Experience Wisconsin Open House

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Directions to Check-In

Check-in will occur from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. at Gordon Dining and Event Center. Please check-in prior to the 9:00 a.m. session. Check-in will be outdoors. In the case of severe weather, check-in will move inside.

  • Campus Check-In – Gordon Dining and Event Center, front lawn (770 W Dayton St, Madison, WI 53715) Google Mapscampus map

If you arrive after 9:00 a.m., you can check in at any of the satellite information tables (see below).

Satellite Information Tables

Information tables will be available throughout the day should you need assistance, directions, or have any questions.

  • East Campus Information Table – Office of Admissions and Recruitment, first floor (702 W Johnson St, Suite 1101, Madison, WI 53715) Google Maps / campus map
  • North Campus Information Table – Memorial Union, first floor (800 W. Langdon St., Madison, WI 53715) Google Maps / campus map
  • West Campus Information Table – Union South, first floor Box Office (1308 W Dayton St, Madison, WI 53715) Google Maps / campus map

These information tables will be available from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

October 20 Parking

October 20 Parking Instructions

Event parking will be available at the Alliant Energy Center (1919 Alliant Energy Center Way, Madison, WI 53713) and is highly recommended, as parking on campus is very limited. Please enter the Alliant Energy Center at the Rimrock Gate on Rimrock Road and park in the North East parking lot (the first parking lot to your right).

The cost for all-day parking is $8.00 (cash or credit card – Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express). For more information about traveling to the Alliant Energy Center, click here.

Shuttle buses will bring students and their families from the Alliant Energy Center to campus (and back) throughout the event at no charge. The shuttles will run from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The shuttle stop on campus will be in front of the Kohl Center (601 W Dayton St, Madison, WI 53715), just one block from Gordon Dining and Event Center check-in.

Parking on campus is permitted but will be extremely limited due to the high volume of visitors. We strongly suggest the parking option at Alliant Energy Center for secured parking and transportation to and from campus.

If you decide to park on campus, we strongly suggest you allow at least 45-60 minutes to find parking arrangements. Do not park in two-hour parking or at meters during your visit.

Full-day parking is about $15.00. Be aware of special events on campus, as they may impact parking availability and travel times. Please feel free to park in campus lots, public lots, or private lots, if available.

Please check Visitor Parking Availability to see real-time parking availability before arriving on campus. You can find a campus parking map on the UW–Madison transportation website.

As an alternative to driving and parking on campus, we strongly recommend taking a taxi, hotel shuttle, or ride-sharing service, if possible.

Recommended parking lots

Near Gordon Dining and Event Center check-in

Downtown Madison (near the Capitol Square – 20 to 30 minute walk to campus)

Near Union South

*These parking garages are NOT listed on UW-Madison’s “Visitor Parking Availability or “Campus Parking Map” webpages. 

If you are interested in applying for and purchasing a UW-Madison parking pass in advance of the event, please learn more here.


Staying in Madison

As Wisconsin’s capital city, Madison tops many “best” lists, including best place to live and work, best college sports town, one of America’s safest cities, and a top green city. Visit the Destination Madison website for more information on what to do, where to stay, and what to eat while you’re in town.

Places to Stay

Bus and Shuttle Options - October 20

Campus Buses

While walking is the easiest way to get around campus, UW-Madison offers a free bus circulator service with Madison Metro. These can be especially useful when traveling to the far west-end of campus. Routes 80 and 84 provide free daytime service and run every 7-15 minutes. View routes and real-time bus location information on the official UW campus map. Routes 8081, and 82 also provide free nighttime service. Service calendar for Routes 81 and 82. Click on the route number for schedules and maps. Please note that all other route numbers charge a fee to ride.


Shuttle buses will be provided to bring students and their families who park at Alliant Energy Center to campus at no charge. The shuttles will loop all day from the Alliant Energy Center to the front of the Kohl Center (601 W Dayton St, Madison, WI 53715). Please note, the shuttles will run from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Guests who arrive before or after shuttle operations will need to find alternative transportation or parking for the event.

Gender-Inclusive Facilities

For a map of all of our all-gender and gender-inclusive restrooms, click here.


Madison is ranked as a top city for foodies, and there are endless opportunities for tasty meals around the UW–Madison campus and in the city of Madison. Below are dining options both on campus and in the downtown Madison area.

University Housing

University Housing offers six-convenient dining locations with an all-you-care-to-eat format (buffet style). This means diners will pay for their meal upon entry to the market. Nutrition information is provided for all offerings. There are many options to accommodate dietary and allergy needs, including vegan & vegetarian diets and food allergies. Please note all our Dining Markets are cashless. Accepted forms of payment include Wiscard, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. For a list of locations and day-of menus, please click here.

Carson’s Market (Carson Gulley Center)
1515 Tripp Circle
Carson’s is a smaller dining option in the Lakeshore Neighborhood located by Tripp, Adams, and Slichter Halls. It features hearth bakes custom pizza, made-to-order sandwiches and wraps, and Tex Mex and international cuisine.

Four Lakes Market (Dejope Residence Hall)
640 Elm Drive
Four Lakes is a large dining marketplace that serves the Lakeshore Neighborhood. Located in Dejope Residence Hall it also features the Bean & Creamery and the Flamingo Run convenience store. It includes nine venues from BBQ, mashed potatoes, and macaroni & cheese to international cuisine from all corners of the globe. With beautiful patio seating, you’ll be able to eat and enjoy the view of Lake Mendota.

Gordon Avenue Market (Gordon Dining and Event Center)
770 W Dayton Street
Gordon is a large dining marketplace that serves the Southeast neighborhood. With 12 different venues, Gordon has a large variety of food options from homestyle comfort food, to pizza, calzones, and breadsticks, to freshly grilled burgers, veggie burgers, and chicken sandwiches. It also features the Flamingo Run convenience store, to grab a quick snack or treat for the day, and The Southeast Café which features custom smoothies and acai bowls.

Liz’s Market (Waters Residence Hall)
1200 Observatory Drive
Liz’s is located in Waters Hall right on Observatory Drive, Liz’s specializes in serving food free of shellfish, tree-nuts, and peanuts. It features a large variety of low-fat, vegan, and vegetarian food options and also offers a large cold bar with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Lowell’s Market (The Lowell Center)
610 Langdon Street
Lowell is located within The Lowell Center right on Langdon Street. This market features four venues featuring fresh baked goods, muffins, bagels, and pastries, made-to-order deli sandwiches, wraps, and paninis, bountiful salad & soup bar, and homestyle made-from-scratch meals.

Rheta’s Market (Chadbourne Residence Hall)
420 N Park Street
Rheta’s is centrally located on campus and housed within Chadbourne & Barnard Halls. It features eight venues to choose from for fresh American & International fare and a build-your-own stir-fry venue which allows you to pick what you want and have it cooked on the spot for you.

Starbucks (Smith Hall)
35 N. Park St
Starbucks, located in Smith Hall, features all your favorite Starbucks drinks, coffee beverages, and teas. In addition it serves grab-and-go favorites like sandwiches, cookies, and other treats.

Wisconsin Union’s Union South

1308 W Dayton Street

Prairie Fire
Prairie Fire serves specialty coffee and bakery items in a multi-level space featuring a cozy fireplace and quiet balcony. Delicious tapas are also available in the evenings.

The Sett
The scientific name for a badger burrow, the Sett serves a variety of pub fare. The Sett Recreation, in the lower level, houses multiple recreational activities, including bowling, billiards and indoor rock climbing, and additional food options.

The Daily Scoop
Ice cream from UW–Madison’s Babcock Hall Dairy is served by the dish and cone at the Daily Scoop and is considered an essential part of a UW–Madison visit. Malts, sundaes and fresh-baked cookies are also available. Follow the smell of warm cookies to this campus destination. 

South Cantina
The South Cantina serves up Southwest-inspired fare using fresh ingredients. Create your own burritos, tacos and bowls. 

Ginger Root
At Ginger Root, a variety of stir-fries and dim sum can be combined in a bento bowl (the restaurant’s most popular offering), or you can build your own custom stir-fry at night and wash it down with a selection of beverages.

Badger Market
This convenience store offers sandwiches, snacks, groceries, and sundries, as well as Wisconsin Union and Badger apparel and souvenirs all at your one-stop Badger Market shop.

Harvest Grains
Harvest Grains features an assortment of delicious pasta dishes. The Wisconsin Union team works to incorporate local ingredients in its menu items

Wisconsin Union’s Memorial Union

800 Langdon Street 

Der Rathskeller
With frequent live music and game watches, der Rathskeller is one of our community’s favorite places to gather and indulge in some delicious eats. Enjoy traditional pub fare from der Rath’s menu, which is guaranteed to please every palate.

What’s better than pizza and pasta? Strada, the Wisconsin Union’s take on an Italian bistro, offers wood-fired, made-to-order personal pizzas and mouthwatering pasta bowls. The menu includes many crowd favorites while also allowing for customization of your own dish with a wide assortment of fresh and seasonal toppings to please your palette. Strada includes a gluten-free pizza crust and vegan options.

The Daily Scoop
It’s no secret. Babcock Dairy ice cream is as delicious as it gets. Come on in to the Daily Scoop, and enjoy all of your favorite flavors. During the summer, take the sweets outside, and stay for the beautiful Terrace views!

Carte is a made-to-order salad and sandwich shop showcasing fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and salad greens from Central Wisconsin grown by aquaponics. Carte also offers a large selection of freshly crafted grab-and-go items for anyone looking to grab a healthy bite and refreshing beverages throughout a busy day.

Peet’s Coffee
Looking for a place to study, enjoy a bakery treat or sandwich, or just get a quick caffeine buzz? Peet’s Coffee in Memorial Union provides an escape in the heart of campus with inviting seating, large windows, and tons of delicious, customizable options to order, including vegan options. 

Badger Market
Designed for convenience, Badger Market is located just inside the main first floor entrance of Memorial Union. Whether you’re in a hurry and need a quick bite or beverage or you’re looking for a way to keep a little piece of the Terrace with you, Badger Market can help. Here, you can find grab-and-go lunches, drinks, snacks, small grocery items, school supplies, and Terrace gear terracestore.union.wisc.edu

Der Stiftskeller
As an extension of der Rathskeller, der Stiftskeller offers perfect snack accompaniments to your beverage of choice.


330 N Orchard Street

Aldo’s Cafe
Aldo’s Cafe offers fresh made sandwiches, salads, and bakery items featuring local, seasonal ingredients from area farms.

Steenbock’s on Orchard
Steenbock’s on Orchard offers a full-service menu of innovative entrees. Located in the southeast corner of the Town Center, this establishment includes a preservation kitchen with windows into the food preparation area. The menu emphasizes nutritious, sustainable and locally sourced foods.

Babcock Hall Dairy Store

1605 Linden Drive

A trip to UW–Madison wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Babcock Hall Dairy Store, the oldest university dairy plant in the United States. Best known for ice cream, Babcock also makes cheeses and locally produced milk. Visitors may view dairy plant observations via the second floor observation deck.

Library Mall Food Carts

731 State Street, near Lake Street and East Campus Mall

Our food carts are #1 according to MSN. Located near State Street and the bottom of Bascom Hill, these food carts are a popular lunch stop and feature cuisine from around the world including falafel, pot stickers, empanadas, spring rolls and smoothies.
*Many carts are cash only*

State Street and Off-Campus

This pedestrian street connects our campus to the state capital and is lined by restaurants where students go to grab a bite after class or on the weekends. You can find a comprehensive list of dining options in the downtown area at Madison’s Central Business Improvement District website.

Accessing Your Open House Agenda

You can access your full schedule for your Experience Wisconsin Open House agenda by logging in to your Visit Bucky account.

Once you have logged in, choose “My Reservations” from the navigation bar. There you will find your most up-to-date schedule, including times, locations, and additional information.

Paper agendas will not be provided. If you wish to have a paper copy, please be sure to access your Visit Bucky account prior to your visit and print a copy.

Connecting to Wi-Fi at UW–Madison

During your visit to campus, you are welcomed to connect to the UWNet network on your computer or mobile device.

When you first attempt to load a webpage, you will be automatically redirected to the UWNet registration page. The page will offer two options for registration. Choose the second option for guests of the university.

Campus wireless information showing request guest access link

To register, simply enter your full name and email address. Once you have read and agreed to the Terms of Use, click Create Guest Account to submit your information.

Campus wireless information showing guest login

After submitting your email address, you will be taken to a resulting page that will assign you a username and passcode. You will need to make note of these credentials, as they allow you to access UWNet with other devices you may have, such as a smartphone. You are allowed to have up to five concurrent sessions (i.e. five different devices connected at the same time). When you are brought to the UWNet registration screen on another device, you should enter use those credentials in the NetID login fields used by affiliates.

Campus wireless information showing guest access information

Note: Once you have completed guest registration, you will not be able to do so again, as the system will report that your email address is already in use. If you lose or forget your temporary UWNet credentials, please contact the DoIT Help Desk.

Other Activities in Madison - October 20

Sticking around after Experience Wisconsin Open House? Check out the event calendar in Isthmus, Madison’s alt-weekly newspaper.

Please note, that the Experience Wisconsin Open House shuttle to the Alliant Energy Center parking stops at 5:30 p.m.