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Your Guide To Parents’ Weekend 2015

If you haven’t been keeping track on your syllabi, we’re halfway through week seven of the fall semester! That means it’s the season of long papers, midterms, and complicated lectures. On top of that, most clubs and activities are in full swing as well. Basically, every Penn Stater is pretty busy during this time of year, but this weekend offers the perfect opportunity to slow down your hectic schedule and spend time with some of the most important people: your family! That’s right, it’s Parents’ and Families’ weekend!

Whether your entire family is coming up to State College, or you’re just looking for ways to kill time with some friends, this weekend’s festivities offer fun for everyone. We compiled just some of the most notable activities available for each day this weekend here in University Park. Here’s your guide to Parents Weekend 2015:

Friday, October 16

Penn State Berkey Creamery Self-Guided & Virtual Video Tour

Rodney A. Erickson Food Science Building, Creamery Observation Room

7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Sure, you’ve waited in line for hours to try almost every flavor possible at The Creamery. But do you know the science behind your Death By Chocolate cone? Stop by the Penn State Creamery Observation Room to witness a virtual “Cow to Cone” video tour. This is a perfect experience for anyone interested in food science, or even if you’re just an everyday ice cream lover.

Palmer Museum of Art

10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Unleash your inner art connoisseur this weekend! Multiple art exhibits at the Palmer Museum of Art will surely keep you entertained. Some exhibitions include the ‘Abstract Art from the Permanent Collection’ and ‘Archipenko: A Modern Legacy.’ The ‘Abstract Art from the Permanent Collection’ is a compilation of abstract art pieces researched by Penn State students. The exhibit focuses on the many ways to view and appreciate abstract artwork– an art form that may be confusing to some. ‘Archipenko: A Modern Legacy’ focuses on the art of modern sculpture.

Intramural Building Self-Guided Tours

12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Feeling sporty? Come tour the newly renovated Intramural Building! Enjoy a self-guided tour of the facility, which boasts a 48,000 square foot fitness center, three wood court gyms, a multi-purpose gymnasium, three fitness classrooms, academic classrooms, and so much more. Show your parents that you’re working out in style at Penn State.

Beaver Stadium Tours

Tours will begin at 2:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m. at the stadium’s South Tunnel.

Have you always wanted to explore Beaver Stadium beyond your seat during game day? Take a behind-the-scenes look at one of Penn State’s most iconic places. Tour participants will see the media room, home locker room, letterman’s club, recruiting lounge, Mount Nittany Club, and will walk out the tunnel at field level. Tours will last approximately 75 minutes.

Office of the President Open House

Old Main, Room 201

2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Be sure to visit the Office of the President this weekend! You’ll even have the chance to view the frescoes and tour the Old Main Bell Tower. Light refreshments will be provided, as well as entertainment from the Penn State School of Music. Why just hear Old Main chime when you can go and explore it?

Tour of the Penn State Lunar Lion Lab Headquarters

Research West, Room 113P

4:00 p.m – 5:00 p.m.

First stop: State College. Next stop: the moon! A tour will be provided to participants of the Penn State Lunar Lion lab facility this weekend. This will include an overview from student subsystem leads regarding the type of work being done, demonstrations of the in-progress prototype lander Puma, and an address from Michael V. Paul, Program Director. If you’re interested in the last frontier, this is a tour you can’t miss.

The Arboretum at Penn State’s Pumpkin Festival

H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens in The Arboretum at Penn State at the junction of Park Avenue and Bigler Road

6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Embrace this fantastic fall weather and visit the annual Pumpkin Festival at the Arboretum! Take part in a Jack-o’-Lantern contest with your family, and enjoy a lighted Jack-o’-Lantern display on Friday evening.

Saturday, October 17

The Liberal Arts Experience: From Classroom to Career

Sparks Building, Room 121 & Patio/Lobby

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Are you in the College of Liberal Arts? Need academic guidance? Advisers and career enrichment staff will be available to answer your questions about majors, study abroad, internships, and mentor programs.

Division of Undergraduate Studies Open House

Grange Building, Lobby

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

If you can’t decide on a major, never fear. You and your parents are invited to an open house for the Division of Undergraduate Studies. Come take this opportunity to discuss your career ideas with an academic adviser and learn more about how other students in DUS discovered their passions, interests, and ultimate majors/minors.

Smeal College of Business Open House

Business Building, Atrium

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Are you a business major? This Open House will include a meet and greet with Dean Whiteman and his staff, hosted by the Smeal Undergraduate Education Office. Learn more about the college with representatives from each department and discover which facet of business is right for you!

Trolley Tour of Campus Tours

In front of the HUB-Robeson Center (along Pollock Road)

Tours will begin at 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., & 1:00 p.m.

Tired of hiking around campus but still want to learn more about Happy Valley? Take advantage of a campus tour on the Blue Trolley. A Penn State tour guide will share information about the Penn State campus, including interesting campus history.

Public Ice Skating

Pegula Ice Arena, Community Rink (Gate C)

8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Looking for a unique activity that’s fun for the whole family? Enjoy an evening of ice skating at the Pegula Ice Arena! Admission and skate rentals can be purchased upon arrival.

Late Night

Penn State HUB-Robeson Center

9:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.

Make your family feel just like a Penn State student by bringing them along for SPA’s Late Night activities. Enjoy this weekly tradition in the HUB with a free movie, crafts, billiards, food specials, and more! You can even watch the Ballroom Dance Club perform at 10:00 p.m. in Alumni Hall.

Sunday, October 18

Penn State’s Signature “Sunday Brunch”

Findlay Dining Commons, Northside (North Halls, Warnock Commons), Pollock Dining Commons, Waring Square (West Halls) South Food District (South Halls, Redifer Commons)

10:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (Northside, Warnock Commons, will serve brunch 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.)

It is an absolute must to you treat your family to a quintessential Penn State Sunday Brunch. Parents, siblings and family members can enjoy the all-you-can-eat brunch buffet for just $7.00 each. Come feast on oatmeal, pancakes, waffle bar, omelette bar, scrambled eggs, scrambled egg whites, sausage links, tater tots, roasted turkey, and SO much more.

Penn State Housing Fair

HUB-Robeson Center, Alumni Hall

11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Concerned about where you’ll live next year? Visit the Penn State Housing Fair for off-campus living options and resources. The Housing Fair is an event for students who are thinking about moving off-campus. This fair is a great chance to meet with local landlords, property managers, and businesses representatives with your parents as backup.

Blue & White Society BBQ

Hintz Family Alumni Center, Robb Hall

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m

All parents and families of Blue & White Society members are invited to enjoy a good old-fashioned barbecue. Come see why the Blue & White Society, the student membership of the Penn State Alumni Association, is one of the ultimate Penn State experiences.

Penn State vs. Union Women’s Ice Hockey

Pegula Ice Arena

2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

End your weekend with a bang. Be sure to attend the Penn State Women’s Ice Hockey game. Witness the Penn State Woman’s team wrap up their series with Union for their annual THON Awareness Game! If you’re not already sold, there will be a FREE post-game skate with the team for all fans in attendance after the game.


These are just some of the exciting events to look forward to for Parents Weekend. If you want the full schedule, check it out here.

We hope you enjoy this weekend — make sure you show your family a great time here in Happy Valley!

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About the Author

Carolyn Popescu

Current senior studying Advertising and Visual Arts, Carolyn has a passion for entertainment and music. She also loves photography, film, graphic design, social media, and all things in between. She's the current Sony Music Marketing Representative for State College, so be sure to reach out to her with any local music scene questions, ideas, proposals, or if you just need someone to geek out about music with.

(Contact her through [email protected] or [email protected])


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