We reached out to 20 lakefront restaurants to find out what they felt makes them special – besides their great food and drinks! The following are the responses we received and included in our 2023 Greater Madison Lake Guide.
Henry Vilas Park (Lake Wingra)
Henry Vilas Park is one of Madison’s oldest lakeside parks, and provides a gathering place along Lake Wingra for swimming, fishing, and even ice skating when the lagoon freezes over. The park was created from a 1904 donation from Wisconsin’s U.S. Senator, William Freeman Vilas (1840-1908), to the Madison Park and Pleasure Drive Association, an organization committed to the development of parks and scenic drives in the Madison area in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Vilas also served as U.S. Postmaster General and Secretary of the Department of the Interior under President Grover Cleveland. Henry Vilas Park is named in memory of William’s son who died in childhood.
An interview with University of Wisconsin Lifesaving Station staff
Article first published in the 2023 Greater Madison Lake Guide, a Clean Lakes Alliance publication
Situated on the southern shore of Lake Mendota is a very unassuming building. You may not recognize the building, but you’ve probably seen one of the boats housed here out on the lake. It’s the University of Wisconsin Lifesaving Station and its job is to help keep everyone safe on Greater Madison’s largest lake.
In 2022, Clean Lakes Alliance received a Wisconsin DNR Surface Water Grant to participate in the Clean Boats, Clean Waters (CBCW) program. CBCW is a state-wide aquatic invasive species (AIS) prevention program. The program increases awareness and education to boaters, anglers, and general lake users on best practices to prevent the further spread of AIS at our local boat landings.
Nine days of Frozen Assets
We had so much fun throughout the nine days of Frozen Assets 2023 and we hope you did too! More than 8,000 lake enthusiasts from near and far joined us for science demonstrations, musical performances, ice skating, food and drinks, ice sculpture carving, a chance to try new winter activities, face painting, networking, a chance to run or walk in the only 5K on a frozen lake in North America, and more! We THANK YOU for supporting lakes Mendota, Monona, Wingra, Waubesa, and Kegonsa!
Lake enthusiasts from near and far joined us at Frozen Assets 2023 for science demonstrations, music, a 5K on a frozen lake, and more!
February 2 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
NEW! Join us for the first ever Frozen Assets Pond Hockey Tournament on rinks built right on frozen Lake Mendota! Come early for a stop at The Boathouse at The Edgewater for a brew from the beer garden and then gather round the rinks. Teams will play from 4 – 8 p.m., with the finals on Friday, February 3rd.
February 1 @ 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Wear your youth hockey jersey and skate for free as we celebrate National Girls & Women in Sports Day. Head over to The Boathouse at The Edgewater to watch the UW Badger Women’s Basketball team take on Ohio State. This event is part of the nine-day Frozen Assets week, which celebrates our lakes as one of community’s greatest assets.
January 31 @ 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Our Tropical Tuesday skate will have you on island time! Grab a lei and feel the cool Lake Mendota breeze as you jam to Jimmy Buffet around the rink.
Warm up with our Lakeside Luau with the Madison Downtowners, Madison Magnet, Smart Growth, and NAIOP in The Boathouse at The Edgewater with some of our summer favorites including The Boathouse Margarita and the Mendota Colada, Hawaiian pizzas and our favorite steel drum duo. This event is part of the nine-day Frozen Assets Festival, which celebrates our lakes as a year-round asset.
January 30 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Do you want to build a snowman? Join us for a “Frozen” Skate as part of Frozen Assets week, sponsored by Cassin Wolfe, Modern Woodmen of America, at The Edgewater, with special guests Elsa and Anna and a few of their friends! Stop in the Icehouse for some “Frozen” treats including snow cones (adult versions too!) and more. Warm up with sip of hot cocoa and munch on The Edgewater’s Snowman Snack Mix.
January 29 @ 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sunday Funday at The Edgewater
It’s time for a Frozen Assets Sunday Funday! Head over to the Grand Plaza at The Edgewater for ice skating and the inaugural Ice Block delivery — each sculpture will weigh more than 1,000 pounds! These massive slabs will be the home to live sculpture carvings for the week, showcasing ice carvers from Art Below Zero.
Enjoy brunch from The Statehouse or join the watch party for NFL Championship games in the Boathouse.