First-Year Family Weekend

First-Year Family Weekend is October 27-29, 2017. The weekend is specifically geared to families of new students, although all Cornell families are welcome to attend. Are you curious about the weekend's events? View the 2016 guide.

About Family Weekend

Family Weekend gives families the opportunity to experience Cornell from the perspective of their student. This is a time to walk in your student's shoes and explore all that the campus and local community have to offer. All family members are welcome to attend, ranging from grandparents to younger siblings of any age.

First-Year Family Weekend Schedule of Events

There are a variety of events offered throughout the weekend including open classes, faculty lectures, tours, athletic events, and information sessions. All of these events are included in your registration fee. Additionally, tickets can be purchased to several ticketed events that are offered throughout the weekend. Ticketed events include concerts, student group performances, and some athletic events.

Check-in is on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning in Robert Purcell Community Center on North Campus. Most parents arrive on Friday after 3:00 pm, and some do not arrive until Saturday morning. Those who wish to attend an open class should plan to arrive earlier on Friday. Most parents leave on Sunday in the late morning or early afternoon.


Online registration for First-Year Family Weekend 2017 will be available in late-September.


Families arriving on Friday should park in A or CC lot on north campus. On Saturday and Sunday families may park on north, west, and central campus without permits, provided that all posted parking restrictions are observed. These include fire lanes, reserved parking, handicapped parking, and all other signed special limitations/requirements. Parking is not permitted on the grass or in any non-parking areas during this weekend.

Those with accessible parking license plates/placards from their home municipality can utilize any accessible parking spaces on campus throughout the weekend. Please note that accessible placards can only be used in spaces marked for accessibility; they cannot be used in spaces marked as "reserved."

Things To Do When You Visit Cornell

Share in your students' experiences and explore Cornell's academics and student life; start to cross off your own list of "Things To Do When You Visit Cornell."

Community Highlights

While Ithaca is famous for the series of gorges cutting their way through town, this built-in scenery is only a sampling of what the region has to offer. Located at the southern tip of Cayuga Lake, the longest of the Finger Lakes, Ithaca provides easy access to the surrounding countryside. The rolling farmland that follows Cayuga Lake north is home to one of New York's most productive wine regions. Nearby State Parks in Tompkins County contain miles of hiking and biking trails, access to the lake itself, and a waterfall higher than Niagara Falls. Look for a complete list of activities in the Ithaca community at check-in including information about parks, concerts and live music, theatre, film and dance, shopping, athletics, museums, exhibits, art, and more. Cornell partners with various community organizations to offer you special discounts on community events.

For additional information or to help you plan your weekend, please be sure to utilize the Ithaca/Tompkins County Convention & Visitor's Bureau.

Overnight Accommodations

Ithaca has limited overnight accommodations, especially those in close proximity to campus. You are encouraged to make necessary arrangements as early as possible (for some area hotels/motels, at least six months in advance is recommended). With short supply, many families will find themselves in hotels or other accommodations outside of the local community. We're confident that you will find helpful staff in all locations to direct you to campus.

A listing of local accommodations is available online at

Disability Accommodations

Please contact the Family Weekend staff at or (607) 253-4282 for disability accommodations such as sign language interpreters, c-print captioning, and print materials in alternate formats. To ensure that accommodation requests can be met, please provide two week's advance notice. Learn more about campus accessibility.

Future Cornell First-Year Family Weekend Dates

  • 2018: 10/19-21
  • 2019: 11/1-3


If you have any questions about First-Year Family Weekend, please contact us by email at or call (607) 253-4282.