Tours for 2019: Genesee Country Village, Baseball Hall of Fame, Niagara Falls and More

by Janet Dickelman

Below is a brief overview of the 2019 tours. Look for additional details and postings on the convention email list. Please keep in mind that this schedule could change prior to convention registration.


Friday, July 5th

Genesee Country Village

At this 1850s village you’ll take a narrated trolley tour to learn about all the buildings on the property. Visit the costume museum where you can touch and try on various items. Enjoy tastings of chocolate and beer from the 1800s. Visit the bakery and the general store.

City Bus Tour

Explore Rochester on this no-stopping narrated tour of the Flower City. Tour repeats on Saturday.

Colonial Belle

On this narrated three-hour Erie Canal boat cruise, you’ll explore the Erie Canal, including a trip through the famous locks. Enjoy a plated dinner as we sail along.


Saturday, July 6th

Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame

Touch the plaques of each player selected for the Hall of Fame. Enjoy a hands-on tour of uniforms, bats, gloves, balls and other gear used throughout the years. Listen to recordings of famous moments in baseball history. Enjoy a movie showing many of the baseball greats and their reactions to the game. There will be time for souvenir shopping in Cooperstown’s huge gift shop and a stop for dinner. The bus ride will be long, so relax and enjoy baseball audio and video clips, games and snacks.


Sunday, July 7th

The Jell-O Gallery Museum

Discover the intriguing history of Jell-O, America’s most famous dessert.

Invented in LeRoy, N.Y. in 1897, Jell-O has a unique history. Learn fun facts such as who eats the most Jell-O and what’s the most popular flavor. Lots of items to touch, and a great gift shop with numerous Jell-O branded items. We will also visit the Museum of Transportation.

Then we’ll tour the Historic LeRoy House, built in 1822 by Jacob LeRoy and later owned by the Chancellor of Ingham University, which was the first female university in the United States to grant a four-year degree. This historic house has been preserved by the LeRoy historical society and is full of antiques. We will also stop for dinner on the way back to Rochester.


Monday, July 8th

Corning Glass

Visit the unique galleries and learn the history of Corning Glass and its products. You’ll make an etched glass to bring home. The gift shop has many glass items, including jewelry and dishes. We will then visit Cugini’s Italian Market & Café, where you will make your own mozzarella cheese and enjoy an Italian dinner.

Strong Museum of Play

Too many toys to count! You’ll feel like a kid again. The curator of the museum will bring out items normally kept in display cases for you to touch. We’ll also ride the carousel and visit the butterfly house. Lunch included.

Laughing Gull Chocolates

Got a sweet tooth? You’ll love this hands-on chocolate tour; you’ll get to make your own truffles to eat or take home. Laughing Gull sells candy and other locally produced items such as jams, pasta sauces and dried pastas. If you get tired of chocolate, there will be a platter of local cheeses to sample. You will have time for shopping. Repeats Wednesday.


Tuesday, July 9th

Tasting Tour

Whether you enjoy a glass of wine, a cold beer, or other alcoholic spirits, this afternoon will be tons of fun. We’ll visit two wineries, a brewery and a distillery and try a wide variety of beverages!

Susan B. Anthony

The National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House was the home of the legendary American civil rights leader, and the site of her famous arrest for voting in 1872. This home was the headquarters of the National American Woman Suffrage Association when she was its president. This is also where she died in 1906 at age 86, following her “Failure is Impossible” speech in Baltimore.

Memorial Art Gallery

The MAG specializes in offering touch tours of its sculptures, and verbal descriptions of many of their paintings. They also have a theater organ. We’ll be treated to a short concert.


Wednesday, July 10th

George Eastman House

The historic mansion and gardens at the George Eastman Museum provide a glimpse into the life of one of the greatest American innovators and entertainers in the first decades of the 20th century. Original furnishings and artifacts, careful reproductions, and beautifully restored landscape transport visitors to the 1900s. The Colonial Revival mansion, built between 1902 and 1905, served as George Eastman’s primary residence until his death in 1932.

New York School for the Blind

Visit the New York School for the Blind in Batavia. We’ll observe a summer school class, and visit a residence hall, the gymnasium and the computer lab. Lunch will be served in the student dining room.


Friday, July 12th

Niagara Falls

This is an awe-inspiring once-in-a-lifetime tour! Warning: you will get wet! We will ride the iconic Maid of the Mist tour boat and visit the Cave of the Winds, where you can feel hurricane force winds from the top of the falls and go below and reach down to feel the power of the water. Ponchos and special shoes will be provided. Lunch and dinner included. There will be time for souvenir shopping.

Staying in Touch

The convention announce list will be filled with information! To subscribe to the list, send a blank e-mail to If you received updates for the 2018 convention, you don’t need to subscribe again.

Hotel Details

Room rates at the Hyatt and the Riverside are $89 per night (single or double occupancy, with an additional $10 per person for up to four people per room). This room rate does not include tax, which is currently 14%. To reserve a room at the Riverside, call (585) 546-6400; for the Hyatt, call 1-800-233-1234. Be sure to mention that you are with the American Council of the Blind. Book by June 7, 2019 to guarantee the convention rate. To make reservations online, visit and follow the 2019 convention link. 


Convention Contacts

2019 exhibit information: Michael Smitherman, (601) 331-7740,

2019 advertising and sponsorships: Margarine Beaman, (512) 921-1625,

For any other convention-related questions, contact Janet Dickelman at (651) 428-5059 or via email,