Things to Do in Madison & Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
Choose our moderately priced Madison hotel for family and business friendly accommodations and a central location just minutes away from some of the best attractions and events in Madison and Sun Prairie, like the Henry Vilas Zoo, the Wisconsin State Capitol building, the World Dairy Expo, the Midwest Horse Fair, and more. Stay with us and enjoy a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities, kids’ attractions, fun live entertainment, and great dining all just a short drive away from our modern, all-suites hotel.
Alliant Energy Center.This award-winning, multi-building complex features an exhibition hall, the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, an arena, and nine agricultural exhibition buildings. The Alliant Energy Center hosts more than 500 events each year, from small business meetings to major sporting events, concerts, conventions, trade shows, and conferences. www.alliantenergycenter.com
Henry Vilas Zoo.Opened in 1911, this 28-acre zoo offers a wide range of live animals, from monkeys, lions and rhinos to seals, penguins, polar bears, and everything in between. The zoo also features a children’s area, a carousel, an electric zoo train, gift shop, and food concessions. Open daily, 9:30am-5pm. Admission is free. www.vilaszoo.org
Olbrich Botanical Gardens.Established in 1952, the Olbrich Botanical Gardens features beautiful sunken gardens, a conservatory, outdoor display gardens, a rose garden, exotic plants, birds, and an impressive Thai pavilion. The outdoor gardens are open daily, with free admission. The Bolz Conservatory is open daily, with a $1 admission fee. www.olbrich.org [Top]
Wisconsin State Capitol Building.Completed in 1917, the Wisconsin State Capitol was constructed of 43 types of stone, including a huge dome built from Bethel White granite. This impressive historic landmark features elaborate sculptures and statuary, murals, lavish decor, hand-carved furniture, and glass mosaics. Free guided tours are offered weekdays, 8am-6pm; weekends and holidays 8-4pm. www.wisconsin.gov/state/core/wisconsin_state_capitol_tour.html
University of Wisconsin Madison.This prestigious university offers a high-quality education to students in more than 100 majors.
Known for its research facilities and excellent sports teams, UW-Madison draws students from around the state and the country to participate in its top tier academic and athletic programs. www.wisc.edu
World Dairy Expo.This five-day event showcases the latest techniques and technology in dairy genetics and the dairy industry. Offering live dairy cattle, exhibits, dairy equipment, animal supplies, milking systems, feeding products, breed shows, cattle auctions and educational seminars, the World Dairy Expo offers valuable information and education to dairy farmers and dairy enthusiasts alike. www.world-dairy-expo.com/gen.home.cfm [Top]
Kohl Center.Home to the University of Wisconsin’s men’s and women’s championship basketball and ice hockey teams, Kohl is the third largest indoor events venue in Wisconsin and features a wide range of sporting events, concerts and other events throughout the year. www.tickco.com/venue_schedules/kohl_center.htm
Wisconsin Deer & Turkey Expo.The Wisconsin Deer & Turkey Expo is the largest hunting show of its kind in the country. Featuring a variety of exhibits, educational seminars, live demonstrations, hunting gear, sales booths, hunting accessories, and more, this three-day long tradeshow draws huge crowds from all over the Midwest. www.deerinfo.com/wisconsinhome.asp
Wisconsin Athletics.From football and basketball to wrestling and swimming, Wisconsin is home to a wide range of high school and college athletic events.
Whether you visit Madison for a local game, a state tournament or a conference, you’ll find a lot of excitement when it comes to athletics in Wisconsin. www.wiaawi.org [Top]
Odyssey of the Mind.This unique, creative problem-solving competition program promotes creative thinking and teamwork skills for kindergarten through college-aged students. Students solve problems covering literature, drama, vehicles, structures, and technical issues, working together in teams during the competition. www.wi.odysseyofthemind.org
UW-Madison Forensics.This nationally recognized, competitive collegiate forensics team competes in tournaments around the US, honing their skills in writing, speaking, brainstorming, and researching through public speaking events, literature interpretation, and limited preparation competitions. www.forensics.rso.wisc.edu/home.html
Midwest Horse Fair.The Midwest Horse Fair is an annual, three-day horse event that features horse clinics, exhibitions, horse barns, live entertainment, educational seminars, breed demonstrations, a fun kids’ area, more than 500 vendor booths, souvenir purveyors, and food concessions.
Wisconsin Dells.Known as the “Waterpark Capital of the World," Wisconsin Dells is home to more than 40 indoor and outdoor water parks, featuring great family fun all year long. From extreme plunge water slides and water roller coasters to lazy rivers and calm kiddie pools, Wisconsin Dells has something for every water park enthusiast to enjoy. www.wisdells.com
East Towne Mall.East Towne Mall is home to more than 100 top name brand stores, including JCPenney, Sears, American Eagle, Aeropostale, Gap and more, plus great dining and entertainment.
Open Mon-Sat, 10am-9pm; Sun, 11am-6pm. www.shopeasttowne-mall.com/shop/easttowne.nsf/index