Sights To See for First-Time Visitors over Dad’s Weekend


Photo courtesy of Todd Probasco

Members of the Board of Directors of the Dads Association. The Dads Association plans a majority of the events for Dads Weekend every year.

By Brooks Berish, Assistant supplements editor

Dad’s Weekend is almost upon us, which means that fathers from all over will be coming to visit the campus and to enjoy some quality time with their kids. Some of them will be visiting campus for the first time, which can make for a great opportunity to show them what this University has to offer.

From all of the events going on during Dad’s Weekend to the classic landmarks on campus, there are numerous things to show your dad. In addition, even if your dad did come to campus once before – for example, to take you on a campus tour – this is still a different kind of visit because now you are the one who gets to take him on a tour of your school.

The first thing that your dad will most likely see will be your room or wherever you may be staying, so be sure to clean up beforehand. After he’s seen your room and has perhaps recalled a few anecdotes from his own college dorm memories, lead him outside and toward the Main Quad.

Taking a trip to the Quad is an essential staple of any campus tour, especially at Illinois where it’s just too iconic not to visit. Also, by the time Dad’s Weekend rolls around, the trees should be full of those fall colors, bringing to life every college admissions homepage picture.

After taking a stroll down the Quad, and perhaps showing him where you attend some of your classes, the next natural step would be to head for Alma Mater. She serves as one of, if not the most, important symbols of our school’s motto and spirit, branching out her open arms to all students and alumni. This could also serve as an opportunity to take a picture of yourself in front of Alma Mater, so that when you inevitably take a graduation photo in front of her, you can look back and remember the fun weekend you had with your dad on his first visit.

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Alma Mater faces Green Street, which is always the place to be on weekends such as this, as it boasts many different restaurants, fast food joints and bars. This would be a good place to get something to eat, but try and pick something local so as to show your dad what cuisine Champaign has to offer.

If you are old enough and your dad is hip enough, take him out to the bars in the evening. Its fun because plenty of other people take their dads out and you get to see your dad relive the glory days. If you are not of legal drinking age, remember that having your dad at the table does not mean you will not get a drinking ticket. Be careful and follow the rules.

There is an entire schedule of events and activities for Dad’s Weekend. Some of these events require purchasing tickets early, but if you are too late to that process, don’t fret. You can still take Dad to Memorial Stadium and watch the football game.

There is also a concert in Foelinger Hall that takes you through the Beatles music history. I was able to purchase tickets for that concert last year and I had a great time. Its kind of interesting going to a concert in the same hall that I have been lectured in and taken midterms in, but that’s just another cool thing to show your dad.

There are many places to take your father over Dad’s Weekend. Whether he’s coming down for an afternoon or for the entire weekend, a good time can be had with your dad. As long as some of these major landmarks and events are visited, dads should get a solid first, all-around impression of the campus.

Brooks is a sophomore in Business. 

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