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.


All attendees are required to register for First-Year Family Weekend. You do not need to register your Cornell student; students are welcome at all Family Weekend events. Registration will open in mid-September.

First-Year Family Weekend Events

After registering, families receive via email, a link to view all Family Weekend events, allowing them to build, save, email, and print a personalized weekend itinerary. View the 2018 schedule of events to get a sense of typical weekend activities.

FYFW events take place Friday afternoon through Sunday. We recommend that those who wish to attend an open class arrive Friday morning. There are a variety of events offered throughout the weekend including open classes, faculty lectures, open houses, athletic events, and information sessions. All of these events are included in your registration fee. Additionally, 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 the accessible spaces located in the parking areas noted above. If you have any questions, please contact Transportation Services at (607) 255-4600. 

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.


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

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.