Skip to main content

Things to Do, May 24-31, 2019

Fossils and live animals

The Museum of the Earth and Cayuga Nature Center will offer complimentary admission on Community Free Day, Saturday, May 25, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Museum of the Earth, 1259 Trumansburg Road, Ithaca, invites visitors to learn about how life evolved on Earth, the rise of dinosaurs and mammals, and how glaciers shaped the region’s landscape.

Special features include the “Survivors: Up Close with Living Fossils” exhibition, as well as the Hyde Park Mastodon and Right Whale #2030; a life-size Stegosaurus sculpture and a model Quetzalcoatlus, both on permanent display from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History; a Fossil Lab activity and a Coral Reef exhibit with living corals and fish.

Cayuga Nature Center, on Route 89 in Ulysses, has a “Cayuga Lake: Past and Present” exhibit with two 650-gallon aquaria, a “Layers of Life” exhibit on forest ecology and other informative displays.

There are more than 30 species of live animals housed at the center, including hawks, foxes, trout, squirrels, a snapping turtle and a turkey vulture. Outdoor attractions include miles of trails and a six-story tree house.

Musical fare thee well

The Cornell University Chorus and Glee Club bid farewell and congratulations to the Class of 2019 with their annual Commencement Concert, May 25 at 8 p.m. in Bailey Hall.

Under the direction of Robert Isaacs, the groups will perform musical highlights from the year, music from around the world and a closing set of Cornell songs.

Tickets are $15 general, $10 for students. Tickets are available at and at the door.

Fungi in a frame

Professor Kathie Hodge’s course The Magic of Mushrooms is not the typical biology class. It’s more like a double-decker bus tour of the Kingdom of Fungi – from stories of weird and world-sustaining mushrooms to the noble work of yeasts and the many varieties of medicinal molds. Hundreds of students participate in the class every year and get a chance to meet and eat some of the species studied in demonstration labs.

“The Magic of Mushrooms” in the Mann Library Gallery features artwork by students in professor Kathie Hodge’s course on fungi.

For extra credit, some students make fungus-inspired art. This year’s creative work is on display at the Mann Library Gallery through Aug. 31. Library hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays; campus libraries are closed Memorial Day.

Hodge’s class is offered in the section of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Space particles and volcanoes

Science on Tap kicks off its summer series May 29 with two early-career scientists on hand to discuss their research and how it relates to real-world issues. The event, 7-9 p.m. at Casita Del Polaris, 1201 N. Tioga St., Ithaca, is free and open to the public.

Eve Vavagiakis, a doctoral student in physics, presents “Universal Scales: Weighing Tiny Particles Using the Cosmos as a Laboratory.” She will describe how scientists are using ancient light to illuminate giant clusters of galaxies and study the mass of one of nature’s most abundant but elusive particles.

In “Forecasting Eruptions: Observing Volcanoes from Space,” Kevin Reath, a postdoctoral associate in earth and atmospheric sciences, will discuss how researchers are tracking volcanic behavior with satellite sensors to predict eruptions and provide early warnings for people living near volcanoes.

Science on Tap is aimed at making science accessible and exciting to everyone, with speakers presenting their research in an authentic, engaging and understandable way. The series is presented by Graduate Women in Science, with support from an Engaged Opportunity Grant from Cornell and sponsors Northstar House and WHCU Radio.

Ithaca Festival

Ithaca Festival 2019 begins with the annual Ithaca Festival Parade on Thursday, May 30, kicking off the three-day community celebration of music, arts, food and local color. The festival theme this year is “Full Steam Ahead,” intended to celebrate a rich history of progressive technology and innovative ideas, and the current development boom.

The Ithaca Festival Mile Fun Run is May 30 at 5:30 p.m. and the parade begins at 6 p.m., heading north to south on Cayuga Street. The post-parade celebration on the Ithaca Commons features a free concert at 8 p.m. by Danielle Ponder and the Tomorrow People at Bernie Milton Pavilion, and local food vendors.

Local musicians, dancers and DJs will fill four stages on The Commons, as well as stages in Dewitt Park and next to Press Bay Alley, May 31, June 1 and June 2 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Silent Discos will take over The Commons May 31 and June 1, from 9:30 p.m. to midnight.

All events are free; festival buttons help support the annual celebration and cost $5.

Media Contact

Gillian Smith