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Our Bucket List for SMU Family Weekend

If your family and friends are coming in town for SMU’s Family Weekend, show them how well you know Dallas by taking them to some Dallas favorites seen below. We put together a tentative schedule for students and their families, as well as a checklist of general items for the weekend.



Start off with a breakfast that will give you the energy to explore throughout the day. Head to Nektar in Snyder Plaza for açai bowls and fresh pressed juices and smoothies. Once your stomachs are full, drive over to Deep Ellum to check out the murals and sculptures and window shop. There are a million great restaurants within Deep Ellum, but make sure to check out Pecan Lodge– a BBQ place that is certain to be loved by the entire family. Right next door is a great pie bakery, Emporium Pies, where you can buy pie by the slice. Cool off in the AC at the Galleria, where they can shop in every store imaginable, and even take part in indoor ice skating. Head back towards SMU for some Italian food at Villa-O. This place makes some amazing pasta and pizza, and the front patio seating is the perfect spot to hear their live performers on the weekends. After dinner, head to the SMU student talent show, which takes place at 8:00 pm in McFarlin Auditorium.

Image courtesy of SMU Student Foundation

Saturday (Game Day!)

Show the family how Dallas does brunch. Take them to Breadwinners, where they can order almost anything their heart desires. From epic cinnamon rolls to hearty egg scrambles, this place does brunch the right way. Head to the Boulevard for some tailgating festivities. Take a picture of the family with Peruna at the top of the Boulevard. Watch the Pom Squad and the Mustang Band perform. Take a picture on the classic SMU red couch. Enjoy free beverages being passed out by the flag pole. Show them fraternity and sorority tents and introduce them to your friends. Say hello to the endless amount of dogs on the Boulevard. There are endless possibilities on the Boulevard, y’all! Make sure to by a ticket for, and stop by the Family Weekend BBQ area where you can get a pre-game meal and sit with other families and friends. After the game, head to Pokey-O’s for some delicious ice cream sandwiches before the family heads back to their hotel for the night.

Another amazing element of the Boulevard for this year? Philanthropy! Specific businesses around Dallas have partnered with SMU to have a part of their proceeds go to Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. Head over to the Student Foundation website to read about how your patronage can contribute to charity.


Start the day off at one of the many beautiful churches across Dallas. After church, show your parents your dream apartment area in Uptown while you enjoy some Poke bowls at Pok the Raw Bar, or window shop in Knox-Henderson and enjoy some classic Tex-Mex at Chuy’s. In the afternoon, take your family to White Rock Lake for some outdoor activities. You can rent bikes, paddle boards and kayaks and ride them around the lake. After cooling off and possibly cleaning up after visiting the lake, take your family to a nice dinner for your last night with them. Head to The Rustic for a classic taste of Dallas night life. With the outdoor picnic tables and strung overhead lights, this place will leave your parents feeling like they dropped you off at the perfect school in the best town possible.

Image via Community Impact Newspaper

Other Places on Our Dallas Checklist for Family Weekend:


North Park Mall

Walk Katy Trail

Klyde Warren Park 

Dallas Museum of Art 


Great breakfast places include Yolk, BuzzBrews and Modern Market

Tasty lunch places include: Torchy’s, Velvet Taco, Zoe’s Kitchen and Twisted Root Burger Co.

Dinner spots the parents will love: The Porch, Whiskey Cake, Henry’s Majestic and True Food (great vegan option)

Karna is a Junior at Southern Methodist University studying Public Relations, Advertising, and English. She is the Social Media Director for Her Campus SMU, as well as a member of STUMO and Alpha Chi Omega. She is from Orange County, California and loves going to the beach and spending time with her younger sisters when visiting home. When she is not studying, Karna is usually exploring Dallas, listening to country music, or updating her blog, Simply Karna.
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