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Things to Do

Things to do in Madison this Fall
There's a reason why autumn is a favorite for those who visit Madison: Fall has it all!

UW Sports

Madison is THE place for a memorable game day experience. There's a reason why Madison, Wisconsin was recently ranked #1 by NCAA as the "Best College Football Town," and it has everything to do with all there is to do on football Saturdays, from Badger Bash and Badgerville pre-game parties to tailgating to traditions such as "Jump Around" during the game. And, if you're too hyped to go home, there's always Fifth (and Sixth!) Quarter to follow!

Whether you find yourself at Camp Randall or the Kohl Center for volleyball, basketball or hockey, you'll be greeted by a cloud of fans eager to support the Badgers! Discover all there is to do before and after the game using our Game Day itinerary.

The Madison Capitols also launch their inaugural hockey season in October. This junior hockey league showcases players twenty and younger and is a feeder system for NCAA Division I teams.

Farmers' Market and Food Festivals

The Dane County Farmers' Market is a tradition in Madison, with local producers showcasing their goods every Saturday on the Capitol Square and Wednesdays downtown. Make the time walk (counter-clockwise) around the Capitol Square to peruse the baked goods, fruits, vegetables and other delicacies.

Chances are you'll be in town during a food festival as well--there are many in the fall! Grab your lederhosen for Oktoberfest at Essen Haus, a traditional German celebration that takes place in the heart of downtown Madison. Or go hog wild at the Madison Bacon Festival and sample bacon-inspired dishes prepared by local restaurants. Tours and tastings are also a popular option--read our breweries, wineries and spirits page for more!

Family Favorites

Fall family activities are in abundance in Madison! You can pick your own apples at Eplegaarden or pick a pumpkin at Schuster's Playtime Farm. The Madison Children's Museum is fun for kids of all ages (don't forget to visit the rooftop deck and say "hi" to the chickens!) and Vitense Golfland has both indoor and outdoor miniature golf courses. You're also encouraged to explore the admisson-free Henry Vilas Zoo, the historic Cave of the Mounds, the natural beauty of Olbrich Botanical Gardens and experience the fall leaves and winding trails in the University of Wisconsin Arboretum.

As the temperature starts to drop, it's time to shop! Take the family down State Street and stop into Little Luxuries or Madison Sole. Or find your way to Greenway Station, home to the new Homegoods store and 35 more! Visit our shopping page for more information.

In the News
Overture Center for the Arts is celebrating its 10th anniversary in September, and the whole community is invited! At 10Fest, they turned the surrounding State Street neighborhood into a circus, complete with wagons, trapeze artists and performers outside and several stage performances inside. In addition, there are opportunities throughout the year to catch a performance that's part of a special 10th anniversary series of shows.