50 Exciting Parents Weekend Event Ideas
Parents Weekend is an eagerly anticipated event hosted by many colleges and universities, usually during the fall semester. This weekend offers families a unique opportunity to visit their student’s campus, engage in various activities, and see what their child has been up to during their time in college. It’s a time for students to showcase their academic and social achievements, share their experiences, and create lasting memories with their families.
During Parents Weekend, families get a chance to explore the campus, attend academic lectures, cultural performances, athletic events, and participate in other activities that showcase the vibrant and diverse life of the college. It’s a chance for families to get a glimpse of their student’s daily routine, meet their friends and professors, and see firsthand the growth and development that has occurred since their child began their college journey.
This special occasion offers an excellent platform for students to bond with their families, share their experiences, and create lasting memories together. To make the most out of this weekend, we’ve compiled an extensive list of events that cater to various interests, including individual family activities, events organized by Greek chapters, and college campus events. These ideas ensure that families have a diverse range of experiences to choose from, creating a memorable and engaging weekend for all involved.
By carefully planning a mix of individual family activities, Greek chapter events, and campus-wide events, families can gain a comprehensive understanding of their student’s college experience. From casual get-togethers to campus-wide celebrations, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. By participating in these events, families can strengthen their connections with each other and the larger campus community. Embrace the spirit of Parents Weekend and create unforgettable memories that will be cherished for years to come.
Unique Parents Weekend Events By Category
Personal Event Idea for You and Your Family
Explore the City or Surrounding Area:
Show your parents around your college town or the surrounding area. Take them to your favorite local spots, like cafes, bookstores, or parks. Your parents want to see what your college life is like, so take them around and show them the sights.
Alternatively, you could ask them what kind of sights they’d like to see and plan a day exploring the city together. This collaborative approach ensures everyone enjoys their time together. Just make sure to check opening hours of each attraction and to bring comfortable shoes if you plan on walking for a while.
If you and your parents are outdoorsy, plan a hike or a bike ride through a nearby park or nature reserve. Check out local rental shops for kayaks or paddleboards and spend a day out on the water.
Make sure to bring sunscreen, snacks, and plenty of water for this outing. It’s also important to research the difficulty levels of hikes and trails to ensure it suits both you and your parent. This parents weekend event should be fun, so I’d recommend sticking to something lighter.
Attend A Sporting Event:
If your college has a sports team, check out the schedule and plan to attend a game or match together. Get into the school spirit and show your parents what it’s like to be a fan of your college’s team. Check the weather, bring sunscreen, and wear school colors to show your support.
Visit Local Attractions:
Research local attractions in the area and plan a day trip to visit them with your parents. This could include museums, art galleries, or historical sites. Make sure to plan ahead and check for any admission fees or hours of operation. Take advantage of guided tours for a more in-depth understanding of the attractions.
Take a Cooking Class:
If you and your parents love to cook, take a cooking class together. Look for a class that caters to both of your interests and skills and learn new techniques and recipes together. This is the perfect outing for families who love to cook or are culinary fans.
Attend a Concert or Play:
Check out local venues to see if there are any concerts or plays happening during your visit. Look up the performers beforehand and choose one that interests both of you. Check online for tickets, arrive early to find seats, and enjoy the show.
If you and your parents enjoy shopping, plan a day to explore local boutiques or thrift stores. Research which areas or stores have the items you’re interested in and make a plan for the day. Take your time browsing and consider buying locally made or unique items.
Consider spending some time volunteering at a local nonprofit or community organization with your parents. Check out local organizations beforehand and choose one that aligns with your shared values. Plan ahead for any necessary paperwork or training and bring comfortable clothes and closed-toe shoes.
Visit a Nearby National Park:
Plan a day trip to a nearby national park with your parents. Check the park’s website for recommended trails or activities, and plan accordingly. Bring comfortable clothes and shoes for hiking, and pack snacks and water. Don’t forget to take photos of the breathtaking views.
Spend some quality time together relaxing and catching up. Show your parents around campus and share stories about your college experiences. Plan a movie night, game night, or a quiet afternoon spent reading or napping. Take this opportunity to bond with your parents and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Visit Local Farmers' Markets:
Spend the morning exploring the local farmers’ market with your parents. Sample fresh, locally grown produce, artisanal cheeses, and handmade baked goods, and meet the farmers who grew them. Ask them about their farms and learn about the local food scene. Bring a tote bag to collect your goodies and enjoy a picnic lunch with your purchases.
Go On A Scavenger Hunt:
Create a list of fun and quirky items to find around campus or in the local community and challenge your parents to a scavenger hunt. It could be a statue, a mural, or a local landmark. Take pictures of each item as you find them and make it a friendly competition. Once you’ve found everything, treat yourselves to ice cream or another treat.
Attend A Comedy Show: :
Check out local comedy clubs or improv troupes and plan a night of laughter with your parents. Look up the comedians or performers beforehand to get a sense of their style and humor. Bring your sense of humor and be ready to laugh and have a good time together.
Visit a Nearby Beach (If Available):
Plan a day trip to a nearby beach with your parents. Bring a picnic lunch and some beach games like frisbee or volleyball. Rent beach chairs and an umbrella, and spend the day soaking up the sun, swimming in the ocean, and enjoying each other’s company. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen!
Plan a Movie Marathon:
If you and your parents enjoy watching movies, plan a movie marathon day with your favorite films or TV shows. Stock up on popcorn, candy, and drinks, and spend the day lounging and watching your favorite flicks. Make sure to choose movies that both of you enjoy and take breaks to chat and catch up in between movies.
Go On A Bike Tour:
Rent bicycles and explore the local area on two wheels with your parents. Check out local bike paths or tour the city streets and enjoy the fresh air and scenery together. Bring a picnic lunch or stop for a snack at a local cafe or bakery.
Attend a Cultural Festival:
Check out any cultural festivals or events happening in the local community and plan to attend them with your parents. It’s a great way to learn about different cultures and celebrate diversity. Sample traditional foods, watch cultural performances, and browse local crafts and goods.
Visit a Science Museum:
If you and your parents are science buffs, check out local science museums or planetariums and spend the day exploring exhibits and learning about the world around us. Take your time to read about each exhibit, watch shows at the planetarium, and try interactive displays.
Take a Pottery Class:
If you and your parents enjoy getting your hands dirty, take a pottery class together. Look up local studios or classes and sign up for a session. Learn how to throw clay on the wheel, create your own pottery pieces, and decorate them. Make it a bonding experience by giving each other feedback and working on projects together.
Try a New Restaurant:
Branch out and try a new restaurant or cuisine that you and your parents haven’t had before. Research local restaurants and read reviews to find a place that appeals to both of your taste buds. Try new dishes and share them family-style. Take the time to savor the food and enjoy the ambiance of the restaurant.
Greek Chapter Event Ideas
Meet and Greet Mixer:
As a member of a Greek chapter, organizing a casual meet and greet mixer for families is an excellent way to introduce them to the community. Plan to have light refreshments and set up conversation areas for mingling. This event allows everyone to connect and feel welcomed into the Greek life community.
Chapter House Tours:
Offering guided tours of the fraternity or sorority house is an excellent opportunity to showcase your living spaces, common areas, and any historical aspects of the house. Giving families a glimpse into your daily life within the chapter house will help them understand your living environment.
Family Weekend Barbecue:
Hosting a family barbecue is a great way to provide a relaxed atmosphere for families to bond with members and each other while enjoying a fun-filled day. Plan to have delicious food, outdoor games, and music.
Hosting a presentation highlighting the philanthropic efforts and community service projects undertaken by your chapter is a great way to involve families in your work. Invite them to participate in a hands-on activity that benefits a local cause. This event demonstrates your chapter’s commitment to giving back to the community and helps families feel proud of your involvement.
Greek Life Panel Discussion:
Organizing a panel discussion featuring current members, alumni, and chapter advisors to discuss the benefits of Greek life, leadership opportunities, and personal growth experiences is an excellent way to educate families. This event helps families better understand the value of fraternity and sorority involvement for their students.
Formal Awards Dinner:
As a member of a Greek chapter, planning a formal awards dinner where members are recognized for their academic achievements, leadership roles, and contributions to the chapter is an excellent way to celebrate your accomplishments. This event allows families to take pride in your involvement in Greek life.
Arranging guided tours of the campus for visiting families is an excellent way to showcase the school’s facilities, landmarks, and points of interest. This event helps families become familiar with the campus and understand the environment where their students spend their time.
Greek Life Showcase:
Organizing a Greek life showcase where various fraternities and sororities perform step shows, skits, or dances is an excellent way to highlight the unique aspects of each organization. This event allows families to witness the vibrant and diverse Greek community on campus.
Parent-Student Game Night:
Organizing a game night featuring board games, card games, and group games tailored for parents and students to play together is an excellent way to encourage friendly competition, teamwork, and bonding among families and chapter members.
Invite families to share their favorite family dishes and hometown cuisines with each other and the chapter members. This event fosters a sense of community and allows families to enjoy diverse culinary experiences while bonding with each other and the Greek community.
Family Sports Tournament:
Organize a family sports tournament with various sports like soccer, basketball, or volleyball for families and members to participate in together. This event promotes physical activity, friendly competition, and bonding through shared interests and teamwork.
Campfire and S'mores Night:
Organize a campfire night featuring storytelling, live music, or simply relaxing and enjoying s’mores. This event provides a cozy atmosphere for families to bond with members and share stories and experiences around the campfire.
Greek Service Project:
Plan a family service project where members and their families can volunteer together at a local non-profit or community organization. This event encourages bonding through shared experiences and emphasizes the importance of giving back to the community.
Host a cultural showcase highlighting the diverse backgrounds of the chapter members through performances, traditional attire, and food sampling. This event fosters cultural understanding and appreciation among families and members.
Outdoor Adventure Day
Organize an outdoor adventure day, featuring activities such as hiking, kayaking, or zip-lining, suitable for various skill levels. This event encourages bonding through shared experiences in nature and promotes physical activity.
Arrange a DIY workshop, such as pottery, woodworking, or jewelry making, where families and members can learn a new skill together. This event promotes bonding through shared learning experiences and offers a unique keepsake to take home.
Family Quiz Night:
Organize a family quiz night, featuring trivia questions that range from general knowledge to topics related to the college, chapter, and local community. This event encourages friendly competition and bonding through teamwork.
Themed Dance Party:
Host a themed dance party, such as a masquerade ball or disco night, where families and members can let loose and enjoy a night of dancing together. This event creates a fun atmosphere for conversation, shared memories, and camaraderie.
Family Meditation and Mindfulness Session:
Arrange a guided meditation and mindfulness session led by a professional instructor. This event encourages relaxation, mental well-being, and bonding through shared moments of reflection and self-care.
Host a family bake-off, where teams of members and their families compete to create the most delicious and creative baked goods. This event promotes teamwork, friendly competition, and bonding through shared culinary experiences.
Open Mic Night:
Organize an open mic night where members and their families can showcase their talents, such as singing, playing an instrument, or reciting poetry. This event fosters a supportive environment and allows families to appreciate the diverse talents within the chapter.
Plan a stargazing night at a suitable location, with or without telescopes, and invite an astronomy expert to share interesting facts about constellations and celestial events. This event encourages bonding through a shared appreciation of the night sky and promotes a sense of wonder.
Alumni and Family Brunch
Organize a brunch event where current members, their families, and alumni can connect and network. This event helps to strengthen the bonds within the chapter’s extended community and allows families to learn about post-college experiences and opportunities.
Incorporating a diverse range of events that cater to families and promote bonding between chapter members and their loved ones can create a truly unforgettable experience for all involved. These activities showcase the many benefits of Greek life, including personal growth, community engagement, and strong familial ties. By providing opportunities for families to connect with their students and the larger Greek community, chapters can leave a lasting impact on those who attend, fostering a sense of belonging and pride. Ultimately, these events can serve as a testament to the positive impact that Greek life can have on individuals and communities alike.
On Campus Event Ideas
Campus Concerts and Performances:
Check out the schedule for campus concerts, plays, musicals, or dance shows and invite your family to attend. Showcasing the talents of students and faculty, these events provide an opportunity for families to enjoy the campus’s vibrant arts scene together.
Invite your family to attend college sports games, such as football, basketball, or soccer matches, to cheer on the home team together. This promotes bonding through shared school spirit and enthusiasm for campus athletics.
Guest Lectures and Workshops:
Look out for guest lectures and workshops on campus, featuring distinguished speakers and experts in various fields. This offers an opportunity for families to learn something new and engage in thought-provoking discussions together.
Campus Art Exhibitions:
Take your family to explore campus art exhibitions, featuring the works of students, faculty, and visiting artists. This allows families to appreciate the creativity and artistic talent within the campus community.
Organize guided tours of the campus, focusing on points of interest, such as historical buildings, state-of-the-art facilities, and beautiful gardens. This helps families become familiar with the campus environment and learn more about the school’s history and traditions.
College Clubs and Organization Fairs:
Take your family to college clubs and organization fairs, where they can learn about various student groups, their activities, and how to get involved. This helps families understand the diverse opportunities available to students for personal growth and community engagement.
Family Weekend Brunches and Dinners:
Check if your college or university hosts family weekend brunches or dinners as part of their school-wide family event programming. These events provide an opportunity for families to meet other families, connect with college staff, and enjoy a meal together.
College Tradition Events:
Participate in or observe campus traditions, such as homecoming parades, spirit rallies, or annual festivals. This allows families to experience the unique aspects of campus life and bond over shared college experiences.
Community Service Events:
Take part in community service events organized by the college or university, such as food drives, park clean-ups, or volunteer opportunities at local non-profits. These events foster bonding through shared experiences while giving back to the local community.
College Open Houses and Information Sessions:
Attend open houses and information sessions, where you and your family can learn more about various academic programs, campus resources, and support services available to students. This helps families become better informed about the college experience and the opportunities for student success.
In conclusion, creating opportunities for families to be involved in Greek chapter events can foster a sense of community and strengthen the bonds between members and their loved ones. By organizing a variety of events tailored to family involvement, such as meet and greet mixers, philanthropy showcases, and family sports tournaments, Greek chapters can create memorable and enriching experiences for everyone. In addition, encouraging families to attend campus events outside of Greek life, such as campus concerts, sports games, and community service events, can broaden their understanding of the college experience and promote a sense of belonging in the larger campus community. Overall, by prioritizing family involvement, Greek chapters can demonstrate their commitment to personal growth, community involvement, and strong family bonds.
Common Parents Weekend Questions (FAQ)
Parents weekend is an annual event typically held by colleges and universities that provides an opportunity for parents and families to visit and spend time with their college students. It usually takes place in the fall semester and features a variety of activities and events, such as campus tours, athletic games, concerts, and social gatherings.
The timing of parents weekend varies by institution, but it typically takes place in the fall semester. The exact dates are usually announced well in advance to allow families to plan their travel arrangements and accommodations.
Parents weekend activities vary by institution, but they typically include campus tours, athletic events, performances, and social gatherings. Some colleges and universities also offer information sessions on various academic and student support services, as well as opportunities for families to meet with faculty and staff.
Some tips for making the most of parents weekend include planning ahead and making a schedule of events to attend, coordinating with your college student to ensure you don’t miss any important activities or events, taking advantage of the opportunity to meet with faculty and staff, and spending quality time with your student while also allowing them space to socialize with their peers.
The length of parents weekend can vary depending on the college or university, but it typically lasts for two to three days, typically over a weekend.
Events offered during parents weekend can vary depending on the college or university, but they typically include campus tours, information sessions, open houses, athletic events, cultural performances, and social gatherings. Many schools also offer special programming specifically for parents, such as workshops on topics like financial aid, study abroad opportunities, and academic advising.
Yes, and no. If you plan on attending campus hosted events its recommended that you register in advance, as this helps the college or university plan and prepare for the number of visitors. Registration may also be required for specific events, such as athletic games or performances, to ensure that there is enough seating available. If you aren’t planning on attending campus events then it’s likely unnecessary.
While some events or activities may have a cost associated with them, such as tickets to a play or dinner event, many colleges and universities offer parents weekend programming for free. It’s important for families to check with the school ahead of time for information on any associated costs.
Yes, many colleges and universities allow siblings and other family members to attend parents weekend events. However, it is important to check with the specific school’s policies regarding guest attendance and registration.
Some colleges and universities may have special events or gatherings for alumni during parents weekend, such as reunions or alumni receptions. However, this varies by school, and it is best to check with the alumni office or event schedule for details.
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