Welcome to Madison (Summer)!

Hello Bobs! For those of you starting the program or those second years that have yet to grace their June-to-August presence in this great city, LSSA would like to welcome you to the magic that is Madison summer.

As the capital city sheds its winter (read: spring) coat, Madison becomes a completely different place (just as wonderful as in the cold months, but with much better weather). We’d like to point out some great things to do here during the summer.


Madison is home to the famous Dane County Farmers’ Market, the largest producers’-only farmers’ market in the United States. There is an outdoor market April – November every Saturday morning from 6:00 AM – 2:00 PM. The market convenes on the Capitol Square and attracts numerous vendors who sell fresh produce, meat, cheese, baked goods, and fresh plants, herbs, flowers, etc. It is a quintessential weekend activity for every Madisonian!

(If you can’t get enough fresh produce, the Farmers’ Market is also open on Wednesdays from 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM on the 200 block of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., just off the square).

Speaking of the Capitol Square and quintessential events, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra is celebrating its 30th season of Concerts on the Square. The orchestra performs outdoors on the King St. corner of the square at 7:00 PM on Wednesdays. Attendees spread out on the grassy area surrounding the Capitol and set up picnics. You are allowed to put blankets down starting at 3:00 PM.

Another summer event is the Mad-City Ski Team Sunday show. The team has ski shows nearly every Sunday from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend at Law Park, a small park that runs along Lake Monona and one of Madison’s many bike paths.

For those who love the outdoors, consider visiting some of Madison’s many lakes and parks as well as the greater Dane County Parks. If you enjoy outdoor activities like sailing, windsurfing, and so on, be sure to check out Hoofers, UW’s outdoor recreation program and part of the Wisconsin Union. Hoofer’s is based out of the Memorial Union. While you’re there enjoy a beer at the Terrace on Lake Mendota, and don’t forget to try some delicious Babcock ice cream, made right here at UW.

Lastly, don’t miss these well-known Madison sites that are wonderful in the summer!

  • Olbrich Botanical Gardens: “16 acres of outdoor gardens featuring stunning landscapes” near Madison’s popular Atwood neighborhood
  • Henry Vilas Zoo: A (free!) zoo located in the heart of Madison
  • UW Arboretum: A “site of historic research in ecological restoration, the Arboretum includes the oldest and most varied collection of restored ecological communities in the world, including tallgrass prairies, savannas, several forest types and wetlands.” While this extension of UW-Madison is not a park, thousands visit each year to enjoy its natural beauty.

For even more UW and City of Madison activities and attractions, see: www.visitmadison.com and vip.wisc.edu/destinations.

We’ll keep you posted on LSSA events throughout the summer. Hope you are enjoying your vacation!

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