The crowds in coffee shops, the ubiquity of J.Crew paper bags and the omnipresence of tour groups over the weekend could only mean one thing — Parents’ Weekend was here.

From Friday afternoon to Sunday, Yale’s campus saw hundreds of new faces during its annual Parents’ Weekend, when students and parents had the opportunity to attend various lectures, discussion panels, and student performances and concerts. The three-day series of events, organized by the Dean’s Office, was designed to give parents an insight into the best of their sons’ and daughters’ lives, both academic and otherwise.

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“We try to showcase the range of academic opportunities as well as the ways in which student life — the residential colleges, extracurricular activities — are integrated into the entire Yale experience,” Yale College Dean Peter Salovey said.

Despite rain and high winds on Friday, students and parents said they enjoyed the weekend’s events.

Friday and Saturday night performances were diverse in nature, ranging from the Yale Ex!t Players’ improvisational comedy show to a Davenport Pops Orchestra concert and the quintessential array of a cappella concerts.

Saturday tailgates at the Yale-Penn football game drew a number of families and ended happily in a 17-14 win. The weekend also featured faculty lectures and discussion panels, such as professor Meg Urry’s lecture on astrophysics, and a panel of student speakers giving firsthand insights into life at Yale.

Some parents who attended the lectures and discussions said they were glad to see a side of Yale often reserved only for students, as the weekend showcased not only University academics but also some more personal glimpses of the Yale faculty.

Freshman parent Shelley Fredman said she was touched by the story of how Pierson College Master Amerigo Fabbri acquired his position at Yale, a process which he described at a panel on Saturday.

“[My mother] enjoyed pretty much every person representative of the University that she spoke to,” Fredman’s son, Micah Fredman ’10 said. “She thought they were amazing.”

But in spite of numerous University-sponsored activities, some students and parents said they saw no need for the organized aspects of Parents’ Weekend and chose to forgo the events in favor of strolling through campus.

Kathryn Galambos ’10 said she did not think the school-sponsored events were necessary to show her mother what her life at Yale is like.

“My mom just enjoyed spending time with me and seeing all of the things that I’m always talking to her about over the phone,” she said. “We didn’t really go to any of the official things that were going on.”

Parents’ Weekend kicked off on Friday at 11:30 a.m. with lunches in all of the residential colleges and officially concluded at 3 p.m. on Sunday with tours of the Yale University Art Gallery.