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Madison WI Winter Festival this weekend

February 17th, 2010 by Pat Fischbeck

 

Madison WI will be celebrating winter at Madison Winter Fest this weekend on the capitol square in downtown Madison.  Events begin on Friday and continue through Sunday.  There are all kinds of things to get involved in as a participant or a spectator.  Watch ice carving and snow sculpting.  It is not the olympics but there will be running and racing and snowboarding and tubing and shoeing and xc skiing and just a grand winter fun time.  If you get chilled you can pop into the Wisconsin State Historical Society Museum on the Capitol Squate for a viewing of their Odd Wisconsin display.

The Speckled Hen Inn in Madison, WI lists February events in the area

February 3rd, 2010 by Pat Fischbeck

There are many events in Madison Wisconsin this February that you will just not want to miss. 

  •  This coming weekend, February 6, is the big outdoor hockey event at Camp Randall stadium on the University of Wisconsin campus.  Will it be the largest crowd ever to watch a college hockey game?  The Badger women play at 2:00PM and the Hockey Badger men play at 6:00.  You will have to go to see how they created a level ice hockey rink on a very crested football field.
  • On February 11 Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love will be speaking at the Overture Center.  Her presentation is a part of the Wisconsin Book Festival.
  • Get ready for spring at the Midwest Garden Expo at the Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall.  Just catching the aroma of fresh dirt when you enter the building gets me in the mood to start planning and planting.  The show is February 12-14.  A great thing to add to your Valentine’s weekend celebration.
  • On February 19-21 all of Madison will be having a grand old time at Madison Winter Festival.  Enjoy all of Madison’s favorite winter activities and see how fast cross country skiers can move.  It’s downtown on the beautiful Wisconsin Capitol Square.
  • February 27 we will offer guests at The Speckled Hen Inn an extreme contrast in recommended activities.  On Saturday afternoon head on over to Middleton to Capital Brewery for the celebration of the release of this year’s Blonde Doppelbock (that’s a beer, folks!).  You can even try to catch a smoked chub (that’s a fish, folks) tossed from the roof of the brewery.  Have a rowdy good time and then completely switch gears when nighttime comes and head for the UW Arboretum for their nightwalk.  Hear the crunch of your boots in the snow and then stand perfectly still and listen for the great horned owls or just stargaze. Ahhh.  What a day!

January in Madison — events to enjoy

January 5th, 2010 by Pat Fischbeck

Yes, it is cold and there is lots of snow piled around but there is a lot to do this month.  Here’s a quick summary of weekend events in the month of January:

January 8-10 is Madison Home Expo 2010 time.  Do you need a little inspiration for an upcoming facelift for your home?  You will find it here.

January 9 or 16  Michael Feldman is in town for his WPR radio show, Whad’Ya Know.  If you have never been part of a live audience for a radio program, you have to go.  It’s a hoot! 

January 15 and 16, 22 and 23 get out the saddle shoes and head on down to Fort Atkinson to the Fireside Dinner Theatre for Those Fabulous 50′s and 60′s .  It is just a pretty drive through the rolling countyside.  You will still be smiling and humming the tunes when you return.

January 30  WOW a busy day.  You will have to make some choices.  The Broadway tour of Rent will be onstage at the Overture CenterWollersheim Winery will be celebrating the  release of their 2008 Port with live jazz, light food, and port and wine tastings.  Check out the eagles on the Wisconsin River while you are in the area.  If Port is not your thing you might enjoy the Isthmus Beer and Cheese Feast at the Alliant Energy Center.  Taste Wisconsin’s finest and choose your favorite pairing.  Then get all dressed up and head to the heart of the city for Madison’s Frostiball.  Dance the night away in the magnificent capitol rotunda.

See, there is plenty for guests at the Speckled Hen Inn to do in January.  Or for those who don’t want to “do”, there is always watching the wild turkeys and the squirrels and birds at the feeders, trying out the snowshoes, watching the fire in the woodburner, or catching a game or a movie on the bigscreen.

Dane County Winter Farmer's Market

December 17th, 2008 by Pat Fischbeck

Many of the guests at The Speckled Hen Inn enjoy the Dane County Farmer’s Market in the warmer seasons but few realize that the market is open in the winter also.  From January 3 until April 11, 8:00 AM to noon, the market is indoors at the Mifflin Street Senior Center.  Listed below are the things that you can find and enjoy at the winter market.

 

Wondering what you can find at the DCFM Winter Market? Here’s a listing to help guide you.

Fruit
Apples; Cider; Jams, jellies, and preserves; Pears; Pear and apple butters; Raspberry products

Stored Vegetables
Carrots, Garlic, Potatoes, Shallots, Turnips

Fresh Vegetables
Chard, Greens, Kale, Lettuce, Micro-greens, Radish, Spinach, Tomatoes

Meats
Beef, Bison, Brats and sausage, Chicken, Conventional and special cuts, Emu, Ground beef, Highland beef, Jerky, Ostrich, Pork, Roasts, Turkey, Steaks

Decorations
Bison products, Emu products, House plants, Orchids, Ostrich products, Potted flowers

Cheeses
Flavored cheeses, Goat cheese, World-class aged cheeses, Fresh cheese curds

Baked Goods
Flat breads, Biscotti, Cheesecake, Pastries, Cinnamon rolls, Sweet breads, Torts, Cookies, Muffins, Panettone, Sourdough bread

Specialty Items
Mushrooms, Maple syrup, Wool products, Candles, Honey, Pesto, Vinaigrettes, Eggs, Hot sauces, Flavored sea salt, Goat milk soap, Salsa, Yarn, Sheepskins, Hides and leather, Soups, Pasta sauce, Fresh-ground whole wheat flour, Herbal vinegar

The market vendors are also a great source for recipes using their products and many offer delicious samples.

Farmers' Market Strata

Farmers

Come enjoy winter sports in Southern Wisconsin

December 11th, 2008 by Pat Fischbeck

Winter has surely arrived in Madison.  Several inches of fresh snow have turned the grounds at The Speckled Hen Inn into a winter wonderland. Happy, our Golden Doodle, and I are just in from a romp in the snow.  I was trying out my new snow shoes.  What fun!  We followed the short walking trail around the pasture and saw a wild turkey, heard lots of birds in the pine trees and saw deer tracks behind the stable. 

The XC ski trails at Elver Park and Yahara Hills Golf Course will be open by the weekend.  Elver Park has a warming house where XC ski rentals are possible.  There is also a great hill for tubing or sledding.  Local outdoor ice rinks for ice skating and Ice hockey are not quite ready yet because the snow blanket has prevented the ice from freezing to a safe thickness.

It is a bit early in the season but downhill skiing is a possibility.  Cascade Mountain reports a 24″-40″ base with 16 trails and 2 lifts open.  Devil’s Head reports a 16″-30″ base with 5 trails and 3 lifts open.  Both ski hills are less than an hour from The Speckled Hen Inn.  Spend a fun day on the slopes and then return to the Inn for a soak in your whirlpool tub  followed by dinner at one of Madison’s fabulous restaurants.

Happy enjoys playing in the snow outside The Speckled Hen Inn

Happy enjoys playing in the snow outside The Speckled Hen Inn