Skip to main content
Search

FAQs

Parents and Families Weekend is hosted in the fall semester. Below are some frequently asked questions regarding this event. If you have additional questions, please contact the Penn State Parents Program at 814-863-1313.

Parking Information:

Penn State is a large campus and with more than 80 events scheduled during Parents & Families Weekend parking could be a challenge. We’ve created this guide to help you find convenient (hopefully, free) parking.

 

DAY

FREE PARKING

PAID PARKING*

Friday, October 8

 

Stadium West or Jordan East** - If arriving before 4:00pm, guests may remain for the rest of the evening at no charge.

 

HUB, West, East, Eisenhower, or Nittany Parking Decks - $1.00 per hour

Saturday, October 9

 

Stadium West or Jordan East** - If arriving before 4:00pm, guests may remain for the rest of the evening at no charge.

 

HUB, West, East, Eisenhower, or Nittany Parking Decks - $1.00 per hour

Sunday, October 10

 

Stadium West or Jordan East

 

HUB, West, East, or Nittany Parking Decks - $1.00 per hour

EISENHOWER PARKING DECK IS NOT AVAILABLE

*ADA parking is available in all parking decks and surface lots. Pull a ticket and pay at the “pay station machine” before returning to your car. Credit cards and cash are accepted.

**Please note that there will be regulated parking and a parking fee if guests arrive after 4:00pm in lots near the Bryce Jordan Center and Pegula Ice Arena due to events in these locations on both Friday and Saturday.

Student Parking Lots

Resident student parking lots are reserved seven days a week, 24 hours a day for the exclusive use by students displaying the appropriate permit.

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? Do we have to register?

Registration begins August 24 at 12:00 pm EST.  Registration is FREE and required.  There is no limit to the number of guests; however some events have a limited number of tickets. Those events will be shared during the registration process. 

 

How do we register?
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. 

Family Pride Packs are available for $45 each during the registration process. A Family Pride Pack is a special, curated collection of Penn State family items including a cozy blanket, tote bag, 24 oz. Tervis tumbler, and more.

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

Events 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 (Old Main Tours), 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.

We can’t find a hotel. What should we do?

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 $8.00 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.

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?

Penn State is a large campus and with more than 80 events scheduled during Parents & Families Weekend parking could be a challenge. We’ve created this guide to help you find convenient (hopefully, free) parking.

 

DAY

FREE PARKING

PAID PARKING*

Friday, October 8

 

Stadium West or Jordan East** - If arriving before 4:00pm, guests may remain for the rest of the evening at no charge.

 

HUB, East, Eisenhower, or Nittany Parking Decks - $1.00 per hour

Saturday, October 9

 

Stadium West or Jordan East** - If arriving before 4:00pm, guests may remain for the rest of the evening at no charge.

 

HUB, East, Eisenhower, or Nittany Parking Decks - $1.00 per hour

Sunday, October 10

 

Stadium West or Jordan East

 

HUB, East, or Nittany Parking Decks - $1.00 per hour

EISENHOWER PARKING DECK IS NOT AVAILABLE

 

*ADA parking is available in all parking decks and surface lots. Pull a ticket and pay at the “pay station machine” before returning to your car. Credit cards and cash are accepted.

 

**Please note that there will be regulated parking and a parking fee if guests arrive after 4:00pm in lots near the Bryce Jordan Center and Pegula Ice Arena due to events in these locations on both Friday and Saturday.

 

Student Parking Lots

Resident 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.

What is a Family Pride Pack? SOLD OUT

You will have the opportunity to order a pride pack during the registration process. A Family Pride Pack is a special, curated collection of Penn State family items including a cozy blanket, tote bag, 24 oz. Tervis tumbler, and more. You will have the opportunity to purchase a pride pack during the registration process. There is a limited supply and packs will be available on a first come, first served basis. 

Where can I pick up our Family Pride Pack?

Family Pride Packs may be picked up in Room 134 of the HUB during the above hours on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, please stop by the information table.

  • Friday, October 8, 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. 
  • Saturday, October 9, 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. 
  • Sunday, October 10, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (First-floor lobby)

If you are not able to pick up your Pride Pack during Parents and Families Weekend, your student may make arrangements for pick up the week of October 11. Please email parents@psu.edu to make these arrangements. We are unable to offer pick ups the week of October 4. 

“ 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
Penn State Student Affairs
Penn State Parents Program