Outdoor Events

Some events are more fun outside! True the planning can be a little trickier, but the Office of Student Programs staff will be happy to help you think through the design of your event. Some things to know:

Sound curfews

In order to respect the rights of the Mount Holyoke and South Hadley residential community, all outside events must comply with MHC and South Hadley noise regulations. Outdoor events with the potential of disturbing neighbors must conclude by 11pm. In addition to late night sound curfews, it is also important to consider the acoustic impact that your event might have on offices, classrooms, and neighbors during the day and evenings. Letting folks know about your event ahead of time can prevent frustrations and conflicts.

Rain Plan

For events planned for the outdoors it is important to have planned, reserved, and advertised a rain plan ahead of time. Your contingency plan might comprise an alternate indoor location, a rain date, or a strategy for cancelling plans.


If your event is primarily for students and on-campus community members folks tend to have access to nearby restrooms with little trouble. If you are inviting the general public you will need to work with Student Programs to make a plan for accessible facilities, custodial services, and a way to communicate the directions to your guests.

Tents & EZ-ups

Tents at outdoor events can provide shade cover, cover from drizzles, aesthetic appeal, and a "marketplace" or festival look to your events. The increasingly popular "ez-up" style 10x10 tents (secured with small stakes less than 8 inches long) can be put up at a registered event without the need for a Dig-Safe permit or grounds approval so long as they meet commonsense standards. Tents must be part of a registered campus event. They must not block paths or roads (unless by special Campus Police arrangement). Tents cannot be left unattended. They must be secured sufficiently to avoid danger.  If there is any wind the canopy can act like a sail quite easily and lift your tent creating a dangerous situation. The Office of Student Programs maintains three easy-up tents that can be reserved for use at a registered student event.

Commercial grade tents require special approval (Dig-Safe Permits, Fire Safe certificates, and clearance with campus grounds managers). More information is available on the Facilities Management site, but all requests for tents at student events should go through the Director of Student Programs.

Campus Services

Offices and departments that will help to make your outdoor event possible will sometimes require more communication of your service requests than might be needed for an indoor event. Delivery of furniture; access to power, water supplies, pa systems; dig-safe approval for tents and large inflatables and the like require coordination. Start your planning early and work with student programs to identify which departments you will need to be in touch with, and to obtain permissions and support for unique requests.

Locations to Consider

Skinner Green

This is the grassy area between Blanchard and Skinner. It may be reserved for a variety of events, such as departmental picnics, parties, carnivals, etc.

Abbey & Buckland Green

The grassy area between Chapin/Mary Woolley Hall and Abbey Buck

Dickinson Lawn

A pleasant green, off the beaten track, behind Dickinson Residential Hall

Blanchard Lantern & Ice Rink

This naturally landscaped patio adjacent to the Campus Center Great Room features patio seating, an outdoor sound system, a lantern that can be lit for evening ambience, and a groomed lawn or ice skating rink in season. The Lantern may be reserved for your event.

Amphitheatre and Pageant Green

Typically used for college ceremonial events and select special events. Consult with Student Programs if you have an event idea.

Skinner Green
Skinner Green