Fall in Madison means fun for the whole family. From taking in the fall colors on hikes to running through corn mazes and pumpkin picking, local flavors and fun are a must this season. These 6 activities are perfect for little ones (and pretty fun for parents, too!).
1. Fall Flavors at the Farmers' Market
The Dane County Farmers’ Market is a Saturday ritual, bringing bounties of fresh produce like sweet corn and wild mushrooms. Visitors will find plenty of delicious baked items sold at the market like scones, muffins and apple cider donuts. The market surrounds the Capitol Square until mid-November when it moves indoors to Monona Terrace. Then in January, find the market inside Garver Feed Mill.
2. Corn Mazes & Hayrides at the Farm
Schuster’s Playtime Farm's corn maze draws visitors near and far and features fun themes that change on a yearly basis. To accommodate all age groups — or if you're just not up for the challenge — the farm offers a small maze in addition to the main, large maze. Both make for an exciting adventure during the day or at night. In addition to the maze, Schuster's offers hayrides, slides, putt-putt and an assortment of friendly farm animals for the kids to interact with. Before leaving, a stop at the Bakery Barn or Sweet Shoppe is a must!
If you're not on the farm but still looking to relax after a long day of pumpkin spice lattes and apple cider donuts, take a hayride with Madison Parks. Hayrides are scheduled in city parks throughout the fall; and on some nights campfires and s’mores are included. Find more information, or reserve a private hayride at cityofmadison.com/parks/events/hayrides.cfm.
3. Apple & Pumpkin Pickin'
It's not fall without pumpkins. Carve them, paint them, put them in a pie. Known for its giant slide, Enchanted Valley Acres is a great place to spend a fall day picking pumpkins and gourds. If you're looking for apples, Appleberry Farm offers pick your own right on the farm. The apples they grow are heirloom apples (varieties no longer grown by large commercial orchards), so visitors may find themselves enjoying a totally new apple variety! Their farm store features fresh-pressed cider, jams, donuts and more.
4. Jump Around at a Badger Game
On Badger game days, Camp Randall Stadium bursts with 80,000 Badgers of all ages. Jump Around with the whole family in a tradition that is bound to make lifelong memories. If you haven't been to a game before (or have, but are looking for new ways to experience them), check out our Game Day itinerary.
5. Chase Fall Foliage
When the leaves start to change colors, there's no better spot to be than Madison. Whether you're hoping to find foliage directly in the city or up for a short scenic drive, these 5 fall hiking spots are perfect for families.
6. Drinks & Views on the Lakes
After a day filled with fall hikes and foods, stop and enjoy a local beer. The Olbrich Biergarten along Lake Monona is a popular beer garden to enjoy Oktoberfest vibes without leaving the States. Bonus: there is a play area for kids, and young and old alike enjoy the giant pretzels.
If you find yourself near Lake Mendota, Memorial Union Terrace is the perfect spot to enjoy a drink and a lake view. The colorful chairs make it even more fun for families.