Each September, one weekend differentiates itself from the others; dining hall fare is swapped for North End cuisine, and the focus shifts away from the social scene on campus. Parents’ Weekend is the university tradition that many a homesick Eagle has been looking forward to. Even those who relish their independence at college won’t turn down some time off campus and away from schoolwork.
As with every Parents’ Weekend, Boston College has a lot of events and activities planned for your family’s enjoyment. If Mom and Dad aren’t too fond of the idea of tagging along for your chemistry lecture, make sure that they take advantage of these on-campus opportunities.
The dean of each college will hold an open house, which is a great way for parents to get an idea of the material that you are learning in each of your classes. There are also open houses for Student Affairs and Academic Advising in Corcoran, as well as some talks about university life in Robsham.
If your Friday is relatively free of classes and other obligations, it could also be really fun to give your parents an informal tour of your favorite spots on campus, be it the Labyrinth on Bapst Lawn or Hillside. You can even take a family Gassongram (can you say Christmas card?)! Plenty of families will go to the Pops on the Heights concert, and for good reason: the music is fantastic and it’s pretty special to have the Boston Pops come to campus to perform. The football game Saturday is also an exciting way to show your family BC’s school spirit, which is expected to be a pretty good match-up against Colorado State.
For families wishing to venture off campus, there’s no shortage of things to do in Boston, and, luckily, the weather is still nice enough for walking around in the city. If your family wants to shop, there’s always The Street and the Chestnut Hill Mall near campus, or Newbury Street and the Prudential Center downtown. However, the Natick Mall, accessible via Route 9, can be a nice alternative, with a wide variety of stores and the convenience of being indoors with hassle-free parking.
In addition, Boston has plenty of cool art museums worth checking out, from the MFA to Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The Museum of Science and the New England Aquarium are also great options for those with younger siblings visiting. If you’re feeling particularly touristy and the weather permits, try a Duck Tour for a fun, albeit cliché, way to see the city. Lastly, walking the Freedom Trail and stopping at Paul Revere’s House and Old North Church is a quintessential Boston activity, and an interesting reminder of American history.
It would be remiss to not mention restaurants. Since being treated to real, delicious food is arguably one of the best aspects of Parents’ Weekend, you want to be sure to pick someplace good to dine. If you don’t want to venture too far off campus, Paris Crêpérie and Otto’s in Coolidge Corner are both delicious, and Farmstead Table in Newton has an amazing brunch menu. For classic North End Italian, try Al Dente, and if you find yourself over in Cambridge, Craigie’s on Main has a fantastic reputation (for good reason). Other places in Boston worth checking out include Gaslight in the South End, the Rustic Kitchen and the Paramount, as well as tourist favorites Mike’s Pastry and Georgetown Cupcake.
Of course, the weekend doesn’t come without stress: you certainly want to demonstrate your Boston expertise with a full schedule of unique activities, but you wouldn’t want to seem anything less than 100% appreciative by not focusing on your studies. Keep in mind that completing schoolwork ahead of time is probably your best bet this weekend, because you’ll want to make the most of your time with your family.
Remember not to get too stressed out this weekend because ultimately your parents are just happy to see you and want to make sure that you’re having fun and doing well here at BC! Spend as much time with them as possible because, before you know it, you’ll be counting down the days until Thanksgiving.