By Jade Mardirosian
In addition to the traditional events of Parents Weekend, such as Parent-Faculty Coffee and After Dark, Baylor Chamber of Commerce is introducing a new event, Exploring Waco, which is aimed at getting parents out into the Waco community.
Rowlett sophomore Brandon Robinson, who is in charge of tickets, information and Exploring Waco, said the new event was added this year in place of the previous event, Dinner on the Grounds.
“Dinner on the Grounds was cancelled because of lack of attendance, so we decided to compensate and add [Exploring Waco],” Robinson said.
Robinson said Chamber reached out to various local attractions in Waco, including museums and restaurants that will offer discounts to parents and families of students this weekend.
The Mayborn Museum is one of the attractions that will be offering a discount of one dollar off admission for up to six tickets with the use of the Waco Coupon Book found in Parents Weekend folders.
Dr. Ellie Caston, director of the Mayborn Museum, said the complex has many things to entertain parents this weekend, including natural history exhibits and 17 interactive hands-on discovery rooms that are “fun for all ages,” she said.
“We are always happy for Baylor students to visit the Mayborn Museum all year long as they have free access with their student IDs,” Caston said. “This is a chance for them to show their parents one of Baylor’s best resources,” Caston said.
Another museum offering $1 off admission for up to four tickets with the use of the Waco Coupon Book is the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, which boasts the Texas Sports Hall of Fame Gallery itself and a health and fitness education center, which includes a sports simulator.
Steve Fallon, executive director of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, said the sports simulator is “really fun and nice.”
“You can step into [the simulator] and be a baseball pitcher or a football quarterback, or a soccer kicker and it is very interactive almost 3-D like,” Fallon said.
Fallon said with the museum’s close proximity to campus, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame enjoys opportunities, like this weekend’s admission discount, that help Baylor.
“We are so close to Baylor campus and Baylor has been real good to us over the years since we got here in 1993,” Fallon said. “Anything we can do to help support Baylor and activities for its faculty, staff, students and parents of students, we are more than happy to accommodate.”
Fallon said the museum also has a good amount of Big 12 history on site, which will be interesting for parents and students to explore given the constant news currently surrounding the conference.
A number of coupons for other local attractions will also be included in the Waco Coupon Book, which Robinson said is provided by the Waco Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Parents will be able to pick up coupon books at the Bill Daniel Student Center with information packets for Parents Weekend.
Robinson said a number of local restaurants will also be providing various discounts when families show their Parents Weekend bracelets.
Robinson said Chamber hopes Exploring Waco will help parents to visit beyond campus.
“We want to show that Waco is a great city too,” Robinson said. “We hope that parents see everything that Waco has to offer for their students.”
For a full list of Exploring Waco attractions and opportunities, parents and students are encouraged to visit http://www.baylor.edu/parentsweekend/index.php?id=82050.