Dear EscapeMakers — As the temperature goes down, Ithaca heats up. The city and region intentionally create events to keep the community engaged in the colder months: food, music and wine festivals, educational walks through botanic gardens, and winter celebrations at the children’s garden! Check out the Ithaca
Events page to find your activity!
Chili Cook-Off – 2/8
This annual foodie festival featuring over 40 chilis prepared by 30+ restaurants from across the region as the restaurants compete for the titles of Best Meat/Overall Chili, Best Vegetarian/Vegan Chili, and People’s Choice Chili.
Festival of Fire & Ice at the Ithaca Children’s Garden – 2/8
An annual celebration of winter outdoor play, the festival provides time and space for us to remember the winter games we love and to discover new ways to play through the coldest season. Enjoy ice sculptures, sledding, hot chocolate, snow fort and den building, bonfires, and so much more!
Ithaca Loves Teachers Winter Recess Festival – 2/14
The Ithaca Loves Teachers Festival, now in its 15th 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.
Science of Taste Food Tour – Recurring
Rediscover your five basic tastes while exploring Ithaca’s restaurants on this special tour designed with winter weather in mind. Savor 5 generous tastings and 3 delicious drink pairings. Explore one of your five basic tastes (sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami) with each course. Redefine how you experience food as we discuss the hidden elements behind each taste. The tour route keeps the
group warm with short walks fromone establishment to the next!
Finger Lakes Thaw – 3/19
A two-day, multi-venue music festival in downtown Ithaca that brings over 35 bands to the music lovers in Ithaca. A diverse
range of music spread across 5 variously themed venues, that are all a very short walk away. Past performances have included two-time Grammy winner and Maroon 5 keyboardist, PJ Morton (pictured), America’s Got Talent runner-up, Cas Haley, and reggae Billboard chart topper, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad.
Cayuga Wine Trail Events – Annual
Throughout the year, the oldest wine trail in America hosts 7 weekends full of festivities. Get a taste for Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras. Discover bacon dishes paired with wine during the Bacon on the Lakein. Drink, eat, garden, repeat, during the ever-popular Wine & Herb weekends. Collect succulents while supporting the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund at Sips & Succulents. Prepare for the holidays while gifting yourself during the Holiday Shopping Spree.
Downtown Ithaca Craft Beverage Tour – Recurring
A narrated, guided tour of the heart of Ithaca. You will visit four local businesses, sampling alcoholic libations at each. Sip craft beers, Finger Lakes wines, artisan ciders, and a cocktail crafted with local spirits, adding up to about two drinks. Along
the way, enjoy delicious local food tastings paired with eachbeverage.