Family Weekend logo with Bucky Badger

Family Weekend

Family Weekend will take place from Friday, October 18th, 2024 to Sunday, October 20th, 2024!

We are excited to welcome you back for Family Weekend 2024. This annual event welcomes the whole family to experience life as a Badger and features a variety of exciting events both on and off-campus. We welcome you to register from Tuesday July 23, 2024 at 9 a.m. CT. until Monday, September 30, 2024, 5 p.m. CT. Additionally, feel free to sift through last year’s schedule to get an idea of what Family Weekend at UW–Madison has to offer.

We are excited to share that we had the pleasure of working with local hotels to offer Family Weekend attendees an exclusive hotel block! Our hotel block will go live Tuesday, July 23 at 9 a.m. CT. on our  Family Weekend webpage and closes on September 26 at 11:59 p.m. CT. 

 

Second from left, UW–Madison senior Karen Bobadilla and her extended family, all from Fond du Lac, Wis., pose for a photo with Bucky Badger.
Second from left, UW–Madison senior Karen Bobadilla and her extended family, all from Fond du Lac, Wis., pose for a photo with Bucky Badger. (Photo by Jeff Miller / UW-Madison)

Family Weekend 2023 Schedule

We had so much fun with all those who joined us for Family Weekend 2023! You can take a look at what was on the event schedule below.

$ – Event requires an additional fee or purchased ticket
* – Event does not require an additional fee, but does require an advance RSVP for capacity reasons or is first come, first served 

  • FREE GUEST PASSES TO BAKKE RECREATION AND WELLBEING CENTER AND NICHOLAS RECREATION CENTER
    Hours vary by facility – view here
    1976 Observatory Dr., Bakke Recreation & Wellbeing Center 
    797 W Dayton St., Nicholas (The Nick) Recreation Center

    Recreation & Wellbeing is offering FREE general access to Rec Well facilities for all Family Weekend participants. All participants must show their wristband to receive free access. Programs, services, and fees may apply for non-access related offerings. Additional details/requirements below.

    Ages 18+: A photo ID with birthdate is required upon each entry. All attendees must check in at the Welcome Desk upon each visit.
    Ages 17 and under: Proof of guardianship or shared residency must be provided on the initial visit. This can include birth certificate or proof that youth currently resides with the legal guardian. Youth must be accompanied by their guardian (current Rec Well member) at all times. Accompanying youth is defined as being in the same activity area and under constant supervision. Youth are unable to participate in non-youth specific programming/services (group fitness classes, intramural sports, personal training, etc.). Youths in facility must abide by all facility and space
    policies.
  • OUTDOOR UW RENTALS – $
    Monday-Friday: 2 – 6:30 P.M.
    Saturday-Sunday: 11 A.M. – 6:30 P.M.

    800 Langdon St, Memorial Union – Lower Level, Outdoor UW Office
    With year-round rental equipment including paddle crafts, snowshoes, ice skates, camping, and hiking gear, Outdoor UW has everything you and your family need to embark on your next outdoor adventure. Learn more here. Want 50% off your rentals from Outdoor UW all weekend long? Use Code FamWeekend50!
  • UNIVERSITY BOOK STORE FAMILY SALE
    711 State Street 
    Looking to stock up on Badger gear? Use code FAMWK23 to get 10% off your entire purchase (some exclusions apply.) The University Book Store is open Friday 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and Sunday 10:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

  • BABCOCK DAIRY STORE – $
    Hours vary – view here
    1605 Linden Dr.
    Grab breakfast, lunch, a snack or some legendary, university-made Babcock ice cream at the Babcock Dairy Store and Deli. The Babcock Dairy Plant and Dairy Store produce signature dairy products for the University of Wisconsin – Madison and the surrounding community. Through this, they help support the University of Wisconsin Food Science Department’s mission of research, teaching and outreach.
  • ARBORETUM 
    Hours vary – view here
    1207 Seminole Highway
    Bird watch, soak in changing seasons through blooming wildflowers and fall colors, or tune in to the subtleties of winter ecology. There is always something to discover at the Arboretum. Use the trail map to locate particular ecological communities and gardens. To protect the wildlife and ecological communities, please stay on trails and do not bring pets or picnics.
  • HENRY VILAS ZOO
    Open 9:30 A.M. – 5 P.M. daily; Select exhibits open at certain times
    702 S Randall Ave.
    The Henry Vilas Zoo is home to over 650 animals from all over the world and features over 115 species, 20 of which are considered endangered and vulnerable.
  • CHAZEN MUSEUM OF ART
    Hours vary – view here
    800 University Ave.

    Visit the Chazen Museum of Art, located in the heart of the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus. The museum is home to the second-largest collection of art in Wisconsin. 
  • ALLEN CENTENNIAL GARDEN
    Open dawn to dusk
    620 Babcock Dr.
    The Allen Centennial Garden is a free public garden on the grounds of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. The grounds feature the Agricultural Dean’s House, a brick Queen Anne-style home built in 1896, and the home of the first four deans of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.
  • MADISON CHILDREN’S MUSEUM – $
    Hours vary – view here
    110 N. Hamilton St.
    The Madison Children’s Museum is a museum for children in Madison, Wisconsin, that contains exhibits on the arts, sciences, history, culture, health, and civic engagement.
  • MADISON MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART (MMoCA)
    Open Thursday – Sunday, Noon – 6 P.M.
    227 State St.
    The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, formerly known as the Madison Art Center, is an independent, non-profit art museum located in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. MMoCA is dedicated to exhibiting, collecting, and preserving modern and contemporary art.
  • 8:50 A.M. – 3:15 P.M. – OPEN CLASSES
    See below for participating classrooms across campus
    Sit in on popular UW classes across campus and get a small taste of the world-class academic experience that your Badgers are experiencing. You can view participating open classes on campus here and check exact building addresses here. Wristbands not required for this event.
  • 10 A.M. – NOON – TOUR THE MAKERSPACE DESIGN & INNOVATION LAB
    215 N Randall Ave, Wendt Commons – Main Floor
    Come visit the Makerspace – a community of designers and builders at UW-Madison within the College of Engineering. The Makerspace facilities include 25,000 ft of shop and flex space with a wide range of rapid prototyping equipment, made possible by a donation from the Grainger Foundation. Largely student run, the Makerspace strives to empower students by creating a community immersed in emerging technologies, focused on creating innovative products. Students can build anything here – from micro to macro and from virtual to the physical. Twenty-minute tours will occur on the half hour, with the last tour departing at 11:30 A.M.. Wristbands not required for this event. 
  • NOON – 4:00PM – CAREER SUCCESS & YOUR STUDENT
    SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science
    University Book Store Building, 711 State Street – Third Floor
    What can your student do after graduation with their major from the College of Letters & Science? So much! Come learn from SuccessWorks advisors and staff about how your Badger can get a head-start on career exploration, skills-building and preparation through programs, career courses, internships and a whole lot more. Light refreshments will be served.
  • 1 P.M. – 7 P.M. – CHECK-IN
    800 Langdon St., Memorial Union – 2nd Floor, Annex Room
    We’ll get you checked in and set up for Family Weekend with the digital program and schedule of events, wristbands, maps, a welcome gift, and answer any remaining questions that you have.
  • 1 P.M. – 4 P.M – FAMILY FRIDAY IN ALUMNI PARK & ONE ALUMNI PLACE
    724 Langdon St.
    Join us for yard games in Alumni Park, and a family-friendly scavenger hunt. Visit One Alumni Place — the Wisconsin Alumni Association welcome center adjacent to the park — between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to pick up your scavenger hunt and enjoy family friendly activities, browse the visitor center to learn more about UW alumni, discoveries, and innovations. 
  • 1 P.M. – 4 P.M – STUDENTPRINT STUDIO TOURS
    333 East Campus Mall – 3rd Floor 
    Visit StudentPrint to get a behind-the-scenes look at a student driven business that prints for students and groups across campus! Studio tours will occur for groups every 15-minute minutes, with the last tour starting at 3:30pm. Participants will receive exclusive Family Weekend swag from our friends at StudentPrint.
  • 1:30 P.M. – 3:30 P.M. – VOLUNTEER WITH LAKESHORE NATURE PRESERVE * RSVP HERE
    2000 University Bay Dr. 
    The Lakeshore Nature Preserve is a 300-acre outdoor classroom and laboratory on the UW-Madison campus. In addition to serving the teaching, research, and outreach mission of the university, it provides a natural setting for respite and well-being. Join UW Lakeshore Nature Preserve staff to participate in an ecological restoration activity followed by a walk to take in the autumn sights of Picnic Point and Lake Mendota. Tools, gloves, and training provided. RSVP here (open to the first 25 registrants). 
  • 5-8 P.M.- FREE ART FRIDAY @ WHEELHOUSE STUDIOS
    800 Langdon St, Memorial Union – Lower Level, Wheelhouse Studios
    Join Wheelhouse Studios this spooky season for Free Art Friday and create your own Halloween-themed shrinky dinks! We’ll be in the Lower Level Wheelhouse Studios of Memorial Union on Friday, October 20 with all the supplies and instruction you need.
  • 6:30 P.M. – 8:30 P.M. – MOVIES & POPCORN @ THE MARQUEE
    1308 W Dayton St., Union South – 2nd Floor, The Marquee 
    Join WUD Film at Union South for the screening of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret! Free for students and accompanying family members with student ID (Wiscard). Complimentary popcorn available at 6:30 p.m. movie showings.
  • 7 P.M. – BADGER WOMEN’S HOCKEY VS. BEMIDJI STATE – SOLD OUT
    105 E Campus Mall, La Bahn Arena
    Cheer on the Badger Women’s Hockey team as they take on Bemidji State! Family Weekend participants received an exclusive ticket discount ($5 general admission seating) when they pre-purchased online at our exclusive link. Please call the UW Athletic Ticket Office with questions at 608-262-1440.
  • 7:30 P.M. – SOUNDWAVES: CELEBRATIONS OF TIME *
    330 N Orchard St, Discovery Building 
    This year, SoundWaves will look back to milestones from the past as a springboard to learn about our world today. At this opening event of the year, held at the Discovery Building, learn about museums, radio, the flute and more at the first Celebrations of Time event. Event is free of charge but registration is requested as space is limited. Register now. Food and beverage available for purchase at Steenbock’s on Orchard until 7:30 p.m.
  • 9 P.M.- 12 A.M. – FAMILY GAME NIGHT: TRICK OR TRIVIA
    640 Elm Dr, Dejope Residence Hall, Lake Mendota Room
    A spooky twist on a Wisconsin Late Night classic; come by and test your knowledge of all things Halloween! Movies, monsters, music, and fun facts… bring the whole fam to compete in the spookiest trivia you’ve ever been to!
  • 6:15 A.M. – 1 P.M. – FARMERS’ MARKET: SATURDAY ON THE SQUARE
    Capitol Square, Downtown Madison
    Experience the country’s largest producer-only farmers’ market and iconic Saturday on the Square. Bring a tote bag to store any cheese curds, flowers, vegetables, fresh fruit, or other goods that you can’t resist bringing home (or giving to your Badger)!
  • 9:00 A.M. – 3 P.M. – CHECK-IN
    800 Langdon St, Memorial Union – 2nd Floor, Annex Room 
    We’ll get you checked in for Family Weekend with the digital program and schedule of events, wristbands, maps, a welcome gift, and answer any questions that you have. 
  • 9 A.M., 10 A.M., 11 A.M., 1 P.M., 2 P.M., and 3 P.M. – WISCONSIN STATE CAPITOL TOURS
    2 E Main St 
    Visit the Wisconsin State Capitol, an architectural marvel. These tours, which last 45 to 55 minutes, start at the information desk, located at the center of the rotunda as you walk in.
  • 9:30 A.M. – 10:45 A.M. – CHANCELLOR’S WELCOME RECEPTION – *
    In-person event, RSVP requested: 800 Langdon St, Memorial Union – 4th Floor, Great Hall
    Streaming/overflow seating: 800 Langdon St, Memorial Union – 1st Floor, Der Rathskeller
    Join us for a formal welcome to Family Weekend from our UW-Madison Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin. She will be speaking directly to you – the parents and family members of current Badgers. Come enjoy coffee and pastries, a jazz band performance, and photo-ops with Bucky Badger. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. and remarks begin at 10:05 a.m. Capacity of 400, seating is first-come, first-served and RSVP is requested. Remarks will be streamed to Der Rathskeller. 
  • 11 A.M. – 2 P.M. – BADGER FAMILY FEST
    800 Langdon St, Memorial Union Terrace
    Meet and mingle with other UW-Madison families at this spirited event on the iconic Memorial Union Terrace. Enjoy live music, a free cookout lunch, photo-ops on the iconic Big Terrace chairs, a Bucky Badger appearance, yard games, activities from Wheelhouse Studios and more! First-come, first-served, food available for the first 2,000 attendees. Lunch includes brat (GF and vegan options available), chips, beverage and Babcock ice cream. 
  • 2:30 P.M. Kickoff – TERRACE GAME WATCH GATHERING
    800 Langdon St, Memorial Union Terrace
    Cheer on the Wisconsin Badger Football team from the comfort of a terrace chair as they take on Illinois. This outdoor away game watch party features trivia, free popcorn, and a Jumbotron viewing experience. 
  • NOON – 3 P.M. – CHAZEN ART SPIN
    800 University Ave, Chazen Museum
    Drop by with your friends and family for an afternoon of artmaking inspired by our latest exhibition, “Insistent Presence: Contemporary African Art from the Chazen Collection”. We’ll create collages using magazines, fabric, photographs, and lots of imagination! 
  • 12:30 P.M. – 1:30 P.M. – LGBTQ+ FAMILY SOCIAL
    716 Langdon St, Red Gym – 1st Floor, Gender and Sexuality Campus Center (GSCC)
    Drop-in to visit and mingle with staff at the Gender and Sexuality Campus Center (GSCC) as well as LGBTQ+ families, whether you have an LGBTQ+ student here at UW or you are an LGBTQ+ parent of a student, and so on; you are welcome. Enjoy light refreshments, games & activities, community, learn more about our programs & services, and/or ask a few questions.
  • 1 P.M. – 4 P.M. – WISCONSIN SPECIALTY CHEESE WALK
    Participating businesses along State Street – See map at check-in
    Explore downtown retail businesses and shops in a new and authentic way — with Wisconsin cheese. In partnership with the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin and Fromagination, enjoy Wisconsin cheese samples and meet-and-greet opportunities with Wisconsin cheesemakers at participating downtown businesses. Participating businesses will also offer sales, specials, and featured items offered exclusively to Family Weekend participants. Please show your wristbands that you receive at check-in at participating locations.
  • 2 P.M. – BADGER WOMEN’S HOCKEY VS. BEMIDJI STATE – SOLD OUT
    105 E Campus Mall, La Bahn Arena
    Cheer on the Badger Women’s Hockey team as they take on Bemidji State! Family Weekend participants received an exclusive ticket discount ($5 general admission seating) when they pre-purchased online at our exclusive link. Please call the UW Athletic Ticket Office with questions at 608-262-1440.
  • 4 P.M. – 6 P.M. – CAMP RANDALL PHOTOS ON THE FIELD
    1440 Monroe St. – Enter by Gate 1 and Bucky’s Locker room
    Make a dream come true: step foot on the home turf of the Wisconsin Badgers football team. Take photos on the 50-yard line, by the goal post, and other areas on the field with your family. Come dressed for the weather, and please no food, beverages, or footballs on the field. 
  • 6:30 P.M. – 8:30 P.M. – BADGER FAMILY BINGO – * RSVP at capacity, walk-ins may be accepted
    1308 W Dayton St, Union South – 2nd Floor, Varsity 2 
    Whether you’re with grandma, dad, your roommates, or yourself, all are welcome at this friendly, competitive Badger Spirit Bingo night. RSVP is required, but we may have capacity for walk-in attendees at this come and go event. 
  • 6:30 P.M. – 8:30 P.M. – MOVIES & POPCORN @ THE MARQUEE
    1308 W Dayton St., Union South – 2nd Floor, The Marquee 
    Join WUD Film at Union South for the screening of Polite Society! Free for students and accompanying family members with student ID (Wiscard). Complimentary popcorn available at 6:30 p.m. movie showings.
  • 7:30 P.M. – WISCONSIN SINGERS 56TH SHOW – $ SOLD OUT
    455 N. Park St., Mosse Humanities Building – Mills Concert Hall 
    Nationally-renowned as the very first collegiate pop music ensemble that features song, dance, and live instrumentals, Wisconsin Singers has been touring the country since 1967 with brand new shows each year, created to engage audience members of any age. Featuring the top talents from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Wisconsin Singers entertains more than 50,000 annually with stellar vocals, stunning choreography and spectacular big band sound from the past forty years. The box office outside will open at 7 p.m. the night of the show.
  • 9 P.M.- 12 A.M. – FAMILY GAME NIGHT: BOARD GAMES GALORE!
    770 W Dayton St, Gordon Dining & Event Center – 2nd Floor 
    Join us for a night in for the family game night you’ve been missing! We have board games galore –  classic card games, modern board games, and everything in between. There’s something for everyone!
  • ALL MORNING – BRUNCH AROUND – $
    Restaurants across the city of Madison
    Ask your Badger for their favorite brunch recommendation around Madison, or discover a new favorite together! For local favorites and insider tips, check out their Restaurant Finder tool here, or find tips in the Visit Madison’s Visitors Guide.
  • 10:30 A.M. – 11:30 A.M. – CROSSROADS OF IDEAS: COMPARING THE CREATIVE PROCESS IN SCIENCE AND ART *
    201 West Mifflin St., Madison Central Library – Community Room 302
    There is more overlap between scientific research and creative writing than you may think. Both involve a process of research, creative thought and storytelling, and in this panel we will discuss what these disciplines have in common and what each can take from the other. Acclaimed novelist Chloe Benjamin (THE IMMORTALISTS) uses science to inform her fiction, while data scientist and statistician Claudia Solis-Lemus writes fiction and memoir when she isn’t researching evolutionary biology and microbiome. Moderated by novelist and WID writer in residence Michelle Wildgen. Registration is requested as space is limited. Register now.
  • 11 A.M. – 1 P.M. – CHECK-IN
    800 Langdon St., Memorial Union – 2nd Floor, Annex Room
    If you missed check-in earlier in the weekend and still want to pick up your welcome gift, this is the final place to do so. Stop by on your way out of town and say ‘bye!’
  • NOON – 2 P.M. – PAINTING AND PASTRIES WITH WHEELHOUSE STUDIOS
    800 Langdon St., Memorial Union – Lower Level, Wheelhouse Studios and Festival Room
    First-come, first-served – Join us for coffee, pastries and art project supplies to inspire your own watercolor painting! Pick up your supplies and treats to enjoy on your own anywhere around the union or on your way out of town, OR get started on your works of art right away in the Festival Room next to Wheelhouse Studios. Free day passes will also be available to registered Family Weekend participants over the age of 18 for you to do other crafts of interest. These spaces at Wheelhouse Studio have been thoughtfully designed and organized to accommodate a variety of DIY endeavors, from pottery and photography to glasswork, metal work, painting, screen printing and more.
  • NOON – 2 P.M. – SUNDAY STROLL
    800 Langdon St, Memorial Union – Lower Level, Outdoor UW Office and Festival Room
    Stop by the Festival Room for cider and trail mix before enjoying a self-guided Sunday Stroll on the LakeShore Nature Preserve‚ a historic walking path along the shore of Lake Mendota. An interpretive self-guided map available at the Outdoor UW office will help families navigate and enjoy the natural landscape and history around them, as well as allow participants to take the morning on their own schedule. Event will go on rain or shine! Come dressed for the weather.
  • NOON – 1 P.M. – EXHIBIT TOUR: INSISTENT PRESENCE * SOLD OUT
    800 University Ave, Chazen Museum of Art
    Register for a tour of Insistent Presence: Contemporary African Art from the Chazen Collection. This exhibit presents forty-five works of sculpture, painting, ceramics, printmaking, and photography by twenty-four contemporary artists living and working on the African continent and in the diaspora. The work comprises new acquisitions made possible by a significant five-year gift from the Straus Family Foundation. Insistent Presence examines how artists have reimagined the human figure as a lens to pose questions about social and political histories, contested identities, and the possible future of how we relate to one another.
  • 1 P.M. – 2 P.M. – GARDEN STROLL @ UW ARBORETUM
    1207 Seminole Highway, UW Arboretum
    This gently paced stroll through the gardens around the Visitor Center is well-suited for a multi-generational outing. Learn about the land, plants, animals, fungi, phenology, and ecology. Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes and come prepared for weather and insects.
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