Top 10 Things to do in Madison ::One Mom’s Perspective::

Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 2.08.31 PMHello! My name is Katie Worledge and I am a mom of two boys, Elliot (11) and Miles (13). I am also a real estate agent with Accord Realty and a transplanted Californian who has lived in Madison for 18 years. Our family loves living here; the pace of life, the people, the incredible schools and teachers, and maybe not the winters so much, but after 18 years I’m slowly starting to accept them. Another thing to know about me is that as crazy as it sounds, I love to move! It’s what motivated me to get involved in real estate. For me, nothing beats the thrill of experiencing a new neighborhood or redesigning an old space to make it both function and shine. Over the last 18 years, our family has lived in 6 different houses, from Middleton to Madison and places in-between. My patient family humors my passion, and friends simply laugh now when I get that twinkle in my eye and announce our latest plans. I love old houses, new houses, not yet built houses…You name it, if there is a project involved, I’m on it.

Last month my real estate partner Brandon Grosse wrote about some great parks and neighborhoods in Middleton and Waunakee. This month I am going to share some of the many perks about living a bit closer to town. Most recently my family lived in the Vilas neighborhood of Madison. Hands down the best part of living in the “near” West, as us real estate folks like to refer to it, is the sense of community. The near West neighborhoods include; Vilas, West Lawn, Dudgeon-Monroe, University Heights, and Nakoma, all located just to the West of the Capital and downtown Madison. These neighborhoods are full of beautiful older, historic homes and they have some of the best walking scores around.

Below is my top ten list of things to do on the near West side of Madison (from a mother’s perspective of course!):

  1. Henry Vilas Zoo: A true Madison gem! (
  2. UW Arboretum: Runners, walkers, bikers, cross-country skiers alike enjoy the year round beauty that this oasis in the middle of the city provides. (
  3. Vilas Park and Wingra Park: Head out to ice skate on the lagoon in winter or to sail, paddle board and fish on Lake Wingra throughout the summer( Mom’s check out Backyard Yoga ( for a yoga class right on the shores of Lake Wingra. The opportunities are endless for family fun!
  4. Monroe Street Fine Arts: Have a budding Picasso or Beethoven? MSFA offers year round private and small group art & music classes (
  5. Trader Joe’s grocery store: just a short walk or bike ride from home!
  1. UW Badger Football: even if you’re not a football fan, the energy and excitement on football Saturdays throughout the Fall is contagious and so much fun for families!
  2. Kids in the Rotunda: check out the 2014 schedule for free Saturday shows at the Overture Center. A favorite of my family for years! (
  3. Monroe St. Restaurants: Family friendly dining is right down the street, from a glass of wine or coffee at Barriques to a fabulous burrito at Pasquals or a fantastic meal at Brassiere V. Top it off with a little custard at Michael’s Frozen Custard, who could ask for more?
  4. Monroe St. Shopping: Orange Tree Imports, A Stone’s Throw, and Wild Child just to name a few. Monroe St. is a super destination for a lunch date and a little shopping with friends. (
  5. Downtown Madison: And all that it has to offer is less than a mile away; jump on your bikes to hit the farmer’s market, museums or enjoy date night at one of the many fabulous restaurants.

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Considering a move or have questions about the real estate process? Please feel free to give me or Brandon a call or shoot us an email anytime. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!
:: 608.577.9860 or [email protected] ::


Madison Moms Blog is written by and for moms who live in the Madison Area. We strive to connect local moms by sharing personal experiences, fun ideas and useful information as well as promoting local businesses. Our community begins online, but doesn't stop there! We offer Mom's Night Out events, play groups and other opportunities to connect offline, with and without kids.


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