Enjoying Your Visit to Corvallis During Oregon State University Family Weekend
Family Weekend is one of Oregon State University’s most cherished traditions. Each fall and spring, parents and family members of OSU students travel to Corvallis, Oregon, for a weekend of revelry and bonding.
The 2021 Fall Family Weekend will happen November 12 – 14. The 2022 Spring Family Weekend dates haven’t been announced but usually occur around Mother’s Day in May.
For many visiting Corvallis from across the country, Family Weekend is a delightful time to spend with their children, enjoy the autumn colors, and sample a taste of university life.
Here’s a sneak peek at some of the festivities for this weekend at Oregon State University.
How COVID-19 Impacts Events Like Parents Weekend
Since OSU is returning to in-person events after canceling many 2020 and 2021 events due to COVID-19, check Oregon State’s Family Weekend website for updates.
Oregon State may require masks or other measures intended to mitigate COVID-19 risks; these measures change according to current guidance, so be sure to check for updates to OSU’s University Event COVID-19 Policy.
A Quick History of Family Weekend
Some alumni may remember Family Weekend as Mom’s Weekend and Dad’s Weekend. The name changed to Family Weekend around 2016 to reflect increased inclusivity.
Oregon State describes Family Weekends this way;
“In November and May, we welcome parents, siblings, grandparents and friends to experience a weekend in the life of a Beaver.”
Although the name “Family Weekend” is new, Mom’s Weekend and Dad’s weekend are longstanding traditions. The first-ever OSU Mom’s Weekend style event happened in 1924, according to Oregon State Archives. However, they didn’t officially refer to it as Mom’s Weekend until 1947. Mom’s Weekend was historically tied to Mother’s Day.
The original intention was “to take just one day and devote it to women themselves,” according to Kate Jameson, who was the Dean of women at the time. The inaugural event featured a women’s track meet, singing, and a banquet attended by more than 200 mothers. Over the years, the event grew to involve thousands of family members and students.
Following the success of Mom’s Weekend, Dad’s Weekend debuted in April 1934 and was connected to Homecoming festivities. Over the years, the weekend moved to the Fall.
Family and Parents Weekend Traditions and Events
Many of the Family Weekend activities build on nearly 100 years of Mom’s and Dad’s Weekends. While others are new.
One of Fall Family Weekend’s longstanding traditions is attending a Beaver home football game in Reser Stadium. During the 2021 Fall Family Weekend, the OSU’s Beavers will be playing Stanford. Get your tickers ASAP if you plan to attend.
Since the 1930s, All University Sing has been a Spring Family Weekend tradition. This musical event started as “IFC Sing,” where fraternities would compete through music and dance. Over the years, the event evolved with the times, including students of all genders regardless of whether they live in Greek housing.
If you’re the parent of a student who lives in a sorority, fraternity, or other campus living group, keep in mind that group may have their own traditions and events in addition to the many offered on campus or in Corvallis.
The OSU Craft Center hosts Family Weekend events during both fall and spring. Check their page closer to the event as their plans unfold.
“Family Weekend is “a chance to reconnect while attending comedy shows, sporting events, and other campus entertainment.”
Exploring Life Off-Campus
Often guests ask us about things to do in Corvallis. During the autumn, many of us enjoy simple pleasures like taking a walk or a drive and enjoying the season’s colors.
Since the Willamette Valley has a mild climate, you may enjoy many outdoor activities throughout the year. This is especially true during the fall and spring when OSU holds its family weekend events.
Walking, hiking and biking are all popular activities in Corvallis as well as throughout Oregon. Corvallis has an extensive network of multi-use bicycle and running trails, parks, and other publically available natural spaces. In addition, a new Corvallis to Coast hiking trail recently opened. If you are traveling from out of state, it may be worthwhile to extend your Family Weekend visit into a longer stay.
Nature lovers may also enjoy a tour of Chintimini Wildlife Center a local organization that rehabilitates injured wild animals to later re-release. Contact them to arrange a tour.
Golfing is a year-round sport in Corvallis. In fact, Fernwood Circle Guest Houses has an exclusive arrangement with The Corvallis Club where our guests may enjoy a round of golf. If that interests you, let Alexandria know. Also, during Family Weekend Trysting Tree Golf Course usually hosts the OSU Fall Family Weekend Golf Tournament. In 2021, it is scheduled for Friday, November 12.
The Willamette Valley is renowned for producing high-quality wine, craft beers, cider, and spirits. If you enjoy these beverages, there are several near Corvallis. (Note: we previously published a guide to local vineyards.)
Shopping in downtown Corvallis is a friendly experience as most of the shops are independent boutiques and small businesses.
If you are interested in history, the Corvallis Museum recently opened and contains exhibits highlighting local history and the history of Oregon State University.
Where to Eat
There are many dining options depending on your preference and dietary needs.
Visit Corvallis maintains an excellent directory of Corvallis restaurants for every dietary and taste preference. We also published a resource guide for those living gluten-free.
Where to Stay
Thousands of parents, grandparents, and family may attend Family Weekend from all over the world. Be sure to book your accommodation in advance since most of the Corvallis hotels, bed and breakfast houses, and guest houses get fully booked.
A stand-alone guest house is an alternative to a hotel, traditional bed and breakfast, or Airbnb, especially if multiple family members travel together.
Fernwood Circle Guest Houses are Corvallis’s premier vacation rental service. Our guests stay in immaculately clean homes in real Corvallis neighborhoods. These homes have comfortable living spaces, yards, and all the comforts of home mixed with the convenience of a hotel.
Since our homes are in quiet residential neighborhoods, they are an excellent location for family get-togethers. They also happen to be an easy walk, bike ride or drive to the Oregon State University campus. These homes also have easy access to restaurants, the central downtown business district, and other attractions.
Fall Family Weekend is an excellent time of year to renew your connection with your child who attends Oregon State University. It is also time to experience the best of the OSU campus and city.