One of the great things about Madison is the campus. It’s located in the heart of downtown, is on Lake Mendota and offers a ton of things to do for all ages. We love to explore the campus. On a recent day we had a “campus day” that included Babcock Hall for ice cream (if you get there early in the day you can view the dairy floor from above in a lookout window on the second level), Allen Centennial Gardens, Lakeshore Path, and the Terrace.
On other trips to campus we have stopped at the geology museum. This is a little “gem” (hehe) that people don’t think of but is really quite nice and is free. They have glow-in-the-dark rocks, neat crystals, and my son’s favorite, dinosaur skeletons!!! I suggest parking under Union South if you can and walking the two blocks over. After, you can have lunch, either picnic or buy it there, at Union South and then go bowling!