Travel Adventure Film Series – “How to Travel the World for Free”
If you thought it was impossible to travel for free, comedian, Michael Wigge, is ready to prove you wrong. Watch his hilarious exploits at the Wisconsin Union Theater to find out how he ate, slept, and traveled to Antarctica without spending a dime of his own money.
Admission is $13 for the general public, with discounts available for students. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. with an optional buffet ($18) featuring dishes from Wigge’s travels beforehand. For more information, visit union.wisc.edu.
March 6, 13, 20, 27
March Live Acoustic
Get your live music fix every Tuesday at the Radisson Hotel’s Twist restaurant. Between 5 and 7 p.m., local musicians perform for free, while you enjoy half-price appetizers during happy hour. For the specials and the performer lineup, check out twistbarandgrill.com.
RAIN - A Tribute to The Beatles
Can you believe it’s been 50 years since The Beatles released their Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album? Experience the music live with through a “psychedelic multimedia” performance by RAIN at the Overture Center for the Arts.
Tickets range in price from $35 to $75 and the performance starts at 7:30 p.m. If you have young children, be sure to book a babysitter; children under six will not be admitted. For complete information, head to overture.org.
March 9, 10, 23 and 24
Madison Capitols Hockey
Time is running out to catch the Capitols at Bob Suter’s Capital Ice Arena (the last home game is mid-April). So, you’ll want to book tickets now for the home games versus the Fargo Force on the 9th or 10th – or versus the Muskegon Lumberjacks on the 23rd or 24th.
Tickets begin at $9 (advance sales), and there are all you can eat and drink ticket options for under $28. Make it a night to remember; get your tickets now from madcapshockey.com.
March 9 through 11
Canoecopia and Midwest Bicycle Show & Sale
The world’s largest paddlesports consumer exhibition takes place right here in Madison and this year’s event at the Alliant Energy Center features more than 180 seminars and clinics, so you can learn how to take your adventures to the next level. Hours vary over the three days, and a single entrance costs $15 for anyone over 17 years old; a weekend pass costs $25. For opening times and complete information, check canoecopia.com.
While you’re at it, you won’t want to miss the Midwest Bicycle Show & Sale at the same venue. Admission is free (though you will need to pay for parking) and it’s the best place to score a deal on the latest models. All bikes purchased at the event come with a lifetime warranty and up to two free tune-ups. A list of vendors and more can be found at bikeorama.com.
Shh! We Have a Plan
The world is a magical place through the eyes of children, and you’ll certainly spark their imagination with a trip to the Overture Center to catch the non-verbal performance of the storybook, “Shh! We Have a Plan” at one of two performances (1 or 3 p.m.). Don’t worry! The lack of dialogue won’t bore anyone; this show is filled with music, magic and puppetry. Tickets are $26, but you can buy $2 lap seats for children aged two and under. Want to know more? Check overture.org for details.
Good old-fashioned circus arts are still studied in Madison. Students at the Madison Circus Space perfect their skills on the trapeze, alongside aerial silks and juggling. And, now’s your chance to see what local talent can do. The MishMash Show features circus performances alongside comedy and live music all for a suggested donation of $5 at the door. This variety show is part of the fundraising activities as the host organization works to build a new home. Whether you want to know more about the show, the fundraiser, or the circus arts, you’ll find complete information at madisoncircusspace.com.
March 10 through 25
Olbrich's Spring Flower Show
This year’s Spring Flower Show at Olbrich Botanical Gardens has an “Under the Sea” theme. The organizers promise an ocean of sea creatures – including a mermaid! Through submarine windows, you’ll be able to see a spooky ship and much more. Sound intriguing? The exhibition is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily and tickets are $3 for anyone 13 and older (children between 2 and 12 enter for $2; under twos get in free). The olbrich.org website offers full details.
Madison Coin Show 2018
Hold history in your hands at the 86th Anniversary Coin Show hosted by the Madison Coin Club. Or, if you’ve uncovered unusual coins or bouillon in your home, have them appraised and sell them at the show. Medals and books feature alongside coins at the Sheraton Hotel between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Admission is free, and the organizers suggest confirming details before heading out on the day; you’ll find the information you need at coinshows-usa.com.
March 11, 18, 20, 25 and 31
UW-Madison Arboretum Walks
As spring begins to emerge, it’s the perfect time to get outdoors and learn more about the flora and fauna springing to life all around us. The Arboretum offers a variety of educational walks which are free for everyone. Walks last an hour and a half and there are specific family-focused walks, as well as two nighttime offerings in March. Want to know where to meet or what each program entails? Full details are available at arboretum.wisc.edu.
The Pirates of Penzance
Enjoy the latest installation in Shine United’s Off-Broadway series with an evening at one of the best-loved musicals of all time. Accompanied by a full orchestra, the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players' performance tells the story of a lad mistakenly apprenticed to pirates who later vows to fight against piracy until… well, we don’t want to give it away. Instead, book your seats now for this 7:30 p.m. show at the Capitol Theater. Tickets run from $45 to $65 and can be purchased through overture.org.
2018 Madison Shamrock Shuffle
Start St. Patrick’s Day the right way – with a 5K or 10K run to support the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County and the Children's Dyslexia Center. The races start at 10 a.m. on State Street and pre-registration saves $5 off the $35 or $40 day-of charges. Get some exercise while supporting a good cause and register now at shamrock-shuffle.squarespace.com.
Real Life Library
If running isn’t your thing, you might consider checking out a living “book” at the Madison Public Library. In this case, the books are actually people telling their stories through words, images, and personal objects. Sponsored by WOAH!, this free event connects people to each other and their communities and previous attendees advise people not to miss one. There are three sessions, with the first beginning at 10 a.m. and pre-registration is strongly advised. You can do that at wehelponeanother.com.
St. Patrick's Day Parade
This year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the city’s 21st and it’s becoming a popular tradition for families in the area to spend some the day around Capitol Square. As you would expect, it’s free to watch and begins at 1:30 p.m. Find out where to park and the parade route at stpatsmadison.org.
Cave after Dark – “Hooley in the Hollows”
Ready to enjoy an underground treasure hunt accompanied by the sounds of a bluegrass band and the taste of an Irish (or local) stout in your mouth? You’ve got to this month’s Cave after Dark, with a Hooley in the Hollows theme. The event starts at 6 p.m. at the Cave of the Mounds and, as these events sell out quickly, pre-registration is required. Reserve your spot for this 21 and older event at caveofthemounds.com.
Duck Soup Cinema – “Sunrise”
Love checking out the classics at the Duck Soup Cinema? This month’s showing of “Sunrise” will almost certainly delight you. It took three Oscars in the first ever Academy Awards in 1929 and depicts the story of a farmer’s fight between good and evil as he struggles to choose the right woman. It does have a mature theme, so there is an age limit set at 13. Tickets are on sale at overture.org for $10 each.
Jessica Lang Dance
Anyone attending this performance by Jessica Lang Dance at the Wisconsin Union Theater should expect some magic. Awards and accolades follow this ballet troop wherever they go and have the power to sway even the most dance-shy spectators in the crowd. Book as soon as possible before seats sell out. There are discounted tickets for students and youths available, and tickets range in price between $10 and $48. Book now at union.wisc.edu.
Natural Family Expo
Take this chance to learn more about local resources for families and healthy living. From workshops for new and expectant parents to the opportunity to buy local handcrafted goods you’ll find plenty to do between the mesmerizing stage performances that will entertain the entire family. And, entrance to the event at Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center is totally free. Learn more at naturalfamilyexpo.com.
March 24 and 25
Art Glass and Bead Show
If crafting is your thing, you don’t want to miss the upcoming Art Glass and Bead Show at the Alliant Energy Center. Doors open at 10 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday and classes run all day over both days. Entrance is $7 for one day or $11 for both – and be sure to check the full schedule of classes along with the exhibitor list before you make any other plans for this weekend. Get the information and your tickets at beadshowmadison.com.
Maple Syrup Fest
Anyone with a sweet tooth shouldn’t pass on the Maple Syrup fest at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center. Not only can you learn about tree-tapping methods and pioneer cooking techniques, you’ll also have a chance to enjoy real maple syrup sap and ice cream sundaes with a maple syrup topping. Better still, it’s all free – though you’ll only have between 1 and 4 p.m. to experience it all. Find out more at aldoleopoldnaturecenter.org.
March 30 and 31
Madison Ballet – “Rise"
Experience the historic Capitol Theater as well as an evening of dance as the Madison Ballet closes out the season. This show combines contemporary movements with classical techniques while allowing every dancer to truly shine. Shows begin at 8 p.m. on both nights and tickets range from $20 to $42. All ages are welcome and tickets can be purchased at overture.org.