NAU Family Weekend

Top 10 things to do with your parents during NAU’s Family Weekend (October 2019)

NAU Family Weekend means Lumberjack parents and alumni are planning their Flagstaff to do’s as the traditional campus event quickly approaches evidenced with the crisp autumn air.   

Entertaining the family at 7,000’ is fun, and can be filled with new experiences as there are limitless things-to-do that show the mountain Flagstaff lifestyle and why we love this college town. From this Lumberjack student and Flagstaff local, a genuine Flagstaff experience should include some of these experiences with parents while being sure to explain to visiting family members that suitcases should be packed with light jackets and pants, comfortable shoes and maybe even a pair of boots. 

6:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.: Family 5k Run & 2 Mile Walk 

Rise and shine in Lumberjack country! Head to Lumberjack Stadium on campus to run the track with your family. On-site registration begins at 6:30 a.m. with the race at 8:00 a.m. Make sure to arrive early as the first 250 registrants will earn a FREE t-shirt, along with healthy snacks before the race.

Breakfast: After the 5K, everyone in the family will be in need of a big breakfast! Some student favorites include The Toasted Owl Cafe, MartAnne’s Burrito Palace, or Over Easy. Each are delicious and located within a few miles of campus.

10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.: Arizona Snowbowl Scenic Chairlift

Need some time to relax? Head to Arizona Snowbowl for a scenic chairlift ride up the San Francisco Peaks. Students will be able to share with their parents the beautiful scenery, experiencing the breathtaking fall foliage and views of Northern Arizona at 11,500 feet.  Jackets, sweatshirts and sunscreen are necessities.  Adult passes start at $19.00. For more information visit Arizona Snowbowl’s website.

10:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m.: NAU Gaming at Cline Library!

If you’re showing your family around campus, make sure you take them to Cline Library. Starting at 10:00 a.m. NAU Cline Library will be hosting a social event for students, siblings, and parents featuring all different types of games and activities. It’s a perfect way to connect your family with NAU campus life! This event is FREE for all members of the family and will be taking place on the second floor of the library in the Cline Learning Studio, Room 249. 

11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.: Flagstaff Oktoberfest Festival 

Looking for more local Flagstaff events for the day? Head downtown to Wheeler Park for the annual Flagstaff Oktoberfest! Enjoy entertainment from Polka Bands to Brat Eating Contests, along with several different food and art vendors. Those under 21-years-old, need not to worry. The Oktoberfest is a family event with FREE admission for kids under 12! General admission tickets for adults will be $10.00. To buy your tickets before the event visit the Festival’s website below.

Lunch: If you didn’t enter the Brat Eating Contest at the Oktoberfest, enjoy lunch in downtown Flagstaff! Local favorites include Diablo Burger, Tourist Home All Day Cafe, Beaver Street Brewery, and Fratelli Pizza. Sometimes we just need some lip-smackin’ goodness. You have got to try the caramel apples at The Sweet Shoppe because nothing says autumn more than these works-of-art.   

11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.: Lumberjack Street Fair

Want to head back to campus? Make sure to check out the Lumberjack Street Fair located outside the Walkup Skydome. Campus Dining Services and vendors will be there with yummy street food, snacks, and family activities before the big football game! NAU students can use their meal plan and dining dollars at this event as well. For family members without a meal plan, head to the NAU events website to purchase your tickets.

4:00 p.m.: NAU Football vs. Northern Colorado

Ready to show your Lumberjack pride? Don’t miss out the NCAA Division 1 Football Championship Subdivision football game when NAU faces Northern Colorado in the big Family Weekend home game at the Walkup Skydome. Tickets start at $23.00 and can be found online at With NAU currently ranked 3rd in the Big Sky division come ready to cheer, and don’t forget to wear your blue and gold! Go Jacks!

NAU Apparel and Gear: Before you head to the football game or check out events on campus, visit the NAU on campus bookstore to show your blue and gold Lumberjack school spirit. With apparel ranging from t-shirt’s to backpacks and even pompoms for the game, everyone is sure to find something to show their support and take a little piece of NAU home.

Dinner: Hungry after all that cheering at the football game? Check out NiMarco’s Pizza, Lumberyard Brewing Company, Hickory’s Smokehouse BBQ, or even 1899 Bar and Grill on campus!  Each of these are among students and locals’ favorites, and relatively close to campus.  

10:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.: Lowell Observatory 

After a day packed full of NAU and Flagstaff happenings, it only seems right to end the day with one last event! Lowell Observatory, the place where Pluto was discovered, will be debuting The Giovale Open Deck Observatory. The Grand Opening consists of activities throughout the entire day ranging from solar viewing, to scavenger hunts! Don’t miss out on the chance to view the brand-new observation deck that night underneath the stars. Not to mention the October 5th event is FREE admission all day! To take part in this unique event, check out the Lowell Observatory website to plan your visit.

Where to Stay: Looking for accommodations near campus?  Maybe somewhere steeped in Flagstaff history, too? Click here for a listing of places to consider. 

Looking for More on Campus Activities? Check out the Family Weekend link on NAU’s website to view all happenings over the course of the long weekend. Such as movies at Prochnow auditorium, family brunches, free access to the Campus Recreation Center, and so much more. All events, including activities for younger members of the family, will be taking place so everyone is able to experience Northern Arizona University. Also, visit the website for tips on parking around campus and to preorder event tickets. 

About the Author

Gwyn Hanson

Gwyn Hanson is a student at Northern Arizona University and a Flagstaff local. When she’s not in class and on campus you can find her hiking with her dog, or in a coffee shop downtown.

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