June 1 to 3
Indulge in your favorite Italian foods while the kids participate in games, face painting, and shows. It’s all happening over at McKee Farms Park in Fitchburg. It’s just $3 to get in. Doors are open from 5 to 11 p.m. on Friday, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Get all the details at fitchburgchamber.com.
June 1 to 10
Isthmus Jazz Festival
This year’s Jazz Fest spans a full 10 days and you’re going to love the lineup. Ticket prices vary (though some are free to attend), as do the locations, so you’ll need to plan your itinerary carefully. Luckily, you’ll find all the details you need at isthmusjazzfestival.com.
Parks & Trails Unite Festival
Looking for a fun and free way to get involved with your community? This festival is definitely the way to do it. There are activities for kids, a Biergarten for the adults, food carts for the whole family, and plenty of activities at both Lake Farm County Park and McDaniel Park. Find out more at danecountyparks.com.
12th Annual Cars On State
Spanning six blocks along State Street, this is the classic car event of the summer. Spend time browsing, chatting, or popping into any of the local businesses along the route. As always, it’s free to visit and you can do so at any time between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Check out what’s on offer at visitdowntownmadison.com.
The Pursuit Of Happiness Session
Enjoy music and comedy as you munch on whatever strikes your fancy from the host of vendors during this free, full-day event at McPike Park. All proceeds go towards local charities and there’s a lineup you don’t want to miss. Learn more about the performers on the event’s Facebook page.
June 3, 6, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 19, 27, 28, 29, 30
Take yourself out to the ballgame - and bring a big group with you to any of the Madison Mallards games in June. Both afternoon and evening games sprinkle the calendar, so you’ll definitely find a date that works for your crew. Tickets begin at $8 from northwoodsleague.com, but you may want to splurge on special seats or make it a party with plenty of favors.
Ice Cream Boat Float
Looking for a unique way to spoil your kids (or yourself)? This has to be it! Rent a boat to paddle your way to all the toppings you want on your $3 spoon of ice cream. Sound like fun? Head over to Wingra Boats between 4 and 4 p.m. or learn more at madisonboats.com.
Whether you’re into a green lifestyle, you want to dive deeper into the local art scene, or you’re keen to get out on the lake, you’re going to find it all at this event. From demonstrations with herbs to talks with beekeepers and historians, there’s no shortage of amusements for the whole family. Entrance to many of the activities is free, though some require registration or a small fee. Find out more at alumnipark.com.
June 9 to 10
Marquette Waterfront Festival
Two stages over two days, plus a kids fun run, the ever-popular fools’ flotilla, and plenty of games and food to enjoy while you dance the day away; this is truly what a summer festival should be. Admission is free, though the organizers fund the event on beverage sales and ask guest not to bring anything more than water to the event. They also request you bike or walk in if you’re close enough. Learn all the details at marquette-neighborhood.org.
Ironman Wisconsin 70.3
Do you have what it takes to compete in Madison’s Ironman competition? It’s a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run all on one day. Registrations are still available, but you’ll need to act quickly. Register at eu.ironman.com or just come to cheer on the competitors.
Gilda’s Big Dance
Celebrate 10 Years Of Cancer Support with Gilda’s Club! The whole community is invited to dance the evening away with live music at The Edgewater between 8 and 10 p.m. Entrance is free, but you’re welcome to support the cause by purchasing raffle tickets: $20 for one or $100 for 6. Get the details at theedgewater.com.
June 14 to 16
The Madison Reunion
Join in the fun on any of the three days of this festival which pays homage to Madison’s eclectic art and culture scene in the 1960s. You can fill your days with films, talks, music, or make yourself some tye-dye gear. Entrance is free to the general event, though you should bring along plenty of cash for food and art - and the odd activity that carries a fee. Figure out your itinerary at madisonreunion.com.
June 14 to August 30
Capitol City Band Concerts In The Park
Who doesn’t love a late summer’s evening with live music on park lawns? If you can’t answer that question, best you make plans to spend every Thursday of this year’s season at Rennebohm Park from 7 to 8 p.m. Bring a picnic blanket or a couple of lawn chairs to these free performances (though donations to fund the concert series are always welcome). Learn more at mmqccb.org.
Clean Lakes Alliance's Loop The Lake Bike Ride
Check the tires on your bike and head over to Lake Monona for a community ride to raise funds for lake maintenance and improvement. All ages are welcome to participate for $35, though kids under ten ride for free. It’s all happening between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and you can find out more about the event by calling (608) 255-1000.
Spring Bluegrass Music Festival 2018
If you love bluegrass music, you know where you’ll be from 1 p.m. on this day - Schumacher Farm Park. Five bands are playing live, accompanied by the best in local food stalls plus beer and wine. It’s just $20 to catch all five acts - including a hayride from the parking to the stages. Kids under ten get in free and you can find out about the performances at schumacherfarmpark.org.
3rd Annual Summer Solstice Festival
Get your groove on to the tunes of a steel drum band at The Edgewater from 5 to 9 p.m. to celebrate the summer solstice. Craft beers and cocktails are on offer at this free event. Or, find your dream boat at the accompanying boat show. Sound like fun? Check out theedgewater.com for all the info.
Concerts At McKee
It’s all music, music, music this June, isn’t it? And there’s more to enjoy at McKee Farms Park on the third Monday of June, July and August. Find your spot on the lawn from 5 p.m. and grab some grub before the music begins at 6 p.m. The event is totally free and you’ll find the details you need on the event’s Facebook page.
Madison Symphony Orchestra's Concert On The Green
Then again, if you’re more into the soothing sounds of an orchestra - or golf, you may just want to head to Bishop's Bay Country Club. The golf begins at 11 a.m. and the concert is at 6 p.m., followed by dinner. Tickets for the party, concert and dinner are $125 and there are package deals for the golf. Book yours today at madisonsymphony.org.
Make Music Madison
Pick a place around the city and you may just find there’s a live performance happening over the summer solstice. You’ll find all sorts of local acts and musical geniuses at this citywide, totally free event. Swing by makemusicmadison.org closer to the date to learn more about what’s on.
Strawberry Fest At The Fitchburg Farmer's Market
Strawberries and more strawberries are on offer at this farmer’s market. The kids will love the strawberry sundaes - and, of course, there’s more live music between 3 and 6 p.m. at the Agora Pavilion. Check out the Fitchburg Farmer’s Market website for contact details and a full lineup.
It’s time to party underground at the Cave of the Mounds - and this event’s theme centers on trolls, thanks to the local goodies from Mt. Horeb, the troll capital of the world.In addition to local food and drinks, the sounds of the acoustic music will resonate wonderfully through the venue. This 21-and-over event costs $30 and begins at 6 p.m. Learn more at caveofthemounds.com.
Shake The Lake
The Verve Pipe open for the Jayhawks are playing at Monona Terrace at this year’s event. Plenty of delicious eats and loads of family activities lead up to the fireworks finale at this free event. Get all the details at shakethelake.org before heading downtown for the 5 p.m. start.
ProClip USA Inaugural Car Show 2018
If you’ve got a classic car or a unique creation of your own, you may just want to enter it in the first car show of its kind. It costs just $15 to enter and you could win $3500, plus all proceeds go to the Dane County Humane Society. The show runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at ProClip USA. Learn more at proclipusa.com.
Concerts On The Square
Pack up your picnic blankets and the nosh to go with it and head out to the lawn of the Wisconsin State Capitol. Hosted by the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, this performance features Matthew Udry, cellist and winner of the 2018 Young Artist Concerto Competition. The music begins at 7 p.m. and the event is free. Get all the info you need at wisconsinchamberorchestra.org.
Full Moon Paddle
Pick a boat (there are plenty to choose between) and head out on the water to paddle by moonlight and enjoy the sounds of a live band as you snack on hors d'oeuvres. This event begins at 8:30 p.m. at Brittingham Boats and costs between $25 and $50. Find out more at madisonboats.com.
4th Annual Fourth Fest
Burgers and brats are on offer alongside carnival games and more live music at this 4th of July celebration at the Edgewater. There’s plenty for the whole family to enjoy and it all begins at 2 p.m. Don’t worry about buying tickets; this is a free event. Learn more at the theedgewater.com.
June 30 to July 1
BrickUniverse LEGO Fan Convention
Bring out your inner builder and wonder at the breathtaking buildings skills of the pros at this LEGO convention. Plus, you can buy the latest and the best LEGO sets out there. The $15 tickets are for morning or afternoon sessions and you’ll want to book early to avoid missing out on this event at Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center. Book your spot now at brickuniverse.com.