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Karl and Heather's Journey:

Go back to school!

I’m bored…there’s nothing to do...we never go anywhere! These are words of despair muttered by our daughters when their entertainment needs aren’t being met. So what are Heather and I to do in response to such dire situations? Our answer is, let’s see what Bucky is up to!

We live close - hearing “Jump Around” live from our front steps close - to the UW campus. Throughout the 15 years we have lived in Madison, it has always been a favorite destination for dog runs/walks (now with Roxy). However, these days we are learning that campus is a great destination for family activities.

Here are some of our favorite FREE activities and adventures; we would love to hear about yours (reply to our blog, please)!

  • Family photo shoot. We spent an afternoon wandering through campus taking individual and group pictures with our daughters. The architecture & landscapes are endless – Beacon Hill, Red Gym, churches, lake-front paths, woodlands…

  • Planet gazing at Washburn Observatory. On the 1st and 3rd Wednesday’s of each month, it is open to the public! Students help you climb the ladder to the big telescope to view gems of Saturn, Jupiter and many more celestial beauties. Also check out UW Space Place – an off campus museum/learning center with rooftop stargazing.

  • Exercise your artistic side through Free Art Friday’s at Wheelhouse Studios (Wisconsin Union). We’ve made bandanas and candle jars!

  • The UW Geology Museum features geology & paleontology exhibits and has free self-guided tours…bring along your very own copy of their Self-Guided Tour Booklet which you can download here.

  • Get out mid-week to ‘Wednesday Night @ the Lab’ for incredible presentations on everything from astronomy to zoology, and from bioethics to biomedical engineering.

  • Camp Randall movie night. This year we watched ‘Sing’ with our goddaughter and loved every note!

camp randall

  • Taking in the sweet smells and gorgeous landscapes at Allen Centennial Garden. Throughout the spring and summer are family-friendly events focusing on nature, conservation and family fun. 

centennial gardens

  • Making the most of the first Saturday morning (10am-Noon) of every month at Science Saturdays. Yesterday we attended ‘The buzz in Your Backyard,’ where the kids learned about bees, insects and nature through hands-on activities, drawing and crafting. The next month’s focus is living on Mars! We’ll see you there…

science projectscience projects


In the event you have budgeted for spending a few dollars while on campus (hint: Summit Credit Union sub-savings account), treat yourselves to ice cream at Babcock Hall, dinner/drinks/sunset on the Terrace, or any of the awesome classes through the Wisconsin Union.

There is something special about the energy and diversity of being on campus. The students and staff are always accommodating and make us feel like a welcome addition to their community. Below are additional sites to help you find whatever fun you are seeking at UW; or just venture there (or find a university campus near you) with no plan and see where the journey takes you!

camp randall

Children’s Activities at UW Madison

UW Madison Events Calendar

Chazen Museum of Art


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Karl and Heather's Journey

This is very inspiring! Thank you!