Ithaca in autumn
Photo credit: Rachael Atkins-Walpole

Spend Time Without Spending a Dime

Ithaca, New York, has many activities worthy of a family vacation. You can hike to several waterfalls, visit an excellent science museum and eat at a vegetarian mecca, Moosewood Restaurant.

There are also enough free attractions in Ithaca to keep the family busy.

Cornell Johnson Museum of Art
Cornell University’s art museum has over 30,000 works, including photograpshs, decorative arts paintings and sculptures. The building was designed by I.M. Pei and also includes a Japanese garden.

Corning Museum of Glass  


Ithaca Farmer’s Market
Photo credit: Farmer’s Market

Free admission doesn’t stop for kids here when they reach age 10, 12 or even 15.  Teens 19 years and under get free admission to this museum, which offers live glass blowing demonstrations daily, along with an interactive exhibit and galleries devoted to glass art.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Ithaca is literally for the birds. This center, devoted to birds, has interactive exhibits, guided walks, an observatory and a bird sanctuary.

Cornell Plantations

The 35 acre botanical garden has 14 specialty gardens. There is also a huge arboretum and nature preserve, and galleries devoted to landscape paintings. Closed on weekends.

The Ithaca Farmer’s Market

Ithaca glass

Demo at Corning Museum of Glass
Photo credit: Corning Museum of Glass

The cooperative, with over 160 vendors, has been operating for over 40 years. All vendors live locally. There are farmers, bakers, and artisans at the year round market, and you can pick up food to take on a hike. The market has a ‘zero waste’ program so bring reusable bags.


Summer Music

When the weather heats up, Ithaca’s live music scene gets even hotter. There are free concerts in summer l almost every night of the week.