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Sunday, June 16, 2024
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The Memorial Union Terrace is filled with people on a sunny Sunday, April 24, 2024.

In Madison this summer? Here are some of the best things to do

Memorial Union Terrace season has arrived for University of Wisconsin-Madison students. And while some students will be going back home or jetting off to a new destination there is plenty of opportunity to explore the city of Madison for those who stick around.

Shawn MacGregor, a student at the UW-Madison, said he’s excited for Madison’s “best season” to begin.

“Madison is just so beautiful in the summer because all the trees and the flowers are finally blooming and green,” MacGregor said. “And there are, of course, a lot less people on campus. So I think you can really find some hidden treasures.”

Dozens of events will be offered this summer, including film showings, concerts, art projects and outdoor recreation experiences during the Union’s summer festival season beginning in May, according to Shauna Breneman, communications officer at the Wisconsin Union.

Students will also be excited to spend time in nature and enjoy Madison’s 200 miles of biking and hiking trails. Popular locations include Devil’s Lake and Picnic Point.

“I like hiking. Last year, we went to Picnic Point a couple of times — that was really fun. I think that's a really popular spot. It's really pretty, and there are lots of bike paths,” UW-Madison student Abby Mielnick said. “You can bike, rollerblade or skate. I think I will definitely be out in nature. I love to be out, especially here.” 

The Dane County Farmers’ Market is also a landmark sunny-day attraction. Open every Saturday morning on Capitol Square until November, it is the largest producer-only farmers market in the country.

“I love the farmers’ market because it offers a relief from being on campus all the time and being surrounded by people affiliated with the university,” MacGregor said. “It’s nice to leave campus and see families buy some fresh produce.” 

In Madison, there is no shortage of bodies of water with plenty of activities. Nestled between Lake Mendota and Monona, Madison is one of two major United States cities built on an isthmus — a narrow strip of land that connects two larger landmasses and separates two bodies of water. 

This summer, UW-Madison student Noelle Glasserenner and her friends plan to take advantage of the waters.

“We did kayaking last year on Lake Monona, it was really fun,” Glasserenner said. “This year, we’ll probably mostly lay on the docks of Lake Mendota and swim once the water gets warm enough. I really like all the water around here. I like to go on walks, and I just find it really calming.”

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