University of Wisconsin-Madison (opens in new window)

News & Media Mentions

Wisconsin Union adds new events, activities to 2019 Winter Carnival lineup

Posted: 01/22/19

Wisconsin Union adds new events, activities to 2019 Winter Carnival lineup

The Wisconsin Union’s Winter Carnival will return Jan. 31-Feb. 3 with many new events and activities, such as yoga on Lake Mendota.

Additional new events this year include: hot chocolates from around the world, gingerbread house-making, virtual reality scuba diving, origami-making, live performances by electric bassist Josh Cohen and folk band The Tillers with fiddle champ Georgia Rae, custom trail mix-making, and more. Guests will also be able to enjoy classic Winter Carnival events.

Put on by the Wisconsin Union team since 1940, Winter Carnival is a long-standing tradition of providing opportunities to take part in outdoor recreation and celebrate winter.

“To really experience winter in Madison, you have to go to Winter Carnival,” Wisconsin Union President Mills Botham said. “It’s easy to get in the habit of staying in during the colder winter months, but Madison and its frozen lakes offer much to see and do during this time. There are many ways to get outdoors and have fun, and the Wisconsin Union is proud to help create opportunities to stay active all winter long.”

The Festival will kick off Jan. 31 with multiple free activities, including a hike to a bonfire at Picnic Point. The Union will provide free snowshoes and cross country skis and boots rentals for this event, while supplies last. Three additional days of activities will follow, including many family-friendly options.

All members of the community, including UW-Madison staff, faculty and students as well as Wisconsin Union members and guests are invited to experience the Carnival.

The majority of Carnival events are made possible by Wisconsin Union Directorate and Hoofers student leaders at the Wisconsin Union. These leaders organize, promote and execute thousands of events throughout the year, including cultural events and outdoor recreation.

“It takes everyone at the Wisconsin Union, especially our talented student leaders, to make Winter Carnival possible,” Wisconsin Union Director Mark Guthier said. “We also appreciate the support of area organizations in helping us grow this celebration.”

Community partners with which the Union is collaborating on various events include Allen Centennial Gardens, Clean Lakes Alliance, the Sugar Maple Music Festival, University Ridge Golf Course, the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association, and longtime Carnival partner the UW-Madison Division of Recreational Sports.

To learn more about the Winter Carnival, including the full schedule of events and activities, visit

Go to top of page