Whether you are enjoying a visit with us at the Speckled Hen Inn and are here for a short while or live in Madison with unlimited time to seek out new adventures, the free and simple riches Madison holds can easily be forgotten. I fell in love with this great city and its people was by observing and absorbing the great sense of community that Madison is, all while relaxing in its midst. So here are some suggestions that will encourage you to relax and enjoy the free things to do in Madison, WI.
On any sunny day the activities around the Capital Square make for great people watching. If you have never done it, try taking a blanket and just laying on the lawn of the capital lawn and just watch the people or read a good book. When the people watching gets slow and you need to be energized, I urge you to take a tour of the Capital Building itself. The ornate granite and marble architecture and the historic art throughout the building make the tour beautiful. The political climate of the city and the representatives and events that are housed within the building help connect Wisconsin’s citizens to their roots. Even if you skip the rest of the capital tour, a must see is the observation deck overlooking all of Madison in every direction. The deck is ideal for photography, architecture and personal reflection. If you make it on a Saturday morning, one more bucket-lister you can knock off while here is the Dane County Farmers Market. The summer session is starting up on Saturday, April 15th and will continue throughout the summer months. If you haven’t had the experience, it is a must.
If the happenings of Capital Square are too hectic for you, relaxing on the grassy shores of Lake Monona or Lake Mendota is another option. Olin Park is just one of the many city and county parks that are open to the public and provide ideal scenery for all. The lawn leading down to the waters of Lake Monona at Olin is wide and long giving all of its patrons a feeling of privacy and seclusion. James Madison Park on Lake Mendota typically hosts a younger crowd because of its location near the university. Often times you will find a lot of group activities like volleyball, frisbee, and basketball next to others chatting, reading or just taking it easy.
If the skies aren’t in your favor, there are many indoor activities that you can embark on. But, our favorite place would be reading or relaxing under the shelter of the gazebo at the Speckled Hen Inn overlooking the sheep, and the many young lambs romping and leaping about the pasture, and of course, Lilly, our dutiful llama, who is their shepherd, protector, and sometimes playmate.