At some point or another, most of us have planned a family weekend with family and friends. But perhaps have never planned a get-together with over 2,000 families! Organizing a family gathering this size isn’t as daunting as it sounds.
The key is to plan a year in advance. “We started planning this year’s Family Weekend as soon as last year’s ended,” said Mary Jacobs assistant vice president for Special Projects and Parent Relations. She sees this long-time tradition as a great way “to pull together what’s new in our community and in our campus, making sure that we give people the opportunity to get to know us better.” As well, Jacobs and her team of volunteers have prepared some surprising activities for students whose families are not able to attend by enhancing the students’ experience in the dining hall or in the residence halls with their peers.
Scheduled for October 4 – 7, the four-day celebration offers parents and their students an opportunity to truly experience every aspect of PBA. And since no two families have the same itinerary when they come to Family Weekend, there’s something for all ages. Whether families are aiming to experience one of our musical or theatrical performances, see an athletic event, or meet some of the faculty and staff at the President’s Lunch, the fun is not limited to the campus. They can immerse themselves in Palm Beach County with the West Palm Beach Food Tour or the DivaDuck tour that takes them around West Palm Beach’s vibrant downtown area, where they can stop and shop at the Green Market, or join the PBA family at MidiCi Pizza for pizza and karaoke!
Family Weekend at PBA, for some, is also a family reunion.
“Some parents haven’t seen their kids since they dropped them off at our campus on Welcome Week,” explained Jacobs. “So, the hotels will be full, the restaurants at City Place will be packed, and the Green Market on the cross point of Clematis Street and Flagler Drive will notice that Palm Beach Atlantic is here!”
As much as parents like to plan, Jacobs advices them to let their students take the lead. Because, what they may have in mind for the weekend may be very different from what Johnny Jr. had in mind. Perhaps Johnny has a roommate and he wants his parents to meet their family. So, dinner might be with the two families and not just with mom, dad and three siblings. There may be places on and off campus with chock-full of places and activities that Johnny wants them to see or watch, like the volleyball game on Friday night at the Greene Complex or the soccer game the next night at the Rinker Athletic Campus, where they can meet his new friends.
While students have class on Friday, parents can attend the prayer meeting at the DeSantis Family Chapel to kick off the day. The theatrical performances are always very popular and are sold out well in advance, which truly shows how much the University has grown. Still, there are plenty of other things for families to do, and while many require registration, most have an open invitation and offer payment at the door. Planning to attend? Here are helpful links:
- Hotel information
- Airport and car rental
- Maps and directions
- Church guide
- Restaurant guide
- Performance schedule
- PBA Athletics