Everyone deserves a date night (or day or weekend), and whether you love to go out with your friends, family, significant others or simply solo, Madison has the perfect places to make your time extra-special. If your plans include an overnight stay, check out the reduced-rate rooms during Madison Hotel Week.
Treat yourselves to a night out for a fancy dinner at L’Etoile – a fine dining favorite that features local and creative dishes from James Beard Award-winning chef, Tory Miller. Meals are served in either three or seven courses with optional wine pairings and stellar Capitol views. Afterward, grab a seat at Heritage Tavern's bar and prepare to be wowed by their fabulous craft cocktails. The sleek, cozy restaurant is the perfect spot to finish the night while sharing a charcuterie board or the tempura bacon-wrapped cheese curds. Want to make it a weekend trip? Book a night at nearby hotels like the AC Hotel, the Madison Concourse or the Park Hotel.
Any number of uniquely-Madison experiences are perfect for a getting to know someone over a first date. In winter, the Frozen Assets Festival presents a new way to experience the city – on the frozen lake! Get to know your date as you snowshoe across Lake Mendota, then warm up with a cup of hot chocolate at the Edgewater. In spring, the Wisconsin Film Festival offers over 100 films bound to start up a conversation. Summer and fall bring an array of favorite festivals including La Fete de Marquette, Atwood Fest and the Taste of Madison. For year-round fun, check out Adult Swim at the Madison Children’s Museum. These adult-only events each have a special theme complete with crafts and activities, and allow for museum exploration sans kiddos.
With Your Child
Just 20 minutes west of Madison, The Cave of the Mounds provides a day of exploration and wonder for all ages. The National Natural Landmark is over one million years old and was discovered in 1939. Kids will be thrilled to explore the cave, mine for gemstones, dig for fossils and wander the surrounding butterfly gardens and trails – and you will cherish making special memories with your little ones. In downtown Madison, head to Overture Center for Kids in the Rotunda, a favorite activity among visitors and locals alike. Sing along and dance to free musical performances designed especially for children, and afterward, treat yourselves to a giant slice of pizza at Ian's.
Partner up with your favorite foodie couple to explore the city! Madison Eats Food Tours will take you on foodie adventures of Madison's vibrant neighborhoods including Atwood, Willy Street and the downtown. You'll be introduced to ethnic eats, seasonal and artisan foods, craft beers and more. The Stroll Down State Essential Madison Experience will showcase Madison's delicious food scene with a focus on our history and culture. Eat your way through downtown Madison or the explore the Regent Street neighborhood with the "5th Quarter Tour." No matter which tour you try, you will love discovering new restaurants and making lasting memories with your friends.
In need of some personal time? Treat yourself to a spa day with a visit to Indulge Spa! With a full menu of services including massages, facials, body treatments, manicures and pedicures, you'll be able to escape your daily routine and enjoy a day that's all about you. Post-pampering, head to Revel to flex your creative muscles. Choose from a variety of DIY Craft Bar projects and pair with a signature cocktail. If crafting is not your style, head to Overture Center for a Broadway show.
Want more date night ideas? Check out our Romantic Escapes Itinerary.