Skip to main content

Family Weekend

Registration & Tickets

We look forward to inviting you back to campus for Family Weekend, to be held November 8-10, 2019! While Family Weekend 2019 online registration is officially closed, you can still plan to attend events. Stop by the Wildcat Room 101 in Norris University Center between 9 am – 6 pm on Friday, November 8 to pick up a complete schedule book.

The Family Weekend Tailgate, the Football Game, and the Walking Tour of Evanston are the only ticketed events. All other events are first-come, first-served. Families are able to purchase football tickets for the Northwestern vs. Purdue game using the Athletics Ticket Office website: nusports.com and tickets to the Walking Tour of Evanston are available in the schedule below.

Travel & Hotels

Whether it be by plane, train, or car, there are numerous ways to get to both Chicago and Evanston. We have a few resources that may be valuable as you look into traveling and staying in the Evanston/Chicago area.  Visit the visitor's section of the Undergraduate Admissions page to view travel directions, which includes area maps, specific breakdowns of travel routes, and turn-by-turn directions.  View our Travel page and Hotels page to view answers to more specific questions you may have.

Campus Parking

Parking is open and free to family members Friday, November 8 through Sunday, November 10 for any on-campus spot (except for handicapped and reserved spaces). The most accessible lots are the south campus garage (near Norris University Center) or the north campus garage. Parking is limited (and requires a fee) at Ryan Field on Saturday; families are encouraged to park on campus and take the game day shuttles (picking up along Sheridan Road) to the game and Family Weekend Tailgate.

Things to do in Chicago

Family Weekend is a pretty packed schedule of great things for you to check out with or without your student.  We know, though, for some families going to the football game or other events we plan may not be as relevant.  For those families we think it is a great time to explore Evanston and Chicago, two cities your student has the privilege of living in and close to during their time here.  

Visit our "Things to do in Chicago and Evanston page".

Family Weekend FAQ's

For all of your questions in planning for Family Weekend with your student, visit our Family Weekend FAQ section on our Family FAQ page.

Family Weekend 2019 Schedule

The official Family Weekend 2019 schedule book is now available on the NSFP website.  An overview of the schedule is listed below. Stop by the Wildcat Room 101 in Norris University Center between 9 am – 6 pm on Friday, November 8 to pick up a hard copy of the schedule book and officially check in.

  • 9:00 am – 6:00 pm - Family Weekend Check-In/Pick Up Pre-Purchased Tailgate Wristbands (Norris University Center)
  • 10:30 am – 10:30 pm - Free Campus Shuttle
  • 11:00 am – 12:45 pm - Campus Tours (45-minute tours leaving from the front (West) entrance of Norris University Center, last tour leaves at 12:00 pm)
  • 11:00 am – 12:00 pm - Faculty Lecture Series (see below for details)
  • 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm - Faculty Lecture Series (see below for details)
  • 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm - Bienen School of Music Rehearsals open for families (see below for details)
  • 2:45 pm – 4:15 pm - Afternoon with the Undergraduate Schools
  • 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm - Conversation with the President (Light Refreshments will be served)
  • 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm - Acapalooza – hosted by NU Dance Marathon ($8 for family members, $5 for students)
11:00 am – 12:00 pm - Faculty Lecture Series
How does Your Story fit into the Big Story?

In this session, we will explore how our experiences, perspective and identity influence journalism and storytelling, and our perception of media coverage. We’ll discuss how to be a better listener, recognize and mitigate bias and become a better storyteller, media consumer and engaged citizen. 

Ignacio Jerusalem: Reviving the Music of an 18th-Century Italian-Mexican Composer

On December 16, 1769, the authorities of Mexico City Cathedral received news that their long-term resident composer and music master, Ignacio Jerusalem, had died the previous day. Jerusalem, a cellist and composer originally from Italy, had written 260 pieces of music in Mexico City and may be considered the most important composer anywhere in the Americas around the middle of the 18th century.

This presentation - indicative of a musicology class on baroque or classical music - will look at the process of how the music of a worthy but unknown composer can be revived through the identification and study of music manuscripts. We will explore what it meant to be a European composer in colonial Mexico by studying one of those manuscripts, address some of the challenges a music scholar faces when working with sources of the period and listen to some recently recorded examples of his music.

Hail to Purple: Northwestern History & Traditions

Join University Archivist Kevin Leonard in a discussion about the riveting history and traditions of our beloved Northwestern.

Emotional Intelligence 101: The Continuum of Connection

Do you ever feel disconnected from your profession, your family, yourself? If so, you’re not alone.  In today’s world of exponentially expanding information and perpetually evolving technology we’re constantly confronting change and the uncertainty it brings.  The daily demands for your attention can seem endless; bulging inboxes, boundless meetings, and beckoning devices. Today’s college students are no different.  Emotional Intelligence (EI) 101 is a response to this challenge.

In EI 101 we teach students the tools and strategies necessary for effective self-management through healthy connection to the present moment, to themselves, and to others, as seen through the lens of social identities.  Come experience one of our lectures from the Interpersonal section. We will discuss the “Continuum of Connection”; what brings us closer to each other and what sets us apart? Learn to recognize where you are on this continuum and how to move, with intention and awareness, toward a healthier level of connection.

Fragmentation of Space and Time in Digital Arts

Technology offers us a fragmented reality and we inadvertently move from screen to screen. While working on a laptop at a coffee shop, the TV screen on the wall chimes. Meanwhile, we check our vibrating phone in our pocket, each of which offer us different realties.

As a part of “Virtual Reality Storytelling” course, Dr. Ozge Samanci will introduce “Fragmentation of Space and Time in Digital Arts”. This is a creativity feeding session presenting a series of relevant examples before class participants produce their own digital fragmentation piece.

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm Faculty Lecture Series
Machine Learning for Sentiment Analysis

The growth of user-generated content on the web (reviews, comments, etc.) has empowered us with a wealth of information. However, this information is not particularly useful in its unfiltered form. Machine Learning applications in the space of Sentiment Analysis have emerged in response to this opportunity. In this lecture we'll explore Sentiment Analysis as a problem space and the application of Supervised Machine Learning algorithms, such as Neural Networks.

"Are They Really Watching?" Demystifying the Art of Conducting

An interactive discussion about the role of the musical conductor, the tools they use to communicate with other musicians, and how their decisions dramatically impact the sounds we hear. The session will illustrate the basic fundamentals of movement related to conducting and how different movements evoke different sounds from the ensemble.

The discussion will also address the process a conductor takes before rehearsals begin, through the rehearsal process, and into the final performance. The goal of the session is to communicate how the leadership abilities of an effective conductor reflect the same abilities we see in leaders in other fields.

The Whiteness of ‘Whatever Happened to Baby Jane

Professor Julia Stern, a scholar of race in American literature, explores David Aldrich’s Whatever Happened to Baby Jane’s racial discourse. The film is a tale of two sisters — a former vaudeville child star and her classic Hollywood movie star sister — fatally bound by a car accident that left one of them paralyzed. Critically praised as a horror film, the picture is also read as a parable of female stardom (Bette Davis and Joan Crawford’s actual off screen histories) destroyed by the ravages of aging. 

Overlooked is master-slave dynamic at the heart of the picture, in which bonds of love prove to be reversible; also forgotten is the way that Elivira, the sisters’ fashionable and middle-class black housekeeper, complicates Jane’s (Bette Davis’) control over a household on the brink of unraveling.

How Mickey Mouse Survived the Holocaust

As we move further away from events of the past, history's relevance for today can appear to fade. In this interactive lecture (with a cameo from a certain cartoon character), we will explore complexities of Holocaust history that, once unearthed, have the power to alter how we think about the past and how we perceive our place in the world today.

An Inside View of the Brain: Myths and Facts About Learning & Development

Have you ever wondered what about your child’s brain made them smart enough to get into Northwestern? Or why babies learn language so effortlessly but it’s so hard for adults? This is your opportunity to learn about brain facts and myths from a neuroscientist.

Prof. Norton studies how the brain supports what makes us human – our amazing capacities for language, communication, and learning. She will dispel popular neuromyths and discuss what we know and what we’re learning from research at Northwestern about how our brains learn and develop.

All You Need is Love? What Relationship Science Can Tell Us About Couples' Emotions

What makes or breaks a relationship? This question has long occupied scholars and laypeople alike. Scientific studies show that emotions play a powerful role in intimate relationships.

  • How can we study couples' emotions?
  • Which emotional behaviors predict relationship happiness and which predict misery?
  • Why do some spouses blow their top whereas others keep their cool during conflict?
  • And how do couples' emotional lives change as they get older?

In this lecture, we will discuss insights from relationship science on the role of couples' emotions, watch short video clips, and learn how to spot a fake smile.

Bienen School of Music Student Rehearsals Open to Families
(In lieu of a formal school presentation)
  • 2:10 pm – 4:10 pm: Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall Stage
  • 2:10 pm – 4:10 pm: Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra, Pick-Staiger Rehearsal Room
  • 2:00 pm – 3:20 pm: University Chorale, McClintock Choral Room (RCMA 1-190)
  • 3:50 pm – 4:50 pm: University Singers, McClintock Choral Room (RCMA 1-190)
Game Time Has Been Announced!
  • 9:00 am – 10:30 am - Family Weekend Tailgate (Tickets Sold Out)
  • 10:30 am – 12:00 pm - Walking Tours of Downtown Evanston (see below for information and a link to purchase tickets)
  • 11:00 am – 2:00 pm - Northwestern Football Game
  • 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm - Walking Tours of Downtown Evanston (see below for information and a link to purchase tickets)
  • 3:00 pm – 4:25 pm - Campus Tours  (45-minute tours leaving from the front (West) entrance of Norris University Center, last tour leaves at 3:40 pm)
  • 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm - Career Services for Northwestern Students:  Northwestern Career Advancement (NCA) will offer an overview of the career resources available to your student.
  • 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm - Study Abroad Information Session:  Northwestern students participate in study abroad programs around the world. The Global Learning Office will provide insight into the process and possibilities of studying abroad.
  • 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm - Hail to Purple: Northwestern History & Traditions:  Join University Archivist Kevin Leonard in a discussion about the riveting history and traditions of our beloved Northwestern. This is a repeat of the Friday session.
  • 8:30 pm – 10:30 pm - Free Movie: Ferris Bueller's Day Off: Family members are invited to attend a showing of this iconic 1986 classic movie directed by Chicago native, John Hughes. A charismatic high-school student convinces his repressed best friend to play hooky with him and his girlfriend and attempts to bring the young man out of his shell during a memorable day in Chicago. Rated PG-13 with a runtime of 103 minutes. Free popcorn will be available while supplies last!

New Family Weekend Addition!

(Especially for families who are not interested in attending the football game since these opportunities will take place regardless of game time)

10:30 am – 12:00 pm   Walking Tour of Downtown Evanston

Location: Weber Arch, Corner of Sheridan Rd and Chicago Ave

Discover the fascinating shared history of Northwestern University and the city of Evanston. The tour will begin at the gateway arch located at Sheridan Road and Chicago Avenue, aka "the eyebrow of beauty." Walking south on Chicago Avenue into downtown Evanston, we will explore the interrelationship of the university and the town it founded and how the progressive ideals of both created a unique community.

To buy tickets, please visit the  NU Walking Tour site

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm  Walking Tour of Downtown Evanston

Location: Weber Arch, Corner of Sheridan Rd and Chicago Ave

Discover the fascinating shared history of Northwestern University and the city of Evanston. The tour will begin at the gateway arch located at Sheridan Road and Chicago Avenue, aka "the eyebrow of beauty." Walking south on Chicago Avenue into downtown Evanston, we will explore the interrelationship of the university and the town it founded and how the progressive ideals of both created a unique community.

To buy tickets, please visit the  NU Walking Tour site

  • 10:00 am – 11:00 am - Krispy Kreme 5K:  The Krispy Kreme 5K is a typical 5K along Northwestern's lakefill with a twist as every donut you eat takes time off your run! Register online at the Norris Box Office.
  • 10:30 am – 12:00 pm - Fraternity and Sorority Life Panel Presentation
  • 12:00 pm - Family Weekend Programming Concludes!
-->