Family Fun at Henry Vilas Zoo
© Focal Flame Photography


Summertime just may be one of the best times to visit Madison! Our calendar of events is booked solid with ways to enjoy longer days, from lake life to biking & hiking to well-deserved rest & relaxation.

This summer, Madison will play host to many first-time events, teeing off with the PGA Champions Tour at University Ridge Golf Course in June. Athletes will also enjoy the chance to try a tri as part of the first-ever Wisconsin Milkman Triathalon, which starts at Olin Park and graces lakes and landscapes throughout Greater Madison.

There are plenty of chances to try a new spin on old classics at venues like Breese Stevens Field, which will host concerts as well as five different Bodega at Breese events. This free outdoor market features farmers, artisans, antique dealers and craftsmen selling locally sourced goods and produce. The Edgewater is making a splash on the shores of Lake Mendota with its Summer Event Series, which includes movies, live music and festivals almost every night of the week! And stay tuned for our curated collection of a Dozen Don’t-Miss Experiences at the newly renovated Memorial Union Terrace—the space has grown and the chairs have changed, but it still remains a favorite gathering place for students, parents and residents alike.

Madison’s five lakes cover more than 15,000 acres and there is no shortage of ways to get on—and in—the water. From getting active with water sports you've never tried (but should!) to waterfront dining that puts our destination on the map, it’s easy to live like a local and love our lakes.

Madison’s biking and hiking trail system covers more than 200 miles and our city was recently ranked among the best cycling towns by USA Today. Rent a bike from BCycle, an urban bike-sharing program that makes it quick, easy, and convenient to get around Madison on two wheels. Machinery Row Bicycles and Budget Bicycle Center are also great places to rent a bike or pick up a lock or helmet.

Madison is known for spectacular summertime traditions worth revisiting every year. Start your trip at the Dane County Farmer's Market on the Capitol Square, where locals and visitors spend Saturday mornings. As the nation's largest producers-only market, you’ll have the opportunity to talk to the sellers who love to share the stories behind their food.


From Concerts on the Square to Opera in the Park to rocking at Concerts on the Rooftop, all of Madison is a stage in summer—and you won’t want to miss a beat! 


It’s easy to find entertainment for kids of all ages in Madison! Stroll through 16 acres of stunning landscapes at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Dine with the polar bears at the Henry Vilas Zoo. Or, catch a Madison Mallards baseball game. FREE fun for families: see our list of 21 Free Things to Do.