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Parents and Families Weekend is scheduled for October 7-9, 2002 at the University Park campus.

Below are some frequently asked questions regarding this event. If you have additional questions, please contact the Penn State Parents Program at or 814-863-1313.

What happens during Parents & Families Weekend?

With over 80 events, there is truly something for everyone. We will begin posting events in August and will continue to add events throughout the fall.

Special tours, housing sessions, student performances, academic events, and more are hosted throughout the weekend. There will also be varsity athletic competitions and theater performances. You will see the incredible talent and skills of Penn State students at almost every event hosted during the weekend.

Why should we attend Parents & Families Weekend?

Students are typically ready for a visit from home by this time in the semester. They may be tired and overwhelmed and in need of a little TLC (and, maybe cookies). They are also somewhat settled into their new "home" at Penn State and may be excited to share what they have discovered with you!

It's also a chance to experience something new at Penn State. Many of the events offered during Parents & Families Weekend are not frequently open to families and guests including tours of Old Main, Beaver Stadium, and the Brezeale Nuclear Reactor.

When does registration begin?

Registration for the 2022 Parents & Families Weekend begins on Thursday, August 25 at 12:00 pm ET. 

  • Your FREE registration includes access to most events. Some events require an advanced ticket purchase or reservation. Space is limited for these events and many fill up/sell out VERY quickly. After completing your registration, you will receive a confirmation email with the details on how to purchase or request tickets to these events. 
  • The Beaver Stadium Tours, Lion Chariot Pedicab Tours, and Family Pride Packs sell out VERY quickly. If you are interested in these, please make your plans to register early. 


How do we register?

Registration for the 2022 Parents & Families Weekend begins on Thursday, August 25 at 12:00 pm ET.

Links to register will be shared via the Parent & Family Experience email. Confirm you are receiving emails here. 

After registering, guests will receive a confirmation email with parking details and other event information.

What does it cost?

There is no registration fee for Parents & Families Weekend and most events are free; however, some events require a ticket purchase or additional registration. More details will be shared during the registration process in August. 

An example of events that require a ticket purchase or fee include the Beaver Stadium Tours, some athletic events, and theater/music performances. 

What day should we arrive? When do events begin and end?

Events typically begin after lunch on Friday and end at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. Many families choose to come for the entire weekend, while others may drive in for a day (we would recommend Saturday). Some events only happen on Friday, while some events such as Housing Sessions and Beaver Stadium Tours are held multiple times throughout the weekend. The Housing Fair is hosted on Sunday.

Do we need to check in?

There is no official check in, however, we recommend stopping by a Welcome Table in the HUB-Robeson Center to pick up an event schedules, giveaways, event updates, and other handouts available throughout the weekend.  

Should we bring other family members?

Yes, everyone is welcome. Family-friendly events will be marked with a paw print on the schedule. This will help you select activities that may be enjoyable and appropriate for younger children. Keep in mind that Penn State is a large campus and you will be doing a lot of walking.


Any lodging recommendations?

On busy weekends such as Parents & Families Weekend, football games, and graduation, many, if not all, of our local hotels sell out. If you do not have a place to stay, you may want to think outside the box (outside of State College). Bellefonte, Lewistown, and Altoona are within 15-45 minutes from campus. There are also several non-traditional options in the area including Airbnb, StateCations, and Rent Like a Champion that offer private homes for rent. The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau may be helpful in finding a place for your family.

Sometimes rooms open up as we get closer to the event date. Please check with local hotels to check for cancellations. 

Why isn’t there a home football game?

Parents and Families Weekend focuses on you and your student's Penn State experience. The crowds and other activities during a football weekend would prevent us from hosting many of the events that families enjoy each year. There would also not be enough lodging and accommodations for both families and football fans. We will host a tailgate watch party in the HUB.

Where can we eat during Parents & Families Weekend?

We recommend planning at least one meal in your student’s favorite dining commons. Penn State typically offers a family meal deals at all you care to eat buffets in many of our locations throughout the weekend.

Downtown State College and the surrounding areas offer a wide variety of wonderful restaurants. Parent volunteer in the bright green shirts will be happy to provide recommendations. 

You won’t want to leave without getting ice cream at the Berkey Creamery.

Will my student have classes on Friday of Parents and Families Weekend?

Yes, the University does not cancel classes for Parents & Families Weekend. However, you are welcome to enjoy the campus and any scheduled activities while they are in class.

Where should we park?

There are two options for parking - discounted parking at Stadium West and Jordan East Lots or campus parking decks for $1.00/hour (first-come, first-served). The discounted parking lots are available for reservation via the ParkMobile website using the link below. Trolley service and buses are available from all parking areas to get you and your family around campus. 

There is plenty of parking available in these lots for the event. Advanced reservations are recommended, but not required. There is NO code needed to receive discounted parking. Please note that ParkMobile adds a small service fee.

To make a reservation in a ParkMobile lot:

  • Go to the Penn State ParkMobile event page on the website. It is not necessary to download the ParkMobile app. 
  • Locate the event and select Daily Event passes or a 3-Day Event Pass.
  • There is no code needed.
  • Sign in to your account or continue as a guest. 
  • You will receive an email confirmation from ParkMobile. 
    • 3-DAY EVENT PASS    
    • Families may purchase a pass valid for all three days for $12 (plus a service charge).    
  • DAILY PASS     
    • Families may purchase a daily parking pass for $4 (plus a service charge).

*Please use the correct license plate information and email address, as lots are enforced by plate and those who prepay for parking will also receive a confirmation email and permit by email. All campus parking areas require head-in-parking or for the license plate to face the drive aisle, as noted at the entrance to each lot. If you need to update your plate information before your visit, contact ParkMobile at 877-727-5281. During the Ice Hockey games Friday and Saturday evenings, show the attendant your digital permit to enter the lot.  


  • HUB, East, Eisenhower, or Nittany Parking Decks
  • $1.00 per hour
  • ParkMobile discount codes will not work in the parking decks. Decks are NOT reservable. Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis only. The HUB Deck typically fills up early each day.    
  • ADA parking is available in all parking decks. 

**Pull a ticket and pay at one of the in-deck pay stations before returning to your car. Credit cards and cash are accepted. 

Student Parking Lots are reserved seven days a week, 24 hours a day for the exclusive use by students displaying the appropriate permit. 


Our plans have changed. How do we cancel our reservations?

It is not necessary to cancel your overall weekend reservation.

If you purchased tickets, please reach out to the organizing office with questions about ticket refunds or transfers. 

What about the weather?

We love weather at Penn State. In fact, our meteorology department is one of the best in the country! 

October is typically a beautiful month with cooler days and lots of sunshine. Temps average in the mid-upper 60s. We don't usually see snow until November or December, but bring an umbrella. 

Here's a link to the Campus Weather Service to check out the forecast for the weekend. 



How can we get around campus during the weekend?


The Parents and Families Weekend Trolley will be available from 8:00am – 8:00pm on Saturday and from 9:00am – 4:00pm on Sunday. Please refer to the campus map on in the schedule of events for trolley stop locations. After the shuttle service has ended, we encourage family members to utilize the free CATABUS Blue and White Loops to get around campus.


Guests are encouraged to use the FREE Blue and White Loops and the Red and Green Links to get around. Find the schedule in the “Visiting Penn State” section of the Penn State Go app.

“ What I enjoyed the very most was the free time to see my child in his new environment. I have a new sense of calmness with seeing that he adjusted very well. ”
Penn State Parent, Fall 2017
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