Our List of Unique Date Ideas in Madison WI

Our List of Unique Date Ideas in Madison WI

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Date night is scheduled, but you don’t want to do the same old boring dinner and a Marcus Point Cinema routine. Madison, Wisconsin has so much to offer when it comes to going out with your sweetie. From beautiful scenery to romantic dining, here are some unique date ideas in Madison WI that you’re sure to fall in love with!

Our List of Unique Date Ideas in Madison WI

Stop and Smell the Roses

Olbrich Botanical Gardens is not only rated one of the most inspiring gardens in North America, but it’s also the #1 attraction in Madison on TripAdvisor.com. This is a perfect place to see some gorgeous perennials with your significant other, no matter the weather.


With indoor and outdoor gardens, you’ll be able to explore and have some beautiful photo opportunities! Olbrich features several gardens including a sunken garden, perennials, roses, rocks, herbs, wildflowers, and a tropical conservatory.

Pass the Mustard, Please

Planning your date around condiments doesn’t sound normal, but it sure tops the list of unique date ideas in the Madison, Wisconsin area! Located in Middleton, the National Mustard Museum is a perfect place to learn, taste, and shop for your favorite sandwich topping.

Dubbed the “Condimental Divide”, the triumphant piece in the museum is the display of more than 5,566 jars, bottles, and tubes from every U.S. state and more than 70 countries. Learn cooking tips that you can use when you return home with your darling. Find your favorite mustard with non-stop tastings from wasabi to chocolate (yes, chocolate!) mustards.

Laugh with the staff as they perform Shakespearian mustard soliloquies and mustard-themed parodies. Take home some of your favorite varieties of mustard and souvenir gifts. This is the perfect unique date for you and your honey (mustard).

Our List of Unique Date Ideas in Madison WI

Revisit Your Childhood – Go to the Zoo!

If you and your date are looking for something a little more low-key, the Henry Vilas Zoo is perfect! One of the few free zoos in the United States, there are tons of amazing animals to see and it will make you feel like a kid again.

Hold hands with your sweetie as you ride the carousel, feed the goats, or watch the polar bear antics.

Get Lost in Love

Take your date on an adventure and explore some of Madison’s most beautiful areas with a romantic hike. From nature preserves to parks, there are plenty of trails for you and your date to wander down hand-in-hand.

You might take a walk through the UW Arboretum or even out Picnic Point. The Yahara River Trail is a beautiful way to bond with your date and enjoy the scenery without spending too much. This could be one of the best first date spots as it is thrifty, you can usually take a picnic, and it is easier to talk to other people when you aren’t face to face. When walking side-by-side the pressure is off!

Field of Flowers North Farm
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A Night at the Museum

Take in some culture at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. MMoCA Nights are held throughout the year to coincide with exhibition openings, film screenings, and other special events.

Talk about culture, have some free hors d’oeuvres (included with the $10 admission or free for members), and have a drink at the cash bar. Check out the latest offerings at the museum, often accompanied by music and always with unique fun!

Take in a film at the MMoCA Cinema, where you’ll screen critically acclaimed films from festivals like Cannes and Sundance. Not a night owl? The museum is open with fresh, contemporary exhibits during the day as well. After touring the museum, have a bite at Fresco, the museum’s rooftop restaurant.

Discover Buried Treasure

If you’re looking for something truly unique to do on a date night, check out National Natural Landmark, Cave of the Mounds, in Blue Mounds (just 25 miles West of Madison). Daily tours are available of the historic cave, but for a perfect date night, check out Cave After Dark!

These events are made for romance with various themes of music, dining, and cocktails (one free drink per reservation) inside the cave. Events sell out fast, but you can book online to reserve a spot. Tickets are only $25 plus tax per person. Hiking and biking trails also make Cave of the Mounds a special day date destination as well!

the cave of the mounds in wisconsin

Try an Old Fashioned

Where else could you enjoy the signature cocktails of Wisconsin than a traditional supper club? Supper clubs date back to the 1920s and are often considered classic Wisconsin institutions.

Dine on steak, walleye, or some other local favorite while you enjoy a drink in a throwback atmosphere. Many supper clubs also offer live music, so be prepared for a date night full of fun! Check out the Supper Club Directory we have started.

If you want a slightly different set of Date Ideas in Madison WI try several places in Madison just for their signature cocktails!

Cruise the Lake

WIth a Betty Lou Cruise, that is.

This beautiful yacht offers a wide range of cruises on Lake Mendota, with options that include brunch, cocktails, and dinner.

What could be more romantic than cruising the lake with your date while enjoying a meal or drink? You can even book the Betty Lou for private events!

the capital is a great Our List of Unique  choice for Date Ideas in Madison WI

Explore the Capitol Square

You could get several amazing dates out of this Date Ideas in Madison WI concept! Tour the amazing and beautiful state capital. Walk around the square to see all of the monuments.

Cross the street and try a romantic dinner at one of the fun independent restaurants. Check out the Wisconsin Veteran’s museum for a cheap date night that creates a good time as you learn about local everyday heroes.

There are seasonal gems that offer a lot of romance and fun like during the Summer Farmers Markets, Concerts on the Square, and even Winter Festivals. You can try some local treats while walking through the Taste of Madison or even pick up new home decor at the Art Fair on the Square from a local artist.

Tap Your Feet to Live Music

There’s nothing like live music to set the date night mood. There are so many fantastic venues for you and your date to enjoy some local tunes on date nights in Madison.

From jazz at Cafe Coda to catching a band at the Memorial Union Terrace with a pitcher of beer, there are many music venues to take your date. See if you can agree on your favorite bands and make sure you time it to hit happy hour for discount deals.

Classical performances abound in Madison as well with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra performing throughout the year and even local high school ensembles taking on some of our favorite romantic tunes!

Shop State Street

State Street is a shopper’s paradise, and it can be just as fun to date night shop! From art store gift shops at the Overture Center to local boutiques, you can find something for everyone on the 6 blocks of State Street.

There is also a fantastic variety of restaurants to check out – make a game out of trying everything from the Peanut Butter and Jelly Shop to the latest Sushi joint. It seems like they always have a new restaurant to check out.

check out a comedy club

Laugh it Off

There are a few different comedy clubs in Madison you can try for date night. Comedy Club On State often has big names in comedy perform, while the High Noon Saloon will give you plenty of laughs for your date-night dollar! This can be one of the best places to enjoy time together in a fun way.

Pick out a bottle of wine

Wollersheim Winery is a great place to start. With wine tastings, a beautiful location on the Wisconsin River, and an expansive gift shop – it’s definitely date-night worthy!

Created in the 1840s, Wollersheim Winery has developed into a leader in the Midwestern wine industry, winning numerous awards throughout its storied history. You can turn this into more date night ideas by having that glass of wine in the backyard by your fire pit or on Lake Monona when you are on a rented boat.

This is one of those Date Ideas in Madison WI that might get you the most mileage!

Get things Cooking Between You Two

If you want to expand your brunch ideas or come up with a few new ways to look at the nightly dinner, try a class at Sur La Table in the Hilldale Mall. They offer everything from knife skills to pasta making. Try to keep an eye on their website for class discounts or special pricing for couples.

dacing couple for date night

Put a little boogie in it

There are several places to get dance lessons in Madison. From the Swing Dance Society to Salsa in the Latin Quarter, you can find something for everyone. There are even a few places that will let you get your groove on without any prior experience. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up becoming regular date night attendees!

Why wait until Valentine’s Day?

There’s no way to get in a dating rut with all the unique date ideas in Madison, Wisconsin! Enjoy an experience with your sweetie that you’ll never forget.

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