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Family weekend guide for students and families on the Tempe and Downtown campuses

As Sun Devil families flock to the Valley to get a taste of ASU life, the University is holding a plethora of events

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ASU family poses at Sparky's Touchdown Tailgate on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019 in Tempe.

Frat parties, a football game, cultural events and family activities are all on deck for this year's ASU's Family Weekend. Drink water, eat carbs and buckle up for three days full of as much maroon and gold as you can handle. 

Each year, family weekend brings Sun Devil families from around the world to reunite with their students. With dozens of events happening across all four Valley campuses, it can become overwhelming deciding where to go and when. 

This guide offers some details to help families navigate the festivities. Further details and more events can be found on the ASU Family Weekend website.

Family Weekend Check-In

All non-student family weekend participants must check in upon arriving on campus with coordinators at any of the four campuses in order to take part in any activities. You can check in whenever, and it is recommended that those partaking in activities check in at the campus where they will spend a majority of their time.

At check-in, families will receive a badge that will grant access to certain events.

Tempe campus check-in

Downtown Phoenix campus check-in

  • Friday, Sept. 22 from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Student Center at the Post Office in the San Carlos Room, located on the north side of Civic Space Park and just west of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, 522 N. Central Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85003.

West campus check-in

Polytechnic campus check-in

  • Friday, Sept. 22 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Student Union, 5999 S. Backus Mall Mesa, AZ 85212

Friday, Sept. 22 events


Family Wellness (all weekend)

LiveWellASU is offering access to the Tempe Sun Devil Fitness Complex, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., for all family weekend visitors with a badge obtained from check-in. The SDFC is welcoming all to utilize its facilities and try out a group fitness class. Note that minors are not permitted in the weight rooms.

Alumni family photos with Sparky

The ASU Alumni Association will host an event on the Old Main Lawn from 2 to 4 p.m. where alumni families can grab a quick photo with University mascot Sparky. Photos will be emailed to families after the event. Registration is required. 

Earth and Space Open House

The annual Earth and Space Exploration Open House is a night of stargazing and science hosted by University graduate students in the School of Earth and Space Exploration from 6 to 9 p.m. The event is open to all ages and a family weekend badge is required. 

PAB's Night at the Park

ASU's Programming and Activities Board will host a Disney-themed night at the Old Main Lawn from 7 to 10 p.m. The event will have free food and giveaways for attendees. 

College-specific events 

Family weekend badges are required for these events and families must have a student in the events' respective college.


Regional Night: Latin America

This year's regional night is an event featuring the food, culture and art of Latin America. Traditions from diverse cultures will be put on display at the Thunderbird School of Global Management from 7 to 10 p.m. The event is hosted with the support of student organizations on campus like the Undergraduate Student Government Downtown, El Concilio and the Graduate and Professional Student Association. A family weekend badge is required.

College-specific events 

Family weekend badges are required for these events and families must have a student in the events' respective college to participate.

Saturday, Sept. 23 events


Gold Rush Obstacle Course

This family-friendly event will test participants' Sun Devil spirit as they navigate the obstacles set up around the SDFC Tempe field starting at 7 a.m. A family weekend badge and an additional fee of $15 is required.

Barrett Family Weekend Breakfast

Join the Barrett community in a breakfast buffet in the Barrett Tempe Complex from 9 to 11 a.m. Prior registration and a badge is required.

ASU Family Block Party

The ASU community and families will join in a pre-game event in advance of the USC vs. ASU football game Saturday night. There will be food, games and activities for all ages from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union North Stage.

Sparky’s Touchdown Tailgate

Beginning at 4:30 p.m., football fans will gather on Sixth Street and College Avenue to get excited for the USC vs. ASU football game, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. There will be food trucks, live entertainment and a beer garden. The event is free and family-friendly. 

USC at ASU football game

Football fans will head to Mountain America Stadium for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff to a highly anticipated matchup between the Trojans and the Sun Devils. The theme is "Maroon Monsoon" and the game will honor Hispanic Heritage Month. A separate ticket purchase is required.

Sunday, Sept. 23 events


"A" Mountain Spirit Hike

The Student Alumni Association will host a hike up the Tempe Butte, more commonly known as "A" Mountain, at 7 a.m. The hike is quick with great views of Tempe, and attendees should meet at the base of the mountain across the tracks from the Veterans Way Transit Hub at Fifth Street and College Avenue.

A more extensive list of the weekend's activities in addition to activities on the Polytechnic and West campuses can be found here.

Edited by Shane Brennan, Sadie Buggle and Caera Learmonth.

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