My parents ask me the dreaded question every time they come down to visit: “What do you want to do with us this weekend?”
As much as I love entertaining my family, I just do not know what to say when they ask this. Sleep? Catch up on schoolwork? Binge watch the new season of Stranger Things? All of these are things I would like to have time to do, but not things one does when their parents come to town. Thus, ahead of this Wake Forest Family Weekend, here are some suggestions of things to do with your parents and siblings, so that you may be able to answer the dreaded question.
Go to the Pit
Okay, so it doesn’t make much sense to take your parents out to eat when they should be the ones taking you out to eat. If you think about it, though, all the changes to the Pit over the last year might not be only a meal but also an activity. What we take as ordinary will undoubtedly surprise your parents and siblings. Do not be surprised if they get a make-your-own pasta, flatbread, deli sandwich, Mongolian grill, cheeseburger and ice cream sundae all in one meal. I know my little brother has in the past, at least. And once they’ve eaten all of that food, they might just want to take a nap, leaving you to catch up on the sleep you need so badly.
Go on a walk around Reynolda trails
If it’s a nice, mild fall day at Wake Forest, it’s hard to find a better walk so close to campus. I can typically walk the trail around Reynolda Village in about one hour. But that’s because I refrain from stopping to pet every cute dog I see. Your family will not show as much restraint, I know, so expect lots of stops along the way. With all the stopping and dog petting, your walk might take a good couple of hours, making them hungry enough to take you to dinner at Village Tavern.
Go to a nearby pumpkin patch
One of the things my mother tells me she misses most since I have gone away for school is that I’m not around for family traditions as much as I once was. Going to a pumpkin patch is one of those traditions — and no one dare say that they’re too old to do so! A nearby school and children’s home called the Crossnore has a farm with animals and a patch where you can pick gourds and pumpkins for cheap. Don’t forget to dress in flannel and drink some hot apple cider, or at least hold a cider for the Instagram photo.
Go to the football game
This is probably the most common thing one does with their family during this weekend, but it’s for a good reason. For your parents and siblings, seeing a Division I football game is a big deal, as all of the players are super-talented and some are even bound for professional football. I think we take having a good football team for granted, and it shows when we leave the tailgate without ever stepping foot into the stadium. Go to the game with your family this weekend and watch their eyes light up as the Deacon rides out on his motorcycle followed by a spirited football squad. I think you will see just how proud they are that you go to Wake Forest.
Go on a hike at Hanging Rock
An outdoorsy-type family might enjoy a little drive and a long hike through the beautiful landscape of Hanging Rock. With its elevated views, you get to see all of the leaves in their autumnal colors in the trees below you. Plus, you get the benefit of good exercise and fresh air. Sometimes, just being away from campus and in a different element can stir up conversations with your family. Despite how much you seem to enjoy doing it, I know you are tired of complaining about Work Forest. Do not bore your family by talking about your work all the time. Go take a hike.
Go stay with your family for a night
Although this column has talked about things you should do with your parents and siblings for Family Weekend, perhaps the best thing you can do is just spend time with them. You do not have to be doing anything at all; just be in their presence and your parents will feel better about you being away. I would bet that it would make you feel better as well, because if you read this column this far it probably means that you miss your family and want to share a special memory with them. I sincerely hope that you do share a special memory this weekend, and that by doing something simple like staying at their hotel with them for a night, I believe that you will.