Frequently Asked Questions
Family Week 2018
What exactly is Family Week?
Family Week in Provincetown, Massachusetts is the largest annual gathering of LGBTQ parents and their children in the world. Family Week 2018 is the 23rd anniversary of this special event. Each year hundreds of families come together from over thirty states and from around the world. Family Equality Council partners with COLAGE to organize a full week of workshops, family fun, new experiences, and community-building. Family Equality Council organizes over forty different events during the week and COLAGE offers engaging and empowering youth programs for ages seven and up.
What is the difference between Family Equality Council and COLAGE?
Family Equality Council and COLAGE are national non-profit organizations dedicated to support for LGBTQ-headed families. Family Equality Council is considered an international expert on LGBTQ parents and their families and promotes both lived and legal equality for the three million LGBTQ parents and their six million children in the United States today. Family Equality Council does this work through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change. COLAGE is the only national organization by and for people with LGBTQ+ parents and caregivers. COLAGE unites the six million youth and adults with LGBTQ+ parents and caregivers across the US into a network of peers, supporting them as they nurture and empower each other to be skilled, self-confident, and just leaders.
During Family Week, together we co-host a number of the Week's events, such as the opening registration sessions, the annual Teen Panel, and the Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Gathering. Each organization also hosts individual events with Family Equality Council focusing on events for the whole family, parents, and children seven and under. COLAGE focuses on programs for youth ages 7 – 18.
What is the difference between registering with Family Equality Council and COLAGE?
Registration with Family Equality Council gets you into the over forty events we organize – from the daily morning Littles' Gathering to the Family Dance and Movie Matinee. Registration is needed in order to take part in Family Equality Council events and our additional drop-off children programming options like Whale Camp, Theater Camp, Art Camp, and more that take place Monday to Thursday. The registration details of these camps for 3 – 7 year-olds will be available in May 2018.
COLAGE offers a day camp and programs for youth ages 7 – 18+. All COLAGE programs are led for and by people with LGBTQ parents. COLAGE programs are thoughtfully developed for each age group, balancing creativity with recreation; providing a safe environment for participants to talk with other youth about challenges they face and ways to become empowered, all while focusing on connecting to a network of peers that will be lifelong friends and support system. For more information on COLAGE programs and registration, visit www.colage.org/family-week.
Is there a conference hotel? How does housing work at Family Week?
There is no single conference hotel or blocked rooms for Family Week participants. There are various bed and breakfast-style inns, traditional hotels, house/condo rentals, and campgrounds all available in Provincetown. Most events for the week take place at the Provincetown Inn (1 Commercial St) or in the center of town at the Library, Crown & Anchor, and Bas Relief Park. You can contact the Provincetown Tourism Office for information about housing options. For advice from other families who have attended Family Week in the past, visit the Family Week Facebook Group.
What activities/events are suitable for the whole family to attend?
The majority of Family Equality Council’s larger-scale events are perfect for the whole family - kid-friendly affinity gatherings, Beach Campfire Night, a special live band performance, the Movie Matinee, the Family Pride Parade and the Family Dance. You can check out the draft schedule and previous 2017 Family Week schedule to see some of the many whole family events. Please note - the host venue for Family Week 2017, the Provincetown Inn, is making their pool available to all families throughout the Week. Several of events are held at the Provincetown Inn, so there will be plenty of time for swimming!
What activities/events should I attend with my baby/toddler?
Family Equality Council hosts a Littles' Gathering (Monday to Thursday from 8:30 - 10 am at Bas Relief Park) and this is the perfect event for your baby and/or toddler, typically those ages 4 and under. From a bouncy house to bubbles, games, and special guests, your little one will have a blast. Please note - parents are required to attend the Littles' Gathering with their child. The Tuesday afternoon Karen K & the Jitterbugs performance is another perfect moment to dance and play together. Our youngest family members are also welcome and will have a blast at larger whole-family events like the Movie Matinee, Beach Campfire Night, Family Dance, and gatherings throughout the week.
What activities/events do you have for my child who is 3-7 years old?
This Family Week, registered families will also be able to register youth ages 3 - 7 for additional morning children's programming (optional and some have additional fees). Families have the choice of four different programs with various space availability. The options this summer include Whale Camp with the Center for Coastal Studies, a new Theater Camp with Fishermen Hall, Art Camp with the Provincetown Art Association Musem, and HBO Kids Programming at the Water's Edge Cinema which all require pre-registration. Your family must be registered for the full Family Week in order to participate in youth drop-off programming with Family Equality Council! Information on how to register will be available in spring 2018.
What activities/events do you have for my child who is 7-18 years old?
COLAGE offers a week-long day camp, along with a number of evening activities, for youth 7-18, entering 2nd-12th grade. COLAGE programs are thoughtfully developed for each age group, balancing creativity with recreation; providing a safe environment for participants to talk with other youth about challenges they face and ways to become empowered, all while focusing on connecting your child with a network of peers that will be lifelong friends and support system. Family Equality Council events that older youth will enjoy include the joint Family Equality & COLAGE Family Carnival, Movie Matinee, Family Pride Parade, and Family Dance. The Deadzone Zombie Tag on Sunday and Monday are perfect for older kids and are fundraisers for Family Equality Council. Get your tickets for the game here.
What activities/events can I attend just as a parent?
There are almost daily events for parents to attend while their children are in programming. Family Equality Council offers daily Parent Cafe’s, where parents can become part of community conversations on the topics that matter to them. From financial planning to an inter-group dialogue on faith, each day Family Equality Council presents different topics of discussion, each led by a variety of guest expert speakers. The Moms’ Gathering and Dads’ Gathering on Monday is a family-friendly event with hor d'oeuvres and adult beverages. Some children’s activities are provided to allow for more parent connecting and fun. Additional affinity gatherings during the week allow for parents to connect with one another as kids are entertained nearby. Don’t miss the Single Parents’ Gathering, Differently-Abled Gathering, or Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Gatherings during the week.
Do I need to go to Registration/Check-In on Saturday or Sunday if I pre-registered online?
Yes. Every family must check in Family Equality Council and/or COLAGE at Registration/Check-In, even those that pre-register online. Registration for Family Equality Council and COLAGE is separate and gives you access to different events at Family Week. At Registration you will receive your Program Book for the Week, exciting giveaways, notices about scheduling updates, and your family's wristbands (*please note - wristbands are only required for Family Equality Council’s programming.) You’ll also have the opportunity ask the staff any questions that you have, meet other families, and purchase the annual Family Week t-shirts!
What if I cannot check-in for Family Week on Saturday or Sunday during the designated times?
Don’t worry! Swing by Family Equality Council’s Storefront, 254 Commercial Street, open Monday - Friday, 9 am - 4 pm, for a late check-in or on-site registration. We’ll have your welcome materials, including your Program Book, ready for you. If you would like to be added to the waitlist for COLAGE programming after the opening weekend’s registration sessions close, contact Kaley Fry, COLAGE’s National Program Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (828) 782-1938.
Can I buy those cool t-shirts everyone is wearing?
Of course! Family Equality Council t-shirts will be sold at Registration at theStorefront. COLAGE T-shirts will also be sold at Registration and each of their community events. We'll both have a variety of colors and sizes available - something for everyone in the family.
I live, or will be, in Provincetown during Family Week, and I want to collaborate with you. Who should I talk to?
We love to make new friends and introduce new partners! Please contact Family Equality’s Director of Family Engagement, Emily McGranachan, at email@example.com, to discuss potential collaborations for Family Week 2018 and beyond.
What is the history of Family Week?
In the mid-90's, Tim Fisher and Scott Davenport, a couple living in New Jersey, brought their daughter, Kati, and son, Fritz, to Provincetown for a vacation. After a week of meeting other gay and lesbian parents at the beach, they invited about 15 of those families to their rented house for dinner. “It was a magical event”, Mr. Davenport recalls, “at which children of gay parents — many of whom didn't know other families like theirs — suddenly felt less alone.” Over the next two decades, the event — which came to be known as Family Week — has grown so large that by last summer the closing family parade seemed to stretch from one end of Provincetown to the other!
Is there babysitting available?
Parents who are interested in finding a babysitter can post in the Family Week Facebook group to connect with others.
Will there be parking at the Beach Campfire night?
Yes. Plenty of parking is available at the Campfire location, Herring Cove Beach. Parking is free after 5 pm.
Will food be provided at the Beach Campfire?
Pre-ordered food from Box Lunch will be delivered at 5:00pm at Herring Cover Beach. Stay tuned for more information on how to order in July 2018. Please also feel free to bring your own picnic dinner - and we’ll provide plenty of s’mores materials for an ooey-gooey treat afterwards! There is also a full concession stand at Herring Cove Beach fun by Far Land Provisions.
When is Family Week 2019?