Terrace Views

The Ultimate Terrace Summer Goals List

If you’re anything like me, spending as much time at the Memorial Union Terrace as possible is a staple of your summer. I could (and frequently do) lounge on the famous Terrace sunburst chairs for hours and never get bored taking in the sights around me, from the watercolor-esque sunsets reflecting on Lake Mendota to the Hoofers sailboats skimming across the water. But why not take your Terrace summer a step further and challenge yourself to attend as many exciting events as possible? 

The Union event calendar is filled to the brim this summer, so wherever your passions lie, there’s sure to be something for you. I’ve got you covered with the Ultimate Terrace Summer Bucket List. Are you ready for the challenge?

1. Make some noise at a live concert

Singer Pat McCurdy performs for a packed Terrace crowd.

I, for one, can’t wait to attend live music performances again, and what better concert venue than the UW Credit Union Summer Stage at the Terrace? Our 2021 summer music lineup, planned and presented by the Wisconsin Union Directorate (WUD) Music Committee, is one for the books. You’ll definitely feel “Home At Last” when Steely Dane, the Dane County-based Steely Dan cover band, rocks the stage on July 23. Don’t miss Telethon and Half Catholic and their revolutionary hard pop and power pop sounds on July 30. And stay tuned to hear who will perform as part of the Sugar Maple Festival on Aug. 5. 

Mark your calendars, invite your friends, and get ready to dance the night away at one (or all!) of these free music events. 

2. Have an epic outdoor movie night

Terrace-goers enjoy an evening at the movies for a showing of “Dazed and Confused.”

There’s something undeniably magical about watching a movie at the Terrace. It feels like having a movie night with hundreds of your closest friends, collectively basking in the experience. Grab a bag of popcorn from der Stiftskeller, a box of candy from Badger Market and a scoop of Babcock Ice Cream from the Daily Scoop, and you’ve got yourself a movie night like no other. (I mean, does your average movie night have a stunning view of the lake behind the movie screen?)

Bring your friends, your family or just yourself and catch one of our free “Seriously Summer” film screenings, presented by the WUD Film Committee. We’re showing Spike Lee’s drama “Do the Right Thing” on July 26, the Disney family film “Lilo and Stitch” on Aug. 9, and the summer camp comedy “Wet Hot American Summer” on Aug. 23. 

3. Channel your creativity by making an art project

Union members and guests try their hand at printmaking as part of Terrace Art Zone.

Whether you’re a kid or a kid at heart, we know it’s impossible to resist a good art project. That’s why our Union staff at Wheelhouse Studios had all of you in mind when they designed a full lineup of free art activities on the Terrace.

At Terrace Art Zone, you can take part in projects like mobile-making on Aug. 4 and object marbling on Aug. 18, from 5-7 p.m. (or while supplies last). If painting is more your style, join us for our annual Paintacular, Madison’s largest group paint night, on Sept. 6 from 3-5 p.m. (or while supplies last). Trust me, you won’t want to miss out on these opportunities to create memories that last a lifetime.

4. Energize your body and mind with an outdoor yoga class

Relax and reset with a yoga class on Lake Mendota. (Photo by Sam Molinaro)

Yoga is the perfect way to get your body moving while taking in the sights and sounds of the nature surrounding you. You have the option of Terrace yoga or stand-up paddleboard (SUP) yoga, both of which are presented by Outdoor UW and University Recreation & Wellbeing. Yoga is for anyone and everyone! Whether you’re a master yogi or brand new to the world of yoga, this is an experience for which both your body and mind will thank you. 

5. Paddle with Outdoor UW

Rent a canoe, kayak or SUP and paddle past the Terrace and other Madison destinations.

Nothing says summer like being out on the lake, so get outside with Outdoor UW and rent a paddle craft to immerse yourself in all the summer vibes. Choose from a kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors from the comfort of your boat. You can paddle past Madison landmarks like Picnic Point, Tenney Park, and, of course, the Terrace! Bring your sunscreen and a sense of adventure for a day full of fun and sun.

6. Spend an evening on the lake during Family Night

Bring the family and enjoy an evening of fun paddling activities during Family Night.

There’s no better way to take advantage of beautiful summer nights than by getting the whole family together and spending an evening on Lake Mendota. And when we say on the lake, we mean on the lake… literally! At Family Night, which takes place every Tuesday from 4-6 p.m., our leaders at Outdoor UW will take you on an adventure that includes games, sightseeing and learning paddling skills on one of our paddle crafts. Extend the festivities after returning to land by grabbing dinner or ice cream from one of our many delicious dining options.

7. Catch a sunset while enjoying a brand-new dining experience at Sunset Lounge & Outdoor Restaurant

Catch exquisite sunsets like this one when you visit the Sunset Lounge & Outdoor Restaurant.

Get bonus points for this final bucket list challenge by completing two events on the same night, at the same time. The Terrace is famous for its front-row view of sunsets over Lake Mendota, so why not take that enviable sunset photo while partaking in delicious food and drinks from our new reservation-only Sunset Lounge & Outdoor Restaurant

The Lounge features delectable and shareable food options, such as hand-breaded boneless chicken wings, a charcuterie board, customizable 16-inch pizzas, and individual vanilla bean crème brûlées—is your mouth watering yet? Union members ages 21 and over can also quench their thirst with one of the Lounge’s craft cocktails.

Make sure you plan ahead for this one, as the Sunset Lounge & Outdoor Restaurant is only open for a limited time: Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights through July 31. End your week with some well-deserved relaxation by reserving a spot at this exclusive new dining concept.

Once you’ve completed this bucket list, don’t stop there. These options only represent a fraction of the endless array of events and activities that the Terrace has to offer. We encourage you to spend as much time at the Terrace as possible to make this the summer of your dreams. We can’t wait to see you soon!

Keep up to date on all Terrace summer events and announcements here.

Author: Abby Synnes

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