Fall in Madison – Festivals, Hayrides, Big Rigs & More
After a very busy summer (hello baby number 2!), I am a little nervous about beginning a VERY busy fall. If you are anything like me, special events or festivals seem to come and go before I even realize they were happening! To help you (and me!) prepare for some of the upcoming events in and around Madison this Fall, here is a short-list of some highlights for you and your families. If there’s anything I’m missing, please share in the comments!
Location: Central Park, Madison – 202 S Ingersoll Street, Madison, WI 53703
Date/Time: September 7, 2014 from 3pm-8pm
The whole family is welcome to join the party at Madison’s NEW Central Park. Enjoy the best food the city has to offer, while sampling wine and beer from local vendors. Shop the cheese market or hang out and listen to the music. This event features 25 Madison area restaurants, 30 local chefs and 4 of the best music acts.
Location: Monroe Street, Madison
Date/Time: September 13 from 10am-5pm
The Monroe Street Festival is a neighborhood celebration hosted by the Monroe Street Merchants Association. The festival includes a street sale, Health & Wellness Fair, book sale at the Monroe Street Branch Library and entertainment for the entire family. Activities are held rain or shine, and take place in the shops, on the sidewalks and at various sites along the 1500-3600 blocks of Monroe Street on Madison’s near west side.
Location: McKee Farms Park, 2930 Chapel Valley Rd., Fitchburg
Date/Time: September 13 from 11am-3pm
In addition to a variety of food samples, the Taste of Fitchburg will feature LIVE entertainment, beverages, a silent auction and children’s area.
Location: 100 East Main Street, Cambridge, WI 53523
Date/Time: September 20, 2014 from 10am-5pm
Fall in downtown Cambridge has unique activities that are fun for the whole family. Enjoy antique shopping, live music, craft beer tent, tractor hayrides, horse-drawn carriage rides, a bouncy house, face painting, family bingo, our petting zoo, a pie-baking contest and auction, caramel apple sundaes, apple cider and our bake sale. The Cambridge Community Activities Program will also be conducting its annual Fun Run and Family Wellness Fair in the morning at West Side Park.
Location: Cannery Square Plaza, Sun Prairie
Date/Time: October 18, 2014 from 11am-4pm
There is a TON of fun stuff to do in and around Madison in the fall, way too many things to list in one little blog post. Here are some highlights of activities and events that stood out to me, or that have come highly recommended by others.
Location: Overture Center
Date/Time: Saturdays, beginning October 4
Always a favorite for families in and around Madison, Kids in the Rotunda is a free cultural series targeted towards children. This fun, family event is offered every Saturday beginning October 4. This year’s program includes the Cash Box Kings (blues), Madgadders (Rock n’ Roll), Wayne the Wizard (a special Halloween magic show) and much more.
Location: Warner Park, 2930 N. Sherman Ave.
Date/Time: Saturday, September 13 from 9am to 12pm.
Offered twice a year, the Fall Big Rig Day is coming up September 13. This is a blast for kids that love trucks! They have fire engines, dump trucks, tractors and pretty much anything BIG and LOUD. Kids can get up close and climb aboard the “big rigs”. This is a free event, so it’s a great opportunity to get out and enjoy the trucks.
Location: Garner Park, 333 South Rosa Road
Date/Time: Friday, September 26, 2014 at 7pm
Bring your family and a blanket to watch Apollo 13 at Garner Park. This is a great activity for those with older kids!
Location: Varies – see website for more details
Date/Time: Various dates beginning Saturday, September 13 and ending Saturday, November 22.
Madison Parks offers “special event” hayrides for just $2 per person. I didn’t have a chance to try this last year, but it’s high on my list this fall.
Location: 1308 W. Dayton Street
Date/Time: Saturdays before every home football game (8:30am)
One of the best parts of living in Madison is enjoying all the university has to offer – like the Wisconsin Badgers! This is a fun, family friendly event offered before home football games near Camp Randall. Enjoy the UW Marching band and soak up the school spirit.
Location: Monona Terrace
Date/Time: Friday, October 3, 2014 from 7:30pm to 9:30pm
This is one of Monona Terrace’s most popular programs, and is a great educational (and fun!) activity for families. There are special kid-centered presentations, an opportunity to win prizes, and of course, lots of moon gazing!
Location: Henry Vilas Zoo
Date/Time: September 12-14 from 10am to 4pm
View multiple model trains while they are on display at the zoo, and enter to win a 1940s train set! My son loves model trains, so this is something we are definitely going to do this year.
Farms & Orchards
Don’t forget to visit some of the farms and orchards for hayrides, corn mazes and apple picking! Here are a few in and around Madison:
Eplegaarden Fitchburg, WI
Skelly’s Janesville, WI
Green’s Pleasant Springs Orchard Stoughton, WI
Hermanson Pumpkins Edgerton, WI
Anderson’s Pumpkins Stoughton, WI
Eugsters Stoughton, WI
Treinen Lodi, WI
Schuster’s Farm Deerfield, WI
Door Creek Orchard Cottage Grove, WI
Appleberry Farm Cross Plains, WI
Lapacek’s Orchard Poynette, WI