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Posts Tagged ‘Shopping’

Favorite Things To Do on a Rainy Day in Madison WI

September 16th, 2014 by Pat Fischbeck

Crab Trees at The Speckled Hen Inn

Crab Trees at The Speckled Hen Inn

It might not be spring showers here in Madison but fall brings with it a whole different type of rainy weather; the kind that can make you want to cozy up on the couch with a book and a mug of hot chocolate. Fortunately, regardless of the weather, this city always seems to have something to do. So here are a couple of our favorite things to do on a rainy fall day in Madison WI.

Being the state capital has advantages, like housing some of the most treasured artifacts of Wisconsin and beyond. Because of this, and the fact that many of them are free of charge or donation, if you have never been, the museums of Madison should be a definite stop on the itinerary. The Wisconsin Historical Museum is one of Madison’s treasures where you can find over 110,000 historical objects and almost 400,000 archeological artifacts. Another fascinating museum is the UW Madison Geology Museum  with exhibits featuring fossils, meteorites and dinosaurs including a 33 foot Edmontosaurus skeleton. There are too many to list here but you can find a list of many other specialized museums by clicking on this link.

If museum hopping isn’t your idea of fun but shopping and movies are, Hilldale Mall is the place to be. If you aren’t familiar with Madison, you may not know that Hilldale isn’t your typical mall. Sure, there is a Macy’s but that’s just the beginning. What you’ll find here are unique fashion clothing and boutique shops for that perfect outfit, pair of shoes or a rare kitchen gadget. If you can’t find your one-of-a-kind here, it may not exist. Once you’ve perused the stores, you can relax for a drink and movie at the elite Sundance Cinema. (yes, you read that right – a drink and a movie at a theater) One of five theatres across the nation, Madison was chosen by Robert Redford as one of the locations to implement his vision for high quality entertainment. Isthmus readers have repeatedly voted Sundance Cinema in Madison the best place to watch a movie in Madison. In addition to the 6 theaters, you will find an art gallery, rooftop bar and bistro and reserved ticket seating. Movie watching has never seen such luxury.

If you’d rather stay curled inside with your hot chocolate and book, the Speckled Hen Inn can provide all of the essentials plus more. Several of our rooms have window benches ideal for viewing the sheep and the llama while they graze and dash around the pasture. There is also a gazebo from which you can have a better view of the property while bird watching or just enjoying the peace and tranquility of the Inn. Whatever your rainy day desires might be, Madison’s got you covered.

Last Minute Holiday Shopping in Madison

December 11th, 2008 by Pat Fischbeck

Everyone has to eat.  So, it just makes sense that gifts of food are always welcome.  There are lots of places in Madison where you can pick up fabulous local foods to suit everyone on your shopping list.
Wisconsin is all about cheese and there is a lot to choose from.  Stop in Fromagination on the capitol square to get your imagination going.  Or visit and sample your way through the artisan cheeses at Carr Valley Cheese in Middleton.  The tiny, tiny cheese store in Paoli is tons of fun too.  Not too far from the Speckled Hen Inn you will find Mouse House and Ehlenbach’s Cheese Chalet.  Have someone take your picture with the huge cow to prove that you were really there.

 

Carr Valley Cheese at a Speckled Hen Inn Wine Tasting

  

 

If you have someone who loves to cook on your list, stop in Penzy’s spice store on University Avenue.  Their double vanilla is divine and the variety of pepper and the mills to grind it is excellent.  It is a Holiday treat for your nose just to walk into the shop.  Next door, there is a cookware store that will actually sharpen your knives while you wait and next to that there is a shop that sells all kinds of wonderful vinegars and oils.  If you need something to finish off a food gift basket, Whole Foods is right across the street.
Chocolate lovers will long remember any gift of truffles from Gail Ambrosious Chocolatier.  Coffee lovers might appreciate the freshly roasted beans from Victor Allen, Steep and Brew, or Ankora Coffee Roasters.  Everyone loves pasta.  The fresh pasta from RP’s is excellent.
We will be happy to help guests at The Speckled Hen Inn find the perfect gifts for all those question marks on their shopping list.  One final suggestion: How about a Speckled Hen Inn Gift Certificate tucked into a copy of a Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast cookbook?  We can make it happen.