Five fun, creative ways to entertain your parents when they come to visit Madison

Each semester, students dedicate weekends to spending quality time with their parents, and both the University and Greek organizations host so-called parent’ weekends. Whether you are in Greek life or not, having your parents come to visit you in Madison can be one of the most exciting yet stressful weekends of the semester for students.

Lucky for me, not only do my parents come to visit, but they take it upon themselves to make it an entire family weekend by also inviting my brother to come along. Normally, I am not a huge fan of having them all here, as it brings added pressure, but this semester, I had a positive outlook on the weekend and was determined to make the best of the short time we had together in the place that I now call home.

Instead of going into the weekend only planning bar crawls for Friday and Saturday night, I planned more events for the weekend to make for a fantastic time. Here are a few tips on how to have a great weekend with your loved ones when they come to visit you in Madison over the weekend.


There are multiple malls surrounding campus, whether it be Hilldale Shopping Center or East Towne Mall. Strolling through the stores can be a great pastime for both you and your parents to enjoy. Plus, most shopping centers have restaurants that you aren’t able to try a lot because they are off campus. Treat yo’ self!

The Terrace

The colorful chairs that symbolize UW-Madison are always a great idea for a warm fall, spring or summer day. Getting a pitcher, bringing a deck of cards or a board game to the terrace can be a great way to experience the school we all love. Plus, there is no way to beat watching the sunset over Lake Mendota!


Revel Craft Bar and other canvas painting or craft stores in town serve those in the mood for all things artsy. For Revel Craft bar, you can schedule ahead of time, and you and your parent can create anything from wall art to a wooden beer holder.

Comedy Club

Over the past weekend, I went to the Comedy Club with my family and we had the best experience. Whether is is an 8 p.m. or 10:30 p.m. show, amazing comedians from Madison and beyond will have you and your family laughing your butts off and leaving you with a night you will be sure not to forget.

Concerts or Shows

Madison has many venues on and near State Street — such as the Orpheum, Overture or the Majestic — that boast under-the-radar artists and fantastic shows. It helps to plan ahead of time and look ahead to see who will be in town when your family is visiting in order to find a great show that everyone will enjoy.

Whether you plan on staying in and watching Netflix in the hotel room or going out for a night on the town, your parents are there to see you. Whatever you have planned, as long as you are together, the weekend will be a success!

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