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Things to Do

Things to do in Madison, WI
Even when it's winter, there are tons of things to do in Madison! From shopping and spa services to endless ways to explore the outdoors, come see why Madison was recently recognized as "a road trip that will make you glad it's winter." 


Celebrating the Winter Season
A beautiful, serene backdrop is created when our lakes freeze and the hills are covered in snow--perfect conditions for your next Madison visit. Our natural environment is home to many hot spots for ice fishing, sledding, skating, skiing and snowboarding.


One of the highlights is the Madison Winter Festival, held February 14-15, 2015. More than ninety truckloads of snow transform the Capitol Square into a race and recreational venue, providing family-oriented activities such as snow and ice sculpting, a frozen 5k, snowshoeing and more. Anytime you visit Madison, you're invited to take a spin around the rink at The Edgewater, located lakeside and reminiscent of Rockefeller Plaza. You can rent skates or bring your own, and The Icehouse restaurant is a great place to warm your fingers and toes while enjoying a mug of steaming hot cocoa or grab-and-go menu items.


If your idea of ice time is more about watching it from the stands, you won't want to miss Madison Capitols Hockey, currently in their first season and playing home games at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Almost any time you go to the Kohl Center on the UW-Madison campus, you'll find a winter sport of some sort, from men's and women's hockey to men's and women's basketball. It's also where the WIAA Boys State Basketball tourneys take place each March--and this year, they're celebrating 100 years of the game!


No matter what your reason for visiting Madison this season, when you visit during Madison Hotel Week (February 13-23), you can secure rooms at participating properties for just $75 or $100 per night!


Must-See Winter Attractions
The award-winning Madison Children's Museum and the historic Cave of the Mounds are just the tip of the iceberg when considering great family attractions in Madison. Our city is also home to an amazing Arts and Culture scene, featuring "museum mile" which stretches from the capitol to the UW-Madison campus. Shopping is always a wonderful winter idea, with local shops lining State Street or indoor malls featuring some of the best brand-name stores.


Itineraries for Winter
If you're looking for even more ideas to inspire your visit, our 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 magnificent malls. Finally, don't miss our Fantastic Fish Fry and Wisconsin Culinary Experience itineraries, which also showcase Madison's foodie scene, or our Romantic Escape itinerary, perfect for starry-eyed getaways.