Top Things to Do During the Holidays in Madison, WI

When you visit Madison during the holidays, it is nothing but magical. The Holiday Tree is displayed at the Capitol, lined with decorated streets. Madison hosts the best shopping in the region. Amazing local restaurants and festive performances await you.

Local Festivities

The Madison Winter Wonderland Itinerary will list festivities along with hotel accommodations and shopping guides to help plan your trip. Here are some things to do around the Madison area:

  • Cambridge hosts Classic Christmas
  • Spring Green celebrates Country Christmas
  • Monona features Stoughton’s Victorian Holiday Weekend and the candlelit Snowshoe Hike
  • Ruth Chris Steak House is home to USDA Prime steaks

Shopping in Madison

The Bed and Breakfast, The Buckingham Inn, is near the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Camp Randall which is also near Monroe St and all of its local shops. Stop at Gates and Brovi for some east coast, Italian-style fish, and the Orange Tree Imports to pick up some gifts.

Hilldale Shopping Center is a newly renovated outdoor shopping space that includes stores such as local boutiques, Michael Kors and Kate Spade.

Festive Fun

  • Downtown at The Wisconsin State Capitol, you can find the Holiday Tree at in the rotunda. You can be shuttled around on the Holiday Trolley, shop at the local stores, and then have your gifts wrapped at the Holiday Open House.
  • At the Olbrich Gardens Holiday Express, you will see the large-scale model trains amongst the festively decorated area with poinsettias, twinkling lights, and miniature landscapes.
  • Explore 16,000 square feet of living space with ten major garden areas during The Governor's Mansion Tour.
  • Visit the Daisy Cafe and Cupcakery for festive cupcakes.
  • Have dinner at Madison's oldest steak house, the Wonder Bar Steakhouse.
  • The Overture Center for the Arts is an architectural landmark in downtown Madison that hosts the holiday classic, The Nutcracker.
  • Take the drive along John Nolen Drive to view the Capitol at night, go to Olin Park for the spectacular Fantasy in Lights and check out the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center that was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
  • Part of the Theatreland Ltd Collection, the Madison Theatre was established in 2003. Theatreland offers impartial guides to all of the musical, theatrical, and performance arts events and venues on their websites. They span from the showrooms of Las Vegas, London's Wes End, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre to New York's Broadway.

Mannheim Steamroller to start shows on November 28th

Mannheim Steamroller released their first holiday album in 1984. They have become a Christmas time tradition. This is an all- American troupe that tours extensively with founder and composer  Chip Taylor leading them. Mannheim Steamroller is the top-selling Holiday music of all time with its unique Neo-Classical version of popular songs and carols.

When you attend a Mannheim Steamroller show, you can bring every family member, despite their age. and expect to see dancers and show machines during their holiday shows. This is an electrically charged medieval style with Gregorian chants and an orchestral flare. Mannheim Steamroller has many albums that have hit Gold status soon after their release.

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