Family Weekend has been a Smith tradition since 1951, when the college first began welcoming family members to visit the campus—and their young scholars. After having been apart for almost two months, students and family members are excited to catch up with one another. In addition, the college hosts a wide range of activities and events open to all over the course of the weekend.
This year’s Family Weekend begins Friday, Oct. 21, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 23. From President Kathleen McCartney’s welcome reception in the Campus Center, to sports matches to performances by student a cappella groups, the weekend includes something for everyone.
A full schedule of events is available online on the same website families use to register for the weekend and at the Family Weekend hospitality suite in the Campus Center. For the latest listings, use the Schedules tab on the Smith College First Year Experience app or visit Smith College Parents and Families on Facebook.
Here are seven Family Weekend events you don’t want to miss:
1. Tailgate Kickoff
The Smith Pioneers are kicking off Homecoming/Family Weekend with a new campus-wide Tailgate Barbecue at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, on Chapin Lawn. For dessert, head over to the Smith Outing Club’s annual Campfire and S’mores event at 7:30 p.m. (weather permitting) at the fire pit overlooking Paradise Pond. Songs, stories and s’mores will be shared well into the night. (UPDATE October 20: The location of the Tailgate Barbecue has been moved to the Indoor Track and Tennis Facility.)
2. Experience a Day in the Life of a Smithie
Spend Friday morning attending one or two of the many open classes. (A complete list will be available at registration and online via the Smith College First Year Experience app.) Afterwards, stop by one of the weekly House Teas. Refreshments will be served, and student house leaders and Residence Life staff will be on hand to answer questions about life on campus.
3. Sample Some Fall Flavors
What would Family Weekend be without apple cider—and apple cider donuts? The Sixth Annual Apple Cider Pressing will be held Saturday, Oct. 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Chapin Annex Road. Join staff from the Center for the Environment, Ecological Design and Sustainability and Dining Services for a delicious Smith tradition.
4. Enjoy a Meal with a Student Organization
Among the many options are a gourmet vegetarian dinner in the Kosher Kitchen at Jordan House following a student-led Kabbalat Shabbat service Friday, Oct. 21, at 5:30 p.m.; the annual EKTA dinner hosted by Smith’s South Asian student organization Friday, Oct. 21, at 5:30 p.m. in the Mwangi Cultural Center; a Smith basketball team alumnae lunch open to all at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, at the turf field; and a soul food lunchbox gathering hosted by the Black Students Alliance—Smith’s oldest student group—from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, at the Mwangi Cultural Center.
5. Take in the Landscape
Go for a walk around Smith’s renowned campus, which was designed as a Botanic Garden that includes 10 different greenhouses and 2,500 plant species. Lyman Plant House and Conservatory, open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. during Family Weekend, is the perfect place to learn more about plants, meditate or just explore.
6. Catch a Student Performance
Members of Jumbo Shrimp: A New Student Theatre Lab will perform pieces created by first year and transfer students at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, and Sunday, Oct. 23, in the TV Studio at Mendenhall Performing Arts Center. Be sure to check the schedule for performances by SIKOS, Smith’s student improv comedy group; student a cappella groups; faculty chamber musicians; and more.
7. Talk Politics at the Annual Bipartisan Tea
The tea, hosted jointly by the Smith College Democrats and the Smith College Republicans, is the perfect way to learn about how these organizations are active on campus. This year’s conversation will be held in the Campus Center Carroll Room from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 23.