Top 10 things to do on Family Weekend

William Witwer

The Walla Walla Farmer's Market features fresh and local produce for sale. Credit: Gold
The Walla Walla Farmer's Market features fresh and local produce for sale each Saturday and Sunday through mid-October. Credit: Gold

10. Show your parents your dorm
The small space in which students are confined to live is an important part of college life. While inevitable, this activity is notable for its brevity, because there really isn’t much to do in a dorm room but stare at the walls and laugh awkwardly at the mess. Students, clean your dorm before before opening it up for parental examination.

More photos from around Walla Walla

9. Ride bikes or run in the wheat fields
The wheat fields are a hidden Walla Walla gem because they are the perfect setting for wonderful conversation with parents that a hurried phone call cannot provide. Their sheer openness is impressive and will make your parents think you have become more sophisticated. Bonus: if you go at night, you can see the warm, reassuring glow of the prison lighting up the sky.

8. Paddle at Bennington Lake
Bennington Lake, located just three miles northeast of Walla Walla, offers activities and a boatload of attitude. Well, not the attitude so much, but there is a lot to do, from boating to swimming.

7. Visit an art gallery
While any city has art galleries, not any city is Walla Walla, which features the strangest collection of wineries and art houses of any small town. Ever. (Note to students: if you suggest going to an art gallery, your parental units may be so convinced of your maturity that they will be willing to lend you that money you need for your candy addiction). Whitman’s own Sheehan Gallery opens a new exhibit called “The Art of Collecting,” this Friday, Oct. 23. Check it out on opening day to meet the artist, Emile Lahner.

6. Go to breakfast at Clarette’s
Breakfast is the best meal of the day. And Clarette’s has some of the best breakfast in Walla Walla. It’s kind of a no-brainer.

5. Visit a winery
The Walla Walla Valley is wine country, a big plus for parents. Go enjoy wine tasting with parents at one of the numerous wineries in town.

4. Attend the Speakeasy (a capella concert)
A capella is so hip right now that even distinctly unhip people like parents enjoy it. Thus, go see all of Whitman’s premier a capella groups, who are terrific, perform.   You can even maintain your indie cred by pretending not to enjoy it. The show is at Cordiner from 9-11 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24.

3.   Volunteer for Make a Difference Day
Volunteering to help the Walla Walla community with your parents is a great way to help the world and enhance your relationships with the people you love at the same time.   So make a difference: fun for the whole family!   From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24, show up at Reid and volunteer for an hour.

2.   Attend the Farmers’ Market
Walla Walla has a terrific Farmers’ Market packed with local products and real people, and if that doesn’t convince you, fresh raspberries speak for themselves. Make sure you go early morning on Saturday, though, because Sunday has much less to offer.

1. Walk aimlessly through Walla Walla
Your parents are coming to see you and talk to you, so walking through Walla Walla is a great opportunity to explore the town and explore your feelings. Wandering without a sense of purpose is great fun and kind of an adventure. Just don’t get lost.