Family Weekend: Frequently Asked Questions

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


Registration has closed. Can I still come?

Registration closed on Friday, Sept. 23 at 5 pm Eastern. From now through the event, all registrations will be handled as walk-ins starting on Friday, Sept. 30 at 2pm. When you arrive, please come see us at the Family Check-in Center in the Library Arcade, and we will get you squared away.

Please be aware that there will be limited walk-in tickets available for Saturday’s BBQ lunch, and there are no walk-in tickets available for the Harvest Dinner. We look forward to seeing you at the many events over the course of the weekend that do not require tickets!

Where should I park?

You may park in any legal spot on campus or on nearby public streets. The largest campus lot is located between Underhill Arena and the Russell Street Track (enter from Russell Street). Please respect handicapped parking signs.

What should I wear?

Maine is a relaxed place! Pack comfortable clothes with plenty of layers so you will be ready for sunny days, cool evenings, and any (hopefully minimal) rain.

Where should I go first when I arrive?

Please make the Family Check-in Center at the Library Arcade your first stop! We will have your name tags and any tickets ready for you if you registered in advance, and if you are a walk-in, we can get you squared away.

Where do I find my tickets?

If you registered by Sept. 23, you should have received an email confirmation to tell you how many people you registered and the total for any ticket purchases.

You will pick up your physical tickets when you check in at the Welcome Center.

I cannot use my Harvest Dinner tickets. How do I transfer them to a family still looking for tickets?

While the refund deadline for tickets closed on Sept. 23, we know families sometimes have last-minute changes to their plans. If you have Harvest Dinner tickets that you will not use, please know that other families may want them!

Families with tickets and those looking for tickets typically encounter one another at check-in or through conversation at other busy events throughout the weekend. If you are connected with other Bates families through social media or in a Facebook group, you might use those avenues to coordinate a Harvest Dinner ticket transfer.

The details of any ticket transaction are up to the families involved.

In order to provide the best experience possible to the record-breaking number of guests registered to attend, our check-in team cannot manage ticket swaps before or during Family Weekend.

What are our dining options?

If you did not secure tickets as part of your registration, please note that the only tickets available for purchase for walk-ins will be limited tickets for the BBQ Lunch on Saturday.   

Commons will be open only to Bates students with IDs for the weekend; it is not available for any family dining.

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

Where can I find coffee?

On Saturday, October 1, from 7:30 am – 2:30 pm, you can find Family Grab-n-Go Coffee located at the Library Arcade. If you wish to explore coffee shops off campus, you can find several close by.

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 somewhat limited this year.

Families will have access to some indoor restrooms across campus. You can find those on our event map.

Can I bring my dog to campus?

We certainly welcome your leashed pet on campus, but with the exception of certified service animals, pets are not allowed in any area where food is being served or in residence halls. Please read the full policy here

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

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

Will the Bates Museum be open during Back to Bates: Family Weekend?

Yes! The Museum will be open from 10:00am until 7:00pm on September 30 and October 1. We encourage you to check the exhibition listing here

How do I address my accessibility needs?

We want to ensure that Back to Bates: Family Weekend is an inclusive experience for all. If you anticipate a barrier on campus or within any of the programming, please contact Christine Schwartz at To ensure that we are able to implement any accommodations in a timely manner, please reach out to us by Friday, September 23 if at all possible.

How can I address my dietary allergies?

Bates Dining labels food served for the following common allergens: nuts, dairy, egg, pork, fish, shellfish, vegan, coconut, gluten-friendly, and soy.

However, it is important to note that manufacturers may change the formulation of foods without our knowledge. Additionally, because food is prepared in a commercial kitchen and presented in a self-service environment, there is a possibility of cross-contact with allergens. Anyone concerned about food ingredients should be aware of these risks and be proactive about their food choices. While it is ultimately your responsibility to decide whether or not to eat certain foods, we encourage you to direct specific questions to the chef on duty at the station or a manager.

If you have food-related allergy concerns, we also strongly encourage you to contact Cheryl Lacey, Director of Dining, to discuss your needs.

Is there WiFi access available?

While on campus this weekend, please feel welcome to use the kiosks in Ladd Library to access the Internet. Wireless Internet access is available from all residence hall rooms, Pettengill Hall, Commons, and Ladd Library.

To access WiFi:

  • Using your devices’ wireless capabilities, connect to the “Bates Open” network.
  • Open any browser — the Guest Registration page will appear.
  • Enter your name and email address.
  • Check the Terms of Use box.
  • Click the Submit button.
  • After a 20-second registration process, you will see a Guest Registration Receipt with your guest credentials.
  • Click the Login button on the receipt. You will be redirected to
  • You are now online for 48 hours!

How do I contact campus safety?

Campus Safety: 207-786-6254

Emergency Only: 207-786-6111 (dial 6111 if using an on-campus phone.)

How do I contact campus health services?

St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center and Central Maine Medical Center are within a mile of campus if you need medical attention during the weekend. Please call Bates Security (6254 from a campus phone, other­wise 207-786-6254) if you need a ride or other assistance.

Is there a lost and found?

Inquiries about articles lost on campus may be made at Family Registration until 8pm on Saturday and thereafter at Bates Security, 245 College Street. On Monday, all unclaimed articles will be taken to the Office of Parent Giving and Engagement. Bates College and the Office of Parent Giving and Engagement are not responsible for lost or stolen items.

What are the smoking regulations on campus?

Smoking – the burning of any type of pipe, cigar, cigarette, or similar product, and chewing tobacco is prohibited in all campus buildings – including residence halls. This policy also includes, but is not limited to battery-powered e-cigarettes, vaporizers, vape pens, atomizers, and electronic nicotine delivery systems. 

Smoking is prohibited within 50 feet, approximately 20 paces, of all campus facilities, including residence halls and athletics grounds. 

Additional questions?

We’re here to help! Contact us at


What does registration for Back to Bates: Family Weekend include?

By registering for Back to Bates: Family Weekend, you will automatically have access to several aspects of the weekend, but select events are ticketed.

When you fill out the registration form, please be sure to note those events where you need a ticket and those events where you will need to secure a ticket for your current Bates student.

Many events are also open to all families without the need for tickets, such as the Saturday morning Q&A with President Spencer.

Who can register for Back to Bates: Family Weekend?

All current students and their families are welcome to attend Back to Bates: Family Weekend. For alumni, please enjoy Back to Bates: Alumni Big Game Saturday on October 15 .

Please note: You must agree to follow local COVID guidelines in effect on the day of the event, as well as the campus visitor protocols

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

By registering for Back to Bates: Family Weekend or by attending as a walk-in, you agree to the following health protocols:

  • I agree that I will follow local COVID guidelines in effect on the day of the event. 
  • I agree that I will follow the campus visitor protocols in effect on the day of the event. Current visitor protocols require that to attend indoor events, visitors must be fully vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19, or have a negative COVID-19 test result within the previous 48 hours.
  • I agree that if changes are made to campus visitor protocols between the date of my registration and the date of the event — including any changes to the current mask-optional status of campus — I will abide by those protocols in place on the day of the event.

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

Please find the entire Family Weekend schedule.

This map will help you find the Welcome Center and other campus activities for the day.

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!

What is the refund policy for this event?

To request a refund, your email must have been received in the inbox and time stamped by 5pm Eastern on Friday, Sept. 23. We cannot make exceptions to this deadline.