Madison, Wisconsin is filled with family attractions designed with kids in mind, but most are engaging for teens and adults, too! Discover enriching themes--culture, heritage, environment, historical significance, leadership, and community--delivered in a meaningful and memorable way that is uniquely Madison.
Look at the list below to find an engaging experience that's right for your family. Or, check out our sample itineraries where you'll find options for kid friendly days at play!
| Henry Vilas Zoo |
One of the nation's few admission-free zoos, Vilas Park Zoo is open year-round and is a great spot for kids and adults of all ages.702 S. Randall Ave., 608.266.4732, Admission: Free
|Madison Parks and Beaches |
The City of Madison has 13 beaches and a public pool for tons of water fun for the family. There are also over 200 parks were you can take walks, play on the jungle gyms, play a number of sports or go sledding and ice skating in the winter. Madison also boasts their new dog parks which will get plenty of tails wagging.
|Olbrich Botanical Gardens |
Olbrich Botanical Gardens offer an indoor tropical conservatory, and outdoor gardens complete with exotic plants, flowers, birds, and a waterfall. 3330 Atwood Ave., 608.246.4550, Admission: $1 Adults; Children under 5 are free
|UW Geology Museum |
On your visit you can touch rocks from a time when there were volcanoes in Wisconsin; see corals, jellyfish and other sea creatures that used to live and swim where we now walk; and stand under the tusks of a mastodon while imagining yourself in the Ice Age. 1215 West Dayton Street, 608.262.2399, Admission: Free
|Vitense Golfland |
Have fun playing the most interactive, educational and fun miniature golf course around! Vitense also offers batting cages, a climbing wall, junior golf, an arcade, water wars and The Green Tree Grill! 5501 W. Beltline Hwy, 608.271.1411
|Wisconsin State Capitol |
Completed in 1917, the Wisconsin State Capitol features the only granite dome in the nation. The interior contains 43 varieties of stone from around the world, decorative murals, glass mosaics and hand-carved furniture.
|Fireside Dinner Theater |
The Fireside Dinner Theatre is one of the Midwest's most popular professional theatres for couples, families and tour groups alike. Hwy 26 S, Fort Atkinson, 800.477.9505
|The UW Arboretum |
Feel free to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and walk or bike along miles of nature trails on your own or with the one of many knowledgeable guides. 1207 Seminole Hwy., 608.263.7888, Admission: Free
|Madison Children's Museum |
Play, learn, imagine and create at the award-winning Madison Children's Museum. 100 N. Hamilton St., 608.256.6445, Admission: $7.95 ages 2 & up; $6.95 seniors.
|International Crane Foundation |
At the International Crane Foundation you can take a tour, walk the nature trails, or enjoy the art exhibit in the only place in the world where you can see all 15 crane species during their visitor season (April 15 - October 31). E11376 Shady Lane Rd., Baraboo, 608.356.9462
|Cave of the Mounds |
For more than 60 years, visitors have discovered why this is one of the best one day trips in the Midwest! Guided tours on paved, lighted walkways lead visitors past an unforgettable array of crystal formations.2975 Cave of the Mounds Road, Blue Mound, 608.437.3038
|Overture Center for the Arts |
Every Saturday from fall through spring, Overture Center offers free arts programs called Kids in the Rotunda, designed for children and families at 9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Performances feature storytellers, jugglers, magicians, puppeteers, theater troupes, and multicultural artists. The 1:00 p.m. performances are sign language interpreted. 201 State Street, 608.258.4177, Admission: Free
|Crawdaddy Cove Water Park |
Even if you are not staying at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Madison West, you can enjoy the Kiddie Waterslides and Adventure Pool! 1109 Fourier Drive, 608.826.0500 ext. 0. Day passes are available Sun-Thurs only; please call ahead for availability. Admission: $15 (Free for children 2 and under.)
|Studio, You Paint It Pottery |
This walk-in studio for all ages specializes in pottery painting, parties and social gatherings. There are tons of pieces to choose from and our paints are lead-free, non-toxic and food safe. 6670 Odana Road, 608.833.1393
Kid Friendly Restaurants
|Ella's Deli and Ice Cream |
2902 East Washington Ave.
Madison, WI 53704
| Great Dane Pub & Brewing Co. |
357 Price Place (Hilldale Location)
Madison, WI 53705
| Hubbard Avenue Diner |
7445 Hubbard Avenue
Middleton, WI 53562
|Tex Tubb's Taco Palace |
2009 Atwood Avenue
Madison, WI 53704
|Market Street Diner |
110 Market Street
Sun Prairie, WI 53590
Seasonal Activities for Children
>>>201 State Street, 608.258.4157
Midwest Horse Fair (April)
This event offers education, culture, history and all-around knowledge of horses. With over 36 different breeds of horses on display, along with lectures and clinics that explain different aspects of horses, the Midwest Horse Fair is fun for the whole family. >>> 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way, 608.267.3976
Madison Mallards Kids Days (summer)
Madison's favorite Baseball team hosts several Kids days through out the summer. Kids Day tickets include admission to Kids Day, lunch, one kids bleacher ticket, a free giveaway, and tons of family entertainment!
>>>2920 N. Sherman Avenue, 608.246.4277
Betty Lou Cruises Ice Cream Social Sightseeing Cruise (Summer)
Enjoy all the Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream you can eat while cruising on the beautiful Lake Monona!
>>>Meet at Machinery Row, 608-246-3138
Dane County Fair (3rd week of July)
For over 150 years, the Dane County Fair has entertained families with a unique combination of youth exhibits, a Kiddie Barn, Marketplace, a food court, Carnival Midway and live entertainment at the Alliant Energy Center.
>>>1919 Alliant Energy Center Way, 608-224-0500
University of Wisconsin Madison Football Family Fun Day (August)
The Badgers take a break from fall camp and take the opportunity to catch up with some family and friends at Camp Randall Stadium. Here's your chance to meet the team so bring your UW gear and get autographs from your favorite players.
>>>1440 Monroe Street, 800.462.2343
Schuster's Playtime Farm (September 17 - October 31)
Get a feel for the country 10 minutes from town! Schuster's promises fun for all ages with hayrides, corn mazes, haunted forest, barnyard, and a pumpkin patch.
>>>1326 Hwy. 12/18, Deerfield, WI 53531, 608.764.8488
Head to the Eplegaarden for horse-drawn hayrides through the orchard and selv plukk (U-Pick) apples, raspberries and pumpkins for lots of old fashion rural farm fun.
>>>2227 Fitchburg Road, Fitchburg, WI, 608.845.5966
Kid's Expo (March)
The Kid's Expo is full of family entertainment, hands-on activities and educational presentations filled with exciting prizes and giveaways at the Exhibition Hall at the Alliant Energy Center.
>>>1919 Alliant Energy Center Way, Madison, WI, 608.267.3976
UW Space Place (special events throughout the year)
This is a vibrant public education center with professionally designed exhibits, classroom space, lecture room, and a roof top deck for sky viewing. The Space Place provides hands-on activities, lively presentations, and informative lectures by UW researchers. Space Place is only open during our scheduled events so visit their event calendar.
>>>2300 S. Park Street, 608-262-4779
Search for Family Fun events in our extensive events calendar.