Madison, Wisconsin is an awesome city to live in, especially for a young couple like Dave and I. It is vibrant and energetic and one that prides itself on providing free entertainment and activities for it’s residents. Over the two years we’ve lived here, we’ve had the opportunity to try out several of those free activities, but there are still plenty we’ve yet to try! Here are some free things to do in Madison that everyone should try at least once.
The Henry Vilas Zoo
I still can’t get over the fact that we have a free zoo here. How awesome is that?? We’ve only been once, but we definitely need to go again. Especially since they’ve added a polar bear exhibit since we’ve been last!
The State Capitol
Since I work in the capitol building everyday, I sometimes forget that it’s a tourist activity as well. But it’s really an incredible building to see, especially for a history buff like me. The architecture is amazing.
Dane County Farmers Market
Even if you don’t plan to purchase anything, it’s definitely something to see! The farmers market spans the entire length of the capitol square. Hundreds of vendors come to sell fruits, vegetables, baked goods, plants, meat, etc. There are tons of people, so go early to avoid too much of a crowd!
Concerts on the Square
This is definitely something to check out! Every Wednesday night during the summer, the city offers a concert on the lawn of the capitol square. Literally every inch of lawn is filled with blankets. People come hours and hours early to reserve their seat. People bring food, wine, and friends to relax on the lawn and listen to great music.
Memorial Union Terrace
It’s one of Madison’s most popular destinations, and basically the back porch of the city. Sit on the Terrace, look out on the lake, and possible catch some live music!
It’s the heart and soul of the city, filled with shops, boutiques, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, etc. It’s a pedestrian-only street that runs from the State Capitol to the University.
The number of bike paths in Madison is remarkable. Seriously. 50 miles of bike paths in the city, not to mention those in the surrounding areas. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, given the bike culture of the city. Bikers everywhere!
Olbrich Botanical Gardens
This is one that Dave and I have never been to, but that I’ve heard awesome things about! There is 16 acres of outdoor gardens to explore, not to mention a conservatory.
What are your favorite things to do in Madison (or your own city!)?
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