Skip to main content
Photo of Maple Syrup. By Allison Usavage.
It's Maple Syrup Season Folks
No matter how snowy Ithaca gets, one hardy winter crop is ready for harvesting: maple syrup. Cornell maple experts and local producers offer maple tree tapping lessons and tours through the sugar bushes and sugar shacks. Come taste the sweet syrup of winter.

Your Unique Winter Getaway

Ithaca can be whatever you want it to be, a relaxing oasis in the snow-blanketed hills, or a colorful and adventurous city to explore. From wood fires and cabins, to live music and spectacular culinary experiences, Ithaca has the vibe you’re looking for. Winter time is perfect for witnessing frozen waterfalls, cross-country skiing, learning how to tap a maple tree, or waking up in a cozy cottage all your own. With more restaurants per capita than NYC, numerous wineries/cideries/breweries, artisan cheese makers, local butcher shops, and an underlying foodie culture, Ithaca is ideal for those who want a new taste of life.

Photo of Winter Recess Wine Tasting Event
Winter Recess | Wine Tasting Event

 

Feb. 9 – Chili Cook-Off at Downtown Ithaca Commons
The Chili Cook-off features chili prepared by 40+ restaurants as they compete for the titles of Best Meat/Overall Chili, Best Vegetarian/Vegan Chili, and People’s Choice Chili. Accompanied by a farmer’s market with vendors handing out samples, local wineries, and craft breweries. Oddly enough, the Chili Cook-Off now features a ’Stache and Beard Competition presented by the Ithaca Beard and Moustache Club. All activities will take place on the Ithaca Commons and surrounding streets.

Feb. 15-24 – Winter Recess/Ithaca Loves Teachers Festival (city wide)
The Ithaca Loves Teachers festival, now in its 13th year, is a celebration of Pre-K through 12 public educators and school district employees. Ithaca will come together for a week to celebrate educators with entertainment, activities, family fun and discounts throughout the Tompkins County community. Events and deals are abundant across in restaurants, wineries, local shops, spas, and all over the county.

Feb. 23-24 – 17th Annual Mardi Gras Celebration by Cayuga Wine Trail (First Wine Trail in America)
Get a taste for Bourbon Street, but with wine! Collect your beads as you travel the Trail sampling food and wine pairings. Compete in a scavenger hunt for a chance to win a mixed case of Cayuga Lake Wine Trail wine! Chances to win prizes at each location.
Saturday and Sunday 10-5pm, ALL 14 wineries are participating. Designated Driver tickets and benefits are available as well.

Mar. – Maple Fest at Cayuga Nature Center
Pancake breakfast, live music, vendors, and education activities for all ages! Come over for a feast of wonderful pancakes, maple syrup, apple crisp, sausage, Copper Horse coffee, and orange juice. Breakfast will be served in the morning, activities run from mid-morning to the afternoon. Cornell experts will give talks on Maple production. There will be a sugaring demonstration at our sugar shack, live animal programs with our Animal Ambassadors, and live music. Creameries and maple syrup producers will be on hand selling their delicious products. All proceeds benefit the Cayuga Nature Center’s mission and educational programming.

Mar. 5 – Agriculinary Tourism Conference by Visit Ithaca and Cornell Cooperative Extension
This conference is aimed towards farmers, producers, chefs and business owners to help grow and market themselves as tourist attractions and build economic development. Key note speakers, Mindy and Oskar Vizcarro from Becker Farm in Gasport, NY will share their numerous businesses and tourist attractions that fall under the Becker Farms name: full service farm with CSA, brewery, winery, restaurant on site, wedding venue, private events, farm stays and other lodging. Panels include Best Practices for Farm to Table Sourcing, Hosting Private Events, Seed to Table: Digging Deeper, Providing Farm Stays/Lodging on your Property, and lastly a lecture by Ithaca College Professor Cory Young about how to market your business on digital and social media.

Mar. 23-25 – 5th Annual Bacon on the Lakein’ by Cayuga Wine Trail (First Wine Trail in America)
You read it right; we said BACON! The wineries have paired tantalizing bacon dishes with Cayuga Lake Wine Trail wines for your pleasure. Your taste buds will thank us later. At every winery, leave a ticket stub in the piggy bank for a chance to win a BBQ Bacon Basket. One lucky person will win a BBQ Smoker! Besides sampling bacon infused dishes, you’ll sample a wine that compliments that dish, and be offered up to 3 more additional wine tastings.
Saturday and Sunday 10-5pm, ALL 14 wineries are participating. Designated Driver tickets and benefits are available as well.

Apr. 26-28 + May 3-5 – Wine and Herb Fest by Cayuga Wine Trail (First Wine Trail in America)
Drink. Eat. Garden Repeat. Get a head start on your herb garden. Collect the potted herbs and veggies featured in all 14 food samples along with the matching recipe collection. As you savor herb-prepared cuisine, you’ll be offered a wine that compliments that dish and be able to take home the recipes, so that you can be the highlight at your next get together. You’ll also be offered up to 3 additional wine tastings 2019 Herbs: Dill, Sage, Cilantro, Lettuce, Bell Pepper, Lavender, Basil, Jalapeno Pepper, Oregano, Thyme, Tomato, Parsley, Peppermint, Eggplant.
Friday 1-5pm (select wineries), Saturday and Sunday 10-6pm, ALL 14 wineries are participating. Designated Driver tickets and benefits are available as well.

May 19 – Spring Garden Fair + Plant Sale hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension
One of the Finger Lakes' most highly anticipated events is the annual Spring Garden Fair and Plant Sale, organized since 1982 by Master Gardener volunteers from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County. The Garden Fair & Plant Sale features a wide variety of vendors who offer specialty plants and gardening advice on topics ranging from growing rock garden plants to selecting native species for the garden. Plants for sale include organically grown and heirloom vegetable transplants, colorful annuals, fragrant herbs, hanging baskets, small flowering shrubs, hardy roses, fruit crops, evergreens, and specialty perennials. Master Gardeners from CCE-Tompkins and other community groups participate in the sale to raise funds or create awareness of their programs. Visitors are encouraged to bring carts or wagons to aid in transporting their plant purchases to their cars. Admission is FREE!

Can't Miss Classes: Hands-On Fun
The Piggery: Whole Hog Butchery Classes
Wide Awake Bakery: Baking Classes 
Coltivare: Cooking Classes
Gourdlandia
Ithaca is Foodies Culinary Tour

Farm-to-Fork Experiences, Packages that Excite...

Photo of pasta dish created by Hazelnut Kitchen, Trumansburg, NY.
Hazelnut Kitchen | Photo by Allison Usavage

 

Don't just visit - immerse yourself! These Farm to Fork packages combine lodging with unforgettable experiences with farms, local businesses, restaurants, events, and more - they make perfect gifts for any adventure-seeker or foodie looking to think outside the box.

Winter Packages:
The Spa at Gothic Eves and Hazelnut Kitchen are teaming up in Trumansburg. 

This winter, treat yourself to an afternoon massage followed by a delectable dinner.  Treatments made between 2-3pm will receive a $25 gift card to Hazelnut Kitchen; where you can continue to relax by walking the historical streets of Trumansburg from The Spa at Gothic Eves to Hazelnut Kitchen for your 5pm dinner reservation.  Available starting in November and running through February. 

Call 607-387-6033 to indulge yourself today. 

*Special offer valid select dates and times only.  Spa treatment is required.  Gift card is valid same day.  Excludes can apply. One gift card per treatment.  Not available for group bookings or other special offers and packages.  Based on availability and subject to change.  

Photo of the Spa room at Gothic Eves, Trumansburg, NY.
The Spa at Gothic Eves | Photo by Jumping Rocks Media 

 

Request a Brochure
Visit Ithaca Brochure cover
Download our brochure or request a hard copy by mail.
Ithaca/Tompkins County Convention & Visitors Bureau
904 East Shore Drive, Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: (607) 272-1313 | Toll Free: (800)-28-ITHACA
Ithaca is an LGBTQ-friendly community
The official web site of Ithaca, New York and Tompkins County Convention and Visitors Bureau in the Finger Lakes. Complete guide to Ithaca, NY hotels, attractions, dining, shopping and recreation with maps and driving directions.
I Love NY is a registered trademark and service mark of the New York State Department of Economic Development; used with permission.