We’re proud to be from Madison – a bustling city with so much to do and yet, so much small town charm. While it’s a great place to be year-round (yes, despite the snow and cold temps), Madison really thrives during the summertime. If you’ve purchased a home with us, we’re sure you love it so much that it’s hard to leave. BUT, we’ve got a little summer to-do list for you, so get out and enjoy!
Henry Vilas Zoo
The Henry Vilas Zoo is right in the heart of Madison and cares for some amazing animals, and with no admission fee for its guests. It’s the perfect summer activity for a family with young kids!
University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum
Take in the large, summer meadows, woodlands, savannas, prairies and wetlands and an abundance of nature and wildlife, right in the center of our city. The Arboretum offers educational tours for the general public, and the best part is that it’s worth visiting again when the seasons change!
Olbrich Botanical Gardens
With 16 acres of outdoor gardens, plus exotic plants, flowers, orchids, birds and a waterfall in the Bolz Conservatory, there is plenty to see and do at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Admission is just $2 for the general public, and free for members.
Aldo Leopold Nature Center
If you still haven’t gotten your nature fix, the Aldo Leopold Nature Center should do it. The facility offers adult workshops, school fieldtrips, summer camps, birthday parties, and special events where you can escape the fast pace of the day-to-day and enjoy some nature trails and local flora and fauna.
Enjoy the area’s many state parks
Wisconsin is proud of its dozens of state parks, and all within a short drive of Madison you will find Governor Nelson State Park, Lake Kegonsa State Park, Aztalan State Park, Governor Dodge State Park, Blue Mound State Park, Mirror Lake State Park, Devil’s Lake State Park and several more. Get out and enjoy!
Take in a Madison Mallards baseball game
While Madison is famous for its successful college sports (looking at you, Badgers), its collegiate summer baseball team is not to be overlooked. With great food, drinks and family-friendly activities, Mallards games are all about the experience.
Follow the Frank Lloyd Wright Trail
One of the world’s most famous architects called Wisconsin home, and his footprints are left behind everywhere you look. Following Wisconsin’s Frank Lloyd Wright Trail will take you to nine stops across southern Wisconsin, from Racine to Spring Green, including Madison’s Monona Terrace.
Berry picking at Appleberry Farm
Nothing says summer like fresh berries, and Cross Plains is a local favorite for pick-your-own strawberries and raspberries, plus the kids will enjoy meeting the chickens and sitting by the duck pond. Come back in fall for apples, cider and a hayride!
Canoe, kayak or paddleboat Madison’s lakes
Madison is lucky enough to be surrounded by lakes – Lake Monona, Lake Mendota, Lake Wingra and Lake Waubesa, and there are many ways to enjoy them. Rent a canoe, kayak or paddleboat through Madison Boats and get out on the water!
Sip on a glass of wine at the area’s many wineries
Stop by Cambridge Winery, Wollersheim Winery, Bos Meadery, Botham Vineyards and Winery, Campo di Bella Winery, or Drumlin Ridge Winery for a tasting of some award-winning wines!
Concerts on the Square
You’re not a full Madisonian until you’ve been to Concerts on the Square. I mean, what’s better than bringing a bottle of wine, some cheese and crackers, and a picnic blanket, and enjoying some orchestra music? It’s idyllic. Performances are happening every Wednesday from June 26-July 31.
Events at Breese Stevens Field
Madison’s near east side has been completely revamped over the last few years, and a central part of all of it is Breese Stevens Field. Stop by on summer nights for soccer games, concerts, movie nights and more.
Enjoy a drink atop Eno Vino Wine Bar & Bistro
One of the rules of Madison is that no building can be taller than the capitol, and it makes for some great views of that stunning building. One of the best views in the city? Eno Vino Wine Bar. Stop by and enjoy dinner, sharables, wines, beer, cocktails and a stunning summer view.
Enjoy the Ice Age National Scenic Trail
This incredible trail stretches 1,200 miles across Wisconsin, starting in the northwest, looping down south of Madison, and stretching back up to Door County. Plan a hiking, biking or camping trip on the trail that traces a former glacier’s edge.
Golf at the area’s many courses
Madison is full of beautiful and challenging public golf courses, such as University Ridge, The Bridges, Hawks Landing, The Meadows of Sixmile Creek, Pleasant View, The Oaks, Yahara Hills, Lake Windsor, and many more. What better way to enjoy a summer day?
Be a foodie for a day
The Madison area is a foodie’s dream. Make your way around some of the area’s best restaurants, including Canteen, Cento, The Cooper’s Tavern, Craftsman Table and Tap, DLUX, Eldorado Grill, Everly, Fresco, Hubbard Avenue Diner, Miko Poke, Tex Tubb’s Taco Palace, and so many more.
Sip your way around the area’s many breweries
Wisconsin is no stranger to breweries, and the Madison area is home to a few of the best. Check out Ale Asylum, Capital Brewery, Full Mile Beer Co, Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company, The Lone Girl Brewing Company, New Glarus Brewing Company, Vintage Brewing Company and Wisconsin Brewing Company, among others.
Stroll the Dane County Farmer’s Market
Surely the most famous farmer’s market in Wisconsin, and maybe even the Midwest, there is so much to love about the Dane County Farmer’s Market. From warm, spicy cheese bread and gorgeous, fresh-cut flowers to local fruits and veggies and homemade jams, sauces and baked goods, you’ll find everything you need right here, every Saturday morning during the summer.