Create a Madison Staycation (and Don’t Forget a Trip to the Pool!)

As the days get colder and darker, many of us Wisconsinites start dreaming of leaving the state and heading to sunshine. From trips to Disney to roadtrips to see grandparents, we all seem to be looking for a reason to get the heck out and leave the brutal cold behind. For those of you that are lucky enough to have trips planned somewhere warm this year….I’m super jealous! My family will be staying put and trying to squeeze enjoyment out of the snow as long as we can.

While my kids actually seem to like snow and all that comes with our Wisconsin winters, it can be a bit too much for me. I enjoy the snow through about….December, and then I’m ready for spring. Unfortunately for me, spring doesn’t seem to be in any hurry most years. So what’s a sunshine-at-heart girl supposed to do for all these winter months? Well, if leaving the state isn’t an option, try a staycation right here in Madison.

Here are my tips for bringing “summer” to Wisconsin over the next few months:

  1. Swim! Nothing feels more summery and full of possibility than a trip to the pool. While outdoor pools won’t be back up and running for nearly half a year, we are lucky to have lots of fun indoor options available. In fact, SwimWest has family swim in its warm water pool, giving you and your family a chance to come and splash in comfort and warmth. When you plan your local staycation, include a trip to the pool to make it complete!
  2. Stay cuddled indoors. Book a local hotel, or transform your living room into a fun sleeping space. Have a slumber party inside with the heat cranked or the fireplace on. The warmth will make you forget how darn cold it can be outside. Flip on a movie, pop some popcorn and make it a night your kids will remember.
  3. Try visiting Olbrich’s indoor gardens. Seriously, this is the perfect way to feel like you’re somewhere tropical. It’s a minimal fee to get in and explore, and the humidity, warmth and fauna will transport you somewhere that feels nothing like Wisconsin.
  4. Try grabbing dinner (or a drink) and pretend you’re at camp when you visit Camp Trippalindee in Madison. 
  5. Visit the zoo. Ok, technically the zoo is outside and it might be a *little* hard to pretend you’re somewhere warm. BUT, Henry Vilas has a bunch of indoor exhibits, and there’s just something about the zoo that seems like a perfect summer outing.

We hope these ideas help you create your own Wisconsin-warm staycation this year!




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