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Rochester, NY landed on Forbes Magazine’s list of best cities to raise a family at number three in 2010. The city offers ample family-friendly events with this list of 100 attractions. It’s not just about the lil’ ones, here are some British goings-on for mum and dad:

1. The Old Toad

(The Old Toad)
A great place to rub elbows. (The Old Toad)

The Old Toad, located at 277 Alexander St, is popular with the college crowd, but no worries about feeling squeezed out, because in true British fashion, the restaurant is welcoming to all. This British pub, established in 1990, provides an authentic “local” feel with its friendly staff, traditional food, and even the bar was imported from Great Britain. But, if you’re looking to catch the English Premier League or other sporting event you’ll be left empty-handed, as there’s no telly. It’s all about eating and having a catch up. You can check out the menu here.

2. Scottish Dancing

Real men wear dancing slippers. (Munro)

The Rochester Scottish Country Dance group embraces the Scottish heritage through traditional line dancing. The group meets on Tuesdays from 8-10pm (Sept-June) at South Presbyterian Church, located at 4 East Henrietta Rd. If you’re interested in learning more about the group, or signing up for classes, you can go here.

3. Afternoon Tea

Apparently the dress code is smart. (Facebook)

La-Tea-Da!, located at 258 Alexander Street, is a traditional tea room and parlour. The restaurant offers authentic tea, scones, brunches, lunches and even hats and stoles for proper dress up. There are special times set aside for afternoon tea: Monday-Saturday from noon – 5pm; and Sunday from noon – 4pm. You can check out the party options here.

4. Shakespeare Players

Shakespeare's Twelth Night was performed at the Highland Park Bowl in 2013. (STA)
Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night was performed at the Highland Park Bowl in 2013. (STA)

The Shakespeare Players of Rochester was formed in 1994 as part of the Rochester Community Players. You can check out the current and forthcoming schedule here. In addition to performances, the Rochester Shakespeare Literary Society, also a part of the Community Players, meets on the second Sunday of each month from noon to 1:30 PM at Barnes & Noble Booksellers (2nd floor meeting room), Pittsford Plaza, 3349 Monroe Avenue. It’s a discussion group for members to prepare for upcoming productions.  

5. Scotland Yard Pub

(Scotland Yard)
Notice Sherlock Holmes at the end of the pub sign. (Scotland Yard)

Scotland Yard Pub, located at 187 St. Paul Street, is a traditional English style pub with specialty dishes like the Sherlock Holmes burger and traditional comfort food like fish and chips. The restaurant offers specialty pizzas and American dishes too. You can check out the entire menu here.

6. U.K. Car Day

(Triumph Experience)
A car hood would be called a “bonnet” in the U.K. (Triumph Experience)

The Greater Rochester Triumph Touring Club and The Webster Lions Club presents U.K. Car Day annually. British car enthusiasts can expect to see Jaguars, MGs, Austin Healeys, and more. You can check out the show results from the latest event here. If you’d like to check out the cars themselves, here’s a photo gallery from prior shows.

7. Rochester Rhinos

(Rochester Rhinos)
Get out there and watch soccer played on the field. (Rochester Rhinos)

Rochester is home to the Rochester Rhinos professional soccer team. The Rhinos, established in 1996, play in the USL professional team. Forward Onua Thomas Obasi hails from Birmingham, England. You can check out the full roster here. If you’re interested in checking out a game, here’s the team’s schedule.

8. British Plays Collection

(University of Rochester)
It’s quite an extensive collection in one place. (University of Rochester)

In 1987 The University of Rochester’s Rare Books and Special Collections Department acquired a collection of British plays written between 1900 and 1980 by playwrights from the United Kingdom including Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard, Edward Bond, and J.B. Priestley. In addition to the well-known playwrights, the collection focuses on emerging or amateur playwrights throughout the century. A list of the items in this collection is now accessible to the public. You can inquire about the list of playwrights and available items by going here.

9. British Groceries

No need to book a flight. (Flickr)

Wegmans supermarket chain, headquartered in Gates, NY, near Rochester, boasts a large selection of British eats and treats. Even Buzzfeed puts its stamp of approval on it with the headline: 25 Reasons Wegmans is the Greatest Supermarket the World Will Ever Know with #8 specifically geared toward the foreign snack aisle.

10. Scottish Heritage Society
Rochester hosts an annual Tartan Day. (Rocscots)

The Scottish Heritage Society, founded in 1994, is made up of Scots and non-Scots, welcoming anyone who is interested in learning more about Scotland and its heritage. The group’s objectives are to: 1) Perpetuate Scottish traditions and culture; 2)Promote the establishment and growth of clan societies and Scottish organizations; 3) Encourage and support Scottish activities. You can take a peek at the calendar of events here.

What’s first on your list? 

See More:
10 British Things About U.S. Cities 
10 British Things About Jacksonville, FL
10 British Things About Your U.S. City

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By Brigid Brown