#ThingsToDo: Top 5 Outdoor Madison Activities | Warm Weather Edition
With temperatures in the 70s and possibly 80s (fingers crossed!) this week, we're kicking off our #ThingsToDo section of the blog with our Top 5 FAVORITE outdoor Madison activities for spring and summer (at the moment, anyway - we're always changing our minds)!
5 - Henry Vilas Zoo
Although there's never a bad time to visit Henry Vilas Zoo, the warm weather really gets us in the mood to put on our walking shoes and take the family to our favorite local zoo! The best part about Henry Vilas Zoo? Admission is FREE! That means you can add your weekly dose of cuteness overload for no cost (aside from a donation, if you feel so inclined). You'll definitely want to check out The Red Panda exhibit (and maybe even become a Red Panda Ranger), The Tropical Rainforest Aviary, and The Glacier Grill (where the hot dogs are so COOL, they sometimes sell out).
4 - Olbrich Botanical Gardens
Take a stroll through Madison's award-winning Olbrich Botanical Gardens this weekend, where you can take in the sites and smells of their "stunning landscapes" and florals. Again, admission to the gardens is FREE (except for the $2.00 entry fee if you'd like to wander through the Bolz Conservatory - which you should)! It's one of the classic Madison staples for spring and summertime, and is a great way to experience nature while getting that Vitamin D from the warm sunshine. One of our favorite spots at Olbrich is the Thai Pavilion and Garden - where you can take a look at and learn about one of only four Thai pavillions located outside of Thailand. It's truly awe-inspiring.
3 - Isthmus Food Cart Fest
Coming up this weekend, Isthmus Food Cart Fest offers you a chance to get a taste of what makes this city so great (and delicious)! Sponsored by Isthmus, this festival in Madison's Central Park features over 30 of Madison's favorite food carts, from the Meditterranean flavors of Banzo to the ooey-gooey grilled cheese sandwiches from Melted. Be sure to stop by the Cadence Cold Brew cart for some liquid energy to power through the day. Tickets for this May 21st event are still available. Click here to purchase yours today!
2 - Memorial Union Terrace
No warm weather list would be complete without the Memorial Union Terrace, a local hot-spot for summer time activities and outdoor gatherings! The best thing about the terrace (apart from the notoriously instagram-worthy union chairs) is that the summer schedule is full of fun events. Our favorite this year has to be their Lakeside Cinema Series, which takes place on Monday evenings at 9:00pm from May 29th through September 4th. You can watch some of the best new and classic films while enjoying snacks and beverages from the various Memorial Union Food stands. No terrace visit would be complete without a pitcher (for those 21 and over), so be sure to have your ID and a few close friends at the ready! The schedule of films is available here.
1 - Dane County Farmers' Market
And, of course (we can hear the collective sighs of "duh" from our readers), number one on our list is none other than the Dane County Farmers' Market. Although each of us has our own favorite stands (*cough STELLA'S cough*), this market has so much to offer as the nation's largest producer-only farmers' market! From fresh produce, to fresh flowers, to fresh spicy cheese bread, you'll never get tired of this Saturday morning stroll around the square. The best part for our guests - the Farmers' Market is just footsteps away from the hotel (that's 93 marketing-coordinator sized footsteps from our Wisconsin Avenue entrance, to be exact).
Check back in for more blog posts throughout the summer. As always, thanks for being our guest!
Written By: Kelsey Schaid, Marketing Coordinator at The Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor's Club
Photo Sources: The Badger Herald (Red Panda), Planetware (Thai Pavillion), The Weekly - Wisc.edu (FoodCarts), The Daily Cardinal (Terrace Chairs), Madison Dining Online (Farmer's Market)