10 Things to Do in Madison for $10 or Less: Rain or Shine
- Tour the Wisconsin State Capitol, 2 E Main St.: At a towering 200 feet, the majestic Capitol is built with 43 varieties of stone from around the world. Take one of the daily free tours and experience the grandeur and history for yourself!
- No-cost Culture Strolls: Wander through rotating exhibitions featuring established and emerging artists at Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 227 State St. Delve into art through the ages when you explore 20,000 works including paintings, sculptures and more at the Chazen Museum of Art, 750 University Ave.
- Travel through History at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, 30 W. Mifflin St.: Take a free, self-guided tour at this Capitol Square museum, and immerse yourself in stories of Wisconsin's veterans from the Civil War to present day.
- LOL at an Improv Comedy Show: Take in a side-splitting Friday or Saturday night show at Atlas Improv Co, 609 E. Washington Ave., or Monkey Business Institute, 2916 Atwood Ave.
- Dodge the Beams at Ultrazone Laser Tag, 680 Grand Canyon Dr.: Navigate Madison’s premier multi-level laser tag arena, and burn off some energy indoors!
- Learn and Explore at Madison Children’s Museum, 100 N. Hamilton St.: Kids from infants through age 12 can enjoy a day of play with countless exhibits and activities, including an art studio, rooftop garden, animal clubhouse, and a Frank Lloyd Wright interactive display.
- Taste nearly 500 kinds of Mustard at the National Mustard Museum, 7477 Hubbard Ave., Middleton: Even if you think you aren’t a mustard fan, you will find a flavor you love in the world’s largest collection of mustard. Not only is entrance to this mustard mecca complimentary, but you can sample any of their hundreds of mustards, free of charge.
- Take a Brewery Tour: Pick a weekend and go behind-the-scenes at one of the many breweries in Greater Madison, including: Wisconsin Brewing Company, 1079 American Way, Verona, Capital Brewery, 7734 Terrace Ave., Middleton and New Glarus Brewing Company, 2400 WI-69, New Glarus. Not a beer drinker? Check out Bos Meadery, 849 E. Washington Ave., which makes variations of the world’s oldest fermented beverage—mead.
- Uncover Decades of History at the Wisconsin Historical Museum, 30 N. Carroll St.: Stand in a replica of a 1,000-year-old house, visit a fur trade post and walk into a lead mine all at this four story, free collection of Wisconsin history.
- Strike! Bowl-A-Vard Lanes, 2121 E. Springs Dr.: Hone your skills at this state-of-the-art facility, and relax at the sports bar and grill after a grueling game.
- Stroll through Olbrich Botanical Gardens, 3330 Atwood Ave.: Take in 16 acres of stunning landscapes outdoors, or travel to the tropics inside the Bolz Conservatory, packed with exotic plants, fragrant flowers and free-flying birds.
- Relax at the Memorial Union Terrace, 800 Langdon St.: Take a (colorful) seat overlooking Lake Mendota at one of the most beloved and historic destinations on UW-Madison’s campus.
- Animal Adventures at the Henry Vilas Zoo, 702 S. Randall Ave.: Open 365 days of the year with free admission, it’s easy to spend the entire day exploring the over 800 animals and 200 species.
- Meander around the Dane County Farmers’ Market: Located on the Capitol Square, this Saturday market is the largest producer-only farmers' market in the country, boasting the season’s best bounty of vegetables, flowers, meats, cheeses and specialty products from local vendors.
- Tour the Aldo Leopold Foundation, E13701 Levee Rd., Baraboo: Drive one hour north of Madison and learn about the life and legacy of acclaimed conservationist Aldo Leopold. Home to one of the greenest building in the U.S., this visitor’s center also includes hike-able prairies and woods, and a preserve for rare grassland birds.
- Cruise through Madison on a BCycle: With over 35 stations and 350 bikes throughout downtown Madison, this bike share program is an affordable and fun way to see for yourself why Madison is rated as one of only five Platinum Level Bike Cities in the U.S.
- Cheer on the Madison Mallards, 2930 N. Sherman Ave.: Bring a blanket and watch the baseball game from the backyard lawn for only $8/each.
- Grab a beer at The Biergarten at Olbrich Park, 3527 Atwood Ave.: Take in beautiful Lake Monona and the downtown Madison skyline as you enjoy a cold beverage—plus, you can bring in your own food!
- Hit a hole-in-one at Vitense Golfland, 5501 Schroeder Rd.: Take your pick of a nine-hole course, or two mini-golf courses. Plus, try their climbing wall, batting cages, aeroball and more.
- Explore one of Madison’s 270 parks: Whether you like to bike, swim, golf or grill out, there’s an opportunity for everyone.