The 7 Best Ways To Experience Fall In Madison (2021)
Pour yourself a glass of cider— fall is here! October in Madison is a special time of year. Brightly colored leaves scatter the sidewalks. Houses are decorated for the holiday. There’s always football on a TV and a blanket to wrap yourself in.
The city comes alive this season. So we’ve compiled a list of the best ways to take advantage of the city this month.
The Best Madison Pumpkin Patches
Treinen Farm is a bit of a drive. It’s located in Lodi, about 20 miles north of Madison. But it’s well worth it. You won’t be popping in only to PYOP (pick your own pumpkin). Visiting Treinen Farm is a whole afternoon of fun. They’ve built an award-winning corn maze (it was voted one of the top ten in the country by USA today!). The farm also has a play area that takes pride in getting adults to channel their inner child! Take a hike and explore the enchanted woods. Hunt for fairy doors in the trees. Before you go, be sure to pet the farm animals— they’ve even got a mini horse!
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 9 AM-10 PM
Enchanted Valley Acres
Do you prefer a pumpkin that is round and smooth? Or do you like the ones that are a bit oblong and warty but have tons of character? Wander acres of vine-ripe pumpkins at Enchanted Valley Acres and decide which pumpkin feels right for you this year. Then, when you’re done… try out the giant slides, grab a bite to eat from the food truck, or take a wagon ride.
Hours: Friday-Sunday 9 AM-6 PM
The Best Madison Haunted Houses
Schuster Farm Haunted Forest
This haunt is so much more than a decorated house. You’ll be walking through the woods, in the thick of the elements. Every snap of a twig could mean something ominous. If you’re into adrenaline, this haunted experience is the ultimate. Stick around afterward for hot apple cider and candy apples.
Screamin’ Acres Haunted House
Screamin’ Acres is a creative attraction. It’s self-described as an “artistic horror experience”. They hire the most qualified actors and costume designers. This level of thoughtfulness makes it a truly unique Halloween experience.
Ghost Tours are not as scary as a traditional haunted house. Nothing will jump out and scare you or chase you through a field with a chainsaw. But ghost tours are a great way to get outdoors and learn about local lore.
King Street Spirits Ghost Walk
King Street and Capitol square are the oldest parts of the city. Somewhere so old is bound to have ghosts. Learn all about the secret dark history of Madison’s beautiful capital.
State Street Ghost Walk
Meet a ghost named Pete, phantom organ players, and suspicious stage managers. Walk along Madison’s main entertainment district and learn about those who inhabit the night.
UW Campus Ghost Walks
The University campus hosts many legends of lore. Are there bodies underneath the statue of Abe Lincoln? What’s the story behind the underground dweller known as Tunnel Bob? Find out these stories and more on the UW Campus Ghost Walk.
October doesn’t have to be all spooky nights and frights. It can be good cheer and good beer! You can always count on this at a good ole’ fashioned Bader’s Gameday! There are two more home games in October that you can celebrate.
Wisconsin Badgers vs. Army Mules
Wisconsin Badgers vs. Iowa Hawks
This is the annual homecoming game. There will be fun activities for students and alumni all week long. Check the homecoming schedule here.
Trunk or Treats
Trunk or Treats have gained significant popularity in the last decade. Parents love it because much of the “stranger danger” factors of trick-or-treating are eliminated. There’s no knocking on random doors. Kids love it because they get to dive into trunks full of candy and fill up to their heart’s content. And if your house isn’t already overflowing with candy, trunk or treats happen throughout Halloweek. You can wear your costume more than once and celebrate as much as your heart desires.
Join In A Halloween Parade
The Cambridge Halloween Costume Parade and Trick or Trail
The streets will be shut down for this scarily adorable Halloween parade. Kiddos and their parents will get to show off their costumes and collect candy along Main Street. Join in the fun!
Monroe Street Dog Costume Parade
Support the Dane County Humane Society! Dress up your furry friend (or simply cheer on the participants!) in the cutest parade that could ever exist.
Run A Halloween 5K
The idea of running for fun may be scary to some people. But the positive energy and festivity on race days are undeniable. And even more for a holiday race! Good spirits (not spooky spirits!) are palpable. To participate in a Halloween Fun Run, sign up for the Haunted Hustle, a two-day event. The races begin at dusk on Saturday, October 23rd.
Participants can join in either a 10Krun, a 5k run, a 5K Dog Jog, or a 5K Zombie walk. Stick around after the race to enjoy a bonfire, s’mores, and entertainment while your post-run endorphins surge.
Sunday’s race day includes a Half Marathon, A relay option, and a Kid’s Run.
The Best Madison Halloween Parties
If 21+ events are your poison, there is no shortage of Halloween Parties happening around town.
Halloween Bar Crawl
Pop through all of Madison’s best spots in one night. This bar crawl is renowned as one of the largest in the nation. And it’s no surprise- they’re offering a $1,000 prize to the winner of the bar crawl’s costume contest.
MBC’s Halloween Masquerade Party
Dress in your best, put on a fancy mask (and a COVID mask!), and join in a night of dancing at the Madison Ballroom Company.
Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre
Participate in an interactive dining experience. This is a theatrical event, where anyone at the table (including yourself!) could be a suspect. Enjoy a Cajun-style multi-course dinner and unravel the mystery.