Ithaca area camping
You will love it, Ithaca is jam packed with fun stuff to do, most of it free or real low cost. If you are camping at one of the state parks, BTW you get free admission at all NYS Parks for the duration of the stay.
Oh, one last thing, visit the Farmers Market if it is open when you are there. It is on the water and full of cool vendors and cooler people!
Well, 5 years later and wasn't I surprised to find my own original question while searching for the same thing?!! Never made it up to Ithaca back then, but am thinking about it again for this year. Would love any other recommendations!
It will just be me and two kids (ages 4 and 7) this time around.
My "must haves" are a swimming area, hiking, and I'd love a playground we can walk to from the camp site. We are going on a pretty strict budget, so other free family friendly activities in the area are also great-I hear that Ithaca does summer outdoor concerts?
Also, though I camped several times with my ex, I am somewhat of a novice camper myself it that makes a big difference in recommendations. I can set up the tent and start a fire, but don't want to worry about fending off wildlife or anything like that ;)
There are tons of wonderful hiking and walks in the Ithaca area. Look up "Ithaca gorges" on Google to find some. You also can do some walking at Cornell: two places that come to mind are the orchards, where they grow all kinds of apples as part of the college programs, and sapsucker Woods, where you can look for birds and going bird walks. On Saturdays and sometimes on another day during the week in the summer, you can go to Ithaca farmers market. They have live music, great food, and it open's out onto the lake where you can people watch and hang out. The Commons, which is the local shopping area outside, has been under construction for the past year, as they make it more family-friendly. This summer they should be lots of fun things to do there, people to see, music to listen to, and places to play. Have a great visit!