Life In Madison

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

Found 152 blog entries about Life In Madison.

Last December, Madison was ranked #1 in a list of the Best Cities for Running. The ranking was done by the website Smart Asset.  

The ranking cites 88 annual races, 59 gyms, pedestrian safety and broad interest in fitness as reasons for the ranking.  We agree that the Madison area is a great place for runners (and overall fitness). Take a look at several races available in the next month:

Saturday, April 28: 37th Annual Crazylegs Classic: Named for former Wisconsin Athletics Director Elroy Hirsch, the Crazylegs Classic raises funds to support UW Athletics. The 2 mile walk or 8k run take place downtown. The race begins at 10 a.m. at the corner of State and Carroll Streets. There's still time to register!

Saturday, May 5: Word on the Street 5k for

208 Views, 0 Comments

Prairie Moraine County Park in Verona is one of the most heavily-used parks in Dane County, especially since the establishment of an off-leash dog exercise area in 1995.

On the surface, this 160-acre park is a beautiful place to hike and take in expansive views of the area. But dig a little deeper into its past, and you're likely to treasure each step a bit more.

It started taking shape when the last glacier retreated and left a ridge of debris called the Johnstown Moraine, which is the prominent feature on the northern end of the park. Now, the Ice Age National Scenic Trail follows nearly a mile of this terminal moraine, which sits above St. Peter sandstone bedrock. The trail travels through a restored oak savanna and prairie toward an

443 Views, 0 Comments

From indoor herb gardens to raised vegetable beds in the backyard, there are a variety of ways to grow tasty produce. To find out which option is right for you, consider heading to your local library. In addition to offering many books on the topic, some libraries are also holding gardening programs in April. Be sure to follow the links and register, especially for the planting sessions.

What: Plant a Salsa Garden: A Family Earth Day Event
When: 6 p.m. Monday, April 16
Where: Middleton Public Library, 7425 Hubbard Ave. Middleton
Info: Families can plant seeds for tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, and onions using peat pellets and pots so you can plant the whole container in the ground when the weather warms up.

What: 10 Mistakes I Made In My Vegetable

191 Views, 0 Comments

The weather outside may seem more like winter, but for many, the return of the Dane County Farmer's Market signals a welcome change. The market continues year-round, but will return to the Capitol Square on Saturday. The forecast may call for cooler than average temperatures, but the opening of the market gives us hope that spring is really coming.

Perusing the market is a popular tradition around town, and there's much to appreciate about a market that is now more than 40 years old. The Dane County Farmer's Market is the nation's largest producers-only farmer's market. Sellers must apply to participate, and must demonstrate that their products are grown or created in Wisconsin. A wait list to get into this market is available (although it can take a

230 Views, 0 Comments

It's been 20 years since the Wisconsin Film Festival began. What started as an ambitious team of University staff and students has become an annual tradition, with events designed for adults, children, and even hospital screenings for patients to enjoy. This year, its organizers hope to honor the festival's beginnings, and bring a wealth of interesting, challenging, engaging and artistic works to Madison again. 

The festival kicks off with a reception Thursday evening at Memorial Union. The reception begins at 5:30, and the screening of the first film, "Mountain," will begin at 7. An after party at the union will include disco dancing and live music by local band VO5. From there, the festival has more than 90 unique films scheduled for viewing over the

242 Views, 0 Comments

There is no shortage of egg hunts this weekend in the Madison area. Neighborhoods and churches throughout town are offering their own events, and encouraging families to get out and celebrate. Grab your baskets, and get ready to join in on the fun. Two of the larger events are planned in Fitchburg and Monona:

Fitchburg 

The Cottontail Classic Race, paired with the Lions Easter Egg Hunt, provides exercise, outdoor activities, and a free egg hunt at McGaw Park in Fitchburg. Race participants can compete in 5k or 10k versions of the race, with 3 sugar stops along the way, to make sure everyone enjoys some Easter treats. The leading runners in each age group will receive a chocolate award. Following the race, there will be a pancake breakfast served,

235 Views, 0 Comments

Among the most popular of the Dane County Parks is Pheasant Branch Conservancy, a spectacular natural resource area in Middleton.

The 500-plus-acre area features oak savanna, prairie, marsh, woodland, and sedge meadow. Running through it are a network of trails and a spring-fed creek that produces nearly 2 million gallons of fresh water each day and attracts abundant wildlife. Boils bubble to the surface of the springs, which stay 52 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.

Be sure to listen and look for the multitude of birds (and other critters) who inhabit this special place.

It's quite common to hear stones crunch from runners, families pushing strollers, and bicyclists using the Pheasant Branch Trail, which also stretches out through

455 Views, 0 Comments

Spring means blossoms, green grass, buds on the trees, and the perfect time to tap a maple tree. In Wisconsin, maple syrup production begins in March. Trees are tapped while temperatures are still below freezing at night, but are warmer during the day. The United States is the only country in the world producing commercial maple syrup. Wisconsin plays a key part in this industry, producing roughly 250,000 gallons of maple syrup each year, according to the Wisconsin Maple Syrup Producers Association.

This weekend, the Aldo Leopold Nature Center in Monona will celebrate Wisconsin's maple syrup industry. The 13th annual Maple Syrup Festival is planned for Sunday afternoon from 1-4 p.m. Visitors will enjoy the wide range of indoor and outdoor activities

280 Views, 0 Comments

This weekend, don your best green attire and head downtown to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Several restaurants and bars have special events planned for the weekend, but the fun isn't just the food and drink. Be sure to check out these events, beginning Saturday morning:

Shamrock Shuffle

This 5K run/walk or 10K race raises money for the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County and the Dyslexia Center of Madison. Participants meet at the Pyle Center, and race starts at 10 a.m. near the corner of State and Lake Streets.  Green attire, fun costumes and St. Patrick's Day themed props are encouraged. Strollers are welcome, but organizers ask that you leave your dogs at home (an insurance issue). There is still time to register, but registration is capped at

237 Views, 0 Comments

Some parks require hiking to the top of a hill to experience a beautiful vista, and other sites can be enjoyed while seated. That is just one of the many reasons the Jenni and Kyle Preserve is so special.

This natural area near Madison and Fitchburg provides educational and recreational opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. Of the handful of Dane County Parks that offer accessible fishing sites, the Jenni and Kyle Preserve has the most at eight, as well as accessible nature trails, a sheltered picnic area, and two wheelchair swings.

The park was named in memory of siblings Jenni and Kyle Geurkink, who both died in the 1980s of a degenerative neurological disorder before they turned 4. Their grandparents, Harvey and Patricia

408 Views, 0 Comments

Sign up for email updates