Terrace Views

Create Your Own Family Night on the Terrace This Summer

Every Tuesday night from now until Aug. 30, Outdoor UW will host Family Night on Lake Mendota, an evening filled with games, sightseeing and paddling. Family Night is certainly a blast, but if you’re busy on Tuesday nights or miss registration, don’t worry! You can create your own family night at the Memorial Union Terrace any day of the week.

We’ve compiled a list of fun activities that you and your family can do on the Terrace during your own DIY family night. Mix and match the activities to suit your schedule and interests, or make a checklist to see how many you can complete throughout the summer.

  1. Rent a paddlecraft
Paddle to your heart’s content with Outdoor UW.

What says summer more than paddling around Lake Mendota on a glorious sunny evening? With Outdoor UW, you can rent canoes, kayaks or stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) to explore the lake. Make sure to bring sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and a water bottle to stay protected and hydrated during your time on the water.

From the comfort of your paddlecraft, you can play rounds of I Spy, try your hand at SUP yoga or invent your own unique game. If you’re looking for something more structured, you can book a private group experience here and work with an Outdoor UW instructor to organize an activity that’s perfect for you and your family. 

Paddling rentals are available every day of the week, but if you’re a Wisconsin Union member, you can save 10% on equipment rentals every Thursday throughout the summer.

  1. Make an art project
Create an art project on the Terrace with Wheelhouse Studios.

Every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night from 4-7 p.m., Wheelhouse Studios provides free art projects on the Terrace as part of Terrace Art Zone. Art Zone activities are fun for the whole family, and, in the past, have included things like printmaking and painting.

If you’re looking for something a little more elaborate, you can purchase an art kit from the Terrace Art Cart, which is brand-new this year. Crafts available for purchase include string art, acrylic paintings, watercolor paintings and beaded bracelets. (Annual and lifetime Wisconsin Union members also save 20% on art kits every Thursday and 10% every other day of the week.) Bring your art materials to a colorful table and create your masterpiece against a beautiful backdrop of the lively Terrace and the blue-green waves of Lake Mendota. 

  1. Enjoy a tasty dinner on the Terrace
Nothing tops a Brat Stand brat for the ideal summer dining vibes.

At the Terrace, the sky’s the limit when it comes to food and beverage options. You can easily have a pizza party with 16-inch family-style pizzas from Lakeview Lounge, a homestyle cookout with burgers and brats from the Brat Stand, or a comfort food night with crispy chicken tenders and gooey cheese curds from der Rathskeller. If your family members can’t agree on a cuisine, everyone can easily grab the meal that sounds the best to them and bring it onto the Terrace for a potluck-style dinner. We can guarantee you’ll want to sample everything at the table. 

You can explore the full Memorial Union dining menus here.

  1. Attend the ultimate dance party
Dance to (free!) live music four nights a week this summer on the Terrace.

There’s no better feeling than dancing the night away to spectacular live music while a beautiful sunset reflects off the water behind the stage. It may sound too good to be true, but we can assure you that this can be your reality four nights of the week when you visit the Terrace! Student leaders in the Wisconsin Union Directorate (WUD) Music Committee have got you covered with concerts on the UW Credit Union Terrace Stage Wednesday through Saturday nights. Bring your dancing shoes and get ready to show off your signature moves. Check out the Union event calendar to see all upcoming concerts. Summer Terrace programming is presented with support from Dean Health Plan, a member of SSM Health.

  1. Watch a summer movie on the big screen

Did someone say free movies on the Terrace? That’s right! Students in the WUD Film Committee have organized two summer-themed film lineups for you and your family to enjoy as part of Lakeside Cinema. Mark your calendar and catch one of the family-friendly films coming up:

Catch a Lakeside Cinema film screening this summer.
  • “Moana” – Aug. 1
  • “Surf’s Up” – Aug. 22
  • “Shark Tale” – Sept. 5

For the ultimate movie experience, don’t forget to grab a box of your favorite candy from Badger Market or a pitcher of soda from the Brat Stand!

We are grateful for the sponsorship support of Dean Health Plan, a member of SSM Health, in making our film showings possible. 

  1. Build the perfect ice cream sundae
Create the ultimate ice cream sundae at Daily Scoop with toppings galore.

The possibilities are endless for the perfect sundae made with Babcock Ice Cream. Will you choose blue moon with whipped cream? Chocolate chip cookie dough with hot fudge? Union utopia in a waffle cone? There are so many delicious options at the Daily Scoop that every time you come, you and your family can get something different in your quest for that perfect combination. 

And the fun doesn’t stop at ice cream scoops and toppings—the Daily Scoop also offers signature sundaes, root beer floats, mochi ice cream, Italian ice, milkshakes, malts and fruit smoothies. Bring your appetite and your sweet tooth and grab one of these delicious desserts for you and your family to enjoy.

Family Night on Lake Mendota.

Now that you’ve read through some of the top ways to Terrace with your family, it’s time for you to choose your own adventure. Will your next family night consist of dinner and a movie? Creating an artistic masterpiece with live music playing in the background? Or a paddling excursion followed by an ice cream treat? Will you try our Family Nights on Lake Mendota?

No matter how you choose to spend time with your loved ones at the Terrace, we can’t wait to see you. To read about all of the upcoming Terrace events, visit TerraceSummer.com.

Author: Abby Synnes

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