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Friday, October 2

Thursday/Friday

  • Back-to-School For Parents (Various times/locations, Free)
    Join your student in his or her class and get a taste of the university’s academic experience. Participation is based on a first-come-first-served basis and guests may only visit participating classes  |  Check back in September for a list of available classes.
  • Grab Food/Coffee On Campus
    Waiting on your student to get out of class or looking for a place to meet up with your student? Check out all the amazing dining options JMU has to offer! Explore Coffee Shops/Restaurants »

8 AM - 6 PM
JMU Bookstore
Shop the Bookstore »

8 AM - Midnight
Festival Gallery (Lower Level Hallway, Festival Conference and Student Center, Free)

9 AM - 3 PM
Fall Plant & Bulb Sale
(Edith J. Carrier Arboretum)
The plant and bulb sale will be held at the Frances Plecker Education Center in the arboretum.

10 AM - 4 PM
The James and Gladys Kemp Lisanby Museum
(Festival Conference and Student Center, Room 1108, Free)
To the followers of the Eastern Orthodox Church, images of holy people or events, called icons, are considered to be a window or portal into the heavenly realm. This exhibition, “Purity and Power: The Art of Russian Icons,” highlight the finest icons in the Madison Art Collection presenting never-before-seen works of art along with a scholarly catalogue that will explore the history, materials, and meaning of Russian icons as well as the culture and history of Russia itself.

11 AM - 5 PM
Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art 
(Duke Hall, Room 1022, Free) 
Find more information »

11 AM - 4 PM
Special Collections Library 
(Carrier Library, Room 205, Free)
Visit the Special Collections Library and see selected treasures from the collections. Rare books, pulp magazines, historic student scrapbooks, and yearbooks are just a few of the items on display. Librarians are on hand to answer questions.

2:30 - 6 PM
General Education Student Conference
 (Rose Library / Festival Conference and Student Center)
Conferences are an essential part of academic life and JMU strives to give students opportunities to experience them as participants. The General Education program sponsors this conference for students to showcase their work beyond the scope of a classroom assignment and provide families a glimpse into the academic life of JMU students. Faculty from all over campus nominate students who have produced outstanding work in their General Education courses. Students adapt their excellent written work into a public speaking presentation, skills which employers value. Sessions last 45 minutes; audiences are encouraged to engage with presenters during a question and answer period, and the sessions are open to all. 

4 - 6 PM
College of Business Family Weekend Welcome
(Zane Showker Hall, Room 105, Free)
Join the College of Business for a faculty mini-lecture and meet Dr. Michael Busing, Dean. After the presentations, visit with College of Business faculty and staff at a program fair and reception. Questions? Contact Samantha Collier at colliesb@jmu.edu.

6 PM
JMU Field Hockey vs. William & Mary
(JMU Field Hockey Complex)
Free Admission | Visit jmusports.com for more information.

6 - 8 PM
The Challenge
(Madison Union)
Are you ready to test your wit and luck? We are excited to host the first annual The Challenge for families this year. Come make memories with your family and win great incentives. The Challenge is a blend between The Amazing Race and Minute-to-Win-It-Like challenges. Reality TV fan? This is your chance to run your own race as a family. Challenges do not require a level of certain skill, endurance, or high impact. Instead it is a test of your luck, wit, and togetherness as a team. Each Challenge Team consists of two or more team members. All team members should be available from 5:45 - 8pm for team check in, game play, and results. Any questions? Email dux@jmu.edu  |  Check back for registration information!

6 - 10 PM
UREC Family Hours
 (University Recreation Center)
Families are welcome and encouraged to avail themselves of the wide assortment of UREC and UPARK’s facilities and amenities. Please be sure to bring a photo ID, and students must accompany family members.

7 - 9 PM
Family Game Night at JMU X-Labs
(Lakeview Hall, Free)
Join us at JMU X-Labs for interactive games, making, and fun for the whole family! Similar to our Pop-Up classes, there will be a make-and-take for each participant. Family members of all ages welcome.

8 PM
Family Weekend Show in Wilson Hall
(Wilson Hall)
Stay tuned for more information!

Saturday, October 3

8 AM - Midnight
Festival Gallery (Lower Level Hallway, Festival Conference and Student Center, Free)

9 AM - 10 PM
UREC Family Hours
 (UREC)
Families are welcome and encouraged to avail themselves of the wide assortment of UREC and UPARK’s facilities and amenities. Please be sure to bring a photo ID, and students must accompany family members.

9 AM - 3 PM
Fall Plant & Bulb Sale
(Edith J. Carrier Arboretum)
The plant and bulb sale will be held at the Frances Plecker Education Center in the arboretum.

9 AM - 5 PM
JMU Bookstore

Shop the bookstore »

9 AM - 5 PM
Mineral Museum

Find more information »


UREC Programs

Join UREC for an adventure this family weekend! Tickets available July 1st.

8 AM - Noon
Family Weekend Hike
 (Meet at International Food Max Grocery Store, $15)
We will travel to the border of West Virginia for a scenic hike to the historic High Knob fire tower. This moderate 2-mile round trip trail hike includes some uphill hiking. Your efforts will be rewarded with a 360-degree view of the Allegheny and Blue Ridge mountains from the top of a fire tower. More info: Meet at the International Food max Grocery Store 9924 W Market St., Harrisonburg) Price includes leaders, transportation and snacks. Dress in layers and wear closed toed shoes. Rain jacket is always a good idea. Please bring a small backpack, 2 liters of water, sunblock, and a hat.

8 AM - Noon
Family Weekend Canoe
 (Meet at Martin's Grocery Store, $20)
Prerequisite: Swimming ability. Come out and enjoy the beauty of the valley as we canoe on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. Paddle “Lake Shenandoah,” a flat-water-section in northeastern Rockingham County about 30 minutes from JMU. Basic canoeing and safety instruction will be covered. All you need to bring are your paddling clothes and shoes. We will be back before the football game kickoff. More info: Meet at Martin’s Grocery Store (2035 E. Market St., Harrisonburg) Price includes equipment, leaders, transportation and snacks. Dress in layers in clothes that can get wet (just in case) and wear shoes with straps that can get wet (no flip-flops). Please bring a small backpack, 2 liters of water, sunblock and a hat.

10 AM - Noon 
Family Weekend Downtown Bike Ride
 (Meet at UREC Adventure Center, $10)
We will ride to the Harrisonburg Farmers' Market where you can purchase great local breakfast items. After enjoying the Farmers' Market, you are welcome to explore downtown before riding back as a group to UREC. More info: Includes leaders and adult sized bikes only, helmets provided (required).

Noon - 8 PM
Open Climbing
 (UREC)
No registration necessary. If you want to add a challenge to your Family Weekend, then look no further. Parents, siblings and friends are welcome to join us for an afternoon of fun in UREC’s brand new Adventure Center, complete with a freestanding climbing tower and expansive bouldering wall. We will cover all you need to know for your first climb. Please be sure to bring a photo ID, and students must accompany family members.


10 AM - 2 PM
Family Weekend Picnic On Hanson Field
 (Adults $15 | Students free with meal punch | Children (6-12): $8 | Kids 5 & Under: Free)
If inclement weather, tickets may be used at D-Hall and E-Hall. Tickets available July 1st!

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10 AM - 1:30 PM
JMU Family Photobooth
 (Hanson Field, Free)
Visit the JMU Family Photobooth to take a fun photo with your JMU Family and pick up some free purple and gold beads and pom-poms!

11 AM - 5 PM
Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art
(Duke Hall, Room 1022, Free)

Multiple Showings
The John C. Wells Planetarium 
(Miller Hall, Showings at 11AM, 1PM, 2:15PM, 3:30PM, Free)
Visit the Planetarium website at jmu.edu/planetarium for more information. Weather permitting, the solar telescopes will be set up near the sundial at Burruss Hall and Carrier Library. This telescope provides an incredible view of our sun safely!

11 AM
University Outpost FanZone
 (Godwin Patio, Free)
The FanZone is a family focused pre-game festival that features inflatable games, a bounce house, face-painting (courtesy of the JMU Cheerleaders!), music, the Dog Walk, and much more. The FanZone opens two and a half hours prior to kickoff and remains open until 30 minutes before game time. Come out and show your Madison spirit while having fun with the whole family.

Time TBD
JMU Dukes Football vs. William & Mary
(Bridgeforth Stadium/Zane Showker Field, students free with reservation and JACard)
Join us for our annual Family Weekend football game as your Dukes host William & Mary. Click here to purchase season tickets or call (540) 568-3853. (If you wish to sit with your student during the game, enter their student ID # when prompted.) Single game tickets available July 1st!

4 - 8 PM
D-Hall
Fan Favorites (Early Seating: 4:30-6PM, Late Seating: 6:15-8PM, $13/person | Kids 5 and under: Free | Students: Free with meal punch)
Reservations and walk-ins welcome. Tickets available July 1st! Stay tuned for menu information.

4:30 - 8 PM
Fantastic Feast at E-Hall
 (Early Seating: 4:30-6PM, Late Seating: 6:15-8PM, Adults: $23 | Students: Meal Punch (Reservations only, students reserve ticket online and then we punch at the door | Kids (6-12): $13 | Kids 5 and under: Free)
Back by popular demand - crab legs! We're serving all the favorites at this year's dinner, so come enjoy a relaxing meal with some great company. As an added bonus, with every adult ticket you receive a $3 off coupon for Sunday brunch at D-Hall or E-Hall. Tickets available July 1st! Stay tuned for menu information.

8 PM
JMU POPS! 
(JMU Convocation Center, Featuring the Marching Royal Dukes and other JMU ensembles, Tickets are $15)

This one-of-a-kind musical spectacular showcases some of JMU’s finest music ensembles and faculty talent. Be ready to stand up and cheer for performances by the Marching Royal Dukes, as well as the JMU Chorale, Brass Band and Symphony Orchestra. One of JMU’s favorite Family Weekend traditions, this musical celebration is great entertainment for all ages! No refunds or exchanges. Night of tickets can be purchased at the Convocation Center.

Tickets are on sale now at www.jmuforbescenter.com. Or, purchase tickets in person at the Forbes Center Main Box Office (Monday-Friday 10AM-5:30PM)

Sunday, October 4

9 AM - 5 PM
JMU Bookstore

Shop the bookstore »

9 AM - 6 PM
UREC Family Hours 
(UREC)
Families are welcome and encouraged to avail themselves of the wide assortment of UREC and UPARK’s facilities and amenities. Please be sure to bring a photo ID, and students must accompany family members.

9:30 - 11 AM
Study Abroad Reception
(D-Hall, Hall of Presidents, Free)
This is a drop-in event where students, parents, family, and friends will be able to meet with the Study Abroad Staff, Global Dukes (study abroad alums), and Semester Program Directors to talk about our 90+ JMU study abroad programs. Breakfast items and coffee will be available.

Vary By Location
Great Deal Brunch
 (E-Hall Hours: 9AM-3PM | D-Hall Hours: 10AM - 3PM | $13/person plus tax | No tickets necessary)
Choose from a selection of breakfast and lunch items. If your student has a meal plan, there is no additional charge. They just punch their JACard at the door as usual. And even better, if they have FLEX or Dining Dollars, they can pay for your meal. If you reserved tickets to the Fantastic Feast, you can use your discount coupon here! 

11 AM - 5 PM
Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art
 (Duke Hall Room 1022, Free)

Noon - 8 PM
Lunch With A View
 (Festival Food Court | A La Carte Prices)
Looking for something quick? Visit the Festival, JMU's dining facility with the million-dollar view of campus and the mountains beyond. Featuring salads, grilled and deli items and other Festival favorites.

2 PM
A Cappella Thon Concert
(Memorial Hall Auditorium |  $5/person Cash or Check)
Concert featuring JMU's award-winning, student-led a cappella groups. Please email acappellajmu@gmail.com with specific questions regarding the event.

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