Travel

20 Things to Do in Madison This Summer

I can’t believe that summer is almost half over already! It honestly feels like it just started getting hot (probably because it was still 55 in June tbf). BUT just because August is on the horizon doesn’t mean there aren’t still a million fun things to do in Madison.

That’s actually what I love so much about this city – everyone takes advantage of summer and is always out doing something no matter what. It doesn’t matter if it’s 90 degrees or they’ve never heard of the musician or they don’t live nearby, people go all out and have a blast.

With only a few short months left of summer, I want to reinvigorate my Madison spirit and round up all the events that have caught my eye for the rest of the season. Now I’ll have no excuse to just sit at home and drink wine (although that is still pretty fun). Here are 20 events to do in Madison, if you’re looking to make the most out of the rest of Summer:

Concerts on the Square (Wednesdays at 7pm through 7/31) – If you haven’t been to this classic Madison summer event, you have until the end of July to get your picnic together! My friends and I go almost every week in the summer and it’s totally the quintessential Madison experience.

Forward Madison Games (Lots of home games throughout the summer) – A new favorite summer pastime this year are the Forward Soccer Games at Breese Stevens Fields. I’m not even super into sports, but soccer is super easy to get into and the energy of the games are super fun. I recommend getting Supporter Section tickets if you’re in it for the beer more than the game.

Maxwell Street Days (July 19-21) – I won’t be in town for this next weekend, but Maxwell Street is one of the better sales in downtown Madison. Plus, it’s just a nice excuse to get out and about downtown and enjoy some lunch, drinks, and shopping.

Isthmus Margarita & Taco Fest (July 20) – Another event I won’t be home for, but am really sad to miss! I’ve been to both Isthmus’ Beer & Cheese Fest and Uncorked and both were super fun, so I can only imagine this will be the same. You will need to buy tickets in advance and I recommend going with friends.

Pretzels, Paddles, & Pours (July 20) – If you’re into paddling or like me have a summer goal of participating in one water sport lol, then this looks like a really good opportunity to do that. Mostly because beer is involved and 15% of the proceeds go to the Community Shares Program, which helps a lot of amazing non-profits in the Madison area. Can’t beat that!

Learn Crossfit with Lululemon (July 24) – I’m going to this and am a little terrified because I’ve never done crossfit before. It’s one of those sports I’ve heard a lot of negative stuff about, but I also know a lot of people who love it and swear it’s safe when done properly (like all things). This event sounds geared toward beginners, so I feel like it’ll be a good opportunity to learn more about it and try something new. I’ll be at the 6PM class – see you there!

Tiki Week at The Robin Room (July 25-29) – This past year, The Robin Room has become one of my favorite places in town for a drink. It’s hip, a little off the beaten path, and the drinks are delicious (I always get their paloma). I’m excited to check out their Tiki Week – it sounds like lots of fun rum drinks and events are going on that whole week so definitely gonna need a happy hour there!

Rainbow Party (July 26) – I didn’t know I needed to learn how to garden from a drag queen, but now that I know that’s an option I need to be there. This garden and drag event sounds like all my summer dreams come true.

AtwoodFest (July 27) – I love the Atwood neighborhood and have been spending more time out there lately, so I’m excited for their annual street fair. I never really went to neighborhood fests before moving to Madison and now I love them, even when they aren’t my neighborhood! Can’t wait for this one.

Brew ‘n View: Mamma Mia! (August 1) – Okay, maybe I’m the only one excited for this, but nothing sounds nicer on a hot summer day then sitting in an air-conditioned room, drinking beer, and crying at Pierce Brosnan’s singing. Tell me I’m wrong.

Glitzo: Lizzo Drag & Dance Party (August 2) – I went to a Glitz (drag show) at the Majestic a few months ago and it was hands-down the best dancing I’ve ever experienced in Madison. All the bops, all the queens, all the fun. A Lizzo themed show honestly just sounds like my dream.

Lizzo Drag Brunch Benefit (August 3) – If a night of Lizzo wasn’t enough for you (cause let’s be honest) then head to the Winnebago for a Lizzo drag brunch that benefits Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. Only $7 at the door, plus a chance to win tickets to the sold out Lizzo concert in Madison. Best deal in town.

Live on King Street: Rod Tuffcurls & The Bench Press (August 9) – I saw these guys on King Street last year and I finally get it. They have a total cult following here in Madison, so I was a little wary of the hype, but they’re genuinely super fun. Get ready for lots of ruckus Disney songs, Carly Rae Jepsen bops, and every other nostalgic drunk song you can think of.

SUP ‘n Brunch: Paddleboard Yoga & Brunch (August 11) – Dragonfly is my favorite yoga studio in town and this has been on my bucket list for a while. I’ve only paddleboarded once before so I don’t think I’d be any good, but at least there are donuts after, right? It looks like there are only a few spots left, so sign up in advance!

Opera in the Gardens (August 13) – This event sounds super lovely and is also incredibly affordable – only a $2 suggested donation! I love Olbrich Gardens, they’re such a hidden gem, so I’d love a good excuse to get out there this summer.

Yum Yum Fest (August 18) – Over 28 local restaurants are coming together on Breese Stevens Field to make delicious food and raise money for local non-profits. There’s nothing about this equation that I dislike. Admission is $10.50 and small plates are 5 bucks – great way to try a bunch of dishes from Madison’s best chefs.

Madison Water Lantern Festival (August 24) – I’ve never been to this before but it looks really promising! It mostly just reminds me of Frozen and if it isn’t exactly like that I’m going to be disappointed lol. Seriously, though, this has the potential to be super magical (and grammable), so checking it out.

Hall & Oates at Breese Stevens Field (August 25) – I first found out about this event because my mom liked it on Facebook, so clearly she’s already a fan. I’m not the biggest Hall & Oates fan on Earth, but I think seeing an iconic band like them at an outdoor venue on a summer night sounds amazing. It looks like there are still $33 general admission tickets still available, too!

Taste of Madison (August 31 – September 1) – With over 80 vendors along Capitol Square, 26 drink stands, and 3 entertainment stages Taste of Madison will definitely be a fun way to wind down the summer, if you’re in town for Labor Day weekend.

Madison Margarita Crawl (September 21) – It might be after Labor Day, but summer doesn’t end in Madison until at least October (right?). I love a margarita probably more than anything, so definitely want to check this out. General admission tickets are only $20 in advance, which apparently gets you discounted drinks at every bar on the crawl. Can someone with a September birthday go to this because it sounds perfect?

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