: take a screenshot of each of your tickets to have ready and pulled up on your phone screen! Please note: Wifi can sometimes be spotty at the front of the Museum. 

Is this event rain or shine?

Yes! This event is rain or shine. The Museum will only cancel in case of a severe weather emergency.

Are there places where I can sit down?

There are lots of park benches and picnic tables around the Museum Grounds. Feel free to bring a chair or blanket to sit on to watch the goings-on around the Great Meadow.  

How should I dress? Anything I should bring?

Please dress accordingly for the predicted weather conditions.

We recommend wearing a good pair of walking shoes – there is a lot to see and do, and surfaces in the Historic Village (brick paths, cobblestone, grass), can be uneven. Our forests are great habitat for a variety of critters, and you may want to bring along bug spray.

Are service animals welcome?

Yes! Leashed service animals are welcome with proper identification. 

What if I need a refund for my ticket?

We’re sorry to hear that you’re not able to attend! Tickets may be refunded only up to 7 days prior to the event date and are strictly non-transferable by date, entry time, or program. 

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