Life In Madison

Life in Madison: neighborhoods, opportunities and events in the greater Madison, Wisconsin area

Found 172 blog entries about Life In Madison.

They're known for their Swiss roots, and Spotted Cow beer. And this weekend, New Glarus will be celebrating both at the annual Oktoberfest. The community is located just 30 minutes southwest of Madison, and is a must see for anyone looking for a unique variety of shops, restaurants and festivals. 

Oktoberfest events kick off Friday night with live music by Pink Houses and the ceremonial Tap of the Wooden Keg at 9 p.m. At that time, award winning beer Staghorn Octoberfest, created by New Glarus Brewing Co., will be available at the Oktoberfest tent. Admission to the tent is free, and commemorative Oktoberfest Bier Steins will be available for purchase.

The next morning, the day starts with the Glenda K. Scott 5K/10K run  or 2 mile walk through New

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Maybe it's the long winters that make Madison a huge city for summer swimming. Or perhaps it's the many lakes that create a love for all things water. But for years, the city has made it onto Speedo's top 10 list for swim cities. This year, Madison is ranked number 6 on Speedo's list. Speedo includes Madison because it has at least 24 pools available for water recreation- that's more than double the number found in other similar size places. In addition, the city boasts one of the largest outdoor swim meets in the nation: All City Swim and Dive. Thirteen area pools participate in this meet, while providing a sense of community, family recreation and competition for budding swimmers.

All City Swim and Dive takes place again this year, July 27-August 1.

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This weekend at the Dane County Farmer's Market, watch for hundreds of racers, in costume, as they carry watercraft from one lake to another. Or, if you're brave enough, sign up and join the fun at the 36th annual Paddle and Portage, sponsored by Isthmus.

With Lake Mendota sitting to the north, and Lake Monona to the south, you couldn't find a better course for such an event. Paddlers race through one lake, carry their watercraft across downtown Madison, and then race through the other. Costumed contestants, parent/child combinations and hard core racers all make their way to Paddle and Portage. The spectacle of so many costumed racers is worth the trip downtown, as is the live music, food, craft beers and vendors at Olin Park.

This year, the event

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As the 4th of July nears, towns all around Madison are planning fireworks shows and other events. The variety of locations and activities in the area leave something for all ages to enjoy. Beginning with "Shake the Lake" on Saturday, June 27th, Dane County will host at least 8 different fireworks shows.

Shake the Lake picks up where Rhythm and Booms left off. Created by the Madison Mallards, Festival Foods and the Madison Parks Foundation, Shake the Lake will offer a fireworks display from the heart of downtown Madison. The event is located on John Nolen Drive, between Broom and Blair Streets. Live music and refreshments open at 5 p.m. with the fireworks starting at 10 p.m. Viewing is free along Lake Monona. The only exception is Monona Terrace, where

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It's that time of year again, when schools are out, weather is pleasant and outdoor spaces are open for public enjoyment. You don't have to go far to find quality entertainment. Madison is full of talented musicians, and their music can be heard all over the city. Whether you prefer to picnic on the Capitol lawn, dance on Monona Terrace's rooftop, or have your food prepared for you restaurant-style, there are endless options for live music in Madison.

Monona Terrace hosts "Concerts on the Rooftop" with beautiful views of Lake Monona. It's free to check out, and they have a long list of bands scheduled for the summer. Some weeks are coordinated with "Dane Dances" inviting participants to kick up their heels on the outdoor dance floor.  Most of their

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Brat Fest Madison WIThis weekend, forget your grill.  Join thousands at the Alliant Energy Center grounds for Brat Fest 2015. The event, presented by Johnsonville and produced by Metcalfe's, provides tasty and inexpensive brats and coordinating menu items, concerts, play areas and even exercise for the whole family. And after you've had a chance to try all the delicious grilled food, exercise isn't a bad idea.

There are multiple opportunities for races, rowing, climbing and exploring throughout the weekend. Friday includes sack races for kids and soccer demonstrations by Keva coaches. On Saturday morning, the Bun Run begins at 8:30 a.m. Runners can choose a 5K or 10k route. Following the adult run, kids can do the MUDstard run, an obstacle course that includes ketchup,

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With just about a month left before local schools take summer break, we're in the "peak" of summer camp research and reservations. Many camps require a registration by May 31, or sooner. And while there are countless opportunities for kids- with YMCA, Madison School Community Recreation and other groups offering weekly camps, there are some additional, interesting options for Dane County Youth.

Suppose your child is more interested in technology than outdoor exploring. iD-Tech, in conjunction with UW-Madison, is offering week long options including Adventures in Minecraft Game Design, Intro to Java Programming and Role-Playing Game Design. The program insists your child will be with a professional, adult instructor, with a student/teacher ratio of 8-1.

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dane county dog parksChanging homes can mean so much more than adjusting to a new commute, improving a floor plan or selecting the right schools. Many buyers are also bringing Fido along for the transition. And considering four legged family members means considering recreational areas that are pet friendly.

The Dane County Parks Department is on the forefront of dog park implementation and design. In 1994 it was the first county in the nation to create a dog park program. Since then, it has expanded to include 7 county parks allowing off-leash areas. Dogs are also welcome at all county parks with a leash. "We found out over time, it's not only a benefit for dogs, but for the community as well. Everyone gets exercise and enjoys the outdoors," says Darren Marsh, Dane County

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There is nothing quite like a fresh-picked tomato, or the crunch of a newly harvested sugar snap pea. In just a few short weeks, residents will enjoy fresh, Wisconsin-grown produce again. It's time to think spring. And with spring in Madison, comes the re-opening of numerous farmer's markets. The Dane County Farmer's Market returns to the Capitol Square April 18, and leads the way for a large variety of markets to reopen all over the county. There are more than 50 distinct farmer's markets in the region, with Madison offering at least 9. In many cases, the markets are within walking distance from popular neighborhoods like Hill Farms, Sunset Village and Bay Creek. If you ask the locals, one of the major perks of life in Madison is the abundant supply of

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Madison Shamrock ShuffleThe Irish and Irish-ish alike will fill downtown Madison for the city's annual Saint Patrick's Day festivities. On Sunday, March 16, the fun begins at 10 a.m. with the Shamrock Shuffle, a 5K/10K race or 2 mile walk providing exercise and entertainment down State Street, and around campus. "It's fun to grow something that helps nonprofits, and provides a healthy activity at the beginning of spring," says Race Director Steve Donovan. The 12th annual Shamrock Shuffle will include up to 5,000 participants. Families, and even kids in strollers are welcome to run or walk the course. Pets can't participate, due to insurance guidelines. All are encouraged to wear green, and pick out their best Irish-themed costumes. Spectators can station themselves anywhere

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