Things To Do Off Campus

Are you curious about what goes on in Ithaca off campus? Well you’re in luck! Here are many of the engaging things to do in Ithaca. Go and have fun!

Note: This page is a work in progress and always will be. If you have suggestions to improve the page in anyway (format, missing events, new categories, etc.) then send an email to

How to Get Around:

  •  The TCAT provides public transportation all around Tompkins County. The 11 bus runs from the IC campus through the Commons, Collegetown, and ends at the Lansing mall. Transfers are available along the route – for more information, check out the TCAT website here or download the Ride14850 app for detailed bus schedules and routes.
  • Ithaca College has a Zimride page that allows you to carpool with other members of the campus community, and is particularly useful for longer trips over breaks.

All Year:

  • Visit the gorges! They are beautiful all year long.  Check out Ithaca Falls, Buttermilk, Taughannock, and many more! Not sure where they are or how to get there?  Visit Ithaca has you covered.
  • FLLT Hikes: The Finger Lakes Land Trust maintains a number of trails for public use in the Ithaca area and beyond.
  • OREC (Outdoor Recreation Equipment Center):  Do you want to go camping but don’t have the equipment? No worries! OREC can help you.  It is located in the Fitness Center and you can look at their available equipment and prices here: Outdoor Recreation Equipment Center website
  • Ithaca Farmers Market: Lots of food and craft vendors right next to beautiful Cayuga Lake. More information on its website.
  • Sagan Planet Walk: The Sciencenter built this scale model of the solar system in memory of Ithaca resident and noted astronomer Carl Sagan. The walk starts in the Commons and ends at the Sciencenter. A downloadable audio tour narrated by Cornell alum Bill Nye the Science Guy available on the Planet Walk’s website. Website:
  • Local Theatre: Ithaca is home to a number of professional theatre companies, many of which offer student discounts and feature IC students and faculty in their productions. The Cherry Arts and Kitchen Theatre produce year-round work, but the Ithaca Shakespeare Company and Hangar Theatre also produce work seasonally.
  • Local Cinema: Cinemapolis, located on the Ithaca Commons, screens art house films and holds special events including talkbacks and National Theater Live screenings. Cornell Cinema screens recently released films, shorts, and classics, and also holds a variety of special events throughout the year. Both cinemas offer student pricing.
  • Ithaca Underground: Looking for your next favorite band? Ithaca Underground curates shows throughout the year featuring local, regional, and national musical acts from a variety of genres. You can also volunteer and get involved with planning, organizing, and executing the events. Learn more about their work on their website:

Fall 2017 Ithaca/Central New York Events:

  • 9/9-9/10 Colorscape Chenango Arts Festival (Downtown Norwich, NY):  This free event in downtown Norwich’s East and West parks features dozens of juried art vendors and music from nationally touring artists like The Kennedys, the Slambovian Circus of Dreams, Caravan of Thieves and John Gorka. Website:
  • 9/9 Ellis Hollow Fair (Ellis Hollow Road, Ithaca, NY): This free, family-friendly event at Ellis Hollow Community Center will include wagon rides, crafts, games, and more activities. Website:
  • 9/10 Blues on the Bridge (Binghamton, NY)The annual Blues on the Bridge festival at Riverside Drive and Water Street in downtown Binghamton features free local and regional bands like the Blue J’s, the Parlor Cats and the Gunpoets, along with vendors and food. Website:
  • 9/16-9/17 Twin Tiers Comic Con (Elmira, NY): The assemblage of all things geeky at First Arena in Elmira features vendors, comic-book artists, replicas of “Transformers” cars, cosplay, fan groups and more. Website:
  • 9/16 HARVEST (Corning, NY): Highlighting Corning’s Gaffer District as a food destination, the festival features not only restaurants and businesses but also the Corning Farmers Market and family activities. Website:
  • 9/23 Greene Applefest (Greene, NY): The 31st annual event will include craft vendors, food and more. Website:
  • 9/24 Ithaca Porchfest (Ithaca, NY): In Ithaca, we love garage bands, but we love porch bands even more. Spend a Sunday afternoon watching almost 200 musical acts for free — ranging from rock and folk to blues, jazz and beyond — perform on porches in the Fall Creek and Northside neighborhoods.  Website:
  • 9/29-10/1 Apple Harvest Festival (Ithaca, NY): Better known simply as Applefest, this event on the Commons will feature dozens of new and returning vendors celebrating the fall season, offering a variety of apple-related merchandise and food. Website:
  • 9/30-10/1 Robercon (Binghamton, NY):  Let your geek flag fly at the fifth annual science fiction / pop culture convention at the Roberson Museum and Science Center in Binghamton. Vendors, cosplay and fan discussion panels are on the schedule. This year’s guest of honor is bestselling author Faith Hunter, author of the Jane Yellowrock series. Website:
  • 10/7-10/8 Great Cortland Pumpkinfest (Cortland, NY): Put aside our Cortaca rivalry for a weekend and check out the hay rides, antique tractors, arts, crafts, live entertainment, a pumpkin-decorating contest and more at this free annual Courthouse Park event, which has grown since its inception in 1996. Website:
  • 10/7-10/8 Newark Valley Apple Festival (Newark Valley, NY): The 38th annual event at the Bement-Billings Farmstead features music, dance, food, crafts, costumed demonstrators, kids’ activities and more. Website:
  • 10/7-10/8 and 10/14-10/15 Greater Ithaca Art Trail (Tompkins County, NY): Dozens of area artists who work in a variety of media will open their studios throughout Tompkins to visitors from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. over two weekends. Website:
  • 10/7 Falls Harvest Festival (Montour Falls, NY): The celebration at the Montour Falls Carnival Grounds features a kids’ zone, the annual Historic Ghost Walk, fire truck rides and live music, as well as the Scarecrow Contest and a pumpkin carving contest. Website:
  • 10/7 through 10/24 Friends of the Library Book Sale (Ithaca, NY): Bargain-hunting bibliophiles, look out: this event takes place over the course of several weekends and gives you the chance to purchase a massive selection of books, music, games, and more at lower and lower prices. Bring a friend, a big bag, and find a new treasure for your bookshelf. Website:
  • 10/20-10/21 Cornell Homecoming (Ithaca, NY): Fireworks, a fan festival and Cornell-Brown football are just some of the events at Cornell University’s annual Homecoming weekend, which is open to students, alumni and the community. Website:
  • 10/20-10/21 Ticket Galaxy Beer Festival (Watkins Glen, NY): Formerly the Finger Lakes Beer Festival, this event at Watkins Glen International features 40-plus New York breweries, cideries and distilleries, as well as food and live music. Website:
  • 10/26-10/29 Wizarding Weekend (Ithaca, NY): Downtown Ithaca transforms into something out of a Harry Potter book.  Drink Butterbeer, go on a hunt for Horcruxes and walk around Diagon Alley. This annual event in downtown Ithaca has expanded to include Quidditch matches, musical entertainment, craft vendors, classes and lectures, and more. There’s something for everyone, from Muggles to the most well-trained wizards. Website:
  • 12/7-12/9 Ithaca Ice Festival/Chowder Festival (Ithaca, NY): This “cool” downtown festival features ice carving, dance performances, and a chowder cook-off.  More information here.