To-Do List for Visitors During Family Weekend

University Relations - Communications
Oct. 8, 2014

Photo credit: Patrick McArdle/UANews

Families from everywhere nation will convene at the University of Arizona for Family Weekend, a three-day celebration of Wildcat pride that gets kicked off on Friday.

The Family Weekend calendar is full of must-do events, including a golf tournament, a chili cook-off, educational programming, fitness classes, a pep rally and, of course, the Wildcats' football game against the University of Southern California on Saturday night.

For those who may have planned an extended stay, here's a short list of things to do – on and beyond campus:

For the Culture Hounds

The UA's newly renovated Old Main reopened at the start of the academic year. Be sure to check out the exhibition space on the second floor, which includes artwork and artifacts from the Arizona State Museum, the UA Museum of Art, the Center for Creative Photography, the Mineral Museum and UA Special Collections.

Photo credit: Ken Sterns

For the Sports/Outdoorsy Types

Two popular inner-city spots with UA ties are Tumamoc Hill and Sentinel Peak, commonly known as "A" Mountain.

Photo credit: FJ Gaylor

Nearly 100 years ago, UA football fans whitewashed an "A" on the side of the mountain. Today, the site is a popular place from which to view the city, day or night.

Tumamoc Hill is an important landmark for scientific research, as well as an archeological and historical site. The hill also is a popular hiking destination, offering a three-mile round-trip hike and a near-360-degree view of Tucson and surrounding areas.

Photo credit: Norma Jean Gargasz/UANews

For the Food Lovers

Visiting Tucson pretty well requires that you eat a Sonoran hot dog at a local restaurant or hot dog stand.

Photo credit: Maiden D'Shade

For a more diverse range of foods, including vegan, vegetarian and locally-sourced food items, visit Tucson Meet Yourself, an annual festival celebrating the culture, food, tradition and arts of southern Arizona and northern Mexico. Founded more than four decades ago by UA folklorist and anthropologist James "Big Jim" Griffith, the event is organized and supported by many UA employees and also local artists, performers, organizations and businesses. While you're there, check out the many new additions to the downtown.

Photo courtesy of Tucson Meet Yourself

Also, be sure to check out restaurants opened and owned by UA alumni, including Frost Gelato, Barrio Bread Company, Choice Greens, Proper and Takamatsu.

For the Intellectual Types

If you are looking for a road trip, take a scenic drive up Mount Lemmon. In addition to the many trails and the small town of Summerhaven, you will find the Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, which offers programming for people of all ages.

Another road-trip candidate is the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, a museum of living plants. The arboretum, which the UA helps to manage, is hosting a number of educational events, including its Fall Plant Sale, desert walks, workshops, lectures and more. Talk about perfect timing: Beginning Oct. 11, UA students and employees carrying a CatCard, or another form of University identification, won't have to pay the usual entrance fee to gain admission.

A trip closer to home involves visiting Biosphere 2 and Kitt Peak, two essential laboratories for UA scientific research. In 2009, the UA's Biosphere 2 made the Life Books list of one of the "50 Must-See Natural and Man-made Marvels," alongside other structures that include the Eiffel Tower, Sydney Opera House and the Hubble Telescope.

To learn more about Family Weekend, visit the UA's aggregate social site.

Photo credit: Patrick McArdle/UANews


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