A family entertaining guide for dummies

Believe it or not, it’s been two months since the myriad introductions and awkward conversations characterized by First Days. By now, most students have settled into life in the Purple Valley, just in time for the arrival of hoards of eager parents. So clear out the dirty laundry, cover up that incriminating quote board and tidy up your disaster zone room because your parents may not take kindly to your new college lifestyle.

And be sure to show your parents all that the College and Williamstown have to offer. If you have no idea where to take mom and pop, here are just a couple of suggestions.


First, make sure your parents stop by Paresky between 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. to register for Family Days events. Most parents will want to sit in on one of your classes, so actually complete your readings and take them to class to show off your collegiate intellect.

Lunch is a good time to exhibit the thrilling dining hall experience. Take your family to your favorite dining hall to give them a real taste of college life. You can burn off the calories afterwards by taking a walk around campus and show your parents the last remnants of New England fall foliage. Make sure to also stroll down Spring Street, especially Goff’s, and persuade your parents to buy you that Williams sweatshirt that you want to wear for Homecoming.

For the outdoorsy family, there is a guided hike on a Hopkins Memorial Forest trail from 2 to 3 p.m. Make sure your parents wear appropriate clothing and footwear because it will be much different from a leisurely stroll around town.

If the outdoors isn’t your thing, take your parents on the guided tours of the Williams College Museum of Art starting at 3 p.m. Your family will see where the “Williams Art Mafia” got its start and enjoy the College’s renowned art collection. The Clark is also just a short walk away and has a great collection of Impressionist art not to be missed.

Before heading off to dinner, introduce your parents to your entry during Student Entry Open Houses. It’s a great time to familiarize your family with your entrymates and Junior Advisors you have been telling them about for the past two months.

Dinner is the optimal occasion for your parents to treat you to an expensive feast. Try Mezze Bistro and Bar, which is generally out of most students’ price range but provides tantalizing, eclectic fare. If you want to take a little trip off campus, Jae’s Inn in North Adams offers delicious Oriental cuisine ranging from delectable sushi to mouth-watering clay pot curry. Either way, make reservations beforehand, as these restaurants are bound to be filled with other families.

The Eph-Palooza II at 8 p.m. in Chapin Hall is a can’t miss event for musically-inclined parents. There will be performances by numerous student ensembles and musicians. But for those looking for alternative entertainment options, there is also Frosh Revue, a play that offers humorous insights into first-year life at Williams starting at 8:30 p.m. on the MainStage.


For breakfast, bring your parents to Tunnel City and enjoy a wide array of bagels and pastries in a cozy corner.

Don’t miss the Family Days Assembly in Chapin Hall at 11 a.m. Your parents will definitely enjoy the conversation with our very own Morty. Then you can all head down to Towne Field House afterwards to feast at the buffet luncheon.

For the clingy parents who still call twice a day, there is a panel discussion presented by the Parents Council at 3 p.m. titled “Letting Go: A Frank Discussion with Experienced Williams Parents of the Challenges and Opportunities of Parenting College Students.”

If your parents don’t want to leave your side after the talk, the Williamstown Film Festival will provide an enjoyable family activity. Catch the New England premiere of Bart Got a Room at Images also starting at 3 p.m.

Cap your night with a variety of events ranging from the play Machinal at CenterStage to the INISH fall dance concert in the Adams Memorial Theatre. Let your parents in on the a capella craze as well with a mid-semester concert starring Good Question and the Accidentals starting at 9:45 p.m. in Schow Atrium. Before saying goodnight, stop by the Hopkins Observatory and take in the breathtaking night sky.


The end is near and your parents will soon be heading back home, once again leaving you free to do as you please. Before your folks head out, insist on going to the Williams Inn for Sunday brunch. Their food ranges from personalized omelets to juicy steaks, and to top things off, there’s a whole table of delicious desserts.

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