Summertime in Madison is when the city really lights up. Everything you could possibly need to have a fun-filled summer is right in Wisconsin’s capital city. Whether you’re a fan of outdoor activities, sports, or arts and culture, there’s a little something for everyone.
Bucky on Parade– (May 7-September 12, 2018) Bucky on Parade is a free public art event featuring 85 life-size Bucky Badger statues throughout Madison and Dane County. Local and regional artists have transformed these Bucky statues into unique works of art.
Art Fair on the Square– (July 14-15, 2018) One of the Midwest’s most popular and highly regarded outdoor celebrations of the arts will return to the Capitol Square as the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art presents the 60th annual Art Fair on the Square. With its mix of music, entertainment, and outdoor dining, as well as nearly 500 artists exhibiting paintings, prints, photographs, sculpture, jewelry, handmade clothing and accessories, and fine craft, the fair draws nearly 200,000 visitors to Madison’s Capitol Square.
Live on King Street– Live on King Street is an outdoor concert series consisting of six free Friday night shows by nationally touring artists in downtown Madison (in front of the Majestic) from June-September 2018.
Shake the Lake– (June 23, 2018) The event will feature live music, food and family activities on John Nolen Drive between Broom Street and Blair Street. The event starts at 5:00 PM and will have finale fireworks, choreographed with a music soundtrack, at 10:00 PM over Lake Monona.
Taste of Madison– (September 1-2, 2018) A free two-day event on Madison’s beautiful Capitol Square over Labor Day weekend with three stages of music, food from 80 vendors and fun for all ages.
AtwoodFest– (July 28-29, 2018) AtwoodFest is an annual neighborhood music festival held on the last weekend in July on Atwood Avenue. The street is closed from Monty’s Blue Plate Diner to Tex Tubbs and two Music stages are located at each end with a KidsFest, MakerMarket, Community Art Project, and tons of food and craft vendors between.
Orton Park Festival– (August 23-26, 2018) One of the country’s longest-running outdoor music festivals, Orton takes place a few blocks off Williamson St. in the heart of Madison’s east side. This Marquette Neighborhood Association-sponsored event is known for great music, an array of terrific vendors from local restaurants and businesses, kids games, an elegant Jazz Brunch, a rather quirky auction, and a magical aerial trapeze performance under one of the park’s great oaks.
Willy Street Fair– (September 15-16, 2018) Madison’s longest-running neighborhood gathering; The Willy Street Fair benefits the work of Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center and Common Wealth.
Madison Mallards Games– The Madison Mallards are a collegiate summer baseball team based in Madison that plays in the Northwoods League. Warner Park on Madison’s North side is the team’s home field. The club offers a promotion called the Duck Blind, a group of seats in right field which cost up to $41 and include unlimited food, soda, and beer.
CrossFit Games– (August 1-5, 2018) The CrossFit Games are the world’s premier test to find the Fittest on Earth™. They are world-renowned as a grueling test for the toughest athletes on Earth as well as a thrilling experience for spectators. Since its inception in 2007, the CrossFit Games have become “one of the fastest growing sports in America,” according to Forbes.
Canoe and Kayak Rentals– There are plenty of ways for you to get out and take advantage of Madison’s beautiful lakes. Isthmus living means endless opportunities for adventures on the water!
Memorial Union Terrace– Grab a chair and soak up the sun on the historic Memorial Union Terrace. The years have passed, the space has grown and even the chairs have changed. But through it all, the Terrace has remained a favorite spot for UW students, faculty, staff, Union members and anyone else looking to enjoy sunny day or beautiful evening in the summer, spring or fall.
Concerts on the Square– The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra’s Concerts on the Square is an outdoor concert series held in each summer Madison on the lawn of the Wisconsin State Capitol. The series consists of six concerts on Wednesday evenings. It has been called “The Biggest Picnic of Summer.”
Monroe Street Farmers’ Market– Located at Edgewood High School, the Monroe Street Farmers’ Market is a near westside community farmers’ market in Madison located within walking distance of several neighborhoods including Dudgeon Monroe, Nakoma, Westmorland, Vilas, and Regent. The market features a variety of local products including fruits and veggies, pastured meats, cheeses, specialty items, gifts, food carts, and more!
Summer Restaurant Week– Madison Restaurant Week has quickly become one of the city’s most popular culinary traditions. Thousands of area residents make their way to support the local dining community by exploring the newest restaurants and hitting up old favorites.