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The 2023 Parents and Families Weekend dates will be announced in late January. 

Below are some frequently asked questions. 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 dates for the 2023 Parents & Families Weekend will be announced in late spring.


How do we register?

The registration process for the 2023 Parents & Families Weekend will be announced in late spring.

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.

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.

Students may have exams and due dates the week following Parents and Families Weekend.  Encourage your student to plan ahead so they can enjoy your visit. 

Where should we park?

Parking details will be shared after the start of the fall semester. 


What about the weather?

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

The weather is typically beautiful with cooler days and lots of sunshine. Temps average in the 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?

Details will be shared will be shared after the start of the fall semester. 

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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