The Daily’s guide to Family Weekend 2021


Illustration by Meher Yeda

Family Weekend 2021 begins Friday. Parents can check in at Norris University Center in the Wildcat Room between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Charlotte Ehrlich, Reporter

It seems like just yesterday families swarmed Deering Meadow to bid new Wildcats farewell for the 2021-22 academic year.

But seven weeks on the quarter system rush by in the blink of an eye, and Family Weekend 2021 is just days away. From Friday to Sunday, students can introduce their family members to Evanston restaurants, show them around campus and cheer on the Wildcats at sporting events.

Weinberg sophomore Olivia Sorensen said she’s excited for her parents to visit. Family Weekend wasn’t held during her freshman year due to COVID-19.

“It’s important to me that my parents get to be a part of my experience at Northwestern,” Sorensen said. “It’ll be nice to have the extra support and hugs to get me through the quarter.”

Weekend events officially kick off Friday. Parents can check in at Norris University Center in the Wildcat Room between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Later, faculty representatives will host “Afternoon with the Undergraduate Schools” sessions for family members. During the event, the student Symphonic Wind Ensemble will rehearse and a Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications faculty panel will showcase student work. 

Families can also tune into a faculty lecture series in the morning and afternoon, featuring topics like structural art and Chicago’s tall buildings.

Friday night activities include a women’s volleyball game against the University of Wisconsin-Madison Badgers, Acapalooza in Cahn Auditorium and a Hillel Family Reception and Shabbat Dinner. 

Families can start their Saturday with an organized campus tour or a walking tour of downtown Evanston.

The official Family Weekend Tailgate begins at 3 p.m. in the Wildcat Alley before the Cats take on University of Iowa’s football team at 6 p.m. at Ryan Field. Students and families can purchase tickets online.

“I am excited to take my mom to a college football game,” Weinberg freshman Camille Nooney said. “She is from Venezuela and has never been.”

Sunday morning, the Sheil Catholic Center and Hillel will host religious family programming. Families can attend Fraternity & Sorority Life panels before their departure, as well as women’s volleyball and basketball games in the afternoon.

On campus, families can also enjoy free admission to the Block Museum of Art and NU’s several athletic facilities, including the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion.

For those looking for options away from school, a walk into Evanston or a trip into Chicago to Shedd Aquarium, the Barbara Kruger exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago or the Magnificent Mile promise quality family time in the city.

Families can also enjoy free admission to Navy Pier and the Bean. To travel to Chicago, families can walk ten minutes from Weber Arch to the Davis Street CTA station. They can hop on the Purple Line train and then transfer to the Red Line at Howard Station to reach downtown Chicago.

Robert Nichols, whose daughter is a freshman, didn’t have the chance to move her in. He said he is especially grateful to explore NU with her as his guide.

“I actually haven’t been to the campus yet, so I’m looking forward to exploring Evanston and Northwestern,” Nichols said. “Most importantly, I’m looking forward to seeing my daughter.”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @charlottehrlich

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