Grandma lives in Binghamton, in upstate New York, so this fall when we spent a weekend there we did a drive to Ithaca, where we had never ever been. Although we went on a Sunday, when the entire town is pretty dead, we still had a great time. (But don't go on a Sunday, if you can help it.) First of all, remember Moosewood, the James Beard award winning cookbooks--our favorite is Pretend Soup--the only cookbook Clara grabs off the shelf, and she has at least 5, thanks to my former job at Cookie Magazine---which had a giveaway table with tons of books and beauty products and clothes and...but wait, I'm not supposed to be wistful about my old life...back to Moosewood...it too is closed on Sundays. So I can't say I ate there, but I will when I go back on a Saturday.
Now, it's in an old building called the Dewitt Mall, that has shops inside that are really worth a wander...a nice bookstore, an organic coop called Greenstar, a great cafe called Cafe Dewitt that we ended up at because Moosewood was closed, and a nice and note expensive antique store.
Then we wandered around the 'commons', which was empty and mostly closed, but I could tell it had promise. Here's what else I would check out in the area:
Watercress: 607-257-0823 has an organic children's menu
Farmers Market on Saturdays from April to December
Jillian's Drawers: It made me wish I was still doing the Cookie 100, our annual list of favorite finds...she had the best lunch kits, baby gifts....
Updated and extensive listings of everything a family can do can be found on ithacachild.net