A note about COVID 19 - this page has not been fully updated to reflect COVID safety and closures. We always recommend checking in with primary sources to see what is open and what activities are running. 




Bristle & Turp offers art lessons and art parties that allow kids to really get creative and exercise artistic thinking. It is run by Erin, a certified art teacher and local artist. She has been making incredible art with children for 10 years: teaching the skills they need to express themselves then stepping back to hear what they have to say. Choose from a menu of stand alone projects (such as Warhol-inspired prints or Henson-inspired puppets) or build skills over time with weekly lessons. Lessons can take place in Erin’s studio on The Commons or she can come to your house. Cook, give the baby a bath, or walk the dog while your kid makes art.


Clay School of Ithaca is a creative outlet for students of all ages.  Students can choose to concentrate on wheel throwing, hand building methods, surface decoration, and functional work. There are also two-hour "Try-it" classes held each month for those people interested, but unsure if they want to have the commitment of a weekly class.  The Clay School provides a dynamic and involved learning environment especially for children. Classes at The Clay School are a great activity for children both after-school and home-schooling students. Weekend workshops offer an excellent option for a parent wishing to take a class with their child, such as the Sunday Jewelry Making class for ages 11 and over and the All Level class for ages 13 and over. Stiller teaches sculpture classes for kids 6 and up.


Craftstitute The Craftstitute is a new place with the goal of building community by learning handcrafts together. They bring in local makers and experts to share their talents. Most classes are for adults and teens, but there are some children's classes as well. There will be classes in the fiber arts, as well as workshops on coffee roasting, metalsmithing, wood carving, book binding, you name it.


Ithaca Media Arts Ithaca Media Arts has after-school & weekend programs including photography, video, music & arts. Phone number 272-3580, email arts@yahoo.com


Ithaca Youth Bureau Recreation programs including sports, theatre classes, art classes,  fencing, chess, Tae Kwon Do and more.  At their website, click on "recreation" and find the link to the "IPLAYbook" for program details or call 273-864. 

Jillian's Drawers Toddler/Preschool Variety Class and Baby Variety Class are great options for the little artists in your life! Variety Classes are a 9-week series of weekly classes including art, music and yoga classes.

Michael's hosts "kids club" classes Saturday mornings at 10, 10:30, 11 and 11:30. They provide the supplies, do the craft with the children, and clean up! They also offer fine art, paper crafting, knit, crochet, floral and Wilton classes each month.


Sew Green provides sewing classes for kids 8 and up and focuses on reusing and upcycling old clothing and fabric.


The Town of Dryden has tons of great recreation opportunities


Wine & Design Art Buzz Kids - spark your child’s creativity and imagination through family friendly painting and craft classes for children of all ages.  Art Buzz Kids is perfect for birthday parties, after school classes, summer camps, and much more! Our passion is art and inspiring children to have fun, get creative and feel proud of their work! Your child’s inner artist is guaranteed to shine while being taught by a great team of professionals. You’ll always take home a masterpiece with Art Buzz Kids!  Classes for adults too!


Anna's Movement Arts Offering Yoga, YogaDance and YogaArt classes for kids and teens, as well as private and group figure skating lessons for kids and adults. Her children's yoga classes are very fun! 607 342 7115 /  annasmovementarts@gmail.com.  Figure skating instruction can start as early as Sept 10th and is offered all year round. Anna also does birthday parties.

Baby Fit Yoga - Mom and baby yoga at Jillian's Drawers.  BabyFitYoga@gmail.com


Circus Culture - Circus Classes, camps, performances, parties, and more for kids. Aerial fabric, trapeze, juggling, tight wire, acrobatics, hooping, props, and more!

Crane Irish Dance: a CNY based dance academy run by Miss Jesse Hoselton TCRG with studios in Ithaca, Auburn, and King Ferry as well as in Shanghai, China.  Jesse Hoselton has over 15 years of teaching and choreography experience.  Competitive, non-competitive, adult ceili and private lessons are currently in session. Please feel free to email Miss Jesse if you would like to preview any class. Holding classes Wednesdays for young beginner dancers and ages 8+ at the Ithaca Unitarian Church in downtown Ithaca. For more information please see website: www.craneirishdance.com/info-aviator/ or email jesse.hoselton@gmail.com .


Family Yoga with Diane Hamilton: Stay active with indoor family fun on Saturdays!  Diane Hamilton, children's yoga instructor with more than 500 hours of training and 10 years of teaching experience, will lead you through magical, mindful mornings, on Saturdays, 9:45-10:30a.m. at Fine Spirit Studio on Dey Street in Fall Creek. Your first class is always free. After that, 5-class cards are available for $60.  "Bring a friend (or friend's family) for free" runs for five weeks in January, from January 2 through January 30.  Ages 3-adult.  For more information, contact Diane, OmChildYoga@gmail.com.


Fine Spirit Studio - Diane Fine, Ithaca's fabulous prenatal yoga instructor has a new studio with Prenatal, Parent & Baby, Family yoga, beginner and intermediate classes, as well as private sessions and Couples Birth Preparation and special Yoga for Mothers workshops.  607-564-3690, fineyoga@yahoo.com 


Head Over Heels Gymnastics-  Fun gymnastics and tumbling classes for 1 and up, as well as Unstructured Playtime (open gym time for parents and kids to play together and get out some energy during those cold months). See the calendar or better yet, their website for more details. for crawling through age 5. $5 for members, $7 for non members http://www.headoverheelsgym.net/ithaca/


Ithaca Youth Bureau - Recreation programs including sports (basketball, baseball, lacross, wrestling, track, etc), theatre classes, art classes, fencing, chess, Tae Kwon Do and more.  At their website, click on "recreation" and find the link to the "IPLAYbook" for program details or call 273-864.

Jillian's Drawer's Dance & Yoga. Jillian's Drawers movement classes include Dance for 2-4 year olds, Toddler/Preschool Variety Class (includes two yoga classes in addition to music and art), and Yoga for 3-5 year olds.


Lansing Parks and Recreation - sports and recreation open to everyone, not just Lansing residents.  

Lakshmi Living - Lakshmi in Trumansburg has Yoga and dance classes for kids.


Seishi Karate Honbu - a Karate school with lessons for 3.5 and up


The Town of Dryden has tons of great recreation and sports opportunities.


Train with Tamara Fun Fit - a Preschool Fitness Program designed to form healthy lifestyle habits in children ages 3-5 through fitness and nutrition activities.  Through songs and games, the kids work their bodies and learn the importance of living healthy.607-280-0168  www.TrainWithTamara.com


Tre Bella Dance Studio A new dance studio located in Dryden featuring classes and camps.
Summer Class Information: Summer classes are a great way to try various styles of dance and further your overall technique! Summer classes are held Monday-Thursday four different weeks during the summer (same weeks as our camps)! Each week you can choose to take one or more classes, each class will meet daily for a total of four classes during that week! See their
 Tuition page for details on class fees, monthly group rate will apply to each class you select since you will have four, four-hour classes during a one week period.


Ultimate Athletics in the mall has lots of great classes for kids.


The Yoga School - Has prenatal yoga classes and Baby and Me classes



CSMA Community School of Music and Arts CSMA runs many music, arts, and theatre programs throughout the year. The Ithaca Children and Youth Chorus runs through them. Their website includes info on private instruction.


Hickey's Music Center Hickey's is Ithaca's main resource for musical instruments. They can also help you find a teacher. The Hickey's Rock School teaches kids about 9 and up how to play together in a band.


Ithaca Youth Bureau - Recreation programs including sports, theatre classes, art classes, fencing, chess, Tae Kwon Do and more.  At their website, click on "recreation" and find the link to the "IPLAYbook" for program details or call 273-864. 

Jillian's Drawer's Music Classes - Music at Jillian's Drawers includes Music Together and Miss Angie's Music. Toddler/Preschool Variety Classes and Baby Variety Class also include music classes with Miss Judy and Miss Emily.

Miss Angie's Music, musical adventures for the young at heart.  -kids and their parents learn the basics of rhythm, melody, harmony, deep listening, song structure, and coordination in a relaxed and playful, heart-felt journey through a mix of guided and exploratory singing, dancing, and instrument play. All are welcome, participation is a must. Classes located at Jillian's Drawers in downtown Ithaca. Sliding Scale fees. Check the website or contact Miss Angie Beeler Director/ Teacher angie@mumotion.com 607-319-4736. The current classes: Mixed age 5m-5years + adult; Big Kids 3-5, adult optional, Babies 2-15months +adult, Enrichment: Shadow Puppet Workshops 5-12year, Mellow Mixed age - 5m-5years for children with sensory overload.Miss Angie's Music (formerly Music&Motion) (607) 227-4890  www.mumotion.com   angie@mumotion.com

Miss Judy - Judy Stock runs children's music classes at Sunny Days and Jillian's Drawers.


Music Together - Early childhood music and movement program. 10 week program held regularly at Jillian's Drawers and in Cayuga Heights.  607-227-2500


The Town of Dryden has tons of great recreation opportunities





Acting Out New York Acting Out does 12 weeks of on-camera acting instruction taught by professional actress Darcy Martin Rose right here in downtown Ithaca. All classes take place in a real movie theater at Cinemapolis! Kids build confidence and increase their emotional vocabulary by tackling monologues, dramatic and comedic scenes, commercial work and improvisation. Each child gets a DVD of their best work from class (plus bloopers) at the end of the semester as a memento of all their accomplishments! School break camps are also available. Email Darcy at actingoutnewyork@gmail.com to make your reservation! Sign up online HERE. Or check out the full line up of Programming at www.ActingOutNewYork.com.


CSMA - Community School of Music and Arts - Have classes in music, dance, theatre, instruments, and more, starting at very young ages.


The Hangar Theatre - The Hangar Theatre hosts a variety of educational programming for various age groups throughout the year including a summer theatre school with a variety of classes taught by professionals in the theatre field. Classes take place in various downtown locations. There are also performance opportunities for children in the summer, as well as school break camps. Additional programs include Creative Drama for homeschoolers, Theatre Workshops for adults and teens, and more coming soon! Email Education@Hangartheatre.org to be included on the email list.  For more info, visit: http://www.hangartheatre.org/education-programs.html.


Ithaca Youth Bureau - Recreation programs including sports, theatre classes, art classes,  fencing, chess, Tae Kwon Do and more.  At their website, click on "recreation" and find the link to the "IPLAYbook" for program details or call 273-864.  


The Town of Dryden has tons of great recreation opportunities



Anna's Movement Arts - Offering Yoga, YogaDance and YogaArt classes for kids and teens, as well as private and group figure skating lessons for kids and adults. Her children's yoga classes are very fun! 607 342 7115 / annasmovementarts@yahoo.com.  Figure skating instruction can start as early as Sept 10th and is offered all year round. Anna also does birthday parties.


Cooking Camp -  A fun way to introduce kids to the wonders of creating delicious meals and nutritious food. Aged 6 and up learn about the food web, some cooking techniques, & how to nourish themselves and others as well as field trips. Tuition is based on a sliding scale and includes all materials. In-kind exchange, barter and scholarship options are available.  Space is limited to 4 students per session. Contact Joey at solkitchen1@gmail.com or call (607) 387-7799


CUSLAR Spanish Classes and Camps - “CUSLAR Hola, Amigos! Spanish Through Play” classes provide a relaxed environment where children and adults can learn Spanish together through art, music, games, mini-immersion and more. Classes for Families with children 18th - 3 years old (see Jillian's Drawers calendar for booking), and 3 - 6 y.old More info: http://cuslar.org/spanish-for-families/. Our instructor Alba Sancho also offers Spanish Camps for Children, ages 4- 9 years old, during Christmas, Easter and Summer breaks. More info at albasanchopinto@gmail.com


Ithaca Children's Garden programs - Fun interactive summertime programs include "Creatures of the Garden" and "Make Stuff." These programs do not require registering and are free (but have a suggested donation of $5 per child or $10 per family).


Ithaca Youth Bureau - Recreation programs including sports, theatre classes, art classes, fencing, chess, Tae Kwon Do and more. At their website, click on "recreation" and find the link to the "IPLAYbook" for program details or call 273-864.  


Namaste Montessori - Namaste hosts mindful parenting classes from birth on with topics from food to home environment and everything in between.


Prenatal healthy eating - Nutrition for 2 class. Pregnant or planning for pregnancy? Come join the Nutrition for 2 class to get ideas on how to eat healthy before and during pregnancy. Pregnancy is a time for providing your body and baby the best nutrition for growth and development. This class is taught by a medical team from the Cayuga Center for Healthy Living. Classes are generally offered the first Wednesday of every month (unless it is a holiday). To register or for more information contact Cauyga Center for Healthy Living at 607-252-3590.

The Town of Dryden has tons of great recreation opportunities.

Wegmans has cooking classes for kids.


Here's a list of some of the Storytimes in the area. You can also find them on the calendar. If you know of any other ongoing Storytimes in the area, email me at ithacasahm@gmail.com.

Barnes and Noble Saturdays 11am. Watch their online calendar, as they sometimes have guests like Clifford the Big Red Dog come to visit.

Dewitt Park Farmer's Market - In the summer the Library moves storytime to the Dewitt Park Farmer's Market. Tuesdays at 11:30, weather permitting.

Ithaca Children's Garden  - Summer Sprouts storytime meets in the summer at the Ithaca Children's Garden and Winter Sprouts meet winter months at Mama Goose.  See calendar for days and times.  Aside from free "storytimes" the ICG also has fun interactive summertime programs include "Creatures of the Garden" and "Make Stuff." These programs do not require registering and are free (but have a suggested donation of $5 per child or $10 per family)

Lansing Library  Thursday mornings, 10.30am to about 11.00am, followed by a fun craft.

Mama Goose - Mama Goose sometimes hosts storytimes. Check see their website for current happenings. Mama Goose hosts "Winter Sprouts" presented Ithaca Children's Garden. See info above.

Sciencenter - has preschool story time in the Curiosity Corner every Tuesday at 10:30, as well as many other special programs.


Southworth Library in Dryden Preschool Storytime: Every Friday morning at 10 a.m. Come to the library for preschool storytime with stories, crafts and snacks. They have a different theme every week to inspire your children to explore and discover through the world of books!

Tompkins County Public Library - 607-272-4557 ext 273 Located in downtown Ithaca, the Library has a large children's area, regular story times and many programs. The library's regular storytimes are free.  Programming runs for several months at a time then takes short hiatus, so check the calendar or their website for latest storytimes. In general, TCPL runs storytimes Tuesdays at 11, Fridays at 10:30 and Saturdays at 11.


Trumansburg Library - Storytime and weekly playgroup in the Tburg community room in the back of the library every Thursday morning in winter at 10:30




Whether you are learning to swim or just love the water, the Ithaca area has lots of places to make a splash!  Places below all have lifeguards on duty during swimming hours unless otherwise specified.



**Please note: people have reported receiving tickets and/or fines for swimming in illegal locations such as six mile creek, flat rock, and streams in state parks. **

Buttermilk Falls State Park - Buttermilk has a nice swimming area at the bottom of the falls. There is a secondary very shallow swimming area in that same spot that is sometimes open as well. Buttermilk has changing rooms, restrooms and a fun playground nearby.  Trails along the river provide other spots for dipping your feet.

Flat Rock - This favorite local swimming hole has very shallow areas for little ones to splash about, as well as areas with slightly deeper water that moves quickly.  Kids often bring inflatables or boards to "ride the waves" that stem from water moving over a small dam.  Swimming here is technically not permitted, though on any warm afternoon in the summer you may see as many as 50 people up and down the river.  There is no lifeguard on duty, so play at your own risk. Flat Rock is part of the Cornell Plantations trails. 
Click here for an approximate map to the parking area.

Myers Point has a beach that operates every weekend throughout the summer 11am to 6pm and same times during the summer holidays. It's free except at the weekends, when people who cannot prove their Lansing residency have to pay entrance fee to Myers Park.


Six Mile Creek has many areas where one can wade/swim at their own risk. Swimming within the Ithaca city limits is prohibited (though many still do it),but the creek goes all the way out through Brooktondale and past the Caroline Elementary school. No lifeguards, so swim at your own risk.

Taughannock State Park - North on 89 near Trumansburg, Taughannock has a large area for swimming in Cayuga Lake.  The lake is slightly wavy, creating a mild ocean effect with waves splashing on the shore. The water gets deep quickly, sloping to over 3 feet deep by about 15 feet out. Taughannock has changing rooms, restrooms and a fun playground nearby.  Trails along the river provide other spots for dipping your feet.

Robert H. Treman State Park - located south of Ithaca off 13, Treman State Park has a large swimming area that goes right up to the lower falls. There is a diving board perched on a cliff right in front of the falls and rocks on the bottom of the falls make it possible to stand and let the water pour over you (see picture below).  Treman has changing rooms, restrooms and a fun playground located closer to the entrance of the park. Trails along the river  on the upper falls trail walk provide other spots for dipping your feet.



Nearly every pool on this list also provides swimming lessons. See their websites for more information.

Alex Haily Pool - This pool is in the Fall Creek area of downtown. The big pool has a water slide. There is a kiddie pool for babies and toddlers.

Cass Park Pool - The Cass Park Pools have season pass memberships or day passes. There is a great zero depth entry kiddie pool for babies & toddlers as well as an Olympic size pool with diving board and a water slide. Lap Swim times and swimming lessons are available. There is an area with Little Tikes houses and slides for toddlers to play in, but this area is on a black cushioned mat that gets very hot on little feet, so bring shoes that are easy to slip on and off. Cass park is located on the West side of town on State Route 89.

Cornell's Helen Newman Hall - Family Swim hours are available for faculty, staff and their children.

Ellis Hollow Pool - located at the Ellis Hollow Community Center along Ellis Hollow Road and Genung Road, the Ellis Hollow Pool requires a membership or that you are a guest of a member.  It's a nice sized outdoor pool with a shallow end of about 3 feet with stairs or ladders to enter the pool. Swimming supports and Floaties are allowed in this pool.


Greek Peak Indoor Water Park - Cascades Indoor Water Park at Greek Peak (about 30 minutes East of Ithaca) is fun and finally open to the public. The waterpark is now open to the public 7 days a week. Check their website for specific days and times.


Groton Memorial Park Pool - Sykes St. Groton, NY Phone: 607-898-3966 Part of Groton Memorial Park, this Olympic-size pool is fully staffed with lifeguard. Call for hours. Open late June-Labor Day.


Ithaca College Pool - The Ithaca College Outdoor Pool is open only to Ithaca College students, alumni, faculty/staff and their immediate family and guests. Valid Ithaca College ID cards or Outdoor Pool membership card MUST be presented in order to gain access to the pool. Even the shallow end of the outdoor pool is about 4 feet deep, but they allow life jackets and floaties. The Indoor pool has swimming lessons that are open to the public and is available for birthday parties. It is a very large pool and at least one section can have the depth changed to become very shallow.


Ithaca Swim Club - This outdoor pool facility has a kiddie pool (1/2 foot depth) and large pool that is open to members and their guests.

Stewart Park Fountain Sprinklers - not a pool, but Stewart Park has a nice fountain area with sprinklers for kids to run through.  I'm not sure what their on/off times are, but we've been there at 11 am and they've been on, and we've been there at 7 pm and they've been on.

TC3 The pool at TC3 is open to the public - schedule can be found here: http://www.tc3.edu/student/rec_pool_schedule.asp  Fees are here: http://www.tc3.edu/student/rec_pool_fees.asp  What they fail to mention on the website is that community members can also purchase a 20 visit punch card for $20.  There are always two lifeguards on duty and there are pool accessories available for use - balls, pool noodles, life vests for kids, inner tubes, flippers, etc...  A nice place on super hot summer days and in the dead of winter when it's hard to get outdoor exercise.

YMCA - The YMCA has 2 indoor pools, a "family pool" that is used mostly for lessons and free play and a large lap pool. Swimming lessons are available year round to members and non-members alike.  Day passes and pool passes are available for non-members as well.  The YMCA is located in Lansing near the mall