Things to Do in Madison, WI
It's the best time of year to explore the outdoors in Madison, WI! Our calendar of events includes an array of fresh-air fun for families, and the Greater Madison area features tons of trails perfect for biking and hiking plus enough festivals and food tours to take you from spring through summer. Begin planning today!
Get Outdoors. Experience nature at its best by exploring the 20 miles of trails that wind through the UW Arboretum. Or, celebrate spring by strolling through 16 acres of stunning landscapes at Olbrich Botanical Gardens.
Madison Lakes. Once the ice has melted, it's time to explore one of Madison's five lakes, 260 parks, and its many memorable waterfront restaurants. Boating and fishing await, or try something new and rent a stand-up paddleboard at Wingra Boats! If you love lake views, visit the Monona Terrace and take one of their rooftop classes, or grab a drink and listen to music at the Memorial Union Terrace, situated on the shores of Lake Mendota.
Family Fun. It's not just the flowers that bloom in spring. Watch your kids blossom as they learn through hands-on activities at Madison's best family attractions, such as the free Henry Vilas Zoo or the Madison Children's Museum, where you can make a discovery, a mess or a brand-new friend.
Festivals. Keep our events calendar on your radar so you don't miss renowned springtime festivals that can only be found in Madison! The Wisconsin Film Festival presents 150 films in seven theaters over eight days, and Craft Beer Week celebrates the state's finest brews. For foodies, there's Flavors of Madison, a chance to try local fare from the city's finest, independently owned restaurants. And, the world's largest Brat Fest takes place every Memorial Day weekend—this year, the food and fun will be bigger than ever before!
Farmer's Market. Grab your reusable grocery bag and begin your day at the Dane County Farmer's Market, the nation's largest producers-only market. Starting April 19, the market moves outside to the Capitol Square, where you'll find the best vegetables, flowers, cheeses, meats and more. While you're there, take the Capitol tour or shop and dine your way down State Street.
Sports and Recreation. When the weather warms up, it's time to explore the outdoors! Our Biking Around Madison itinerary has great suggestions for athletes of all levels. Don't have a bike? No problem—you can borrow one from B-Cycle. Running is also popular, and you can find a race almost every weekend in Madison. Crazylegs Classic tours you through downtown and the UW-Madison campus and the Madison Half-Marathon has become a Memorial Day tradition. In May, the Madison Mallards throw out their first pitch against the Kalamazoo Growlers, so score your tickets today!