Student and Academic Life

Wildcat Families Make Their way to the Bluegrass for 2018 Family Weekend

Photo by Mark Cornelison

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 24, 2018) — The big blue family has an extraordinary reach. From all corners of the country, families will begin their travel to the Bluegrass for University of Kentucky Family Weekend, Sept. 28-30. 

"Family Weekend is a time for families to return to campus to visit their students, celebrate their accomplishments and take part in a wide variety of events that showcase the best of UK and the Lexington community," said Nicki Jenkins, senior program specialist for the Parent and Family Association. "For many families, Family Weekend will be the first time they have seen their students since move-in and they will be eager to make sure that they are adjusting well to campus life."

Excited about the changes and additions that have been made for this year's Family Weekend, Jenkins hopes that the families who attend will leave feeling more a part of the Wildcat Family. 

"One of the biggest changes to Family Weekend this year was the incorporation of student input into the planning of the events. Two student event coordinators, Adrienne Poole and Samantha Mattern, took on the bulk of the event planning responsibilities for two of our most popular events, Donut You Love Family Weekend? and the Family Weekend Welcome and Game Night. I am confident that families will love the new ideas and creativity they brought to the events," Jenkins said. 

Family Weekend kicks off Friday, Sept. 28, with an evening full of family-friendly events. From 4:45 – 7 p.m., Explore UK will take families on a guided tour of three of UK’s more popular programs and participate in fun, interactive activities with faculty, staff and students. Families will get to explore their own career paths with the Stuckert Career Center, experience other cultures with Education Abroad, and see the future of engineering with UK’s own solar car.

On Saturday, starting at 3:30 p.m., the UK Center for Community Outreach will partner with Family Weekend to host a service event. Students can bring their families to partake in meal packing that will help provide meals to children in need in Kentucky and around the world through Love the Hungry, a nonprofit organization based in Louisville, Kentucky. Tickets are free for current UK students with their student ID and $5 for parents and family members. All ticket proceeds go toward purchasing meals and supplies for meal packing. 

The largest event during family weekend, aside from the home football game, is the Family Weekend Tent Party. Starting Saturday at 5 p.m., more than 2,000 people will enjoy food, inflatables, free T-shirts, music, games and more. Tickets are $15 for current UK students and children 18 and under and $25 for parents and family members. 

Moving into Sunday, events like Donut you Love Family Weekend? and Lunch at Historic Spindletop Hall wrap up Family Weekend with some savory family time. Both events provide families with delicious local treats and give families time to talk about all the fun experienced over the weekend.  

Over the past four years, the popularity of all Family Weekend events has grown, evidenced by the increased number of participants and ticket sales. With so many events taking place throughout the weekend, families can create a memorable weekend tailored to their own interests. 

For a detailed description of all Family Weekend events and activities, visit or download the UK Parent and Family Association mobile app. You can follow the UK Parent and Family Association on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue