Back to Bates: Family Day FAQ

We will continue to update this page as we collect more information and answers to your questions. Please contact with further questions.

I can’t believe so many of the smaller events are full. Is it possible more tickets will be made available?

While we do not anticipate releasing additional tickets to particular events, we always see some movement among existing tickets as families change plans. 

It doesn’t hurt to keep an eye on registration periodically to see if tickets happen to open up here or there.

What does the general event ticket include?

All general ticket holders are welcome at our informal family network gathering on Alumni Walk and at the football game. Your registration also clears you to shop at the Bates College Store during Back to Bates.

Plus, you’ll receive a bonus Bates College Store coupon as a thank-you for following our registered guest health protocols and helping to keep our campus community healthy.

Is it possible that Bates may cancel this event?

Yes. While we look forward to a festive, outdoor Back to Bates, should conditions change on campus or across the nation with respect to COVID-19, we may reconsider any or all of these plans. If that is necessary, we will update families as soon as possible.

We certainly hope we can proceed, but given the complexities that remain with COVID-19, it is important for you to know now that plans could change as we continue to protect the health of our students and the viability of their on-campus experience.

Who can register for Back to Bates: Family Day?

Registration closed at noon on September 29. In order to attend Back to Bates: Family Day, you must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

An individual is fully vaccinated two weeks after their final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. We ask you to have a legible photo or photocopy of your vaccine card with you at all times while on campus.

Children under 12 who register with fully vaccinated adults may attend Back to Bates: Family Day. However, all children under age 12 must bring proof of a negative test received within 72 hours of arrival at Bates and be masked at all times while on campus. 

If you are a vaccinated guest from outside the US, please ensure you monitor testing requirements for arrival in the US. If this applies to you, we ask that you mask at all times on campus until you fulfill the international arrival requirements. 

Do I have to register, or can I make a last-minute decision to attend?

This year, we ask everyone to register in advance. This helps us maintain the health of the campus community – and it helps you get a special Back to Bates discount at the college store to use the week after the event!

Registration closed at noon on September 29.  

Will there be special Back to Bates: Family Day health protocols for guests?

Yes. While all Back to Bates guests must be vaccinated, there will also be instances when guests must mask while outside. These protocols are consistent with other student and visitor protocols currently in place.

Guests will be asked to mask at high-desity areas such as the line at the Check-in Center and at some of the smaller ticketed sub-events, such as ‘Cats, Coffee, and College Leaders.

When attending ticketed dining events, guests must be masked except when seated and eating. Again, this is current campus policy for instances of communal dining.

Due to the significant crowd expected for the football game, guests and fans should anticipate that masks will be required at Garcelon field this week.

What is the schedule for Back to Bates: Family Day?

Please find the entire Family Day schedule at

We also have a digital campus map to help you find the Check-in Center and other campus activities for the day.

Why is the schedule so different from prior years?

In order to protect the on-campus experience for our students, our public health experts have advised us to move events outside, limit the time when guests are in high-density settings, and welcome vaccinated visitors only. Thanks for being flexible, and enjoy the gorgeous colors of fall in Maine!

Will the college store be open during Back to Bates: Family Day?

Yes! The Bates College Store will be open to guests from 8am to 4pm on Saturday, Oct. 2.

The store is a high-density area, so masks are required, and capacity limits will be in effect. Thank you for showing kindness to the store staff.

Will we be able to visit inside college buildings?

Consistent with our visitor policy – which is designed to ensure Bates can maintain the most normal student on-campus experience possible – access to buildings will be limited this year.

Families will have access to some indoor restrooms across campus. Academic buildings and residence halls remain closed to visitors.

Can we bring our dog to campus?

Sorry, but not this year. We love our dogs, and in a normal year, when we would not have to worry about de-densifying, folks could move around with their pets. But as was the case for Commencement last spring, it’s just not possible this year, aside from service animals.

What are our dining & entertainment options?

We have pulled together a list of places off-campus for dining and activities to check out while you are in the area.

My student-athlete has an away contest during Back to Bates. Is there another time we can visit?

This quirk of athletic scheduling does happen every few calendar cycles. We encourage you to keep current with the campus visitor policy when planning a visit with your student on campus and with NESCAC/college guidance on athletic spectators when attending home or away games. We hope to see you on campus soon!