October 15-17, 2021
Welcome to Fall Family Weekend!
Fall Family Weekend is a time when campus and community come together to provide students and their families with fun and meaningful ways to connect with each other as well as with Western and its surrounding communities. We are so excited to present our annual Fall Family Weekend program and welcome you back to Western!
I’m so happy to welcome you to Fall Family Weekend! We are thrilled to be back in person, with so many exciting activities and opportunities to connect with your student here. It’s been a long road to get back to this special tradition, and we are looking forward to welcoming you to participate in the amazing events we have planned. As always, we want you to enjoy the Western experience with your student! We’ve brought back some old favorites, like Improv, campus tours, and Planetarium shows. And we’ve planned some fun new ways to connect with campus, and to get to know us as a working university, and your student’s home away from home. I hope to run into you—maybe at one of the many Viking Athletics events, on the Outdoor Sculpture Tour, or just out on Old Main Lawn. Don’t hesitate to say hi, and let me know how the weekend’s going.
Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services
Welcome back to Western! We are so excited to present our annual Fall Family Weekend program and you’re invited to join this year’s program. Fall Family Weekend offers a deeper focus of exploring our “sense of place” that is campus, Bellingham, and Whatcom County, activities to celebrate the fall season, and provides fun, safe, and meaningful ways to connect and celebrate.
There are so many events students and families will be able to choose from, including Western Pumpkin Carving, movie night, campus tours, Western Athletics is in full swing with soccer, volleyball, and basketball games, and we have a special tour and honey tasting event in the Outback Farm. Continue exploring campus through tours of the Western Gallery and the Outdoor Sculpture collection, free equipment use at the Associated Students Lakewood Facility, and more.
Developing partnerships with off campus organizations has been a priority to encourage students and families to get to know Bellingham and our surrounding area, too. This year, special ticketed events for Fall Family Weekend include the Spark Museum of Electrical Invention’s popular “MegaZapper Electrical Show”, “Bellinghistory” walking tours with the Bellingham Good Time Girls tour company, and two half-day bicycle tours with Bike Northwest with themes of “Marine Ecology & Salmon” or “Urban Agriculture & Parks” tours. Plus, there’s free time to chart your own course of exploration – parks, restaurants, or a quiet cup of coffee while you admire the fall colors.
Most events this year are live and in-person, and some will continue virtually. Whether on campus or off, events are being planned to continue the themes of providing fun, engaging, and safe venues to connect, explore, and celebrate our students, families, campus and community. We know that there are many different definitions of “family”, and we hope you, and those who are family to you, will join us for this special weekend. We are excited to share this time with you and your family! Have a great weekend!
Western’s indoor mask policy now states that all individuals must wear a mask or other suitable face covering indoors when other people are present and in all public and common areas. For more information about COVID safety practices in place for Fall 2021, please visit Western's Coronavirus page.
Please review the University Residences Guest Policy if you are planning to visit your student in their dorm room during Fall Family Weekend.
By visiting Western's campus for Fall Family Weekend you agree to comply with the following guidelines:
- Please refrain from visiting campus if you or any family member do not feel well, have covid-like symptoms, or if you have been in contact with someone who has contracted COVID-19.
- Masking and physical distancing is expected by everyone—regardless of vaccination status—inside campus buildings.
- If you are not fully vaccinated: you will also need to wear a mask while outdoors on campus.
- If you are fully vaccinated: you are not required to wear a face covering outdoors as long as you maintain 6 feet of physical distance between yourself and anyone outside your household or party.
- If you do not have a face covering, we will have disposable masks available for use. Face coverings should cover both your nose and mouth.
Please note that some live in-person events may have additional COVID-19 guidelines and requirements, such as requiring proof of vaccination or negative COVID test.
Live In-Person Events
Events requiring advance registration or ticket purchase will be noted.
Stop by our Fall Family Weekend info table in Red Square or in Zoom!
Stop by our info table in Red Square or in Zoom to say hello, ask questions, or get some insight on the day's choose-your-own adventure schedule of activities. The virtual info table can be accessed by joining this Zoom meeting (Meeting ID: 994 1574 8627).
In-person and virtual info table hours are: Friday, October 15, 12:00pm-3:00pm; Saturday, October 16, 10:00am-2:00pm; Sunday, October 17, 10:00am-12:00pm.
Bellingham Self-Guided Bus Tours and Starlight Shuttle
Visit the New Student Services/Family Outreach Info Table in Red Square during the hours listed above and discover how relaxing, convenient, economical, safe, and fun it can be to explore scenic Bellingham by bus! Stop by for information about local transportation options and pick up your FREE bus passes (available on a first-come, first serve basis) and self-guided bus tour maps. The bus tour directions can be used to get to the Fall Family Weekend events that are happening Downtown, in Fairhaven, and at Lakewood.
WWU’s Starlight Shuttle will be available to Western families during Fall Family Weekend. The Starlight Shuttle is a late night service available to students at no charge. Access the service using the TransLoc app and signing in as a Western Washington University student.
Parking at WWU during Fall Family Weekend
Complimentary parking is available:
- In the C lot from Friday, October 15 at 7am to Sunday, October 17 at 11:59pm
- In all lots other than 19G beginning Friday, October 15 at 3pm until Sunday, October 17 at 11:59pm
Visit Campus Maps for printable and interactive maps of campus, including parking maps.
Please note the following:
- Lot 17G is reserved on Saturday, October 16, 5-9pm for a volleyball match and on Sunday, October 17, 11am-3pm for a basketball game. Only season ticket holders will be allowed to park in 17G during these times.
- Lot 19G is closed during Fall Family Weekend due to construction.
Live Virtual Events
Events requiring advance registration or ticket purchase will be noted.
Wayfinding at Western
- Campus Map for Western - Main cartography and design by Josh Jones, 2011-12
- Virtual tour of the campus. Choose your own adventure!
- Watch a YouTube tour led by students around our beautiful campus.
- WWU Sculpture tour - Explore this extensive public sculpture collection founded in the 1960’s.
- Multicultural Center tour - Join the Associated Students on a tour of this beautiful, new facility.
- Western Tree tour - These four tree tours describe some of the more interesting specimens on campus and also provides some history about many of the trees.
Connecting with the broader Salish Sea Region
- Viqueen Lodge - The Viqueen Lodge is provided by the Associated Students as a leisure activity facility on Sinclair Island, south of Bellingham. Cabin and grounds maintenance are provided by volunteers of the Western Washington University community and the staff of WWU's Viking Outdoor Recreation programs and Viking Union facilities.
- Shannon Point Marine Center - Western Washington University's Shannon Point Marine Center is located within a 78 acre wooded campus in Anacortes that is covered in a mature Pacific lowland forest that is dominated by Douglas fir and Cedar trees.
- Salish Sea & Surrounding Basin map Created by Stefan Freelan, WWU, 2009. Explore in and around the bioregion through this map created by Stefan Freelan, Western's GIS Specialist and Huxley College of the Environment instructor.
- Car Free Salish Sea Journeys No car? No problem! Created by student, Daniel Heppner, 2020
- Salish Sea Alpine Resorts Created by student, Alexander West, 2020
- Redfish School of Change
- Native Land Acknowledgement Native Land is a tool that maps out Indigenous territories, treaties, and languages. Native Land brings about discussions of colonization, land rights, language, and Indigenous history tied to our personal histories. Created by Native Land Digital.
- Interactive Washington State park map - Find Washington State Parks near Western.
- Washington State Parks virtual Tours - Explore Washington State Parks from anywhere in the world.
- Bellingham Working Waterfront - An ongoing research project examining the transformation of Bellingham's shoreline.
- Bellingham History and walking tour interactive story map / audio tour/ booklet Experience the evolution of downtown Bellingham through historic photographs.
- Fairhaven interactive story map / booklet Fairhaven was one of four early towns that consolidated in 1904 to create the City of Bellingham. Explore this photo-rich story map, showing how Fairhaven has evolved over time.
- Old Sehome interactive story map / audio tour/ booklet Explore southern downtown Bellingham, originally settled in 1853 as the coal mining town of Sehome.
- Highway 99 interactive story map Discover the impact of Highway 99 on Whatcom County.
- Bellingham Walking Tour - Learn about Systemic Racism Created by the Systemic Racism Curriculum Project and the Bellingham Racial History Timeline project, 2019