Family Weekend Fun: A Guide to Tallahassee

Family Weekend is just around the corner, and that means visiting your student here in Tallahassee, Florida for a weekend of catching up and Seminole spirit at Florida State University. While there are many opportunities to dine, visit, and explore campus, perhaps you want to take the time to explore a little past the on-campus fun. Tallahassee has numerous local businesses and unique attractions for you to see while you’re in town. Here are some options for your student and family to experience while in town this weekend. 

Attractions. Not only is Tallahassee the capital for FSU Football, it is also the capital of the state of Florida. Tallahassee, dubbed the Capital City, is home to many historic sites, including the Florida Capitol Complex and the Historic Capitol Museum. In the 22-story complex, you can visit the observatory and gallery on the 22nd floor to see a gorgeous panoramic view of Tallahassee, and to view some artwork completed by notable Florida artists. The Historic Capitol offers self-guided tours of the ‘old capitol,’ and you can see interesting artifacts and learn more about Tallahassee’s legislative history. Both the Capitol Complex and Historic Capitol have free admission for visitors. Near campus you can find a hidden treasure in the heart of downtown: Railroad Square Art Park. In this art district, you can find eclectic artwork, unique restaurants and cafes, and lots of local shops for you to walk through. This is a favorite among Tallahassee locals and college students alike, and is an absolute must-see if you’re in town. If you’re not looking to spend money within the park, the vibrant artworks and buildings makes the walk through the district worth it. 

Another great way to experience Tallahassee is by utilizing the new electric scooters to ride through Cascades Park and enjoy the peaceful environment. (Just remember that these e-scooters are not permitted on campus).

Park Avenue Historic District is a chain of seven parks located in Tallahassee’s downtown. It is home to many events throughout the year, including the weekly Saturday Downtown Market, and is a picturesque part of downtown- even more so when the twinkling lights in the trees come on every night. On College Avenue, you can find another photo opportunity: a postcard-styled mural. Brightly colored and alluding to Tallahassee’s most iconic features, it represents the Capital City well and serves as an artistic rendering of what makes Tallahassee so wonderful. Inside of Cascades Park, you can also find a large orange sculpture of the letters TLH, which makTLH.jpge for a cute photo opportunity for you and your student in their new home. 

Dining. Besides enthusiasm for athletics and serving as Florida’s capital, there is nothing that Tallahassee does better than being a foodie’s dream. Whether you’re looking for a night out on the town, a delicious Southern lunch, or a tasty breakfast, Tallahassee has it all. Check out all the recommended dining opportunities here in the Capital City.

Breakfast: Lucky Goat Coffee Co., Canopy Road Cafe, SoDOUGH Baking Co., The Edison, Uptown Cafe, RedEye Coffee, Donut Kingdom, Bada Bean, All Saints Cafe, Black Dog Cafe, Catalina Cafe. 

Lunch: Jeri’s Midtown Cafe, Wells Brothers Bar and Grill, Kool Beanz Cafe, Chi Chi’s Cafe, Bird’s Aphrodisiac Oyster Shack, Hopkins Eatery, Momo’s Pizza, The Lunchbox, Vertigo Burgers and Fries, VooDoo Dog.

Dinner: Marie Livingston’s, Backwoods Bistro, Z. Bardhi’s Italian Cuisine, Madison Social, Centrale, Township, Table 23, Andrew’s Capital Grill and Bar, Midtown Caboose, Masa, Bella Bella, Mom and Dad’s Italian Restaurant. 

Nightlife: The Brass Tap, Proof Brewing Co., Lake Tribe Brewing, Fire Betty’s Arcade Bar, Madison Social, Township, The Fox and Stag, Liberty Bar and Restaurant. 

Snacks: Tasty Pastry Bakery, Lofty Pursuits, Sugar Rush Bar, Nothing Bundt Cakes, N2 Sweets, Magda’s, Big Easy Snowballs, Lucy & Leo’s Cupcakery. 

Shopping. A great way to spend your time in Tallahassee is enjoying all of the businesses and shops that Tallahassee has to offer. All over town, you can find many different boutiques, including Quarter Moon Imports, Loli and the Bean, Olde Fields Clothing Co., Lucky and Charmed, and Sparkle by Madison. Local shopping options for men include Southern Compass Outfitters and Cape Harbor Outfitters. If you’re in search of some FSU gear, you can head over to the FSU Bookstore, Garnet and Gold, Alumni Hall, or Bill’s Bookstore for the latest FSU items. In addition to these local stores, Tallahassee is also home to the Governor’s Square and Tallahassee Malls which contains popular department stores and chains. For Tallahassee souvenirs, you can check out the Visitor Information Center where there are many cute shirts, hats, and stickers. Some local businesses and boutiques in town also have their own spin on Tallahassee merchandise for sale. 

Even this general guide to Tallahassee only touches on a little of what the city offers its visitors. If you have any questions or need suggestions for the weekend, you can always call (850-606-2305) or visit the Visitor Information Center & Gift Shop (106 E Jefferson Street).

By Abby Cloud

Don’t Miss Out on the Garnet & Gold Silent Auction!

Don’t Miss Out on the Garnet & Gold Silent Auction! Friday,  September 27, 2019

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Family Weekend is full of exciting events surrounding the Florida State University community and this year is no exception! To kick off the weekend, the annual Garnet & Gold Silent Auction will be taking place at the 1851 Dining Hall (2nd Floor) alongside Family Weekend Check-In on Friday, September 27th. 

The Garnet and Gold Silent Auction is just over a decade old and is the biggest fundraiser allowing FSU Family Connection to support FSU Family Fund. FSU Family Fund provides services and support for students on-campus through free flu shots to more than 2,500 students through University Health Services, Stress Buster Days around midterms and finals through the University Counseling Center, and Move-In and Graduation Assistance for the Unconquered Scholars program- just to name a few things provided by Family Fund. Because tuition does not cover the items stated above, FSU Family Fund works to provide these important student needs. By attending and participating in the auction, the goal this year is to raise enough funds for book scholarships, the Food for Thought Food Pantry in the Dean of Students Department, and a Thanksgiving meal for CARE students.

As an attendee of the auction, you get the chance to place bids on a variety of goodies put together by the auction’s host, the Family Connection Council as well as several other university and local supporters. This year, students and families can expect a plethora of FSU memorabilia, practical residence hall  items, collectible items, gift baskets, gift cards, and concert/sports tickets! Some of the sponsors for this year’s auction are Barefoot Campus Outfitters, Books-A-Million, Madison Social, RedEye Coffee, the FSU Bookstore, and many more businesses. Thanks to these donors and sponsors, the Garnet and Gold Silent Auction is looking forward to benefiting the FSU Family Fund and providing families with fun gift baskets!

Mark you calendars so that you have a chance to bid on some awesome merchandise. If you cannot attend the auction, consider making a donation to the Family Fund here. Want to know exactly what will be available for bidding?–make sure you are signed up to receive the Family Connection newsletter that will feature details on baskets & bidding. Hope to see you Friday!

By Abby Cloud

Looking Forward to Family Weekend at FSU!

Looking Forward to Family Weekend at FSU

By: Virginia Gesler, Dave Bachansingh (FSU Family Connection Council Members)

It’s just around the corner…Family Weekend! Family Weekend can be fun for the whole family. Brothers and sisters are welcomed as well as grandparents, aunts and uncles- whomever you define as family. For many first-year parents, this may be your first time seeing your student since dropping them off in August. You are filled with anticipation for this amazing reunion, and while they may not show it, your student is more excited to see you than you know. 19_0068(003).JPG

For parents and families making the trip to Tallahassee next week, safe travels! Whether you are staying in a hotel or with your student, we hope that your time visiting your student is exceptional!

There are a lot of activities taking place during Family Weekend and you will have plenty to choose from. Most families prefer arriving in Tallahassee early on Friday to get a jump start on activities and quality family time.

By arriving early on Friday, you can check out the Silent Auction presented by the FSU Family Connection at 1851 in Azalea Hall. There is always a great selection and an array of gift baskets and prizes, ranging from FSU memorabilia, campus experiences, and other Seminole goodies. The funds raised through this auction will go towards the FSU Family Fund, so it is all for a good cause.NSFP-Silent Auction-Sharepost.png

As one of only two collegiate circuses in the nation, the FSU Flying High Circus puts on an amazing show for students and families. Aerialists, gymnasts, clowns and jugglers all make for a family-friendly activity that will have you smiling from ear to ear. There are only two opportunities to see them while in town, so if you have tickets–we promise the show will not disappoint! 

Many of the extracurricular organizations have something to commemorate Family Weekend, so based on your child’s involvement you may have additional activities to attend. There will be many opportunities for families to meet your student’s new friends and to see how they spend their time on campus when they are not in class. Many of these organizations will welcome all families and parents with open arms–some instructors will even invite you to class! This is a great way to experience academic life on campus! 

There is also a Faculty Reading & Book signing featuring Assistant Professor, Aaron C. Thomas. Or visit the Leach and pick up a complimentary guest pass & join your student in a workout! Passes are available between Friday September 27 at 12PM -Sunday September 29 at 5PM. 2019 OFR - BookReadingSigningEvent_Flyer 8x11.jpg

A great way to wrap up the day is at the Friday Night Block Party in Collegetown from 5pm-10pm. It is the official start to FSU’s football festivities with a super fun street party with live music, and street vendors There are plenty of restaurants in the area to dine with as well. On Friday night, the University is also hosting a BBQ Dinner featuring delicious food items. 

If you are the athletic type or just someone who wants to start their Saturday with a great walk around campus, you can sign up for the Campus Recreation Family Weekend 5K Run/Walk. It’s open to family members of all ages. And, if you’re looking for a meal after the 5K? You can plan to attend the Saturday Tailgate Brunch at 1851. 

On Saturday, you’ll also want to take time to get prepared for Florida State’s home game. School spirit is at its finest and your students show that they are true Seminoles. There are so many traditions to be a part of during the day. The kickoff time is 7:30PM giving you plenty of time to fit in a trip to the Sod Cemetery or watch the Marching Chiefs “skull session” at Dick Howser Stadium, approximately two and a half hours before kickoff. Don’t forget to be at your seat in time to see Chief Osceola and Renegade plan the spear in the middle of the field, signaling the start of the game. From here, your only responsibility is to cheer our team on to victory. Hopefully, you have practiced your “chop”. Be loud and proud! 19_0068(035).JPG

While some will insist you don’t have to come: they like having you there. I have seen the excitement and pride as students show off the new place and just enjoy your company at a nice meal you are paying for. Just enjoy your time with your student. Take this time to tell your students how much you loved being with them and that you are proud of how they are doing. As you hit the road, reflect back on the amazing job you have done with raising your Seminole and how you built lasting memories in the past 48 hours. 

If you’re looking for more information about Family Weekend,, you can visit the Family Weekend website here

Edited by: Abby Cloud