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.

Escape Room Admission for Four or Six at Escape In Time (Up to 39% Off)
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6527 Normandy Lane, Madison4.9 mi
4.6
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718 ratings
$127.80 $103.00$82.40
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Escape Room Admission for Four; Valid Thursdays and Fridays
Admission to the Splatter Factory Paint Splatter Room for One or Two at Happy Axe (Up to 31% Off)
Splatter Paint Room at Splatter Factory
6624 Mineral Point Road, Madison4.9 mi
4.5
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75 ratings
$27.97 $25.00$20.00
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Admission to the Splatter Factory Paint Splatter Room for One
60-Minute Axe Throwing Session for One at Happy Axe Throwing (30% Off)
60-Minute Axe Throwing Session for One at Happy Axe Throwing
6624 Mineral Point Road, Madison4.9 mi
4.5
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75 ratings
$24.97 $22.00$17.60
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60-Minute Axe Throwing Session for One
60% Off Team Scavenger Hunt from Puzzling Adventures
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183 Locations0.7 mi
4.1
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1,726 ratings
$49.99 $19.99
60% discount_off
Scavenger Hunt For One Team (Up to 4 Players)
Bill Burr: Slight Return on November 6 at 7 p.m.
Comedy Show: Bill Burr – Up to 37% Off
1919 Alliant Energy Center Way, Madison
$82.45 $52.00
37% discount_off
Bill Burr (Slight Return) on November 6 at 8 p.m.
7 bought
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3.9
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1,206 ratings
$39.95 $15.00$12.00
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Survival Scavenger Hunt Tour for One Team
$11.96 for Scavenger Hunt Game for One Group at It's A Scavenger Hunt! ($44.95 Value)
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1 ratings
$44.95 $14.95$11.96
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Scavenger Hunt Game for One Team (Up to 4 Players)
City Quest Scavenger Hunt for One, Two, Four, or Six at Operation City Quest (Up to 62% Off)
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4.2
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866 ratings
$20.00 $10.00$8.00
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Two-Hour City Quest Scavenger Hunt for One Person
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266 ratings
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3Quest Challenge for One Person

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