Hi! We’re Ashley & Patrick Bohn and we are advocates for universal accessibility throughout all community assets. Below are some places throughout Tompkins County which work well for our family, and a few reasons why. Patrick uses a wheelchair and we have two young children, so we often also travel with a stroller. While the places highlighted below are some of our favorites to visit and that work well for our family, there are many others that may also work well for yours. We recommend using the resources at Visit Ithaca to help plan your trip, or call an establishment directly to inquire about specifics, as they are happy to help.
Ithaca Beer because there is ample accessible parking and the restrooms are accessible. Patrick and I LOVE their root beer and really enjoy eating outside with our daughter, Cora, in the warmer weather.
Silver Queen Farm
Silver Queen Farm blueberry picking worked for our family because the berry patches were relatively close to get to. Here, we were able to get close enough to pick berries and Patrick could participate in the fun without having to wheel too far over bumpy terrain.
Stewart Park has an awesome new inclusive playground and wide walking paths. This has been a lifeline for our family. Patrick can independently take Cora to the park now and mingle and meet other parents. Here, because of the universal design, he can participate in her play instead of being on the sidelines while she is far away. We also love taking Cora on walks on the paved Cayuga Waterfront Trail along the water.
Cinemapolis has been a longtime favorite for Patrick as he LOVES independent movies. There is a parking garage just outside of the theatre that has accessible parking, so it's very convenient. The entrance is level and easy to use, and the staff are incredibly welcoming. Patrick and I LOVE their homemade cookies and *real* popcorn with *real* butter. There is accessible seating in the theatre but for us, sometimes we like to sit up higher and because the theaters are an older style and the seating is close, Patrick can hold on to the seats to navigate his way to any seat in the room. The restrooms here can accommodate a wheelchair as well.
Ithaca Children’s Garden
Ithaca Children’s Garden is a great place to check out if you’re looking for more outdoor accessible family fun. It has ample and easy parking right by the main entrance. The main pathway throughout the Garden, the boardwalk area, rice paddy pond, wetlands, and back of the turtle sculpture Gaia are all accessible by wheelchair. Additionally, the Garden has a wheelchair-accessible porta potty and water fountain (on from May to November). The Garden is full of nature-rich sensory experiences, including a sound garden and plants to touch, sniff, and taste, and a sensory Garden map is shareable upon request.
Written by Ashley and Patrick Bohn. Both work at Ithaca College, and Patrick is a writer and blogger @ParentingOnWheels.
Accessibility means something different for everyone. Because of that, please feel free to contact our Visitor Experience Team at any of our three visitor center locations or via the live chat on the Visit Ithaca website so we can work with you to help you plan the most enjoyable visit possible for you and your family.