A Weekend Guide to Madison – Game Day Edition

If you personally know anyone who went to school at University of Wisconsin Madison, I’m sure you are well aware of their affinity for Madison.  If you don’t know anyone who went there, let me just tell you that my husband, Chris, graduated from UW and he and all of his college buddies are STILL #obsessed with “Madtown”.  They are so obsessed that they actually influenced my youngest brother to apply to UW.  He is now happily a freshmen and living the dream.  Considering I married into this madness and have a sibling currently enrolled, I define myself as an honorary “Badger” (the UW mascot is Bucky the Badger).  🙂

This past weekend we drove up to Madison from Chicago to attend the Wisconsin vs Ohio State football game.  We had been planning to attend this game for months and were super pumped that a lot of our friends were going as well.  In the planning process, we were actually invited to an engagement party and a birthday brunch that were also taking place in Madison.  I tend to leave all the Madison trip planning up to my husband, so this weekend guide will be set up a little different than my previous guides to New Orleans and Denver.

Friday night, we rolled into Madison around 5:30 pm and went straight to our hotel.  We stayed at the Sheraton Madison.  This hotel is about 3 miles away from campus, but we had a hook-up for rooms through friends.  If you ever go to Madison for a big football or basketball game, make sure you book your hotel room as far in advance as you can.  Try to pick a spot that is on campus.

We checked-in and called an uber to head to the engagement party for our close friends, Mickey and Lindsay.  The party was held at Lucille, an upscale pizza joint located in the square near the capitol building.  It was such a cute venue.

The bar inside of Lucille (Photo Source: @lucillepizza via Twitter)

The couple had reserved a corner of the restaurant on the second floor.  Mickey went to Ohio State and Lindsay went to Wisconsin, so naturally the theme of their party was centered around the HUGE game taking place on Saturday.

The food was pretty good!  There was a table set up with nachos, wings, and meatballs.  Pizzas came out a little later.  I ate pretty light, but everything I tried was tasty.

After the party was over, we scooted on over to The Field Table to meet our other friends for dinner and drinks.  This restaurant had a great vibe.  It’s a farm to table restaurant and was pretty trendy inside.

The Field Table Bar (Photo Source: The Cap Times)

I can’t speak about the food at this restaurant because I only shared a few oysters.  Our friends’ food took a little longer than it should have.  To compensate, the chef sent out a cheese platter.  Honestly, we were having so much fun with each other that we didn’t even notice the food was taking too long!  It was a very nice gesture of the restaurant.

Chris and his friend were so thrilled to be back in Madison that they just couldn’t resist hitting up the bar scene.  We walked down State Street and found ourselves spending the rest of the evening at one of their favorite college bars called Monday’s.  It was pretty typical of a college bar… starting with an insanely long line to get in.  Luckily for us, an old friend of theirs is the bar manager and we were able to cut to the front of the line.  I excused myself from the group to use the women’s restroom and walked in to a shattered drinking glass and vomit on the floor.  So disgusting.  Aside from the horrific bathroom, we had a great time! #collegelife

The next morning my husband and I were hungover and starting our day slowly.  We had access to the Sheraton Club, so we just grabbed a low key breakfast from there.  Our day actually started around 3 pm after a few more of our friends arrived.  Our crew went to another UW staple, Kollege Klub.  We all ordered lunch… not exactly a place I would ever recommend getting food from.  The food was pretty terrible.  However, the KK is such a fun bar.  Not to mention, they sell these REALLY great old school sweatshirts that all of my friends and I own.

My friends and I at Kollege Klub.

After having some fun at KK, we headed on over to another friend’s tailgate.  Tailgates are always a ton of fun.  They had great food, coolers full of beer, and obviously fun company.  I think all the guys were overcome with the nostalgia of college because before we knew it – they were shot gunning beers!

It was finally time for the big game.  Ohio State is insanely good and was favored to win.  Wisconsin has been playing so well this season, so this game was the biggest game of the week.  Camp Randall (Wisconsin’s stadium) was packed!

Our brother took a break from #collegelife to meet up with his sisters for a little bit.

One of my favorite traditions that Wisconsin has happens between the 3rd and 4th Quarter when you hear… Ba Ba Baaaaaa… and then the entire stadium starts jumping to Jump Around.

While the Badgers ended up losing in overtime, it was still an incredible game.  They really held their own and should be extremely proud of themselves.

The game ended with severe weather alerts and shortly thereafter, a torrential downpour. The combination of a huge game day turnout and a monsoon made it impossible for us to get into any bar or get a ride back to our hotel.  I’m not even kidding you, we were soaked and stuck by the stadium for two hours. All of our Uber apps crashed and didn’t have enough cell service to download Lyft.  Luckily our hotel offered a shuttle taking people to and from the game.  Unfortunately, the shuttle was taking so long to make the roundtrips due to the weather and heavy traffic conditions.  We waited for about an hour for the shuttle to come back to get us.  I think we finally made it back to the hotel around 1:30 am and we were all stone sober.  Haha.  At least it made it easier for us all to wake up in the morning for brunch… silver lining?!

The next morning we gathered the group back up for a birthday brunch for our friend Jeff.  His wife, Kim, was able to secure a huge table at Heritage Tavern. The food was pretty good.  I was a little disappointed in my french toast as it came out a little overcooked.  Chris ordered a bloody mary that looked fantastic and a few others ordered eggs benedict that were drool worthy.

Eggs Benedict (Photo Source: @heritage_tavern via Twitter)

Like I said, I didn’t plan this trip, nor is this a trip I would typically plan.  The weekend turned out to be really fun and we were able to try out some new spots as well as hit up some old favorites.  We are going back up to Madison again soon.  I’ll be sure to write an updated post if we stumble across more fun things to do!

XO, Lauren

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