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Family Outings You Don’t Want to Miss

Exciting Family Outings For Everyone

As summer draws to an end and the days gradually become cooler, many families start thinking of fun trips to take before the snow hits. These one of a kind places in and around Madison are guaranteed to be an adventure everyone will love.


Here In the Madison Area

Henry Vilas Zoo

Ever since it opened in the early 1900s, Henry Vilas Zoo has been a favorite local attraction of Madison. Housing animals from Asia, Africa, North and South America and even Australia, the zoo has many different things for you and your family to do. There’s an aviary with tropical birds that fly right above you. Visit the Primate House for an up close look at many different types of monkeys. There’s even a Children’s Zoo within the zoo, full of fun for younger kids such as a petting zoo where they can feed goats right from their hands and a carousel to ride.

Visiting the Henry Vilas Zoo is a fantastic weekend adventure. Not only will it keep adults and children entertained and amazed for hours, but the admission always has been – and always will be – free of charge!

Olbrich Gardens

You might not think there would be much to do as a family at a garden, but there are hundreds of events all year round for people of all ages at Olbrich Gardens! There are plenty of events to enjoy, like their hands on classes, plays and movies, live music and sales for all types of gardening items. If you prefer to have a relaxing stroll through the outdoor gardens instead, you can enjoy beautiful views of their 80-foot long reflecting pool, wander through the Rose Garden to admire over 700 types of roses, and visit their different atriums.

Olbrich is even open in the winter months! Their Bolz Conservatory is a large greenhouse shaped like a giant pyramid, and the temperature is kept at a warm climate all year round. It truly is a spectacle, with koi ponds, live birds and mammals greeting you and much more.

Madison Children’s Museum

Regardless of the time of year, a family trip to the Children’s Museum is a great way to spend an afternoon. With over twenty awards in the last few years such as the Certificate of Excellence and the Best Museum of Madison, this quirky location will keep kids and adults entertained for hours. Try your hand at crafting in their art studio or ride through the oversized obstacle course on a scooter. They constantly change their exhibits and entertainment with a wide range of possibilities, so be sure to visit often!


Nearby Places That Are Worth the Short Drive

Mere minutes away from Madison, these locations are worth every penny.

The House on the Rock

This unique destination has been an awe inspiring attraction since it opened in 1959. Built by a dedicated man named Alex Jordan, the House on the Rock is exactly what its title says it is, but much, much more.

When you and your family enter the lobby, which barely holds any of the wonder of the actual attraction, take some time to look at some of the things on display, even in the bathrooms. Walk through the gardens to watch the tons of fish, some unbelievably large, and take in the beauty of the surroundings. Once through the gardens, you will enter the original house that Alex Jordan built, which is fascinating to wander through.

Next your journey takes you through countless winding paths inside a large collection of, well, pretty much everything you can think of, including instruments that play themselves, a 200-foot tall whale statue surrounding by all things nautical, an entire recreated city block indoors, parts of giant ships, actual decorated cars and suits of armor. The collection features more impressive things to look at than we could write about! While you’re there, be sure to take in the sheer grandeur of the largest carousel in the world and, if you’re brave, talk a walk through the Infinity Room!

Mount Olympus

Less than an hour away from Madison is the colorful Wisconsin Dells. There are hundreds of tourist attractions at the Dells, but one that truly stands out is Mount Olympus Theme Park – just look at the giant Trojan Horse near the entrance that has a roller coaster track built right through it and a Go Kart track wrapping around its feet!

This Greek mythology themed park spans over 300 acres and offers roller coasters, go karts, wave pools and over 40 water slides. There’s even an area with plenty of fun for the little ones. Tickets are quite affordable, and you can even get discounts if you utilize their lodging as well. Whether you enjoy staying on the ground or seek thrill upon thrill, Mount Olympus is a great place to take the family for an exciting weekend.

Devil’s Lake

One of the most visited state parks in Wisconsin, Devil’s Lake offers campgrounds, designated fishing spots, hiking trails, rock climbing, and rentals for rowboats, kayaks and canoes. If you don’t feel like getting in the water, feel free to have a picnic by the lake and play a game of catch or Frisbee. They even have concession areas that sell needed food and camping equipment you may have forgotten, and all proceeds are used to enhance the park for its visitors. Late summer and early autumn are the best times to visit while the days aren’t so hot and humid.

Don’t Feel Like You Have to Take a Trip Every Weekend

Whether you are planning a weekend getaway or wanting to stay in town, there are plenty of fun and exciting adventures for you and your family nearby. Don’t feel like you have to go on a trip every weekend you may have, though. Sometimes adventures can be had right in your own backyard!

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