Play Downtown Madison

Madison’s best cultural and arts organizations are downtown. Visit Madison Children’s Museum, Wisconsin Veterans Museum, Wisconsin Historical Museum, or Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Ten resident arts groups perform regularly at the Overture Center for the Arts, there's music at The Orpheum or the Majestic, shows at The Bartell Theater or laughs at the Comedy Club.

Downtown Madison Gift Certificates make perfect gifts for holidays and graduation.

News

COVID 2020 Updates

Downtown Madison Information and Updates during the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic.
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Handmade and Handcrafted 2019

When it comes to gift-giving, it pays to shop — and craft — local. “…Shopping local directly supports your community,” says Kira Rosenstiel, manager of Art Gecko, 510 State Street.
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Your Holiday Traditions Start Downtown

Start your season of celebration in Downtown Madison, WI. Holiday Lights, A Winter Night Market, A Holiday Open House and a Cookie Walk...
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Perfect Fall Day

Here, three individuals with roots in Downtown Madison share what’s on their respective itineraries for a perfect fall day in downtown.
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Take a family-friendly foray in Downtown Madison

Downtown Madison isn’t just for college students and office workers. It’s a welcoming atmosphere for all, children and families included.
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More News

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Use the Business Directory to get acquainted


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Home to the second-largest collection of art in Wisconsin, with permanent collections, temporary exhibitions, education programs and events.

 

A place that celebrates the University of Wisconsin–Madison and its graduates, telling the stories of the UW alumni and the ways they’ve changed the world.

 

The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is housed in a soaring building designed by world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli. MMoCA offers free exhibitions and education programs that engage visitors in modern and contemporary art. The museum’s four galleries host changing exhibitions that feature established and emerging artists. Special exhibition opening events, as well as artist lectures and gallery talks, independent and experimental film series, and drop-in tours enhance visitors’ experiences at the museum.
MMoCA’s programs for youth include Kids’ Art Adventures, ArtZone, and exhibition learning centers filled with free-choice discovery activities. During summer months, Art Cart and Art Cart EXTRA! bring creative art-making experiences inspired by MMoCA’s exhibitions to communities in Dane County. School programs include online teaching resources and guided tours supported by field trip reimbursements, and the award-winning Art on Tour, which brings exhibitions of art from MMoCA’s permanent collection to six schools in Dane County through a three-year program partnership.
MMoCA also hosts other vibrant events for the community at the museum, such as Hair Affair, Chroma and the MMoCA Art & Gift Fair. Plus, the museum’s major annual fundraiser Art Fair on the Square draws some 200,000 visitors to enjoy and purchase artworks from across Wisconsin and beyond at Madison’s Capitol Square, along with food and drink booths, and live music.
The Rooftop Sculpture Garden, adjacent to Fresco, a restaurant on the top floor of the building, provides an urban oasis with an incredible view of downtown Madison and beyond. The Sculpture Garden, as well as the museum’s striking lobby area, often serve as venues for weddings and other milestone events, as well as wine tastings, networking receptions, and other special events.
Visit MMoCA.org for a list of current exhibitions, upcoming events, and family activities.
The museum is open Tuesday through Thursday, noon–5 pm; Friday, noon–8pm; Saturday, 10 am–8 pm; Sunday, noon–5 pm; and is closed on Mondays.

7 Iron Social
508 State

Game Day Madison offers something Madison residents can’t find with cold Midwestern winters: year-round golf.

A place that celebrates the University of Wisconsin–Madison and its graduates, telling the stories of the UW alumni and the ways they’ve changed the world.

BarleyPop Live
121 W Main

Located just off of the capitol square featuring fifty taps of craft beer and cider, live music, pinball, and a selection of bottles and cans to-go along with crowlers and growlers poured from our taps!

Bartell Theatre
113 E Mifflin
(608) 661-9696
bartelltheatre.org
Certificates accepted here

Historic community playhouse and collaboration between six local theatre companies.

Chazen Museum of Art
750 University

Home to the second-largest collection of art in Wisconsin, with permanent collections, temporary exhibitions, education programs and events.

City of Madison Parks
210 Martin Luther King Jr.

City of Madison Parks offices. Offering parks information, lake access, golf courses, events, shelter rentals, and more.

Featuring comedic headliners and weekly shows, including open mic night.

Produces shows performed in Madison's Overture Center, offers theater classes and experiences for young people.

Dane County Law Library
215 S Hamilton

Serves the legal information needs of county officers and employees, attorneys and the public.

Destination Madison
22 E Mifflin

As Greater Madison’s official destination marketing organization, Destination Madison drives economic impact through tourism. We attract leisure visitors, conventions and sporting events to the area, and partner with local businesses to position Madison as one of the world’s most vibrant and innovative places to live, work and visit.

Open from May into October, the Downtown Madison Info Booth is located where State St. meets the Capitol Square. Offering visitor information, brochures, and answering questions regarding downtown shopping, dining, and entertainment.

The Visitor Center is temporarily closed, but we're still here to help. Search through our directory , attractions , and see how you can support downtown businesses by heading to our Updates Page

Escape This
120 E Wilson

Escape games are real-life, interactive experiences. They're challenging, entertaining and a great way to spend time with family and friends. Your group will have 60 minutes to work as a team to find clues, solve puzzles and crack codes in order to escape the room in time. Wit, creativity and a willingness to have fun are all you need!

ISTHMUS
100 State

Madison's independent, locally owned news source. In print weekly, online all the time. Comprehensive event calendar.

Contemporary Wisconsin artists, Wisconsin art and craft history, and works owned by Wisconsin collectors. Free and open to the public. Located on the third floor of the Overture Center for the Arts.

A resident dance company at the Overture Center for the Arts. Includes the Kanopy School for Contemporary Dance and Choreography.

Liquid
624 University

International DJs pin at this spacious nightclub with dance floor, 4 bars, & VIP area.

Madison BCycle is a bikeshare program designed to revolutionize the way you move in Madison. There are over 45 stations with 300 bikes throughout downtown Madison all within close proximity to wherever you need to go.

Madison Children's Museum
100 N Hamilton

A welcoming, imaginative, joyful learning environment that nurtures children’s creativity and curiosity through hands-on exhibits, creative projects and special events.

The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is housed in a soaring building designed by world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli. MMoCA offers free exhibitions and education programs that engage visitors in modern and contemporary art. The museum’s four galleries host changing exhibitions that feature established and emerging artists. Special exhibition opening events, as well as artist lectures and gallery talks, independent and experimental film series, and drop-in tours enhance visitors’ experiences at the museum.
MMoCA’s programs for youth include Kids’ Art Adventures, ArtZone, and exhibition learning centers filled with free-choice discovery activities. During summer months, Art Cart and Art Cart EXTRA! bring creative art-making experiences inspired by MMoCA’s exhibitions to communities in Dane County. School programs include online teaching resources and guided tours supported by field trip reimbursements, and the award-winning Art on Tour, which brings exhibitions of art from MMoCA’s permanent collection to six schools in Dane County through a three-year program partnership.
MMoCA also hosts other vibrant events for the community at the museum, such as Hair Affair, Chroma and the MMoCA Art & Gift Fair. Plus, the museum’s major annual fundraiser Art Fair on the Square draws some 200,000 visitors to enjoy and purchase artworks from across Wisconsin and beyond at Madison’s Capitol Square, along with food and drink booths, and live music.
The Rooftop Sculpture Garden, adjacent to Fresco, a restaurant on the top floor of the building, provides an urban oasis with an incredible view of downtown Madison and beyond. The Sculpture Garden, as well as the museum’s striking lobby area, often serve as venues for weddings and other milestone events, as well as wine tastings, networking receptions, and other special events.
Visit MMoCA.org for a list of current exhibitions, upcoming events, and family activities.
The museum is open Tuesday through Thursday, noon–5 pm; Friday, noon–8pm; Saturday, 10 am–8 pm; Sunday, noon–5 pm; and is closed on Mondays.

The recently renovated Central Library offers expanded facilities plus art exhibits, events, films and hands-on activities for all ages including a designated kids area.

Madison Senior Center
330 W Mifflin

The Madison Senior Center continues its mission to promote successful aging. The center welcomes 40,000 visitors annually, and offers close to 3,000 events each year.

Enjoy free art exhibitions by artists from around the country at galleries in Memorial Union. Exhibitions change throughout the year, so check back often for the latest installations.

Majestic Theatre
115 King

Live music with an eclectic mix of national and local talent, stand-up comedy and themed parties in a historic venue. Hosts of the Live on King St. concerts.

Memorial Union
800 Langdon

A visit to Madison is not complete without a visit to Memorial Union, one of the community’s most beloved destinations. Located right on the shore of Lake Mendota, Memorial Union is home to almost daily events and activities as well as multiple on-site dining options to help meet the dining needs of everyone all in one place. Treasured by generations of community members and visitors, Memorial Union is a place to come to socialize, relax, study and be nourished.

A public space and convention center designed by Frank Lloyd Wright hosting conferences, conventions, art installations, Frank Lloyd Wright history, and community events including yoga, meditation, dancing, and concerts. Open daily with a rooftop garden, public tours, gift shop, and the Lake Vista Cafe.

Orpheum Theater
216 State

Theater offering live performance, music, comedy shows, weddings and corporate events, one block from the State Capitol.

Outdoor UW
800 Langdon

Located on Memorial Union's lakefront, Outdoor UW is your outlet to the outdoors! Rent camping, climbing, hiking, and paddling equipment; balance your day with Terrace yoga or standup paddleboard yoga; or plan your family or group adventure with customized outings. Live your adventure on (and off) the Isthmus with Outdoor UW!

(608) 258-4141
www.overture.org
Certificates accepted here

A performing arts center with ten resident organizations, presenting Broadway, music, theater, comedy, art exhibitions and educational and community events.

Revel Craft Bar
107 N Hamilton
(608) 286-1369
revelmadison.com
Certificates accepted here

Drop-in Craft Bar and creative workshop space located just off the Capitol Square. Choose from over 20 Pinterest-worthy crafts, order a drink, then spend time creating in our inspiring space! Full project list and Calendar of hours available via the website.

Roll Play
449 State

Roll Play is Madison's most awesome board game cafe! We aim to provide a comfortable and welcoming space for your board game enjoyment.

Ruby
624 University

Fast service, hip, cozy.

UW-Madison campus and community information and assistance inside the Memorial Union. Info Desks also available at Union South and the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery.

VR Galaxy
449 State

Our state of the art equipment will amaze your friends, and our multiplayer games will keep you coming back for more.

Wheelhouse Studios
800 Langdon

Wheelhouse Studios is an open arts studio located in the lower level of Memorial Union. With three versatile work spaces, flexible studio designs, drop-in art opportunities, and classes for enthusiasts and first-time artists alike, it’s easy to engage in the arts at Wheelhouse.

Classes include drawing, painting, ceramics, glass art, jewelry, dance, cooking, music, print making and fabric arts, Wheelhouse Studios is your creativity outlet in the heart of campus.

Explore four floors of exhibits highlighting Wisconsin's distinctive heritage and a variety of other American history topics. On Madison's Capitol Square.

Society headquarters, library and archives with materials about the history of Wisconsin, the United States and Canada, plus collections of the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research.

Drop-in tours (45-55 min.) start at the Information Desk (inside the central rotunda). Mon.- Sat. at 9:00, 10:00, 11:00 a.m. and 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 p.m. Sundays at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 p.m. A 4:00 p.m. tour is offered weekdays (Monday - Friday) Memorial Day through Labor Day. Reservations requested for groups of ten or more.

Wisconsin State Law Library
120 Martin Luther King Jr.

Serves the legal information needs of state officers and employees, attorneys and the public.

For more than 75 years, the Wisconsin Union Theater has served as a center for cultural activity in the heart of the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. The Theater hosts performances in multiple locations, including Memorial Union, and has an expansive history of remarkable performances. The Wisconsin Union Theater is part of the Wisconsin Union.

Offering instructive exhibits highlighting important events in Wisconsin military history from the Civil War to the present.

See full directory

Downtown Ambassadors

Stop by the Downtown Visitor Center at 452 State St. or our seasonal Downtown Information Booth located at the top of State Street for information, directions and a welcoming smile.