Instagram photos of mouthwatering campus dishes. Videos with Blacksburg’s bright fall foliage and breathtaking mountain views. Text messages about classes and weekends well spent.

Many students share their experiences with family throughout the year.

Fall Family Weekend is an opportunity to reconnect and experience firsthand some of the rich traditions, vibrant scenery, and new initiatives that make Virginia Tech a place where students thrive.

“We really see the weekend as an extension of Orientation,” said Kristen Houston, assistant director for strategic engagement for Family and Alumni Relations. “There are dozens of events on campus and throughout the community. Students and family members get to experience it all together.”

This year’s Fall Family Weekend is Oct. 12-14. Special events include athletic competitions, exhibitions, featured dining events, information sessions, open houses, performances, presentations, outdoor activities, and tours.

“For many new students and families, this will be their first time together since move-in for fall semester,” said Tom Brown, assistant to the vice president for student affairs. “The weekend is a chance for family members to see how things are going and for both new and returning students to share their experiences so far.”

The Fall Family Weekend schedule offers something for everyone. Events include:

  • Sports. Fans can watch the football game live on the big screen at Cassell Coliseum at the Hokie Game Watch Party and see the soccer teams in action at home.
  • Fine arts. Music, dance, and art lovers can attend a concert of immersive audio and video, hear a rendition of David Bowie’s final album or traditional blues music, square dance, and see exhibits featuring 20th-century American artist Jacob Lawrence.
  • Tours. Visitors can check out state-of-the-art athletic facilities, discover hidden gems in downtown Blacksburg, go behind the scenes in the Moss Arts Center, see student design projects in The Ware Lab, relax in Hahn Horticulture Garden, meet robots and see a 14,000-pound jet engine in Goodwin Hall, and explore the Center for Real Life Design
  • Well-being. Families can get tips to improve sleep, learn mindfulness strategies, canoe the New River, and go to McComas Hall for recreation.
  • Good eats. Foodies can explore the Blacksburg Farmer’s Market, savor sustainably harvested and produced ingredients during an unforgettable dining experience at Homefield Farm, and check out the 5th Annual Blues, Brews, and BBQ.
  • Games. Competitors can play Hokie Family Feud and head over to BreakZONE for billiards, bowling, and table tennis.
  • Shopping. Shoppers can check out the Blacksburg Vintage Market and the GeoFair and Mineral Sale.

Families will also have opportunities to learn more about academics, experiential learning, housing, study abroad, and Strengths-Based Parenting. First-generation students and their families can enjoy a reception Sunday in the Graduate Life Center.

Houston hopes families can also find time to explore the region and experience some of the nation’s best outdoor activities.

Participants should visit the check-in and information center in Old Dominion Ballroom in Squires Student Center upon arrival for nametags, schedules, maps, and general information. Hours for check-in and information are Friday from noon to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Online registration for Fall Family Weekend is open through Friday, Oct. 5. The most up-to-date schedule of events and all ticket and registration information are available on the Fall Family Weekend website.

Brown credits colleagues and the Blacksburg community with working hard to create a meaningful and fun-filled weekend for families.

“A committee consisting of representatives from across campus have been working since last spring to plan and implement this weekend,” said Brown. “Support from across the university and the Town of Blacksburg is key to offering this experience for our students and their families.”

Written by Tammy Tripp