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

First EVER Downtown Group Gift Card Sale Announced

Fall Gift Card Program
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Announcing the Downtown Madison Fund

The purpose of this fund is to promote the vitality of downtown and leverage opportunities within and immediately adjacent to Madison’s Central Business Improvement District (BID).
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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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More News

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Use the Business Directory to get acquainted


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High quality urban development and property management. Offering downtown office, retail and luxury apartments from studio to two bedrooms.

 

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

 

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

7 Iron Social
508 State

7 Iron offers something Madison residents can’t find with cold Midwestern winters: year-round virtual 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 currently closed, but you can 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.

Dedicated to the work of contemporary Wisconsin artists, the gallery also presents exhibitions that explore ideas and connect the arts to other disciplines. Free and open to the public. Located on the third floor of Overture Center for the Arts

Kanopy Dance, a resident company of the Overture Center for the Arts (where the Company annually performs five mainstage productions) and is comprised of Kanopy Dance Company, Kanopy 2, (Kanopy’s pre-professional training program) and the Kanopy Dance Academy.

Kanopy’s expressionistic and emotionally charged works combine the dramatic physicality of modern dance, contemporary ballet and dance-theater. Kanopy presents new original dance and historical dance masterworks; featuring works by our Artistic Directors as well as local, regional, national and international choreographers, all linked by the desire to create dance that is thought provoking, elegant, bold, humorous, romantic, and compelling. Founded in 1976, Kanopy has been under the artistic direction of Robert E. Cleary and Lisa Thurrell-both celebrated dancers, choreographers, master teachers and directors- since 1995.

Kanopy has a strong regional and national presence working collaboratively with cutting edge dance and dance theater companies throughout the country. Each season, Kanopy attracts dancers and choreographers in the vanguard of the modern dance scene to create with us on stage. In 2013, Kanopy also formed an ongoing partnership with Martha Graham Dance Company, that continues to flourish and grow,
In addition to performing original works at our home, the Overture Center, and presenting at arts venues including Chicago, Minneapolis and New York City, Kanopy annually engages in outreach programs reaching thousands through area public and private schools, libraries, community centers, preschools, senior centers, outdoor festivals, and colleges; presenting educational workshops, master classes, lecture demonstrations and performances. Kanopy also provides free tickets to those who might otherwise not have access to the performing arts with the Community Tickets program in collaboration with Overture Center.
Kanopy Dance Academy and Kanopy 2
Taught by world acclaimed guest artists along with Kanopy’s outstanding faculty, the Kanopy’s Dance Academy offers a comprehensive program of modern contemporary dance, creative choreography, repertory and ballet for dancers of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. Whether you are on a professional track, looking for a body-strengthening workout, or simply exploring the pure joy of dance, Kanopy has a class just for you.

Children and adults who study at Kanopy gain a diverse set of skills including artistry, creativity, discipline, confidence and a chance to make friends. Our annual Kanopy Dance Academy Showcase at the Overture Center and Kanopy’s holiday production, Winter Fantasia, provide students a rare opportunity to perform on a professional stage.

The Academy offers classes from September to May, week-long Dance Camps, Summer Dance Intensives as well as Guest Artist Workshops throughout the year.

Kanopy 2, our second Company, offers a pre-professional training program open to exceptional students of dance by audition only. Serious dancers are introduced to an intense vocabulary of classic and modern forms and study with national luminaries shaping the future of modern contemporary dance. Each year, Kanopy 2 performs and presents original choreography in Kanopy’s season ending show at the Overture Center. Numerous Kanopy 2 alumni have forged professional dance careers or earned success in other careers of their choosing.

We are happy to provide you with more information about Kanopy Dance Company, the Kanopy Dance Academy and Kanopy 2. Please visit https://kanopydance.org/ or contact Kanopy at info@kanopydance.org, or Kanopy Dance 608.255-2211.

Liquid
624 University

Liquid is recognised nationally as one of the top college town electronic dance music (EDM) venues anywhere in the country. Over the years, we've been proud to present many of the top electronic music acts in the world including The Chainsmokers (3x), Dillon Francis (3x), Cash Cash (3x), GRiZ (2x), Adventure Club (2x), Slander (2x), 3LAU (2x), Rusko (2x), Herobust (2x), Figure (2x), 12th Planet, Zomboy, Getter, Dada Life, Snails, What So Not, NGHTMRE and Two Friends as well as a wide variety of live music acts ranging from EOTO (2x) to Waka Flocka Flame (3x).

Liquid also hosts a wide variety of private events every year, ranging from corporate holiday parties & special events (eg the Crossfit National Championship “Official AfterParty” (3x) to dozens of recognised UW student organization philanthropic & social events every semester.

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

Ruby is a beautiful & intimate 150 capacity music venue that is proud to host both emerging national touring live music acts as well as local/regional acts. Ruby is also a popular venue for private parties and special events, given our convenient campus area location and full stage, sound and lighting amenities.

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.

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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.