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Things To Do With Kids in Madison

Founded on an isthmus between Lake Monona and Lake Mendota in the early 19th century, Madison is an outdoor oasis perfect for your next family vacation. The capital of Wisconsin, the “City of Four Lakes” is known for its beautiful parks and trails as well as its museums and other attractions. Read more about “Mad City” to discover the many exciting and fun things to do with your family.

The second-largest city in Wisconsin, Madison is a beautiful lakeside destination filled with exciting attractions and natural wonders. From bike rides through the historic downtown area to free concerts and farmers markets, discover the many reasons your family will fall in love with Madison including:

  • Rent bikes and explore the extensive bike lane system throughout the city
  • Take a scenic stroll along State Street and peruse the shops and restaurants
  • Tour the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Visit the largest farmers market in America, the Dane County Farmers Market
  • Watch a free concert by the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Wednesday evenings

Parents and kids are right at home in Madison with many exciting attractions everyone will enjoy. Check out some of the nation’s best college sports, awesome live performances and much more:

  • Cheer on one of the University of Wisconsin Badgers 23 varsity sports teams
  • Peruse the diverse collection at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
  • See a breathtaking live performance at Cycropia Aerial Dance
  • Grab a delicious Neapolitan pizza at Pizza Brutta
  • See a classic film screening at The Marquee Cinema at Union South

Madison’s picturesque downtown area and lakes are ripe for exploration during your trip. From nature lovers to junior historians, check out attractions and natural wonders like:

  • Visit Picnic Point at the tip of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve
  • Take a free daily tour of the Wisconsin State Capitol
  • Stop and smell the flowers at the Olbrich Botanical Gardens
  • Tour the many great restaurants across town with Capital City Food Tours
  • Explore the city by air with Biplane Rides of America
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Madison is the ideal city for your kids to explore something new. From awesome live performances and sports to exotic animal encounters and sweet treats, learn about some of the most popular things to do with kids in Madison:

  • See magicians, jugglers and more during free shows at Kids in the Rotunda
  • Make some new animal friends at the Henry Vilas Zoo
  • Enjoy family-friendly shows at the Children’s Theater of Madison
  • Cheer on your favorite racers at the Angell Park Speedway
  • Save room for a sweet treat at Babcock Hall Dairy Store

No matter how many people you bring to Madison there’s always something fun and exciting around the corner. From classic outings like ice skating and laser tag to interactive events and free movies, check out some of the best group-friendly activities across Madison:

  • Strap on your skates and hit the rinks at Hartmeyer Ice Arena
  • Get ready to play at the wildest laser tag base in Wisconsin, iCombat Madison
  • Check out free interactive and inspirational events at DreamBank
  • Visit the reading nooks and artist studios at the Madison Public Library
  • Pack a picnic and enjoy free family-friendly movies at Lakeside Family Cinema

There is so much to learn while you adventure through Madison at the many museums, interactive events and other educational attractions. Explore some of the most popular educational things to do like:

  • Enjoy interactive activities and events at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center
  • Admire the vast art collections at the Chazen Museum of Art
  • Learn about local plants and animals at the Cherokee Marsh Conservation Park
  • Explore the wide variety of food made in Wisconsin at Fromagination
  • Brown the vast exhibits of rocks and gems at the UW Madison Geology Museum

Why not learn a new instrument or brush up on your art skills while you explore the city? Madison is the perfect place for kids of all ages to be creative across a variety of performing and fine arts classes like:

  • Paint a creative keepsake to bring home at Fired Up Art
  • Enroll in a family cooking class at Hemmachef
  • Take a free arts and crafts class at the Terrace Art Zone
  • Pick up a new instrument at Kindermusik
  • Bust a move during a children’s dance class at Move Out Loud

You don’t have to look far to find great indoor fun for the whole family. With rock climbing, trampoline parks, museums and much more, check out some of the most exciting indoor games and activities for kids like:

  • Race to the top of the rock climbing walls at Boulders Climbing Gym
  • Rent a lane and go bowling at Bowl-A-Vard Lanes
  • Play in the interactive exhibits at the Madison Children’s Museum
  • See who can jump the highest at Rockin’ Jump Trampoline Park
  • Learn about astronomy at UW Space Place