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Family Weekend at JMU!

That one mid-October weekend comes around once a year.  We know it’s here when the number of people in Harrisonburg doubles and we see parents and children everywhere. For most of us, right about the time when we finally feel settled back into our college lives, our family is back in town. While some of us are excited to see the families we left in late August, the rest of us find our styles cramped by crazy parents, annoying siblings, and maybe even grandparents. Luckily, here at JMU, there are so many fun and unique activities that you and your families can engage in. There are tons of restaurants and events in downtown Harrisonburg that your parents
 will beg you to let them stay.

 There are many JMU-sponsored events designed just for this weekend, with both you and your families in mind. On Friday night at 8 pm, check out the hilarious Whose Live Anyway? cast at Wilson Hall. The crazy foursome, Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops, Chip Esten and Jeff B. Davis, will definitely provide some laughs, especially after a long day of traveling. If you are into volleyball, there is also a women’s volleyball game at 7 pm in Godwin Hall against Hofstra University. Show your parents how spirited JMU students can be! 


 On Saturday, start off your day with a UREC-sponsored canoe ride on the Shenandoah River. You can enjoy the beautiful scenery from 8 am until noon and experience what the valley has to offer. Along with the canoe ride, UREC is also holding a hike to the Hidden Rocks at Reddish Knob, as well as rock climbing at UREC. You might as well get some exercise before the big game against Villanova at 1:30. Show your parents our amazing new stadium that anyone would be jealous of!

If sports are not your thing, spend the afternoon at the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum and enjoy the beautiful gardens, along with the bulb and flower sale. Your parents can bring home a beautiful purple and gold souvenir to plant in their backyard.  To end the night, see a movie at Grafton or enjoy a nice dinner! On Sunday, make sure to take your family to the bookstore for some new JMU threads. 

All of these family weekend activities can be exhausting, and will definitely work up a large appetite. Harrisonburg is home to a variety of nice restaurants, with all types of cuisine. Take your parents to Clementine for a downtown atmosphere and delicious, but reasonably priced, food. For a more laidback night, Dave’s Greek-styled cuisine may appeal to your family’s palette, or you can try any of the chain restaurants in the area. Jack Brown’s is a great place to grab a burger, and Union Station can be great for a steak. Whatever type of food you’re looking for, you are sure to find it in Harrisonburg. You can even stop at Cinnamon Bear for a lunchtime treat!

There are so many ways you and your family can enjoy a beautiful fall weekend in the valley, complete with activities and great cuisine. Let’s show our parents what they missed out on in college, by showing them how amazing JMU and Harrisonburg can be!

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