Here in Madison, WI, the winters are cold and snowy. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a blast! There’s plenty to do during the winter months when you want to bundle up and get out of your house:
You might be surprised to learn that Madison is home to more than a dozen public skating rinks.
The Madison Parks website lists all of the city’s ice skating locations, including their hours and admission prices. There are currently five outdoor rinks, one indoor rink at Monona Terrace and two ice sheets at Tenney Park.
The city also has an interactive skating map that shows all of its ice rinks in one place so you can easily find them on your phone or computer if you don’t want to print out the list from their website.
The frozen tundra is an area of the arctic tundra that is covered with a layer of permafrost, which is soil that remains frozen for two or more years. This ground can be up to 1 kilometer (about six-tenths of a mile) deep in some areas, making it incredibly difficult to dig through.
When it comes to enjoying the winter, there’s nothing quite as fun as snowmobiling. Snowmobiles are a great way to see the snowy landscape and can take you on tours around Madison or other parts of Wisconsin. Snowmobile resorts are also common in Madison; they’ll rent you a snowmobile that’s ready to go right away, so all you have to do is hop on and enjoy yourself! If you don’t want to rent one of these machines, then another option would be going on a guided tour through some kind of company (maybe even through your own school). If renting isn’t really your thing, then perhaps cross-country skiing or snowboarding will pique your interest—there are many places that rent equipment for both activities in town.
Snowmobiling is a great way for everyone from beginners who want an easy ride through experienced riders looking for extreme thrills! With trails throughout the state, there’s no end in sight when it comes to what fun things can be done this time of year!
Sledding is a great activity for all ages and can be done in parks, backyards, or even on the street. If you’re going to sled, make sure to wear warm clothes and a helmet to keep yourself safe!
Winter Farmers’ Market
- When is the Winter Farmers’ Market? The winter farmers’ market runs on Saturdays from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. from November through April (with some variation for holidays, inclement weather and other factors).
- What can you find at the Winter Farmers’ Market? You’ll find all kinds of local produce like apples, squash and potatoes, as well as meats, cheese, honey and eggs (among other things). There are also several vendors who sell prepared foods such as jams or baked goods—you’ll have no trouble finding something delicious to bring home with you!
- Where is the Winter Farmers’ Market held? The Madison Central Park will be hosting this year’s winter farmers’ market because it has ample parking available for visitors. On busy days though it may become difficult to park so be sure to give yourself enough time before heading over if that happens!
- Ice Fest
- Winterfest at the Alliant Energy Center
- Winter Light Fest
- Snowflake Days
There are plenty of ski hills in the area like Cascade Mountain, Tyrol Basin, Devil’s Head and more. Take a ski or snowboard lesson this year and pick up a lifetime sport you’ll enjoy the rest of your life. Or, be a little more chill and go snow tubing. The vibe you get at ski areas is not something you’ll want to miss.
There are a ton of fun things to do in the winter, whether you love the cold or not.
- There are a ton of fun things to do in the winter, whether you love the cold or not.
- You can also take advantage of Madison’s vast transportation options and explore the city on your own two feet. With its excellent bus system, bike lanes and trails for walking or skating, Madison is one of the most walkable cities in America. There are also several public transportation options that make getting around town easy: Capital Metro buses operate from 5:30am – 11pm Monday through Saturday and 7am – midnight on Sunday; Madison Metro Bus runs seven days a week from 6:00am – 10:00pm with stops at major landmarks across Madison; Dane County Transit provides service throughout Dane County including routes to/from Milwaukee via Amtrak station.
- Check out our Winter Attractions section for more ideas!
Get Out There!
We hope you’re ready to bundle up in your warmest clothes, grab your sleds, and head out into the snow. By following these tips and tricks for having fun in the cold weather, you’ll be well on your way to having a great time.