Family Weekend: five places to visit while in Jackson

The first semester a student spends at college is full of fun and exciting experiences as they transition from a high school student into an independent adult who is responsible for their own laundry, among other things.

Union University recommends that students spend the first six weeks on campus as a way to become fully engrossed into the college culture and create relationships with friends and professors. After those six weeks are over, Union hosts Family Weekend as a time for parents and family to come visit and get a glimpse of what life on campus looks like.

Different events are taking place all weekend, like fireworks, movie on the lawn and sporting events. It is incredibly important for family and friends to see campus activities, but while they’re here, students should show them their favorite places here in Jackson.

ComeUnity Cafe
Volunteers eat with participant during lunchtime at the ComeUnity Cafe. | Photo by Meg Rushing

Having a hard time thinking of places to go off the top of your head? Don’t forget these fun places!

1. Alba
With Starbucks on every corner it’s nice to visit a quaint coffee shop off the beaten path.

“Alba is a great place to go off campus to get a good drink with a friend or to study alone. Because it’s downtown, I get to enjoy the town square and the atmosphere of Jackson,” said Ragan Pendley, junior art major.

2. Casey Jones Village
Not only do they have old-fashioned ice cream, but also many things to do that are fun for the whole family. The country store, railroad museum and the home of Casey Jones are just a few of the exciting things that Casey Jones Village has in store.

3. ComeUnity Café
This restaurant is one of a kind! The food that is served is either grown from a garden or donated. The pleasant, smiling workers are almost all volunteers and the café does not have set food prices but takes donations instead.

4. Farmer’s Market
If you only have the opportunity to visit one place in Jackson, take advantage of the Farmer’s Market. The homegrown vegetables and beautiful sunflowers are a special reminder of some of the perks of living in the South.

While you’re there do not miss the opportunity to stop by and purchase a homemade doughnut that is described to be “mind-blowingly delicious,” according to Angela Taylor, junior biochemistry major.

The Jackson Farmer's Market offers fresh fruits and vegetables, coffee and homemade donuts. | Photo by Emily Littleton
The Jackson Farmer’s Market offers fresh fruits and vegetables, coffee and homemade donuts. | Photo by Emily Littleton

5. Tennessee Safari Park
This is not your average petting zoo. Located on Highway 412, it gives you the opportunity to drive through and see some incredible animals like llamas, peacocks and emus.

“It was a neat way to experience animals you wouldn’t see everyday up close and personal, like a controlled version of ‘Man versus Wild’,” said Mary Wayne, junior athletic training major.

Images courtesy of Cardinal & Cream|Cardinal & Cream and Kathryn Yates|Cardinal & Cream
About Julie Robinson 14 Articles
Julie Robinson, class of 2017, is a public relations major and business management minor. She's from Murfreesboro, TN and loves all things outdoors, Atalnta Braves, and ESPN.