As the third largest city in New York, Rochester has a multitude of free activities for teenagers to participate in. The backdrop of the city is the shore of Lake Ontario, which offers parks that hold many free events, some seasonal, some year round. There are also area schools and centers that offer free-of-charge events for teenagers with many varying interests.
Free Spots to Enjoy Music
Every summer Rochester holds the July Big Ribs BBQ & Bluesfest. The four-day festival offers free lunchtime admission before 3 p.m. and has musical entertainment daily. Party in the Park is a 10-week free concert series which kicks off every July. Held at the Riverside Festival Site, the event takes place on Thursdays from 5 to 10 p.m. The Eastman School of Music offers over 700 concerts a year, most of them free of charge. Students, guest artists and faculty perform classical, jazz, opera, world music, etc. This has been a Rochester staple since 1921.
See Art Free of Charge
The Rochester Arts Center offers 36,000 square feet of contemporary art. Local artists are featured as well as rotating exhibits from other organizations. Admittance is free to students because the center wants to give them an appreciation for the arts. For those wishing to pursue art education, the center has a scholarship program for art classes and programs.
Movies at No Charge
Every Tuesday in July and August free movies are offered at the Ontario Beach Park. From new movies to classics (past movies have included "Jaws," "Sherlock Holmes" and "Madagascar") a different movie is shown each week. Teens should bring their own blanket or lawn chair. Movies begin as soon as it gets dark.
Free Outdoor Activities
Ontario Beach Park is chock full of free activities to keep teens occupied. Play volleyball, walk along the pier or picnic along the shores of Lake Ontario. The 39-acre park also includes basketball courts and a softball field. Mendon Ponds Park is a free-admission 2,500-acre park that comes alive in the winter months. Sledding is offered on two designated hills, and there are areas for skiing and snowshoeing as well.