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5 Things to Do For Parents' Weekend

Parents’ Weekend marks the midpoint of the semester. It’s a chance to wind down for a weekend and spend some much needed time with the family. And what better place to wind down than Ithaca? Here’s everything you need for an amazing Parents’ Weekend in the Heart of the Finger Lakes. Come for your kid, and stay an extra day for you!

Taughannock Falls Ithaca New York


1. Experience What Makes Ithaca “Gorges”

With over 150 waterfalls and gorges, a trip to Ithaca simply isn’t complete without experiencing a few. Why not take a trip to Taughannock Falls – the tallest waterfall east of the Mississippi (that’s right - taller than Niagara Falls!)? Or you could enjoy a hike through Buttermilk Creek, where the over 500ft tall Buttermilk Falls greets you at the entrance. Robert H. Tremen State Park has a dozen waterfalls six trails through spectacular rocky gorges and wooded sections – perfect for a fall hike. These are just a few of the waterfalls in Ithaca and Tompkins County.

Ithaca Commons

2. Stroll the Ithaca Commons

Visit the award-winning Downtown Ithaca Commons. A four-block pedestrian shopping area known for its decidedly Ithaca “vibe” with over 100 unique local shops, restaurants, street vendors & street entertainers; and, the best part, it’s adjacent to Cornell University & Ithaca College!

Grab dinner at Coltivare, our farm-to-bistro experiential restaurant, or the legendary Moosewood Restaurant, famous for their vegetarian menu and bestselling cookbooks). And you can’t miss Madeline’s after-dinner desserts and cocktails – a staple for Ithacans and visitors alike.

Americana Vineyards

3. Savor the Finger Lakes Best Wines

Named America’s Best Wine Region to Visit by Thrillist, the Finger Lakes boasts reds, whites and roses sommeliers only dream about. While known for our reislings, the Finger Lakes is becoming a destination for all spirits, with distilleries and breweries popping up next to wineries becoming a near-daily occurrence.

Soak up the beautiful fall lake views as you make your way up Route 89 along the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail, America’s first organized and longest running wine trail in the country. If you’re looking to stay closer to campus, stop by Six Mile Creek Vineyard or Ports of New York, both in the heart of Ithaca. Should you feel adventurous, visitors flock to Americana Vineyards for their selection of award-winning wine, Bacchus Brewing taproom, and Crystal Lake Café.

Ithaca New York Farmers Market

4. Go to the Farmers Market

The Ithaca Farmers Market is consistently ranked in Top 10s throughout America – and for good reason. Boasting a gorgeous location at the Steamboat Landing on the Cayuga Inlet, seasonal produce, and local vendors ranging from jewelry to clothing, the Ithaca Farmers Market is an experience all its own. Afterwards, take a stroll along the Cayuga Waterfront Trail to either Cass Park or Stewart Park for more gorgeous lake views while enjoying your bounty.

Ithaca Kitchen Theatre Precious Nonsense

5. See a Show at the Kitchen Theatre

During Parents Weekend, Kitchen Theatre will be running the modern major musical Precious Nonsense. Packed with mistaken identities, romantic entanglements and gender-bending role-playing, this fun for the whole family musical is one that shouldn’t be missed!

These are just a few of the happenings in Ithaca during Parents Weekend. For more information on these and other events, check out the rest of our site, or call us at the Visitors Center at 607-272-1313.

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