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Things to Do

The arrival of autumn brings bright leaves, crisp air, and a cornucopia of things to do in Madison, WI! We are fanatic about fall, from Badger football games to the harvest at the Dane County Farmers’ Market; from apple and pumpkin picking to leisurely lakeside strolls. Keep reading to learn more about fall fun highlights, or read our listing of twelve colorful adventures to try this fall in Madison.

Madison’s Chromatic Experiences
The Dane County Farmers’ Market showcases an array of colors and fall flavors. Whether you’re shopping for broccoli, peppers or turnips, the market offers a variety of fresh foods (and baked goods!), and the opportunity to talk to local farmers. For more fall color, visit Schuster’s Playtime Farm or Eplegaarden, which provide a blend of nature, agriculture and old-fashioned fun! Enjoy corn mazes, beautiful hayrides, haunted houses, and pick out pumpkins and apples. Families also love the Henry Vilas Zoo, an admission-free zoo featuring more than 800 animals and a new Artic Passage exhibit with grizzly bears and polar bears, as well as harbor seals.

Spectrum of Sports
Attending a UW-Madison football game is a must when you visit Madison in fall! Our city is ranked as the “Best College Football Town in America” according to USA Today. Madison is home to a variety of spectator sports for men’s and women’s teams. Whether you like volleyball, basketball or hockey, you’ll be greeted by devotees ready to support the home team. Read our Game Day itinerary to discover the best pre- and post-game activities.

The Madison Capitols start their hockey season in October. This junior hockey league showcases players 20-years-old and younger and is a feeder system for NCAA Division I teams. Sports fans should also check out the Madison Area Sports Commission, which brings many diverse sporting events to the area, including Ironman Wisconsin in September.

Fall Festivals
Madison is home to a variety of food festivals in the fall, including the Taste of Madison, a celebration of food and live music around the Capitol Square or Pie Palooza, a savory combination of Wisconsin-grown ingredients and all things pie. Beer festivals include the Isthmus OktoBEERfest, featuring unlimited sampling of more than 150 different beers, the Thirsty Troll Brew Fest in nearby Mount Horeb, with 25 craft brewers serving more than 100 different beers and the New Glarus Oktoberfest, sponsored by the New Glarus Brewing Company.

Our itineraries take the work out of planning your next trip to Madison! Browse our autumn-inspired options below, or peruse all of our sample itineraries.