Roll Up the Map

Who's Invited?
Winter Recess is open to all with discounted lodging, dining and activities available to public school teachers, school district employees, teachers union retirees and their guests.


Registration is free. District ID, or equivalent, is required. Proper ID includes:

. Your school ID badge
. Proof of teachers union membership
. Proof of teachers union retiree status
. A letter from your principal or school board on official stationery

Where Do I Check In?
All local and visiting teachers can check in at the Ithaca Visitors Centers at East Shore Drive and Downtown:


East Shore Drive Visitor Center

904 East Shore Dr.

Ithaca, NY 14850

(607) 272-1313

Downtown Visitor Center NEW LOCATION
110 North Tioga St.
The Commons
Ithaca, New York 14850
(607) 273-7482

Online Pre-Registration will start January 20th.

REMINDER: Please bring emailed confirmation of pre-registration with you (it WILL save you time). 


Badge and Guides will be available to pick-up starting:

Friday, Feb. 14th from 10:00am - 6:30pm

Badges and guides can be picked up every day between Friday, Feb. 14th - Sunday, Feb. 23rd at both locations.


East Shore Drive Visitor Center Hours:

Special extended hours for Winter Recess Teacher Festival registration are below.


Friday, Feb. 14th: 10:00am-6:30pm

Saturday, Feb. 15th: 9:00am-6:00pm

Sunday, Feb. 16th: 9:00am-4:00pm

Monday-Friday, Feb. 17th-21st: 9:00am-5:00pm

Saturday, Feb. 22nd : 10:00am - 5:00pm

Sunday, Feb. 23rd : Downtown Visitor Center pick-up ONLY


Downtown Ithaca Visitor Center Hours:

Special extended hours for Winter Recess Teacher Festival registration are below.


 Friday, Feb. 14th-Saturday, Feb. 15th: 10:00am-7:00pm

Sunday, Feb. 16th-Friday, Feb. 21st: 10:00am-5:00pm

Sat., February 22nd: 10:00am-6:00pm

Sunday, Feb. 23rd: 10:00am-5:00pm


 What Happens After I Check In?
Registered teachers will receive a welcome package that includes a Very Important Teacher pass and program with event guide with a listing of deals for extra special discounts.


What is a VIT Pass?
As part of your welcome package, you'll receive a free VIT (Very Important Teacher) Pass. It's your key to the county and beyond, unlocking community-wide discounts on just about everything: dining, shopping, entertainment-the works. Look for the Ithaca Loves Teachers posters in participating merchant windows. Use your VIT Pass to pick up discounted theater tickets, gain admission to free teacher receptions, qualify for dining discounts and receive special deals at participating businesses.


In addition, your traveling companions (family, significant other, etc.) will receive a "Teachers Pet Pass," good for additional deals around town. Participating businesses will display the Winter Recess logo on premises and will be listed in the Lodging Deals,

Wine & Dine Deals, Events and Deals sections at


How do I redeem my discounts? 

NEW this year! We've made it easier for you! Instead of ripping out coupons, simply provide your program to the participating business and the server or sales clerk will initial or stamp the checkbox to note you have redeemed that deal. Don't worry, the same AWESOME deals are available. You no longer have to keep track of all of those coupons as the deals will be right there with you in your program book. You will need your program book and VIT pass with you at all times to be eligible to receive discounts.

Where does Winter Recess Take Place?
As a community-wide event, Winter Recess takes advantage of multiple venues throughout Ithaca, with additional recreational offerings throughout the surrounding Finger Lakes region, including:


. Downtown Ithaca Commons

. Cayuga Wine Trail

. Ithaca College
. Cornell University

. Hotel Ithaca
. Ithaca Public Schools
. Ithaca Discovery Trail
. Greek Peak Mountain Resort

What if I'm a Private School Educator?
We welcome you. While Winter Recess formally celebrates the unique contribution of public school educators, the Ithaca community supports the work of all certified classroom educators and school employees. To qualify for Winter Recess discounts, private school educators must present proof of employment at check in. All other Winter Recess guidelines apply.

Thank you, teachers. Ithaca loves you!

The Winter Recess Teacher Festival is a partnership between Visit Ithaca, Downtown Ithaca Alliance and Tompkins Chamber