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Top Things To Do In Madison

Madison, Wisconsin is a city known for its small-town feel and global perspective. It’s a city of many nicknames: Mad City, Mad Town, “78 Square Miles Surrounded by Reality.” Its citizens are equal parts environmentally conscious and active. Outdoor enthusiasts will find four lakes to explore. If you’re looking for an outdoor workout, Madison offers more than 200 miles of hiking and biking trails. Visitors looking for leisure will enjoy downtown Madison’s historic sites, freshly brewed beer and, of course, its famous cheese curds. Continue scrolling and make new memories on your trip to Madison.

Visit for One, Two, or Four to the Chicago History Museum (50% Off)
Chicago History Museum
Chicago
4.7
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$19.00 $9.50
50% discount_off
Visit for One, Two, or Four to the Chicago History Museum (50% Off)
City Tours for One, Two, Four, or Six at Wisconsin Dells Trolley (50% Off)
Wisconsin Dells Trolley
Wisconsin Dells
4.4
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$40.00 $20.00
50% discount_off
City Tours for One, Two, Four, or Six at Wisconsin Dells Trolley (50% Off)
Team Scavenger Hunt Tour for Up to 12 People from Puzzling Adventures  (50% Off)
Puzzling Adventures
148 Locations
4.1
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$49.99 $24.99
50% discount_off
Team Scavenger Hunt Tour for Up to 12 People from Puzzling Adventures (50% Off)
​Wine​ ​Tasting with Dark Chocolates at Fisher King Winery (Up to 45% Off). Two Options Available.
Fisher King Winery
Verona
4.3
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$20.00 $12.00
40% discount_off
​Wine​ ​Tasting with Dark Chocolates at Fisher King Winery (Up to 45% Off). Two Options Available.
Admission to Educational Distillery Tasting for Two or Four at Minhas Micro Distillery (50% Off)
Minhas Micro Distillery
Monroe
4.8
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$24.00 $13.00
45% discount_off
Admission to Educational Distillery Tasting for Two or Four at Minhas Micro Distillery (50% Off)
Admission for Two, Four, or Six at International Owl Center (Up to 40% Off)
International Owl Center
Houston
4.8
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$14.00 $9.00
35% discount_off
Admission for Two, Four, or Six at International Owl Center (Up to 40% Off)
Two, Four, or Six Tickets for One-Hour Tour of Milton House at The Milton House (Up to 37% Off)
The Milton House
Milton
4.8
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$16.00 $10.00
37% discount_off
Two, Four, or Six Tickets for One-Hour Tour of Milton House at The Milton House (Up to 37% Off)

First stop: Graze. This restaurant offers some of the best cheese curds in Madison. After grubbing up, hit the trails or see the Wisconsin Badgers take on their rivals at the stadium.

Here are some of the best things to do near Madison:

  • Explore more than 20 miles of footpaths and restored prairies at UW-Madison Arboretum
  • Party down with Bucky the Badger at the tailgate before a Badgers game
  • Spend an afternoon swimming at Lake Mendota
  • Visit Madison’s capitol building, the only one of its kind to be built on an isthmus
  • Venture through the expansive outdoor gardens at Olbrich Botanical Gardens

For grade-A vacationers on the hunt for the best, Madison offers historic sites, funky monuments, and quaint storefronts perfect for a tourist photo.

Popular attractions near Madison include:

  • Grab a sweet treat at the Babcock Hall Dairy Store on the University of Wisconsin’s campus
  • Fill up on famous Wisconsin cheeses at Fromagination on the Carroll St. side of Capitol Square or Carr Valley Cheese store in Middleton
  • Wander down ‘Forever Street’ to explore great eats and unique shops
  • Take a leisurely journey through the galleries at the Chazen Museum of Art
  • Hike and bike to stellar views of the city at Pheasant Branch Conservancy

Spend your day in Madison by exploring a state park or taking a tour of its most notable eateries.

Exciting activities happening near Madison today:

  • Stop in to Mickies Dairy Bar for an unforgettable homestyle breakfast
  • Camp overnight at one of the sites at Lake Kegonsa State Park
  • Enjoy the beautiful garden display Allen Centennial Garden
  • Eat your way down Atwood Avenue at a Madison Eats Walking Tour
  • Explore Vilas Park where it curves around the northern shore of Lake Wingra

Find the heart of this Midwestern city when the sun goes down. Tour a local brewery or see a broadway show tonight in Madison.

Here are a few nighttime activities near Madison:

  • Catch a broadway production at The Overture Center for the Arts
  • Scream and shout to your favorite bands at Majestic Theater
  • Sip a cold beer while listening to live music at High Noon Saloon
  • Dress in your best cardinal green and cheer on the Badgers at a home game
  • Tour the tap rooms of the Parched Eagle, Hop Cat, and Malt House breweries

There are plenty of family-oriented Madison attractions to enjoy with the kids. Play make-believe inside the geology museum or lounge at the park.

Try one of these family-friendly things to do near Madison:

  • Enjoy exhibits that are both educational and fun at Madison Children’s Museum
  • Build sand castles and swim at Warner Park
  • Stand beside giant dinosaur bones at UW-Madison Geology Museum
  • Climb around inside the playground at McKee Farms Park
  • Sample chocolate treats at Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier

When outdoor activities are saved for another day, there are other ways to enjoy your time in Madison.

Things to do indoors near Madison include:

  • Tour the Eugene A. Gilmore House, a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece lovingly known as ‘Airplane House’
  • Attend a local artist talk at Janus Galleries
  • Taste Venezuelan and Latin American dishes at La Taguara restaurant
  • Explore the indoor Bolz Conservatory space at Olbrich Botanical Gardens
  • Book a hot stone massage at Bohemian Bodywork Massage

In a city known for trails and lakes, outdoor adventure in Madison is always within reach.

Outdoor activities to do in Madison include:

  • Explore nature with a walking or biking tour of Lake Mendota
  • Learn about the burial mounds along the trails of Governor Nelson State Park
  • Play a game of flag football on the grass at Olin Park
  • Ski around more than 22 miles of signed and groomed cross-country ski trails around Madison
  • Bike the bridges overlooking the river at Capital Springs State Recreation Area