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Published on July 18, 2014

Five Unique, Free Ways to Make the Most of Your Summer

Get out, see the sights and enjoy time as a family!

Get the most out of summer with these out-of-the-box (and free!) activities. Say goodbye to those long, lazy afternoons and hello to green gardens, grand mansions and all the mustard you can eat. 

Movie Night at the Terrace: Go see Raiders of the Lost Ark, playing outdoors at the Terrace the evening of July 21. Raiders is a Steven Spielberg classic about the adventures of Indiana Jones. The entire family will enjoy this PG action movie starring Harrison Ford. Share a childhood favorite with your kids!

Governor’s Mansion Tour: Take a free tour of the Executive Residence Thursdays from 1 to 3 p.m. between the months of April and August. Madison architect Frank Riley designed the mansion in the 1920s in the southern Classical Revival style. It includes seven gardens, sits on nearly four acres overlooking Lake Mendota and contains many items of historical significance.

The National Mustard Museum: The “Condimental Divide” is typically open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn about the history of mustard, sample hundreds of mustards at the Tasting Bar and shop for gifts including gourmet salsas, sauces, chutneys and preserves. Most important, tell all your friends. After all, the best part about going to the National Mustard Museum is just to say you went!

Summer Concert at Olbrich Botanical Gardens: Not only are the lush gardens and grounds themselves free, but there’s also a free concert on the Great Lawn every Tuesday evening in June and July. Donations, however, are much appreciated. July 22 features the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra. Pack a picnic and enjoy one of the last summer concerts at Olbrich!

Self-Guided Walking Tour: Download a free preplanned walking tour with maps and historical anecdotes created by the City of Madison’s Planning Division. Mansion Hill has the most intact Victorian houses in Madison. Walk by the lavish mansions of yesteryear and learn about the historic Silk Stocking District, secret societies and ritzy social gatherings.

What creative, free activities do you enjoy doing with your family?

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