Games, music, sports and activities planned for UNI Family Weekend

The University of Northern Iowa is gearing up for a weekend packed with activities open to the community and Panther families from Oct. 18-20. 


The Panther volleyball team will host the Drake Bulldogs at 6 p.m. Oct. 18 in the McLeod Center. Tickets are $7 at the door.  

The Orchesis Dance Company will have two free performances during the weekend starting at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18. A second show will be 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20. Both events will be held in Bengston Auditorium in Russell Hall.

Friday’s events end with a Northern Iowa Symphony Orchestra concert in Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Tickets at the door are $15 for adults, $5 for non-UNI students and free for students with a UNI ID.


Saturday is filled with open houses and ways to tour the community. The events kick off with the Panther Scholarship Club’s Run4UNI four-mile race through the campus at 8 a.m. Participants end on the 50-yard line of the UNI-Dome. Registration fee includes a T-shirt and ticket to the volleyball game that night. Register online

Families are invited to check in from 9-10:30 a.m. at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center Lobby for a weekend schedule, coffee, baked goods and a T-shirt. It’s a time to mingle with fellow Panthers and hear a brief program from President Mark A. Nook, an athletic coach and enjoy a SingPins performance. 

The Rialto will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Students with meal plans can use guest passes and additional lunches are $9 for adults and $7.50 for youths. 

Phi Sigma Pi will be hosting an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast at College Hill Lutheran Church from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Advanced tickets are $5. Tickets at the door are $7.

Several academic buildings will hold open houses. UNI business will have faculty and administrators on hand in the Curris’ Hall of Flags from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Study abroad options with business-specific opportunities will be discussed in the John Deere Auditorium in Curris Business Building 109 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The physics research lab tours in Begeman Hall 114 will be from 10:30 a.m. to noon. 

DigUNI will host an archaeological excavation, weather permitting, between Lang Hall and the Center for Multicultural Education from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. More details are online.

A chemistry magic show will be held in Lantz Auditorium, McCollum Science Hall 137 at 10:30 a.m.

The second floor of the Communication Arts Center will be opened by the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association to showcase the Roy Eblen Speech and Hearing Clinic from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Youths of all ages are invited to Rod Library’s Makerspace for coloring and LEGO building from 10 a.m. to noon. While in the Rod Library, participants can slip over to room 340 to visit Special Collections & University Archives for a hands-on experience handling books dating to the 1500s, correspondence from the mid-19th century, UNI yearbooks, newspapers, and more from 11 a.m. to noon. 

The Study Abroad Center and Culture Intensive English Program has invited international students to showcase their home cultures through dance, music, games, and art at 100 East Bartlett (door entrance S6) from 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m. 

Free shuttles will allow families to explore historic downtown from noon to 3:25 p.m. Pickup will be on the corner of College Hill and 23rd Street and drop off riders on Fourth and Main streets.

Events end with the South Dakota vs. UNI football game at 4 p.m. UNI students can bring their UNI ID to the ticket office starting Oct. 7 to purchase tickets for their family and trade in their free student section ticket for a seat next to their family. 


Starting at 6 a.m. Oct 18, the Wellness Recreation Center will be open to families accompanied by UNI students. The fitness areas, gyms and courts will be open until 8 p.m. Lap and leisure pools will be available from 5-7:30 p.m. Families can try the climbing wall from 4-8 p.m. 

The center will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 19 with the pools and climbing wall closing at 12:30 p.m. On Sunday, Oct. 20, the fitness areas, gyms, courts and pools will be open from 5 to 8 p.m., but the climbing wall will be closed. 


  • 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. WRC open to families accompanied by UNI student
  • 6 p.m. UNI volleyball
  • 7 p.m. Orchesis Dance Company
  • 7:30 p.m. Northern Iowa Symphony Orchestra


  • 8 a.m. Run4UNI
  • 9-10:30 a.m. Check in
  • 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Family Feast Tailgate Rialto
  • 10:30 a.m.-noon UNIBusiness Brunch Open House
  • 10:30 a.m. to noon physics research lab tours
  • 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Wellness Recreation Center open
  • 10 a.m.-1 p.m. DigUNI archaeological excavation
  • 10:30 a.m. chemistry magic show
  • 10 a.m.-noon coloring and LEGO building
  • 11 a.m.-noon Special Collections & University Archives "Petting Zoo"
  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Phi Sigma Pi pancake breakfast
  • 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Roy Eblen Speech and Hearing Clinic open house
  • 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Study Abroad session for business students
  • 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m. Explore the World – at UNI
  • noon to 3:25 p.m. Downtown Cedar Falls tours with shuttle
  • 4 p.m. UNI football hosts South Dakota


  • 5-8 p.m. Wellness Recreation Center open
  • 2 p.m. Orchesis Dance Company Performance