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Family Weekend FAQs

You've got questions. Family Engagement has answers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Family Weekend

What does the Family Weekend registration fee include?

Family Weekend general admission includes all workshops and lectures on Friday and Saturday. The admission fee also includes refreshments and an evening reception on Friday, and a light breakfast on Saturday.

Why do I have to pay a fee?

We understand that coming to New York can be expensive. The Family Weekend registration fee helps us to provide you with a quality experience and variety of refreshments and programs.

Will my student attend Family Weekend events with me? Does s/he need a ticket?

If your student's schedule permits, s/he is welcome to attend general admission Family Weekend events and will not need to be registered for Family Weekend. However, if your student plans to take advantage of any additional paid events, you will need to purchase a ticket for your Columbia student during the registration process. Be sure to check with your student in advance and confirm his/her interest.

What if my student has exams?

We are aware that some students have midterm examinations during Family Weekend. The date for Family Weekend is determined by Columbia University's Homecoming. We encourage you to speak with your student to learn about any academic or other commitments s/he may have during Family Weekend.

When will the detailed schedule of events be available?

We are working hard to finalize the session titles for the Friday and Saturday programs. The schedule of events will be continuously updated as faculty members and University colleagues confirm their availability. We encourage you to check back often!

What if I just come for Saturday?

Please register if you plan to take advantage of our Saturday offerings (lectures and tours).

Do I need to register for Family Weekend if I only plan to participate in Homecoming Activities?

No, you may purchase football and Homecoming Picnic and Carnival tickets on the athletics and alumni affairs websites, respectively.

Can I sit with my student during the football game?

Students receive complimentary admission to the student seating section by showing their Columbia University ID. However, if you wish for your student to sit with you in general admission seating, you will need to purchase a football game ticket for your student. Check with your student to determine his/her preference.

How do I purchase tickets to the events not included in general admission?

During the Family Weekend registration process, you will have the opportunity to purchase discounted tickets to take the NYC double-decker bus tour or the Central Park walking tour or attend the Homecoming Picnic and Carnival, the New York City Ballet, or the New York Philharmonic. Tickets must be picked up at Family Weekend registration.

What about Broadway tickets?

We are excited to partner with the Columbia University Arts Initiative to give you special access to discounted tickets. Take a peek at the available options and select the show(s) that most excite you and your family!

Is campus accessible?

Columbia University makes every effort to accommodate individuals with disabilities. If you require disability accommodations to attend an event at Columbia University, please contact Disability Services at (212) 854-2388 at least 10 days in advance of the event. (View the campus accessibility map.) 

What if I have a dietary restriction?

Email to advise us of any dietary restrictions.

Do I have to pre-register? Can I register and pay on site?

Guests unable to register online by this time are welcome to pay on-site on Friday, October 16, or Saturday, October 17, 2015.

What's the refund policy?

Email us by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Monday, October 5, and we will honor your refund request. We are unable to accept refund requests after this date.

Will coat check / storage be available?

Yes! On Friday, October 16, from 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., coat check and limited bag storage will be available in Lerner Hall. As space is limited, we encourage you to leave larger items in either your hotel room or your student's residence hall room.

Where do I book a hotel and arrange for transportation?

Our Visiting Columbia webpage has lots of information to help you plan your trip to New York City.

What if I have other questions?

Email us! We are happy to help you plan your visit.

How do I get my tickets?

Please see below for whether your event requires tickets.

EventTickets required?
Family Weekend

(online registration only)

New York City Bus tour (10/16)

(pick up at Family Weekend Check-In)

New York Philharmonic (10/16)

(pick up at Will Call)

Homecoming Picnic and Carnival (10/17)

(online registration only; wristband provided at the Picnic and Carnival)

Homecoming Football game (10/17)

(also required for your student if you want them to sit with you in guest seating area)

Central Park Walking tour (10/17)YES
(pick up at Family Weekend Check-In)
New York City Ballet (10/17)YES
(pick up at Will Call)

Family Engagement


609 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: (212) 854-2446

Fax: (212) 854-0470

Office Hours
9:00 a.m.5:00 p.m.