Discovery Trail

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Discovery Trail

The Discovery Trail is a collaboration of eight brainy, fascinating family-friendly  attractions within Tompkins County - or an easy drive from Downtown Ithaca. The Discovery Trail offers innovative, inspiring, and influential activities and entertainment, both indoors and outside. For more information, view the online brochure or scroll down to choose your next Discovery Destination!

Don't just take our word for it... Discover for Yourself!

Ithaca Sciencenter

The Sciencenter inspires excitement for science through interactive exhibits and programs that engage, educate and empower. This hands-on museum offers guests of all ages more than 250 exhibits, educational programs, a gift shop, outdoor science park and a seasonal miniature golf course. Look, touch, listen & discover at the Sciencenter! Visit website and their Facebook page for more information and a calendar of family-friendly events and activities!

September -June:
Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm
Sunday 12-5pm
Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm
Sun 12-5pm

•  (607) 272-0600 • 601 First St., Ithaca, NY 14850

Monarch Butterfly at the Cayuga Nature Center

Experience Cayuga Nature Center - an outdoor and indoor playground where families can discover the animals and plant life of the Finger Lakes region. Explore 120 acres of fields, ponds and gorges, meet 40 live animals, then climb high into the forest canopy in a six-story tree house. The Nature Center cultivates an awareness, appreciation, and responsibility for the natural world through outdoor and environmental education.

Summer Hours (Memorial Day through Labor Day)
Daily: 9am-5pm
Winter Hours (Labor Day through Memorial Day)
Monday: Closed
Tuesday-Sunday: 10am-4pm

• (607) 273-6260  1420 Taughnnock Blvd, Ithaca, NY 14850 

T-Rex at the Museum of the Earth

Explore 4 billion years of life on Earth at Ithaca's Museum of the Earth, home to interactive exhibits and one of America's largest fossil collections. M.O.E.'s 8,000-square-foot permanent exhibition takes visitors on a journey through history, from the Earth's origin to the present day with hands-on, visual exhibitions. The Museum of the Earth encourages critical thinking about life on Earth in the past and today.

Summer Hours (Memorial Day through Labor Day)
Monday-Saturday: 10am-5pm
Sunday: 11am-5pm
Winter Hours (Labor Day through Memorial Day)
Monday: 10am-5pm
Tuesday-Wednesday: Closed
Thursday-Saturday: 10am-5pm
Sunday: 11am-5pm

(607) 273-6623  1259 Trumansburg Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850 

History Center in Tompkins County

The History Center in Tompkins County is a treasure trove of regional Ithaca history with traveling exhibits, a research library and a vast photo collection with more than 100,000 images. Begin your exploration of local history and learn about how Ithaca grew from early Native American settlements, through the establishment of Cornell University and Ithaca College, to the building of the Downtown Commons, and more. Did you know that Ithaca was a silent film center from 1914 to 1920? Free admission.

Hours: Open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 11am - 5pm, and by appointment

• (607) 273-8284  401 E State St, Ithaca, NY 14850 


Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the 220-acre Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary, includes four miles of easy walking trails and is a bird-watchers dream. Enjoy the Lab's bird-feeding garden, observatory, gallery of bird art, and don't miss the Bartels Family Theater to see high-definition movies about birds and nature. Use the sound studio and interactive kiosks to learn about the bird songs and calls. Free admission. Be sure to visit the Facebook page for photographs and calendar of events!

Monday–Thursday: 8am–5pm
Friday: 8am–4pm
Saturday: 9:30am–4pm
Sunday: 11am–4pm

• (800) 843-2473  159 Sapsucker Woods Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850 

Cornell Plantations

The Cornell Plantations is home to more than 4,300 acres of landscaped gardens and natural beauty. Visit 14 specialty gardens, a 150-acre arboretum, and a vast collection of protected natural areas that hold some of Ithaca's most beautiful gorges and waterfalls. The Brain C. Nevin Welcome Center provides amenities that enhance your experience while visiting the Cornell Plantations. Designed to achieve Gold LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) certification the Center is a significant step forward in the Plantations' and Cornell's commitment to sustainability. Free admission.

Hours: Open every day sunrise to sunset

• (607) 255-2400  1 Plantations Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850 

Tompkins County Public Library

Experience the joy of reading, the power of information and the strength of community connections at the Tompkins County Public Library. Exciting public programs, the latest digital resources, museum-quality art exhibits, internet stations, WiFi access, tools for developing early literacy skills and much more are free and accessible to community members of every age and every stage! Weekly readings, lectures, arts presentations. Free admission.

Monday-Thursday: 10am-8:15pm
Friday-Saturday: 10am-5pm
Sundays: Sept 29 - Nov. 24, 2013 from 1pm - 5pm

• (607) 272-4557  101 E. Green St., Ithaca, NY 14850 

Herbert F. Johnson Art Museum

The Johnson Museum of Art, located on the Cornell University Campus, boasts a permanent collection of more than 35,000 pieces and is regarded among the nation's best university galleries. The museum is especially well known for its Asian art and prints. Notable names in the galleries include Rembrandt, Matisse, Manet, Alberto Giacommetti, James McNeill Whistler and Alfred Stieglitz, among others, all housed in an iconic I.M. Pei-designed building. Free admission.

Mondays: Closed
Tuesday-Sunday: 10 AM-5 PM

• (607) 255-6464  114 Central Avenue, Ithaca, NY 14853 


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