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Family Resources

Ithaca is a family-friendly community, with lots of programs and fun activities for families and kids. Cornell also offers programs and resources for parents, families with children, and students’ partners.

Health and Wellness

English Language and Culture

Many organizations in Ithaca and Tompkins County offer programs or informal gatherings to help you increase your English language skills and adjust to American culture.


group of happy children

Local Media for Families



Tompkins County Public Library

Tompkins County Public Library

The library has a wide range of English-learning materials, as well as a children’s room and activities like toddler story time and teen events.


Finger Lakes Toy Library

Finger Lakes Toy Library

Borrow toys for your children or donate used toys your children no longer need.

Fun for Children

People camping with Primitive Pursuits.

Primitive Pursuits

This organization works with Cornell Cooperative Extension to provide wilderness and leadership skills classes and camps for kids and adults.

Families at Music Together.

Music Together

An early childhood music and movement program where you and your child can have fun together making music.

A child frolicking in the bulb garden.

Children’s Garden

This free, three-acre garden is designed for kids and promotes environmental exploration and stewardship of nature

Sapsucker Woods at the Lab of Ornithology.

Lab of O

The Lab of Ornithology offers a free Exploration Station, where children and adults can enjoy hands-on activities about birds.

Museum of the Earth at the Paleontological Research Center.

Museum of the Earth

At this museum, you’ll find plenty of hands-on family fun as you explore 4.5 billion years of Earth’s history.

The visitor's center at Cayuga Nature Center.

Cayuga Nature Center

Children and adults can learn about the region’s natural history, meet local wild animals, and climb a six-story tree house to get a bird’s-eye view of the forest.

The main building at the Sciencenter.


Sciencenter programs and exhibits offer hands-on science learning for kids.

Mother and child at the Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen.

Farm Sanctuary

The Farm Sanctuary in nearby Watkins Glen is one of the first of its kind: a home to over 500 rescued farm animals. Visitors can interact with many of the animals.

Toy Halls of Fame at the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester.

Museum of Play

The Strong Museum in Rochester is the second largest children’s museum in the country and includes the Toy Hall of Fame and World Video Game Hall of Fame.

Kid Friendly Restaurants

Pizza being made in the wood-fired oven at Ciao's in Ithaca.

Ithaca’s many restaurants offer plenty for families to enjoy. Almost all U.S. restaurants allow children, but some are specially equipped to serve the needs and tastes of children. Here are a few local restaurants our families enjoy.


Shopping for Children