Ithaca Winter Festivals & Activities Guide



Ithaca Winter Festivals & Activities Guide

Winter is in full swing, and if you are looking for a magical destination to celebrate the season, we have the perfect retreat in Ithaca, NY. Every winter, our Finger Lakes town transforms into a wonderland where frozen waterfalls glisten in the sunlight, rolling hills are covered with snow, and the downtown comes alive with festive events. Make your Ithaca winter vacation memorable by staying at La Tourelle, a luxury Ithaca hotel. 


After a day of exploration, warm up with a rejuvenating session in our August Moon Spa or sample the culinary delights from our new Executive Chef at The Bistro. However you want to spend the season, La Tourelle offers the perfect base camp for your winter getaway!

Ithaca Winter Festivals & Events

Even though our Ice and Lights Festival has come to an end, we invite you to put this event on your calendar for next year! There is still time to join us for the free Festival of Fire & Ice at Ithaca Children’s Garden. This family-friendly event is an annual winter celebration featuring ice sculptures, sledding, hot chocolate, scavenger hunts, and bonfires.


The Downtown Ithaca Chili Cook-Off is hosted every March. Sample chili from 20+ local restaurants and vote for your favorites! Although not located in Ithaca, the Finger Lakes Winter Carnival is one of the season’s most popular events! 

Winter Activities in Ithaca, NY

Winter is a magical time to visit Ithaca, with several activities to keep you entertained throughout the season.


  • Waterfalls are the most popular attraction year-round, but winter offers a new perspective to these frozen wonders. Refer to our blog, The 6 Prettiest Finger Lakes Waterfalls: Winter Edition, to get started! Keep in mind that the hike to Buttermilk Falls is accessible right from La Tourelle!

  • Head to the Cass Park Rink for an afternoon of ice skating with the family!

  • Make the 20-minute drive to Hammond Hill State Forest and explore the scenic trails with cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.

  • Located north of Taughannock State Park, you can find Rice Hill, offering downhill sledding, two ice skating ponds, and multi-use trails for hiking.

Warm-Up at La Tourelle

After your day of Ithaca winter adventures, we invite you to warm up at La Tourelle. We invite you to enjoy our special wine-pairing dinners this winter at The Bistro! Executive Chef Ryan, the newest addition to the La Tourelle team, will expertly prepare each course. Learn more about the exciting changes to our menu by reading our blog Introducing The Bistro’s New Executive Chef!


Then reserve a session at our August Moon Spa, and feel your aches and pains melt away this winter. Finally, let your worries slip away in our relaxing Finger Lakes accommodations. Reserve your Ithaca getaway with La Tourelle today!