Scenic. Lively. And filled with food and beer. The Memorial Union Terrace is the place for a breezy, lake-view studded summer afternoon or evening. This iconic Madison spot is a must-visit for first-timers and a favorite of locals. Here are some of our favorite ways to experience the terrace. 

1. Live music

Dozens of people watching a concert at Memorial Union Terrace, sitting on the popular orange, yellow, and green terrace chairs. The people are facing the stage which is in front of Lake Mendota in the background on a sunny Summer day.

Check your schedule against the Terrace music calendar where you can catch live music all summer long. Come down, kick back and discover why nighttime on the Terrace is something truly spectacular.

2. Sightsee on Lake Mendota

Catch a glimpse of Madison’s natural side and explore Lake Mendota. Rent kayaks, paddleboards and have an adventure on the water! The Outdoor UW office is located just off the Terrace.

A view of Memorial Union Terrace from the Lake Mendota shoreline. The sun is setting on a summer day and dozens of people are along the shoreline looking at the lake which is dotted with dozens of ducks.

3. Try the famous Babock Ice Cream

Enjoy a Terrace favorite, the legendary Babcock Hall Ice Cream, which produces its ice cream right on campus. Our personal favorite? Union Utopia, of course!

4. Brat Stand - Yum!

Brat Stand at Memorial Union Terrace
The Terrace Brat Stand is known to host the best cookouts in town—and the stand is bigger and better than ever. Grab a plate and enjoy classics like brats, burgers, grilled chicken and locally-grown corn on the cob along with a wide variety of cold beverages.

5. Bring the Terrace Home

During your visit, stop at the Terrace Welcome Cart to purchase a mini Terrace chair. Commemorate your time on the Terrace with merchandise to match the memories!

@destinationmadison The sunburst chairs are the BIGGEST summertime vibe #memorialunionterrace #madison #destinationmadison #madisonwi #uw #wisconsin #midwest #travel #fyp ♬ You And Me - Lyus

6. Take a Dip in Lake Mendota

Feeling a little toasty? Bring your swimsuit and jump into Lake Mendota. The swimming pier is located right off the Terrace, and a lifeguard is on duty from 11 a.m. to sunset. You must be 17 or older to swim.

7. Make Memories for a Lifetime

Memorial Union Pier

Make the most of a beautiful day at the historical, beautiful Terrace. The Terrace is a place where everyday conversations become lifelong memories. Plan your Terrace season at

Know Before You Go

Summer 2022 Dates & Hours

The terrace is typically open every May through September. The 2022 season goes through Sept. 4. 

  • Sunday: 8 am - Midnight
  • Monday: 7 am - Midnight
  • Tuesday: 7 am - Midnight
  • Wednesday: 7 am - Midnight
  • Thursday: 7 am - 1 am
  • Friday: 7 am - 1 am
  • Saturday: 8 am - 1 am

Terrace Map

Memorial Union Terrace Map

Whether you travel here on foot, by boat or by car, check out more info on parking and travel.