Meet the parents: 5 ways to celebrate graduation with the family

Nick Botkin

Graduation is a moment of celebration and reflection. It is also an opportunity to strengthen familial connections and have some fun with the folks.

 Here are some ways you can celebrate.


Have a beer.

You and your family deserve it. Your parents have listened to your tales of woe and frustration. You have endured gargantuan projects and labyrinths of paperwork. Plus it is fun to introduce the family to a unique aspect of Fort Collins culture.

While tours of local breweries such as New Belgium book up fast, there is no shortage of bars and restaurants that showcase our mélange of beers. Toast your achievements in a uniquely Fort Collins fashion. Responsibly, of course.

Some venues close to campus include Road 34 in the Campus West district and Avogadro’s Number on Mason Street. 

Enjoy Old Town

Some local chilrden play in the water founted located in the Square of Old Town Fort Collins. (Audrey Potter | Collegian)

Treat your relatives to something sumptuous amongst the history-laden Old Town. With 84 plus restaurants, there is something to please everyone’s palette. Options range from the Mexican offerings of Rio Grande Restaraunt to the assortment of pizzas at Beau Jo’s Pizza.

After a well-enjoyed meal, take in the crowds in Old Town Square. And yes, brave the ubiquitous train horns that pierce your reverie and add to the city’s uniqueness.

Take a trolley ride

Trolleys are a significant part of Fort Collins’ heritage. Thanks to the Fort Collins Municipal Railway Association, you can ride a restored trolley car. The rides run between City Park and Howes Street, via Mountain Avenue. Passing streets lined with stately old houses and hovering trees, your family might think you went back in time.

The ride is a great opportunity to reflect on the changing world. Added bonus: You get to retreat from a social media-saturated society. Plus, take a trolley trip on Mother’s Day and your mother gets a free ride. What better gift to give?


Options for fun

Chippers Lanes

830 N. College Ave, Fort Collins


Sun-Thurs 10 am-12 am

Fri  10 am-1 am

Sat  10 am- 2 am

Contact: 970-484-4777

Go bowling

With two locations in Fort Collins, Chipper’s Lanes offers the prefect venue to let loose after the pomp and pageantry. Relish strikes and lament when you roll a few gutterballs. As an added bonus, Chipper’s offers live music, laser tag, and other activities.

Just do not let your adventure turn into something like this.

Walk around campus

You and your parents might have toured the campus before. But this time, it takes on new meaning. You are leaving the views of the mountains and the stateliness of the Oval. Gone are the midnight study sessions in Morgan Library and the labyrinth that is the Clark building.

This is an opportunity to tell your parents stories from your time here. Let the folks know that they have invested their time and love wisely.

Go in peace.

Collegian reporter Nick Botkin can be reached at and on Twitter @dudesosad.