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Fun things to do

While you're here this summer, be sure to check out some of the things that make Cornell such a unique and wonderful place:

  • Our free summer events series features Tuesday shows at the Schwartz Center, Wednesday lectures by acclaimed speakers at Call Auditorium, and Friday concerts on the Arts Quad.
  • The famous art, birds, brains, and other collections at Cornell include the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, which offers great art and great views, the world-class Laboratory of Ornithology, and the fabled Brain Collection.
  • The Cornell Plantations is 4,000 magnificent acres of rose gardens, lovely woodland trails, waterfalls, gorges, and ponds. It’s a great place to picnic, jog, nap, or just get away from it all.
  • The Space Sciences Building is home to more than 100,000 images taken of planets by NASA spacecraft.
  • The Conservatory of the Bailey Hortorium is a 1930s greenhouse that is home to numerous tropical plants.
  • The Fuertes Observatory is the perfect place for star and planet gazing on a clear Friday night.
  • Willard Straight, a distinctive Gothic building with cathedral ceilings, marble staircases, and oak paneling, is a central gathering place for students from all across campus.
  • Climb to the top of the McGraw clock tower and see the chimes firsthand.
  • Duffield Hall, Cornell’s new nanotechnology building, is just one of the many sophisticated research facilities you can tour.
  • Outdoor education opportunities are everywhere, and you'll find facilities for baseball, basketball, tennis, swimming, golf, spinning, yoga, tae kwon do, rock climbing, and more.
  • Cornell Cinema, one of the best campus film programs in the country, screens recent Hollywood hits, cult classics, documentaries, and popular foreign films.
  • See also our

Swimming options

Below are a number of alternatives for safe and legal swimming in the Ithaca area. Please note that swimming in the gorges is prohibited (see Gorge safety for more information).


Outdoor (summer only)