Terrace Views

Terrace 101: It’s Terrace Time!

The weather’s getting warmer, and the days are getting longer, which means the most wonderful time of the year is here. That’s right, it’s Terrace time! Last year, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to get creative and make adjustments to Terrace season, but we still managed to spend most of summer 2020 soaking in Terrace vibes. This year, some aspects of the Terrace will continue to operate a little differently than years past, but don’t worry—it’ll be just as fun as ever. 

Recent UW-Madison grads strike a pose on our iconic Terrace chairs

We know you’re eager to return to the Terrace, and we can’t wait to welcome you back with open arms (from six feet away, of course). Here are some things you should know about our 2021 Terrace season:

When can I return to the Terrace?

The Terrace is now open! This season, the Terrace opened in two phases. The first phase opened up the Terrace to UW-Madison students, staff and faculty and UW Hospital employees on April 14 after our iconic sunburst chairs made their long-awaited return on April 13. This temporary first phase was due to a campus health and safety program that limited access to campus buildings. During our second phase, we managed to work with campus colleagues to expand the Terrace to all, beginning May 10. 

What health and safety measures are in place at the Terrace?

We require Union guests and employees to wear face coverings except when eating and drinking. To ensure physical distancing, we are operating at a reduced capacity of 25 percent. We have both Terrace seating as well as interior seating available. We also are not allowing the moving of tables and chairs to ensure physical distancing. Our facilities team worked with your health and safety in mind as they carefully planned our seating layout for you. We clean and sanitize tables and chairs throughout each day as well as each morning before the Terrace opens. Want to have a table cleaned more? Let one of our team members know, or visit one of our table self-service cleaning stations. 

Do I need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to access the Terrace?

No. However, if you do not feel well, please stay home, and visit us when you feel better. We’ll miss you, but there are plenty of Terrace season days to enjoy. 

Do I need a reservation to access the Terrace?

There are no longer reservations for the Terrace, as there were during summer 2020. Instead, seats are first-come, first-served. 

What if an open seat is not available?

We ask that if you cannot find a chair or marked seating location on the Terrace, you find a chair inside or enjoy your food to-go. This will ensure we do not exceed our seating capacity and will help create a safe Memorial Union experience. That burger, ice cream, or brat will taste great anywhere. We promise. 

What Terrace dining options are open this season?

Your foodie paradise awaits at Memorial Union. We’re talking beer-battered onion rings at der Rathskeller with just the right amount of crunch on the outside and sweet, tender onion on the inside. We’re talking creamy, rich ice cream made right on campus at the Daily Scoop. And so much more. Explore the menus of der Rath, Strada, Carte, the Brat Stand, the Daily Scoop, Peet’s Coffee, Badger Market, der Stiftskeller and the Lakeview Lounge. The Sunset Lounge is anticipated to open later this Terrace season. And, trust us, they’re worth the wait. (Lakeview Lounge has beer brat and cheese curd pizza. Need we say more?)

How do I order food at the Terrace? Will my food be delivered to my table?

Last summer, we introduced Grubhub delivery directly to Terrace tables. This year, guests can choose to order food and beverages at our on-site dining options or for pick-up at a restaurant’s, market’s or cafe’s counter through Grubhub. Additionally, kiosks are available at der Rathskeller and Peet’s Coffee for contactless ordering. 

Will events be returning to the Terrace?

Drumroll, please…yes! We will share the schedule at TerraceSummer.com soon. We’re excited that not only does this mean the return of the entertainment we love and know, but this also means more leadership experiences for the student leaders in our programming board, called the Wisconsin Union Directorate (WUD). Don’t know about these talented people yet? Well, your purchases at the Memorial Union and Union South help support their leadership opportunities and our programming. Learn more about WUD here.

Will Outdoor UW and Wheelhouse Studios be open this year?

Yes! Outdoor UW is currently offering rentals of some equipment like camping gear and anticipates expanding its rental options to include paddling equipment and more later this season. Wheelhouse Studios is currently offering virtual arts activities and classes and will announce future in-person opportunities at union.wisc.edu/wheelhouse

What is a one-day membership?

New this year, our guest passes have been replaced with $1 one-day memberships. One-day memberships grant guests access to Union South and Memorial Union and allow guests 21 and over to purchase adult beverages with proper ID at our dining options. They do not confer full membership benefits. One day memberships can be purchased at our dining options.

UW-Madison students are members while they attend UW-Madison. Students can present their Wiscards as proof of their temporary membership. Wiscard holders, including UW-Madison staff and faculty and some UW Hospital employees, can present their Wiscards in place of a purchased one-day membership. For full membership benefits, a Wisconsin Union annual or lifetime membership may be purchased. Click here to learn more about membership. 

Do I need to purchase a one-day membership if I’m a current Wisconsin Union member?

No, annual and lifetime Wisconsin Union members who present their Wisconsin Union membership cards do not need to pay any additional fees to access Union spaces or purchase adult beverages. UW-Madison students, staff and faculty and UW Hospital employees with a current Wiscard do not need to purchase one-day memberships, nor do active military with a valid military ID.

Who can become a Wisconsin Union member?

Anyone age 18 or older can become a Wisconsin Union member! You do not need to be affiliated with UW-Madison in any way to join the Union family and enjoy unlimited visits to Memorial Union and Union South. Visit union.wisc.edu/membership to learn about all of the benefits of annual and lifetime Wisconsin Union memberships.
Please note that Wisconsin Alumni Association membership is not Wisconsin Union membership and is not applicable at our buildings. 

What are the benefits of Wisconsin Union membership?

Wisconsin Union membership grants you access to Union South and Memorial Union, including the Terrace, and the ability to purchase adult beverages. Members also enjoy discounts on popular amenities such as Outdoor UW equipment rentals, Wisconsin Union Theater tickets, room rates through Wisconsin Union Hotel and Suites, art classes through Wheelhouse Studios and more. For an extensive summary of membership benefits, visit union.wisc.edu/get-involved/become-a-member/

Do I need to bring my membership card with me when visiting the Terrace?

Yes. Members, please bring your membership card with you. You will need this if you are 21 and over and purchasing adult beverages. If you have misplaced your membership card, you can call or email our membership office or fill out this form to request a replacement. 

Is there any new Terrace apparel this season?

Yes! The Terrace Store has several new apparel items available for purchase to commemorate the 2021 Terrace season. Our Union team’s excitement to return to the Terrace inspired the new collection. The items feature bright colors that evoke the joy we all feel while spending glorious summer days lakeside at the Terrace. 

The new collection includes a blue long sleeve shirt; two full-zip hoodies in vibrant shades of green and purple; a cozy charcoal terry cowl pullover; and three T-shirts, including a comfy eco-black tee, a brand-new pocket tee style and our limited edition tee. The 2021 limited edition tee features a stunning red Terrace chair surrounded by a gorgeous shade of blue reminiscent of the blue skies overlooking our very own Lake Mendota. Be sure to grab this special shirt before it’s gone! You can purchase these limited edition items in our online store or at Memorial Union in Badger Market or our brand-new pop-up Terrace Store, located in the Lakeview Lounge. 

Are pets allowed at the Union?

Only service animals are allowed at the Memorial Union Terrace. We appreciate your understanding. 

We want to thank you for your patience as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times. The support of our fantastic Wisconsin Union members, guests and staff helps us to safely open the Terrace and kick off another splendid summer. We can’t wait to see you soon! 
To learn more about the 2021 Terrace season, visit TerraceSummer.com.

Author: Abby Synnes

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