Family Day 2021

Family Day 2021 is Saturday, October 23.

We're delighted to have so many families on campus and hope you have a wonderful time with your students.

Click above for today's live-streamed events.

See the day's program below, and please review the following tips and guidelines.

  • All today's events are outside, live, and in person.
  • We'll live-stream all major events on this webpage beginning at 9:00 am so that even if you can't be there in person you can view them on your personal devices. 
  • Guests over the age of 12 must be vaccinated to attend Family Day. Unvaccinated guests under the age of 12 are also welcome to join us. All guests should bring a mask to wear at times when crowds might closely gather. 
  • All of your activities on Williams’ campus must remain out-of-doors. (This includes bathroom breaks: portable toilets will be available along the east side of Bernhard Music Center.) The only two exceptions are The Williams College Museum of Art, which will be open from 10:00 am.-5:00 pm., and Sawyer Library, open from 1:00-5:00 pm.
  • Parking is available in many locations around campus. This map shows the '62 Center Parking Garage, Weston Hall, Mears House, Hollander Hall, Chapin Hall, the Health Center, and the Upper & Lower Chapel Lots, which are all options for you.

Family Day 2021: Program (Check Here for Last-Minute Changes)

9:00 AM - SUNSET – PLAN YOUR OWN HIKE. Families with their own cars who'd like to venture beyond the Williams-sponsored hikes below are encouraged to do so! Here's a handy guide to nearby favorites, compliments of the Williams Outing Club. 

9:00 AM-1:00 PM –  FAMILY DAYS WELCOME AND INFO DESK, Paresky Center, Front Porch

9:00-10:15 AM – CAMPUS TOUR, Weston Hall. Led by student admission guides.

9:00 AM – CLARK ART INSTITUTE GROUNDS HIKE hosted by The Williams Outing Club. Departs from Paresky Center porch at 9:00 sharp. This is a gentle three-mile hike from campus to a beautiful outlook behind and above The Clark Art Institute. Wear sturdy shoes and bring a water bottle. Regretfully, no dogs are allowed on this hike. Questions? Email [email protected]

9:00 AM – CLARK/STONE BENCH HIKE hosted by The Williams Outing Club. Departs from Paresky Center porch at 9:00 sharp. This is a gentle five-mile hike from campus, which follows a wooded path around The Clark Art Institute that includes the same beautiful outlook as the shorter hike above. Wear sturdy shoes and bring a water bottle. Regretfully, no dogs are allowed on this hike. Questions? Email [email protected]

9:00 AM – COLE FIELD HIKE hosted by The Williams Outing Club. Departs from Paresky Center porch at 9:00 sharp. This is an easy one-mile hike through campus to Cole Field, which offers a wonderful view up to the Pine Cobble Ridge. Wear sturdy shoes and bring a water bottle. Regretfully, no dogs are allowed on this hike. Questions? Email [email protected]

9:00 AM-10:00 AM –  PANEL DISCUSSION: OUTSIDE THE WILLIAMS CLASSROOM, Williams Quad (Live-Streamed). Representatives from the Center for Learning in Action, Davis Center, Campus Life, and Physical Education will showcase some of Williams’ comprehensive extracurricular offerings.

9:20 AM – PINE COBBLE HIKE hosted by The Williams Outing Club. Vans depart from Park Street behind Paresky Center at 9:20 sharp. This is a 3-mile hike round trip with a 1,000+-foot elevation gain to get your blood flowing and endorphins coursing! Dress for the weather: good footwear for a trail that will be muddy, wet, and always rocky. Bring a filled water bottle and snack! Regretfully, no dogs are allowed on this hike. Return to campus by 12:45 pm. Email the hike's organizer, Scott Lewis, [email protected] with any questions.

10:00 AM-11:00 AM –  PANEL DISCUSSION: INSIDE THE WILLIAMS CLASSROOM, Williams Quad (Live-Streamed.) What’s happening in the humanities, social sciences, science and mathematics, and interdisciplinary programs? How do tutorials work? What about summer research opportunities? Williams professors will answer these and many of your own questions.

10:00 AM-1:00 PM – HOPKINS FOREST FALL FESTIVAL, Hopkins Forest. Traditional fall and forest-related activities include cider pressing, cross-cut sawing, shake splitting, canopy walkway, games, exhibits, live music, and locally sourced apples and refreshments. We ask that anyone not yet vaccinated against Covid-19 please wear a face mask and keep a social distance of six feet. Hopkins Forest is located at 271 Northwest Hill Road in Williamstown. Parking is limited so we encourage ride-sharing or cycling to the event.

10:00 AM-5:00 PM  –  WILLIAMS COLLEGE MUSEUM OF ART: Ongoing and special exhibits, including  Repro Japan: Technologies of Popular Visual Culture; Resist Covid | Take Six; and Unstable Connections.

11:00 AM-Noon – FAMILY DAYS ASSEMBLY, Williams Quad (Live-Streamed). Maud S. Mandel, President and Professor of History, and Marlene Sandstrom, Dean of the College and Hales Professor of Psychology

11:00 AM-5:30 PMVARSITY SPORTS LIVESTREAM, Frosh Quad. Saturday games will be screened under the Frosh Quad tent, and you can also view them from your personal devices at bit.ly/famdaysports.

11:30 AM-12:45 PM –  CAMPUS TOUR, Weston Hall. Led by student admission guides.

11:30 AM-1:30 PM – COMPLIMENTARY BUFFET LUNCHEON, Paresky Lawn

Noon-1:30 PM –  “THIS I BELIEVE,” Under tent by Lehman Hall. Students from a Williams-wide variety of traditions and perspectives will reflect on their experiences with faith, spirituality, and morality on campus. Bring your lunch from the Paresky Lawn buffet and meet our Williams Chaplains as well.

1:00 PM-2:15 PM –  CAMPUS TOUR, Weston Hall. Led by student admission guides.

1:00 PM–5:00 PM – LIBRARY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS, Sawyer Library. From the Founding Documents of the United States of America to Audubon’s Birds of America, and from Williams’ early student letters to current student newspapers, the College Archives and Chapin Library are well worth a visit.

1:15 PM-2:15 PM – WHAT YOUR STUDENT SHOULD KNOW ABOUT INTERNSHIPS, JOBS, AND LEVERAGING THE WILLIAMS NETWORK, Williams Quad (Live-Streamed). Panel discussion with professionals and older students from the ’68 Center for Career Exploration, co-sponsored by The Parents Fund. 

1:30-2:30 PM – SALSA LESSON, Lehman Quad. Hosted by Ritmo, Williams' dance team celebrating Latinx and Afro-Latinx dance forms. No prior dance experience is required! Come ready to move and learn!

2:30 PM-4:00 PM STUDENT PERFORMANCES. Williams Quad (Live-Streamed). A glorious, afternoon-long jamboree of student music, dance, and comedy groups who'll perform in this order.

5:00 PM – Firsts Family Hangout, Tent by Hollander Hall. An informal opportunity to relax, snack, and socialize with Williams Firsts students and families.

8:00 PM – VIRTUAL PLANETARIUM SHOW. The night sky has been a source of inspiration to humanity for millennia. From our earliest days, we recognized patterns in the cycle of the stars, and “wanderers” told stories centered on figures that seemed to watch over us as they traveled across the sky, contemplating our own origins and those of the universe. This student-led presentation and discussion will cover everything from mythology to astrophysics and cosmology.  Join our Family Days Planetarium Show via this Zoom link!

AT YOUR LEISUREThe largest missing puzzle piece this year is Friday classroom visits, a perennial Family Days highlight in non-Covid times. This year, you can get a good flavor of your student's academic experience by scrolling down to "Sample Classes" on this video webpage.