Life In Madison

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

Found 152 blog entries about Life In Madison.

For the last few summers we've invited our eldest niece stay with us in Madison for a weekend, and each time we try to do something new together. This year, in an attempt to captivate her 8-year-old interest (aside from her handheld gaming device), we decided to explore some sights on the city's east side.

After enjoying sandwiches and macaroni and cheese at Monty's Blue Plate Diner and checking out the rising lake levels at Olbrich Park, we headed across the street at dusk to Olbrich Botanical Gardens for its opening viewing of "GLEAM: Art in a New Light."

Before we got in line for admission we snapped a picture with the "Grow" Bucky on Parade statue in front of the building, which features textured poppy flowers, grass, roots, and clouds.

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Agora Art Fair Fitchburg WISaturday opens the 10th Annual Agora Art Fair at the Fitchburg Agora. Greek for "gathering," the Agora is a retail space surrounded by natural prairie and beautiful scenery at 5500 E. Cheryl Parkway. Beginning at 10 a.m., more than 100 vendors will be set up, and ready to display their creations for all to see. 

The vendors are all local or regional. Come enjoy their creations, ask questions, and learn more about their artistic process. "We want visitors to take in art for the senses: a beautiful mix of art, architecture, nature, music, food and community!" says Steve Leverentz, coordinator for the festival.

The Agora Art Fair is a friendly place, and visitors enjoy meandering through the tents, shopping for the perfect piece, and experimenting

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When you think about home improvements, it's common to think of the aesthetic work. Many times, the first upgrades are adding solid surface counter tops, wood flooring, or updated paint colors. These changes are all significant, and add value to your home. But while they make a beautiful impact, they will not save you money. Your monthly bills will see the greatest reduction by making changes to the energy efficiency of your home. 

Focus on Energy Madison WIFocus on Energy partners with 108 participating statewide utilities to make these cost savings possible. Their programs include simple things like swapping out old light bulbs for energy efficient models, providing incentives for the purchase of a Smart Thermostat, and they also include more significant projects, like adding

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As the summer season begins to wrap up, local community theaters are ready to open the curtains and showcase the productions they've been practicing all summer. Dane County has no shortage of arts entertainment. The Overture Center for the Arts hosts big name traveling productions, and a long list of local theater groups, including Children's Theater of Madison and Forward Theater. And while these productions are always excellent, there is another crowd of theater groups worth checking out.

Theatre in Oregon WIThe Oregon Straw Hat Players offers amateur theater that is well worth a visit. The group produces a variety of shows throughout the year, and offers a full musical performance each summer. This summer they've been working on Hello Dolly, and will provide the final

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National Night Out, sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, is being celebrated in thousands of neighborhoods throughout the country this month. The 35th annual crime prevention event, typically held the second Tuesday of August, promotes police and community partnerships aimed at making "our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live," according to its website.

In Dane County, several communities are planning their own National Night Out events, many featuring free food, games, safety demonstrations, visits from emergency personnel and tours of their vehicles, and information booths by local businesses. People of all ages are invited to get to know their local police, fire, and EMS departments and learn about crime and drug

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Fit 2 Go Madison WIIn Wisconsin, the rate of obesity has doubled in the last 15 years.  The Wisconsin State Journal discusses the epidemic in a recent article, and notes that Madison is one of the healthier areas of the state. One of the reasons for Madison's healthier situation? The city has beautiful parks scattered all over town, and park use includes more exercise opportunities.

Madison School & Community Recreation (MSCR) saw a need in the youth community for more physical activity, and decided to use the parks to encourage more movement. With this in mind, they launched the Fit2Go program in 2013. The program connects area parks with a mobile fitness kit. A large van is packed with toys and equipment to make fitness fun. The decorated van travels all over the city,

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There’s something about being outside that makes listening to music that much sweeter. And Dane County has an abundance of free outdoor venues -- from local parks and breweries to Capitol Square -- for bands to play tunes almost every day of the week during the warm summer months. You might want to keep your lawn chair and picnic basket handy, as some concerts allow carry-ins to make your visit more comfortable. 

Please note that this is not a comprehensive list. Be sure to check the websites for musician details and any event cancellations.

Mondays

  • June 11 - July 30: NESCO’s Summer Concerts at Warner Park in Madison. Music from 6-7:30 p.m. Concessions available.
  • June 18, July 16, August 20 (Third Monday of the month): Concerts at McKee
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Landscaping runs deep in the Ganshert family, who’ve owned Ganshert Nursery & Landscapes, LLC for over 65 years. Peter Ganshert started the Madison area business back in 1951, and the company eventually moved from its downtown Erin Street location to Seminole Highway. At that time farmers doubted he could make a living by growing plant material, and yet he did.

Back then you’d hire multiple companies to do your landscaping, and we were the company that did your planting, design, and installation. And then there were speciality companies that did walls, brick, grading, and so on,” said Peter’s son, Paul Ganshert.

Paul and his brother had always been involved in the business, but once Paul graduated college with a degree in landscape architecture,

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There is a party planned on Saturday, and all are invited. With live music, fun and games, the 3rd Annual West Fest promises to be a fun way to spend the day. West Fest is designed to celebrate diversity and build community. Elver Park offers the perfect venue. The park offers beautiful nature trails, a variety of sports options, an indoor shelter, playgrounds, and, of course, a splash pad, which will be key in keeping things cool.

With community-building in mind, the event planners have created a long list of contests and activities to include all ages. Events include a Father/Son basketball tournament, lots of free carnival games for kids, a bouncy house and live music and entertainment.  Seniors are encouraged to come out for BINGO (with prizes).

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 fourth of july celebrations

Shake the Lake may be over, but there are several fireworks events to be enjoyed this week. The Wisconsin State Journal has a solid list of them here.

But if you're looking for fun that lasts all day, or even all week long, look no further than the Stoughton Fair. The annual fair kicks off Wednesday morning at the Stoughton Fairgrounds (Mandt Park). This five day event celebrates agriculture, community and old-fashioned neighborly fun. At 9 a.m., you can watch the beef show. Then, starting at noon, there are carnival rides for all ages.  Rides are purchased by ticket, or a wristband may be purchased for a full-day's use. Buy your wristband by Tuesday night, and receive discounted rates. Live music continues throughout the afternoon, with Josh

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