First-Year Family Days Guide:see and be seen in Billsville

It has been just two short months since good old mom and dad gave you a pat on the back and told you to make them proud . . . and just as you were settling into life without them, becoming completely “independent,” it’s time to prove that you have indeed upheld your word.

This weekend, parents will be stampeding the campus for Family Days, so it’s time to tidy up, put out the welcome mat and play host (or hostess). But don’t worry, there’s plenty to do this weekend – enough to wear out even the most tireless parents.


As parents first arrive, they can register at Paresky from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. They can see what a typical day in your life is like by attending one of your Friday classes. Just cross your fingers and hope they don’t outshine you in front of your professor.

After lunch in the dining hall, Pappa Charlie’s or Helen’s Place, your parents will enjoy a simple walking tour around campus and the beautiful Purple Valley. Take a stroll down Spring Street, the heart of Williamstown, and stop by Goff’s so your parents can purchase Williams gear to properly show off their Eph pride.

They can also check out the Multicultural Center (MCC), which is hosting an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. in Jenness House. Or if you’d rather keep Friday about the academics, a study abroad session will be held at Brooks-Rogers from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. After this session, President Schapiro will be speaking at the Family Days Assembly in Chapin Hall.

As the sun begins to set, take the family back to your dorm for “Welcome to My Entry” receptions hosted by your Junior Advisors (JAs) from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Afterwards, you can either head over to one of the dining halls or eat out.

There are plenty of options for dining out within walking distance, and more choices that are worth the drive. Mezze and Spice Root are both delicious options locally. If you’re willing to drive a little, you can try Jae’s Inn for Asian-fusion fare or Taylor’s Fine Dining in North Adams for more classic, if pricey, cuisine.

But what’s dinner without a show? At 7:30 p.m., the theatre department is putting on a production of “Big Love” in Adams Memorial Theatre. Also at 7:30 p.m., the astronomy students are hosting a presentation in Old Hopkins Observatory. If you’re looking for a laugh, there is the Family Days classic, Frosh Revue at 8:30 p.m. in the ’62 Center (also on Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.).

From 8 to 10 p.m., “Eph-Palooza” will be cranking up the sound system for a Family Days concert with six different student groups in Chapin Hall. Kusika and the Zambezi Marimba Band will also be performing in the ’62 Center at 8 p.m (also on Sat. at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.). For even more tunes, a cappella groups Good Question and the Accidentals will be performing in Currier Hall ballroom at 9:30 p.m.

The Williamstown Film Festival will also be taking place throughout the weekend. You can take your parents to watch an independent film or just sit at Tunnel City Coffee in hopes of spotting a celebrity.

Now that the day is over, you can say your good-nights and head back to your room for some solid rest in preparation for the rest of the weekend.


Start off Saturday right with a complimentary breakfast for family members in Mission from 7:30 to 10 a.m. At 9 a.m., parents can hear from Dean Merrill in “Your Child as College Student” in Chapin Hall.

At 11 a.m., a long string of sporting events gets kicked off by men’s and women’s soccer and women’s field hockey against Amherst. The age-old rivalry is sure to show Eph fans at their most intense and give your parents a good look at what being a purple cow is all about. From 12 to 1 p.m., cross-country will be competing at Mt. Greylock Regional High School in the NESCAC championships, along with football versus Hamilton at Weston Field. During this time, a buffet luncheon will take place in the Towne Field House from 12 to 1:30 p.m.

For those that want to take advantage of the gorgeous scenery and the crisp autumn air, a guided moderate hike will go off at 2 p.m. from the Rosenberg Center.

If your parents insisted on inking your name on your underwear in Sharpie, there’s “Letting Go: A Frank Discussion with Experienced Williams Parents of the Challenges and Opportunities of Parenting College Students” in Wege Auditorium at 3:30 p.m. This will be followed by a “Parents Meet Parents” Reception in the Faculty House from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

For after-dinner entertainment, “Big Love” will show again at 7:30 p.m. or for some stargazing, parents can go to the Hopkins Observatory from 9 to 11 p.m. depending on the weather conditions. At 10 p.m., two more a capella groups, Octet and the Ephlats, will be performing in Currier Hall Ballroom.


Sunday begins with a 7:30 a.m. sunrise hike up Pine Cobble led by Scott Lewis for the very outdoorsy type (this one’s long and steep). Then, bug your parents about that last-minute run to Stop & Shop for those much-needed groceries. Don’t forget to say your goodbyes and get in those hugs – it’s a while until Thanksgiving.

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