Urban Life

Madison boasts a wealth of cultural opportunities usually associated with much larger metropolitan areas.

Arts and Entertainment

  • World–class entertainment can be found just about any night.
  • Occupying an entire city block within the center of town, the state–of–the–art Overture Center for the Arts is home to the fabulous Overture Hall, the intimate Playhouse, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, several galleries, a soaring glass lobby, and the historic Capitol Theater – all designed by internationally famous architect Cesar Pelli.
  • The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra’s Concerts on the Square, a free musical event, brings over 120,000 people to the Capitol Square grounds on six evenings every summer.
  • Art Fair on the Square is a popular summer tradition that regularly attracts more than 200,000 fairgoers and is rated among the top fine art fairs in the country.


  • Eight major shopping centers, including Madison’s premier destination, Hilldale Shopping Center.
  • State Street boasts a unique outdoor shopping experience, with specialty shops, galleries, outdoor cafes, and the best people watching around.
  • The country’s largest farmers’ market is held on the Capitol Square on Saturday mornings.

Kids and Family