Try A Cone Of Babcock Ice Cream
Babcock has been producing dairy for the University of Madison since 1951. The plant is right downtown next to campus and you can find Babcock ice cream sold all over town. They make classic flavors but my favorite is Blue Moon that is this berry ice cream that I used to go crazy for as a kid. It really hits the spot on a hot summer day, trust me.
You can find it served in most ice cream shops, but the Daily Scoop in the UW Terrace serves Babock Ice Cream, so grab a cone while youre visiting for happy hour.
Best Winter Weekend Getaway Madison Wi Activities
YES, itll be cold and NO, I personally dont try to come back to Madison in the dead of winter unless I have to because Im spoiled with mild winters here in California. BUT, that being said, there are some really neat winter activities that you can only do in Madison. The list of city of Madison events in the winter is always changing but these are the top things:
Stalzys Deli & Bakery
Finding a great deli in a city can make you feel as though youve struck gold.
Stalzys Deil & Bakery offers sandwiches as good as you can find in any city.
The menu is heart-stoppingly good on paper and even better when you try it.
The bakery part of the name is primarily based on the astonishing fresh bread that is made there.
On the menu, you can find deli delights like a BLT, a club sandwich, and a Reuben.
There are also many great burgers on the menu.
If you come to Stalzys early enough in your trip, it might not be the only time you stop in.
Theres so much goodness on the menu that you could be coming back at least once.
Stalzys is open from Tuesday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Address: 2701 Atwood Ave, Madison, WI 53704, USA
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Hike Bike Snowshoe Or Ski
Madison is home to some of the most amazing trails in the country. In fact, there are more than 200 miles of scenic trails for biking, hiking, skiing, and snowshoeing enthusiasts of all ability levels. For instance, theres an easy route around Lake Monona and many entry points to the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Check TrailLink for options that best suit the season and activity. The city also features a great bike-sharing system, Madison BCycle, with hundreds of bikes at many convenient stations downtown that you can rent for a small fee.
University Of Wisconsin: Arboretum And Geology Museum
The 170-year-old University of Wisconsin in Madison covers more than 1,260 acres and is well worth exploring. Highlights include the Arboretum , home to the oldest and most varied collection of restored ecological communities in the world, including tallgrass prairies, savannas, several forest types, and wetlands. It also houses many flowering trees, shrubs, and a world-famous lilac collection.
There’s an excellent visitor center on-site with plenty of useful information on the property. A well-marked trail network is also fun to explore. Also on campus is Madison’s Geology Museum with its informative displays on how rocks, minerals, and fossils are formed.
Address: 1207 Seminole Hwy, Madison, Wisconsin
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Things To Do For Free In Madison This Weekend
Hi There! Its me, Superfan Stacey with another travel tip. How would you like to take a trip to Madison, WI this weekend for only the cost of the gas in your car ?!?
Well, then this is the list that you need to peruse. Below are 5 of our favorite things to see or do in the Madison, WI area that are completely and totally free. Now, if you decide to make a purchase on your own, thats up to you, but we wanted to highlight some really cool things in the Madison area that the whole family can enjoy at no cost.
For more information on these awesome places just click on the underlined link to check out their website. So heres our list, in no particular order:
#1.THE NATIONAL MUSTARD MUSEUM Middleton, WI
The first Saturday in August is National Mustard Day! This too is a free event! There are carnival games where you can win mustard and other mustardy prizes! Local mustard creators and vendors are present with food and of course dont forget about the polka band and the duchess of mustard!
#2. THE NEW GLARUS BREWING COMPANY New Glarus, WI
#3. HENRY VILAS ZOO Madison, WI
#5. OLBRICH BOTANICAL GARDENS
So if youre looking for something to do for free this weekend, check out these great places in the Madison area! You wont be disappointed!
Have a favorite place to visit thats not listed here? Comment below. Maybe well check it out and add it to our next list of fun things to do on Half A Tank of gas.
Where To Stay In Madison For Sightseeing
Downtown Madison is the place to stay, with attractions radiating outward from the State Capitol. The downtown area is very compact and home to attractions that include the Children’s Museum, trendy Monroe Ave, a skating rink in winter, and the Henry Vilas Zoo, all within a mile or two. Below are some highly rated hotels in convenient locations:
- The trendy HotelRED is a stylish boutique property with a great location just a short stroll to the eclectic sights and sounds of Monroe Street. A free shuttle is also offered.
- Budget hotels are primarily found outside the downtown core. Close to the Alliant Energy Center, the Comfort Inn Madison Downtown is the closest to downtown and has recently been remodeled.
- Across Lake Monona to the south and featuring an indoor pool and hot tub is the Sleep Inn & Suites.
- Farther out and easily accessible off Interstate 90 is La Quinta & Suites, with large rooms and a quiet location.
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Relax At A Yoga Retreat
Wisconsin is one of those places that can provide both fun and thrilling outdoor activities as well as magnificent natural surroundings.
More importantly, it is for these reasons that this location is ideal for a weekend retreat of healing and refreshment.
Madison provides some of the best yoga retreats in Wisconsin.
Whether youre a resident looking for a calm escape, a yogi looking for a community, or just visiting this area and want to keep up with your health regimen, Madison is the perfect place to embrace your inner yogi.
Get off your newsfeed, unplug from social media, and start practicing yoga in a farm home!
Rooted Soul Farm Getaways provides both day and overnight retreats for those looking to de-stress and unwind from their stressful routine.
The rustic barn home where youll perform your yoga and meditation is an added bonus.
Another option, Andrea Russell, a Wisconsin-based Ayurvedic health counselor, and yoga therapist, also offers fantastic retreat options.
When you attend Ms. Russells retreat in Wisconsin, you will practice yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda at various sites across the state.
She also teaches in several places of the world, including Costa Rica and Bali.
If you want to escape away from the stresses of life and immerse yourself in a calm voyage of reflection, you should check her out.
Go Wild At Henry Vilas Zoo
Opened in 1924 and owned by the City of Madison, the 28-acre Henry Vilas Zoo is a favorite with locals and visitors alike, and one of the best things to do in Madison if you are traveling with kids. It attracts close to a million visitors each year, and is home to a wide variety of animals from tropical, arctic, savannah, plains, and other habitats.
The tropical rainforest exhibit includes a combination of fish, rainforest plants, and a free-flight aviary where visitors are surrounded by birds. The newest exhibit, Arctic Passage, features an underwater viewing area for its harbor seals and polar bears, as well as a stream where the grizzly bears fish.
Other popular residents include Amur tigers, African lions, reticulated giraffes, red pandas, and alpaca. For younger visitors, there is a children’s zoo with animals, a carousel, and an electric train. Feeling peckish? The zoo’s unique restaurant features seating overlooking the polar bear enclosure. A gift shop is located on the premises, along with snack areas.
Address: 702 South Randall Ave, Madison, Wisconsin
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Marvel At The Animals
Henry Vilas Zoo is free to all and open year-round. Dedicated to animal care, wildlife conservation, and education, the zoo is home to many animals, including lions, tigers, and bears. If you like watching the birds, just about anywhere in Madison will do, but you can take a 15-minute ride from downtown to the Aldo Leopold Nature Center to see ducks, geese, cranes, and other birds in a beautiful setting. Animal lovers will find a lot of pet-friendly restaurants and accommodations in Madison.
What To Do Your First Weekend In Madison Wi
If youre looking for a smaller city to visit in the Midwest, than you need to consider spending a weekend in Madison, Wisconsin. The city is easy to get around and has a lot of fun family attractions. Theres also great shopping, restaurants, outdoor trails and other family friendly activities.
Madison is the second largest city in Wisconsin, and is consistently ranked as one of the best small towns in America. All that you need to do is spend one weekend there and youll see why.
Heres how your family can have one fun-filled weekend during your first visit to Madison.
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Concerts & Live Music
Music is a meaningful part of Madisons culture. Every season and every day of the week there are a wealth of ways to add live music into your itinerary. From classical music to karaoke. From classic clubs to fresh-air venues. From festivals honoring local acts to landmarks where celebrities kick-started their careers. You wont want to miss the music scene in Madison.
Explore The Madison Museum Of Contemporary Art
The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art offers rotating art exhibitions and galleries, as well as free art-related activities for kids.
With different art pieces shown here, there is always something new offered each time you visit.
Its located in downtown Madison, so if youre in the area, visit it to check out some interesting sculptures, paintings, and more.
While its not as large as other museums in Madison, it is one of the few that dont cost anything at all.
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Grab Breakfast Or Brunch
While weekends away sometimes mean sleeping in, Madisons food scene is so good you wont want to miss a meal. Start your day with delectable dining at any one of a number of popular spots. Short Stack Eatery has fantastic pancakes, of course, but if youre feeling brave, try The Blind, the chefs secret dish that changes all the time. You can only ask if its sweet or savory, but either way, it will be mouthwatering. Graze is a brunch favorite, offering fresh local eats by James Beard Award-winning chef Tory Miller in a glass-framed building that feels light and airy. Grab a Magic Coffee or another drink and people-watch while you wait.
The Madison Museum Of Contemporary Art
The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is the lifeblood of arts and entertainment in the city and is in many ways a piece of art itself. Jutting out of the corner of State and Henry Streets like the bow of a ship, this splendid three-story glass structure is undoubtedly one of the city’s most impressive architectural landmarks.
Inside, the center has a large display area and is constantly rotating through local and international art exhibits. It also hosts a variety of regular events and fun things to do for all ages.
Address: 227 State Street, Madison, Wisconsin
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Visit The University Of Wisconsin’s Memorial Union Terrace
Memorial Union Terrace on the University of Wisconsin campus is not just a favorite hangout for students it is known as one of the best spots in the city for people-watching and relaxing. Although it is restricted to Union members, tourists can easily obtain a single day guest pass, which can be used to access the Terrace, as well as attend any of the free activities hosted here.
There is often live music here, night and day, to accompany your picnic or meal from one of the many restaurants but be sure to leave room for a scoop or two of the famous Babcock Ice Cream. During the summer, free movies are screened after dark, rain or shine.
Address: 800 Langdon Street, Madison, Wisconsin
Summer In Your City Programming
- Power Line Systems Advanced Training Users Group, June 13-15, 300ppl
- Dynamic Walking, UW-Madison Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, June 13-16, 115ppl
- 2022 NSMMS & CRASTE, June 26-30, 450ppl
- Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology ISMB 2022, July 10-14, 1200ppl
- American Society for Virology Annual Meeting 2022, July 15-20, 1700ppl
- 2022 AMS Collective Madison Meeting, American Meteorological Society, Aug 8-12, 550ppl
- Parts Unlimited & Drag Specialties NVP Product Expo 2022, LeMans Corporation, Aug 18-21, 1000ppl
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Chow Down On Cheese Curds
Wisconsin is known as Americas Dairyland, and it produces lots of wonderful cheese. And while all of it is tasty, the cheese curds mild bits of fresh cheese that arent pushed together into a cheese block are especially unique. Fresh cheese curds squeak when you bite into them, but theyre at their best when theyre fried in a light batter and served with various dipping sauces.
No restaurant makes them better than The Old Fashioned on Capitol Square, which is consistently recognized for serving the best cheese curds in Madison.
Best Things To Do In Madison Wisconsin
The capital of Wisconsin, Madison offers visitors a diverse choice of things to see and do. Art and history lovers can tour the iconic Wisconsin State Capitol, visit the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, and explore the Chazen Museum of Art.Best things to do in Madison, Wisconsin with kids include the Henry Vilas Zoo, Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier, and the University of Wisconsin Geology Museum. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Hours/availability may have changed.
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University Of Wisconsin Geology Museum
Then you should come to the UW-Madison Geology Museum.
This museum predates the Civil War by more than a decade.
If youre looking to spend some of your weekend in Madison learning about the very distant past through things like fossils, you should come to this museum.
Dinosaur obsesses can have so much fun at the UW-Madison Geology Museum.
Today, this museum has plenty of fossils from periods like the Jurassic age. There are also fossils of birds.
Plus, there are skeletons of creatures long gone and more rocks than youve probably ever seen in one place.
The guided tours at the UW-Madison Geology Museum help to add to your experience.
The museum is open from Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Theres no cost for admission, but its $2 per person for guided tours, which require a minimum of eight people.
Address: 1215 W Dayton St, Madison, WI 53706, USA
Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Co
This locally owned ice cream shop is one of six in the area. Now, if you havent noticed, Wisconsin is one of Americas leading beef and dairy producers.
Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Co always has a line when I went to grab a cone, and every flavor I tried was a treat for the taste buds.
With tons of flavors to choose from I played it safe with the Zanzibar Chocolate and Zazimint both are delicious with a chocolate dipped cone.
I could eat ice cream from the Chocolate Shoppe all day long! One of the best things to eat in
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Eat Squeaky Cheese Curds
I think its illegal to come to Wisconsin and not try a fresh cheese curd. This food is a local favorite! You can eat fried cheese curds, sure, but the local favorites are fresh squeaky cheese curds. Squeakier the better!! You can find fresh cheese curds at the Farmers Market and almost every grocery store or corner market.
Mansion Hill Historic District
If youre in downtown Madison or are still wanting to see beautiful homes after your visit to the Mansion Hill Historic District, you should come to the Third Lake Ridge Historic District.
There doesnt need to be any major agenda for coming here.
Simply walking along and admiring all these homes can be plenty satisfying.
There are lots to be admired about these homes, particularly their colorful designs.
If you have ambitions to move to Madison, you might consider buying a house in the Third Lake Ridge Historic District.
The prices can be pretty reasonable and the proximity to downtown Madison is hard to resist.
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Dine At Garver Feed Mill
The Garver Feed Mill is a historic mill-turned hub for local artisans and businesses. Its full of restaurants, bars, shops and even yoga and wellness classes. They have indoor and outdoor seating so you can visit year-round. This is such a fun spot to have lunch or dinner at one day! Its a newer of Madison attractions and so dang cool.