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12 Amazing Things To Do In Madison In Winter

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Wondering what activities does the capital city of Wisconsin, Madison, have to offer to its visitors during winters? Let’s take a look at some of the most enjoyable things to do in Madison in winter.

Madison transforms to one of the most beautiful cities in Wisconsin in winter after a snowfall. Considering its location, Madison receives the most snowfall in winters, especially around mid-December and February. Hence, it becomes the perfect paradise for all the travel enthusiasts that not only love winter for its snow-capped landscapes but a great environment and community that cherishes enjoying winters at its best.

Here are some of the best and most fun things to do in Madison in winter.

Things To Do In Madison In Winter
Things To Do In Madison In Winter

Amazing Things To Do In Madison In Winter

1. Learn Skiing At University Ridge

The most fun outdoorsy activity to enjoy in winters is skiing. The thrill of going cross country skiing is unmatched to any other winter sport. And, yes, you can take up skiing lessons at a university in Madison. University Ridge facilitates this amazing opportunity in its golf course to skiing enthusiasts beginners or pros alike throughout winters. Its snowy landscapes are spread over 560 acres that enable the public access to many cross country skiing trails.

You can either carry your own skiing equipment or get them on rent from the golf shop in the University Ridge Golf Course.

2. Ice Skating In Parks Of Madison

There is no winter in Madison without making Madison parks the ice skating ranches. There are many picturesque and popular parks in the city that invite the public to offer a place to display their ice-skating skills when heavy snow covers the greenness. Some of the major parks where you can not only go skating but many more winter activities are the Elver, Tenney and Vilas Park. These parks also have skating rentals available onsite.

3. Sledding In Elver Park

Sledding is a fun activity that you can take part in after snowing. And Madison is the best place for this because the number of parks in the city where you can go for sledding is numerous. One of these parks is Elver park which deserves its special mention because of the area that it offers through which your fun can go on and on. It is the most popular park, for the reason that it remains lit during the night hours.

Other parks where you can go sledding according to your proximity to them are Aldo Leopold Park, Berkley Park, Garner Park, Olbrich Park, Warner Park, Arbor Hills Park, Hiestand Park and Orlando Bell Park.

4. Join A Game Night At Keva Sports Center

Keva Sports Center is the public sports arena in Madison where you can play and enjoy sports as an audience. The best part is that there are local teams that compete against each other and win trophies. Especially, during the winter holidays and sports season, when everyone is in the mood for some nail-biting, adrenaline-rushed games. That is when the sports centre becomes the perfect place to use your skills and play some mind-blowing games with the local community.

There are adult and youth sports leagues that are conducted in various sections by the staff of the centre of the port. So, you can join in the fun and check the events calendar because the winter season gets jam-packed with them.

5. Drink A Freshly Brewed Coffee At The Colectivo Coffee

Winters is the perfect time for that nice, warm cup of coffee that can make your day so much better while you view the ice-capped streets and children throwing snowballs at each other. The Colectivo Coffee cafes in Madison are other beautiful coffee houses that not only serve the best range of coffees in the whole city but would make sure that they are exclusive to your tastes.

You will find a Colectivo coffee cafe at the Tenney Plaza, Monroe Street and State Street. You can have breakfasts, soups, sandwiches and other mouth-watering things to complement your coffee at the store.

6. Take A Hike Through The Ice Age Trail

Though winter sports have a special place in the heart of Madison, certain other outdoor sports can be enjoyed if you are not a skiing or snowshoeing person. The Ice Age trail is considered one of the longest trails in the entire state of Wisconsin. The trail goes up to 1200 miles and takes approximately 8 to 12 weeks to complete. Though the Madison section is around 3.1 miles in total, it offers the sights of the most beautiful landscapes around the city.

The entire trail has a map and guide to help you on the way. So, you can go and enjoy the fun of walking around some of the scenic meadows and untouched ice landscapes.

7. Do Some Snowshoeing or Cross-Country Skiing

Apart from the fun snow or skiing experiences that you can indulge in while at Madison, it is also the perfect place if you are an expert and want to go Snowshoeing and Cross-country skiing. It is one of the most adrenaline-filled experiences that you are ever going to have at such a friendly location. Since there are all kinds of paths that you can practice your skiing skills on, you can decide on how long you would want to go and the path that you would like to take.

8. Go Snow Tubing At The Cascade Mountain

The best time to enjoy the snow here ranges from mid-December to March when many trails for Snow Tubing and a vast area for snowshoeing and skating are settled. The mountain is the most visited area during winters. Not only because of the range of activities that it offers but also because of the landscape beauty surrounding it. There is enough safety and fun for the beginners, the intermediates and the experts. Snow tubing in the Cascade Mountain is one of the most fun things to do in Madison in winter for families.

The rental equipment that you will receive here is of top quality and it makes sure that you can enjoy your adventure without any second thoughts or worries. You can check the ticket prices and hours of the fun on their website.

9. Join The Madison Food Tours

Food events and tours in Madison are one of the attractions that travelers and food enthusiasts from all around visit this city for. These tours become more interesting during the festive and holiday season in winter. The specialty of these tours is the range of local eateries and some ancient recipes that you can relish with some of the members of the community.

These recipes have come from generations and the delicacies prove to be outstanding to people who taste them at once. These are mostly guided food tours. But you are going to meet some of the most like-minded people here and enjoy some of the best brunches and discussions around. Public food tours also give you the opportunity to sit with other travelers and get to know more about them and their ways of life. From food tours to cheering on colorful drinks and talking about various ideas, it slowly turns into a cultural retreat.

You can check out a fun Madison Food Tour here.

10. Check Your Winter Chills At The Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company

The Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company is the brainchild of two locals from the city. Over years, it has turned into a chain of five restaurants and pubs throughout Wisconsin. Three of which are in Madison. The restaurants pride themselves in serving the finest brewed beer and food that tingles the toughest taste buds in your mouth. The range of the beer and the food on the menu would leave you craving for more.

The staff and the members of the company make sure that you feel at home while you are dining or simply drinking at the pub. Apart from that, there are great offers for you available on their website. You can also become a member of the company and enjoy the benefits.

11. Enjoy A Meal In Heated Igloos In Madison

One of the most exclusive Madison experiences that you are going to have around winters is having dinner in the heated igloos. The beautiful transparent igloos offer the most comfortable, cozy, heated and glittery experience to people who get to dine in them. These igloos are available at major restaurants and eating places like The Madison Club, Nineteen09, Karben4 Brewing and Café Hollander. Do not miss out this activity as it is one of the most memorable things to do in Madison in winter.

You need to make reservations in advance for this experience because these igloos get occupied really fast.

12. Wisconsin State Capitol Holiday Tree

Being the capital city of the state of Wisconsin, Madison celebrates its Christmas in the perfect way. There is a giant Christmas tree placed at the Wisconsin State Capitol which you can witness and be amazed at. That is not all, there are many lights shows that take place throughout the city during the holiday season. They will surely put a smile on your face.

Where To Stay In Madison

Madison has many hotels that are located close to all its main attractions. Some of the most recommended stays in Madison are below;

Budget (Under $100) : Fairfield Inn & Suites is a budget friendly hotel in Madison just a kilometer away from downtown. Facilities include family rooms, free WiFi, good breakfast, gym, indoor swimming pool and free parking. Check room rates and availability here.

Mid Range (upto $150) : SpringHill Suites is one of the best hotels to stay in Madison. Scrumptious breakfast, heated rooms, free Wifi, a well equipped gym, outdoor fireplace area and free bikes are some of the amenities you will find in the hotel. Check room rates and availability here.

Luxury ($150+) : The Madison Concourse Hotel offers luxury stay with amazing amenities for its guests. It is centrally located and close to many attractions in Madison. Facilities include, free airport shuttle, well equipped and spacious rooms, an ATM onsite, fitness center, bike tours, walking tours, jacuzzi and heated pool. Check room rates and availability here.

So, these were all the best things to do in Madison in winter. Madison is a fun place to enjoy winter in Wisconsin for all kinds of travelers. Food tours, breweries, festive events and a range of winter friendly activities will keep you engaged throughout your trip. Let us know how you would be spending winters in Madison in the comment section below.

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Anjali Wadhwa (cheerfultrails) is a travel consultant and enthusiast who has traveled to 15+ countries. She shares about her explorations through her writings. You will find detailed itineraries, best travel tips and well experienced recommendations for food, transportation and hotels on her blog.

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