Happy holidays from The Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor’s Club! Madison is a great place to spend the season of giving. There are so many things to see and do that the whole family can enjoy. Here are a few of our favorite things to do in Madison during the holidays!

Visit the Wisconsin State Capitol Holiday Tree

First stop is the Capitol Rotunda to see the Wisconsin State Capitol Holiday Tree. The tree is about forty feet tall, and reaches up to the next floor. It’s decorated with ornaments made by students from across the state. If you miss the annual lighting ceremony, you can still stop by anytime to see Wisconsin’s most iconic holiday tree.

Shop ‘Til You Drop

Shopping in downtown Madison during the holidays is a treat. State Street and Capitol Square are lit up for the season, and there are plenty of shops and boutiques in the area -- many locally owned! Take the free Holiday Trolley on Saturdays, and don’t forget to keep an eye out for downtown Carolers!

Visit Santa Claus

Here comes Santa Claus! Every Saturday in December, the jolly man himself will be in the lobby of The Madison Concourse Hotel. Bring the whole family to visit Santa Claus and snap some adorable photos.

Holiday Light Spectaculars

Make the season bright! Enjoy the magic of festive holiday lights around Madison. The Henry Villas Zoo Lights transform the zoo into a magical winter wonderland. Plus, there’s a holiday market and Santa Claus too. Holiday Fantasy in Lights at Ollin Park offer over 50 displays that light up each evening through January first. Best of all, it’s free!

Go Ice Skating

Strap on some skates and hit the ice! Madison Parks offers free ice skating at 12 locations across town. Tenney, Vilas, and Elver parks all offer rentals, concessions, and warming houses. Make sure you familiarize yourself with safety measures and remain off the ice unless the rink is officially open.

Go Sledding

There are a lot of great sledding options in Madison, but nothing compares to Elver Park. Elver Park is the home of Madison’s steepest sledding hill. Kids love to sled beneath the lights, and the park also offers ice skating and hockey rinks as well as cross-country ski trails.

Olbrich’s Holiday Express

For a unique holiday display, look no further than Olbrich’s Holiday Express! See large-scale model trains wind through a holiday scene filled with hundreds of poinsettias and fresh evergreens. If you’re feeling the winter blues, step into Bolz Conservatory for a brief respite to a tropical paradise.

The Nutcracker at Overture Center for the Arts

For an unforgettable experience, treat your loved ones to The Nutcracker at the Overture Center for the Arts. The Madison Ballet presents the timeless story with live music by the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. The ballet features one hundred fifty dancers, a twenty-five foot tree, and a 100% chance of snow.

Country Christmas

We would be remiss if we did not mention the big spectacular at our sister property: Country Christmas at The Ingleside Hotel! Country Christmas is Wisconsin’s largest drive-through holiday lights display. It features over a million holidays lights along a mile-long trails through the woods. It’s a favorite holiday tradition for many Wisconsin families.

Heading to Downtown Madison for the Holidays?

We have a gift for you! Our family holiday package is fit for the season of joy. It includes a Starbucks gift card, shopping bag, early check-in, and late check-out. Plus, you’ll get a great room rate in the heart of downtown. Give your family the gift of memories together this year in beautiful Madison, Wisconsin!