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Things to Do

Things to do in Madison, WI
A visit to Madison this holiday season will make your spirit bright! Memorable performances, unbelievable shopping and festive decorations are all part of our charm. Come see why Madison ranks as "a road trip that will make you glad it's winter." 


It's the Holiday Season
You can feel the warmth of the season when you visit downtown Madison. A 40-foot holiday tree graces the rotunda of the Capitol and a number of other trees decorate the Capitol square. The Holiday Trolley runs down State Street and around the Capitol Square equipped with volunteers offering shopping suggestions (and treats for the kids!). Cross everyone off your list while also shopping locally at places like Fromagination and A Room of One's Own Bookstore


Festive Family Fun
Your little conductor will love the Olbrich Gardens Holiday Express' large-scale model trains and LEGO creations world with space cruisers, pirate ships, and Victorian homes. Train aficionados are also "all aboard" for the Middleton Polar Express Train Ride, departing everyday to the North Pole. This one-hour trip includes hot chocolate, cookies, and characters from the classic book.

Your family adventure continues with a stroll through Olin Park's wonderful, free holiday light display and visit the Madison Children's Museum and Overture Center for the Arts for festive exhibits and performances. Complete your trip with ice skating at The Edgewater, part of the hotel's $100-million renovation and set among the shores of Lake Mendota.


Winter Sports
Now is the time to catch the nationally-ranked UW Men's Basketball team work their way to the Final Four again. Also housed at the Kohl Center is the UW men's ice hockey team--the women play right next door in the LaBahn Arena. Need more ice? Check out top amateur hockey players during a Madison Capitols game at Alliant Engergy Center.


Itineraries for Winter
Before 2015 arrives, check out our Holiday Happenings itinerary, which sheds light on the best holiday lights (and other Madison seasonal favorites). The Madison Winter Wonderland itinerary is perfect for anyone who doesn't let a little cold weather impede their desire for the great outdoors. If you're more of an indoor explorer, our Shopping Experience itinerary is for you! It outlines the best in Madison shopping, from local stores to magnificant malls. Finally, for a little comfort, take a look at our Fantastic Fish Fry or Wisconsin Culinary Experience itineraries--both showcase Madison's foodie scene.