Dad’s Weekend at University of Illinois

Cheerleaders and Marching Illini Dads take part in the Dad’s Weekend halftime show.

Going away to school is one of the biggest steps in a child’s life, and it isn’t any easier for their parents. Luckily, the University of Illinois encourages parents and students to stay connected!

Many schools have parent weekends set up so that the whole family can get together. The University of Illinois has two major weekends dedicated to this special time. In the fall, they host their annual Dad’s Weekend, and in the spring, there is Mom’s Weekend. While both weekends are designed to focus on either mom or dad, there are activities for the whole gang so the whole family can participate. Just more of an excuse to spend quality time together now that the kids are away.

There are events scheduled all over campus, and they are set up Friday through Sunday of these two weekends. So even if parents just want some quiet time with their kids, there are a variety of activities to choose from so that each family can find something suited to their wants and needs.

Dad’s Weekend is a great way to bring dad to college and make him feel like he’s in his 20’s again.

This year’s Dad’s Weekend is set for November 9-11, 2012. Dad’s Weekend is hosted in the fall because of the major sporting events that are during that time of year: football and basketball. You know “dad stuff.” The “Welcome Reception” starts off the weekend in the Illini Union on Friday night, followed by an Illinois Men’s Basketball game vs. Colgate at Assembly Hall.

Saturday’s festivities kick off with a Dad’s Pre Game BBQ at the ARC (Athletics and Recreation Center) two hours before the football team takes on Minnesota. Students can buy their dads a package deal to both the cookout and game, or one or the other, but tickets to this event sell out quickly so plan accordingly.

Announced during the football game is the annual “King Dad” award. A tradition The Dads Association has maintained for more than 30 years, students nominate their dads for 13 spots to see who will be recognized as being the most supportive, encouraging and inspirational Illini father. Even though only one is crowned, all of the dads are considered “King Dads” to their kids.

Other dads that get to spend some time on the football field during the game are the dads of all of the cheerleaders and Marching Illini. They get the best seats in the house, as well as help put on the show and get the crowd riled up to cheer the Illini on to victory.

After the game, dads and their students can enjoy a rock concert in Foellinger Auditorium Saturday night with American English, “the world’s greatest Beatles tribute band.” Sunday is more of a relaxing wind down, but includes a brunch in the Union to send dads home after a very memorable weekend.

If you’re an Illini Dad:
All events for the weekend require a ticket. Deadline for tickets is October 9. View and purchase tickets for Dad’s Weekend events here.

About: Lexi Shurilla

Sports and writing are two of my passions, and mixing them together with being a die-hard Illini fan only begins to describe me. I am now a University of Illinois Alum with a degree in News-Editorial Journalism after graduating in May 2012. Promoting my school is something I do best, and my enthusiasm and loyalty shine brightly.