First-Year Family Weekend

First-Year Family Weekend is October 25-27, 2019. The weekend is designed for families of new students, although all Cornell families may attend. Family Weekend provides the opportunity to experience Cornell from the student perspective. Enjoy special events, and explore campus and the Ithaca area. Extended family members are welcome.


Advance registration for Family Weekend is now closed. On-site registration will be available during Family Weekend Check-In on Friday from 11am-7pm or Saturday from 8am-10:30am in the Willard Straight Hall Browsing Library. There is a $25 per person ($100 per family) late registration fee; children under 12 are free. You do not need to register your Cornell student.

Family Weekend is a fee-based program that is completely self-supporting; the cost is not included in tuition. Most, but not all of the weekend’s activities, are included in your registration fee. A small number of activities require an additional ticket purchase for every member of your family, including your Cornell student. All participants who attend First-Year Family Weekend must register.

First-Year Family Weekend Events

After registering, please view the 2019 Family Weeknd schedule of events where you can build, save, email, and print a personalized weekend itinerary.

FYFW events take place Friday afternoon through Sunday. There are a variety of events offered throughout the weekend including faculty lectures, open houses, athletic events, and information sessions. All of these events are included in your registration fee. In addition, tickets may be purchased for several ticketed events that are offered throughout the weekend.

Accommodations and Accessible Parking

Please contact the New Student Programs staff at or (607) 253-4282 for 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.

Family members who require accessible parking may use their municipally issued accessible permit to park in any general campus accessible space (not reserved for a specific person/plate). If you have any questions, please contact Transportation Services at (607) 255-4600.

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, Ithaca is located in the heart of the Finger Lakes. The region is 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, shopping, museums, Wizarding Weekend and more.

For additional information or to help you plan your weekend, check out Visit Ithaca.

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."


It is a celebrated fact that Ithaca has more restaurants per capita than New York City! Whether you choose to dine on campus or enjoy a meal in the local community, there are options for every taste and budget.


Families are encouraged to make necessary arrangements as early as possible (for some area hotels/motels, at least six months in advance is recommended). Some families will find hotels and other accommodations outside of Ithaca due to price or availability. Wherever you choose to stay, you will find helpful staff in all locations to direct you to campus.

A listing of local accommodations is available online at

Parking and Transportation

Campus parking rules will be in effect for Family Weekend. Plan to park vehicles before proceeding to Family Weekend Check-In in Willard Straight Hall or to any Family Weekend event.

On Friday, Family Weekend parking is in the B and TRB parking lots at no charge (no permit needed). These lots are approximately a 20-25 minute walk to Willard Straight Hall (check-in). Families may take the TCAT Route 82 bus at no cost to get to central campus. Families may also park in A Lot, on North Campus, beginning after 2:30pm on Friday or on the weekend (no charge, no permit needed). View the Family Weekend parking and bus map. Families who wish to park closer to the campus center will need to use paid parking options.

On Saturday and Sunday, families may park in many central campus parking lots without needing a parking permit or paying an additional fee. Please check signs closely as some lots are restricted on the weekend.

TCAT, our bus system, offers daily daytime and evening routes in and around Cornell and the Ithaca area. TCAT buses are a convenient and economical transportation option.

Take note that many local hotels offer complimentary shuttle service to/from campus.

Religious Services

Worship services are offered in a wide variety of religious denominations on campus and in the Ithaca area. A directory of affiliated chaplaincies and services is available on the Cornell United Religious Work website.

Recreation and Fitness

Cornell offers five fitness centers, as well as open recreation at Helen Newman Hall, Teagle Hall, and Noyes Community Recreation Center. These facilities offer a variety of recreation opportunities including swimming pools, open gym space for playing basketball, volleyball, badminton, or ping pong, study spaces, games, and rock climbing. Guest passes may be purchased in order to use the recreation facilities or fitness centers. Learn more about recreation and fitness.

Future Cornell First-Year Family Weekend Dates

  • 2020: 10/30-11/1
  • 2021: 10/29-31


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