Johnson Museum of Art has some nice art, as well as some maginficent views of the lake and town from the upstairs gallery. Free admission.
McGraw Tower, just off the Arts Quad has chimes concerts every day. A schedule is on the official web page and is "open to anyone who wants to climb the 161 staris to the top." You can also hear the music on the ground! Read about it in the Tower's wikipedia page .
There is a suspension bridge across the gorge on the north edge of the campus, which you can access near Tjaden Hall. (Please do not swim in the gorge; it is extremely dangerous.)
If you walk north from Malott Hall (i.e., exit on the Bailey Hall side of the building) and go down the hill you reach Beebee Lake which has a nice walking trail around it.
To the east of Beebee Lake you encounter the beginning of the Cornell Plantations which is a nice area for a short hike. There are big green fields ideal for lounging around or playing frisbee.
Tower Road is the street on the south edge of Malott. Walking this way along Tower Road and then walking between the greenhouses on the other side of the road is another way to access the plantations.
Cornell Cinema located in Willard Straight Hall has 8-10 movies a week, ranging from recent releases to classics, art films, and obscure historical works.
If you walk down University Avenue from Alice Cook and go a little right of straight at the four-way stop, you will be on Lake Street. Walk down the long hill past the ruins of the Ithaca Gun Factory, and at the bottom of the hill you come to Ithaca Falls on your right.
If you stay on Lake Street you will come to Stewart Park after you cross under Route 13.
Ithaca's Farmer Market has been a popular destination for conference participants. It is open Thursdays 3-7 in DeWitt Park downtown. Saturday 9-3 and Sunday 10-3 it can be found at Steamboat Landing. To get there cross Route 13 at Third Street. A map is on their web site.
The Museum of the Earth is said to be very interesting, and is just outside of town.
7 miles north on 89 North, along the western edge of Lake Cayuga. There are two hikes:
A 3/4 mile level trail will take you to the falls, which is one of the outstanding natural attractions of the Northeast. The 215 foot waterfall, which is 3 stories taller than Niagara Falls, plunges through a rock amphitheater whose walls reach nearly 400 feet.
The more adventurous can hike the rim trail. A wooden map is at the entrance to the park. I would suggest that you walk across the bridge to get on the North Rim trail. Most of the climbing is at the beginning. In this direction you are rewarded with a view of the falls when you finally get to the top of the hill. You have to walk another 3/4 of a mile or so to get to a place where you can cross over the South Rim trail and return. As you cross over there will be another falls that looks like a water slide. For much of the hike you are kept well back from the edge by a chain link fence. Resist the temptation to climb over the fence for a closer look, since falling 400 feet may keep you from enjoying the rest of the conference.
Get on route 13 going south out of Ithaca. Once you get past the fast food places and car dealerships and go under a brige the entrance will be on your left. There are hiking trails along edge of the Falls, and, even though it does not look like it from the picture, a swimming area at the bottom.
A few miles south of Buttermilk Falls on route 13, NY state road 327 will split off to the right and take you to the entrance to the park. Following the park road as it winds around you will eventually come to a large parking lot. There is a swimming area about a quarter mile away through the trees.
Robert H. Treman State Park is an area of wild beauty, with the rugged gorge called Enfield Glen as its scenic highlight. The entrance to the trail is on the north end of the parking lot and begins by taking you up a large hill (after this climb the hike gets much easier). The trail takes you along one edge of the creek that winds through the gorge. After a couple of miles you can cross a bridge over the creek and come to the bottom of the 115-foot Lucifer Falls.
The dedicated can climb 100+ steps to upper Treman park for more scenery but my preference is to walk back along the trail on the other side of the creek which is about 0.1 miles from where you crossed the creek. Getting back to your starting point: Near the end you will see the swimming hole. Once you walk past some of the cabins you can cross the creek again, walk up to the swimming hole, and back to the parking lot. The round trip which I did with my kids took about 1:45 including a stop for a snack at the half way point at the falls. The elevation gain is 600 feet, but the total amount of climbing is about 800 feet.
Women's Rights Historical Park in Seneca Falls
Watkins Glen State Park at the foot of Seneca Lake
Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown
Niagara Falls, north of Buffalo, is about 4 hours away. The Canadian side is more scenic but if you don't have your passport the US side is also interesting.