Looking for a great outdoor activity in Madison, Wisconsin? Visit the Olbrich Botanical Gardens. It’s family friendly, accessible for all, and it has free admission to the outdoor gardens.
Our oldest lives and works in Downtown Madison, a few blocks from the capitol. I wanted to have my family together for Mother’s Day, so we drove up there for the weekend. The weather was a perfect 70 degrees, so we enjoyed lots of time outside. Being that I am frugal, I looked up free places to visit. There are many free activities in Mad Town. We enjoyed the Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Picnic Point hike, and the Henry Vilas Zoo. We also spent time walking along State Street and the various lake fronts. My Fitbit recorded 33K steps for the 2-day visit.
My favorite part of Mother’s Day was our visit to the botanical gardens.
Visit the Olbrich Botanical Gardens for FREE in Madison, Wisconsin
The 16 acre Olbrich Botanical Gardens is located on Atwood Avenue on the north side of Lake Monona. There is plenty of free parking available. I am not very good at identifying plants, but I can tell you that this place is amazing! I think we hit it at the peak of spring blooms. Everything was so gorgeous! I could have stayed there for HOURS!
We paid the $2/person to get into the Bolz Conservatory. We some pretty birds, which I don’t remember the name of. They also had some very cool and unusual plants. It is worth the $2 price tag to go into the conservatory!
We also enjoyed two great dinners in Madison. We ate at Himal Chuli, which is an amazing Nepali/Himalayan/Indian restaurant on State Street. I loved the Dal, Mango Lassi, and Cauli. It reminded me of our time in Malaysia. It inspired me to plan a curry dish with Naan this week. We also ate at Pizza Brutti, which is just south of the University of Wisconsin – Madison. The wood-fired pizzas are made with real ingredients. I enjoyed a salad with fresh beets and my kids gobbled up their pizza. We enjoyed some Michael’s Frozen Custard afterward. I got a free sundae since it was Mother’s Day. I have to say that is the smoothest frozen custard I’ve ever had!
Have you been to Madison? Next time we visit, we will bring bikes to ride along because there are many great paths around the city and lakes.