We know it's technically not winter yet, BUT now we're heading into December, it's time to start planning. Just because the temperatures drop in winter doesn’t mean the excitement has to! Madison is a city of unique culture, businesses, and events that flourish year-round, and today’s blog highlights some of our favorites.
Ice Skating at The Edgewater.
Once the summer temperatures are long behind us, The Edgewater Hotel transforms its Grand Plaza into an ice skating rink that completes its winter wonderland. With stunning views of Lake Mendota, you won’t find another ice skating experience like it. Plus, you can head to their pub and eatery once you’re ready to warm up. Plan your outing accordingly! The rink is open depending on the weather and is closed on Monday and Tuesday. Don’t forget to consider Tot Time on Thursday from 2 PM-4 PM for your youngest family members.
Holiday Fantasy in Lights.
You don’t even have to get out of the car for this winter tradition! Gather your friends and family to drive through Olin Park to see over 50 light displays celebrating the season and showcasing some of Wisconsin’s favorites, like the Forward Flamingos and Bucky Badger. If you’re in charge of the tunes for the drive, change the station to 92.1 for some festive holiday music to accompany your travels. This tradition is free to the public; however, there’s an optional donation opportunity to help keep it up and running year after year, along with supporting local organizations, The UW Burn Center, Habitat for Humanity, Project Home, Big Step, and more.
Winter Dome Dining.
Who says outdoor dining is reserved for warm weather? Madison is full of igloos and domes that give you a dining al fresco feeling in the winter without having to brave the elements. Places like Nineteen09, Karben4, The Lone Girl, and (a little further out) Iron Amethyst Inn offer dining and drinking in an enclosed dome or igloo with comfy seating, festive lighting, and a space heater, all outdoors! For a set amount of time, enjoy food and drinks with your closest friends and family. Be sure to reserve your spot early - they book up quickly!
12th Annual Frozen Assets Festival.
Have you ever attended a festival on a frozen lake? This year’s your chance to! Clean Lakes Alliance is holding the 12th annual Frozen Assets Festival, where festival-goers can run or walk a 5k on frozen Lake Mendota, try their hand at skating, pond hockey, and snowshoeing, and see large show kite demonstrations, skydiving, dance, figure skating, speed skating, science, and more! This festival aims to showcase the value of our lakes, even when frozen.
Holiday Events at the Overture Center.
Wintertime is the best time to experience the magic of the Overture Center! Not only do they have an exceptional variety of shows to pique everyone’s interest, but they excel at holiday and seasonal events, like Christmas with C.S. Lewis or Madison Ballet’s The Nutcracker. Check in frequently leading up to the season to stay updated on additional shows or events!
Visit the Big Tree at The Capitol.
The winter season isn’t complete without taking in the holiday tree at The Capitol. Each year is more exciting than the last, with approximately 700 feet of garland and 2,400 lights adorning a Wisconsin-grown balsam fir tree. It’s the perfect selfie spot or holiday photo background for you and your loved ones!
Are any of these events on your winter to-do list?
Wishing you a delightful season in Madison!