Things to do in Middleton that don’t cost a dime

Whether visiting for a weekend or a week — there is so much to enjoy in Middleton without ever opening your wallet.

Bunny Hob sign at Middleton park

Solve the clues in the Bunny Hop

The City of Middleton’s parks and recreation department engages residents of all ages throughout the year with fun activities and community events. The Bunny Hop is open to everyone — including visitors — of all ages, March 26 through April 4, at Lakeview Park, Tiedman Pond and Orchid Heights Trail in Middleton.

How to play:
Bunnies have been sighted hopping through MiddletonThe bunnies are carrying around clues to help the public decode a message. After finding all the bunnies at a park location, submit the decoded message online to be entered to win a prize. There are three sets of tracks to follow, each with a different message. Follow Middleton Publics Lands, Recreation and Forestry on Facebook.

 

Check out the National Mustard Museum

It might be the quirkiest condiment shop in the world! The National Mustard Museum is a mecca of mustards, housing more than 6,000 jars, bottles and tubes of mustard from all 50 states and more than 70 countries, if they don’t carry it, they can probably find it. The National Mustard Museum is located in the historic downtown area of Middleton (where all parking is free!) and is open to visitors. The museum is free of charge and the shop sells mustard, as well as comical gifts.

Current hours are: Monday and Thursday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Friday and Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

National Mustard Days is Saturday, Aug. 7 — this will go on rain or shine! In 2020, it became a virtual event; stay tuned for details for this year!

StoryWalk Dreamers

StoryWalk® through an adventure downtown

Dreamers are everywhere, at all ages, and Middleton’s StoryWalk® celebrates them. Families are invited to downtown Middleton to enjoy the city’s StoryWalk®, “Dreamers,” by Yuyi Morales, now through May 2. This is free of charge and open to all.

“It’s a beautifully illustrated story of one woman’s incredible journey to the United States,” said Lori Bell, Head of Youth Services at Middleton Public Library.

Families can follow the book through 25 illustrated posters around downtown. Pick up a numbered map at the Middleton Public Library or download it online. The map and businesses are numbered so that readers can follow the stops in order and find out what happens next in the story.

StoryWalk® maps are available online here.

Safety guidelines: Please practice social distancing during your StoryWalk®, giving others six feet of space, and follow Dane County Public Health guidelines regarding COVID-19, including wearing face coverings indoors or in crowded spaces if 5 years or older, and staying home if sick or presenting symptoms.

Then and now photo of VillaDolce

Walk (or drive) through history

The City of Middleton traces its beginnings to an 1832 fur trading post along the northern shore of Lake Mendota near what is now Mendota County Park. The Township of Middleton was created in 1848 and about a decade later, in 1856, the much-coveted railroad arrived, establishing Middleton as a hub of activity for the area. The current depot was built in 1895 and serves as the Middleton Tourism and Visitors Center, located on Parmenter Street downtown.

Middleton was incorporated as a village in 1905 and became a city in 1963. Today, the city retains its beautiful historic charm and celebrates its landmarks. For more history and photos of Middleton, check out the Middleton Historical Society and Rowley Museum. The Rowley House Museum usually also offers free tours, email to ask about current hours. At present, the museum hopes to reopen in mid-June.

Click here to download Middleton’s Historic Walking Tour map.

Click here to download Middleton’s Landmarks Tour map. (Some of which requires a vehicle.)

 

Bridge at Pheasant Branch

Explore Middleton outdoors

Exploring Middleton outdoors is definitely something everyone enjoys — whether you are a local or a visitor. You can enjoy our open parks, 550-acres of conservancy land, dog parks, and hiking and biking trails (and we have ski trails open if snow’s on the ground). Follow this link to see more of how you can explore Middleton outdoors!

Planning a trip?

We want to make planning a trip to Middleton as easy as possible so we have created pages on our site that provide a full list of all dining in Middleton (more than 70 locations!) and we also have links to shopping in Greenway Station and downtown Middleton (more than 60 places to shop).

And don’t forget to book your room — Middleton hotels are all practicing recommended Covid-related safety standards and many are offering deals for bookings. We have one hotel in the heart of downtown and the rest are conveniently located just a few minutes away.

It’s all in our homepage’s drop-down menu or “search” feature!

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