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Wisconsin Union team debuts Winter Wonderland, a new winter activities event series

Posted: 12/30/20

Wisconsin Union team debuts Winter Wonderland, a new winter activities event series

The Wisconsin Union team will hold wintertime activities during a new event series, called Winter Wonderland, Jan. 5-Feb. 14.

The Festival will include one-hour night hikes with Outdoor UW, the Wisconsin Union’s outlet to the outdoors, on Jan. 5, 12, and 19. The team will hold this safe, physically distanced hike at 5 p.m. with a start on Lakeshore Path near the entrance to Outdoor UW’s office at Memorial Union. Registrants will travel west along the Path. The Jan. 19 hike will include trivia questions and the chance to win a prize during the event. Participants must register in advance.   

On Jan. 9 from noon to 2 p.m., dogs can join in on hiking fun with a Hound Hike. The hike will begin in front of Memorial Union. There, participants and their dogs will check-in, collect a free bandana, and enjoy a free, professional photo opportunity. Guests can choose between a route up State Street to Lisa Link Peace Park or a scenic route around campus.

At Peace Park, the Madison’s Central Business Improvement District (BID) will provide a giveaway and host an Instagram wall near the recently painted Downtown Visitor Center at 452 State Street adjacent to Peace Park. The organization has partnered with OhYa Studio to have a backdrop with cutouts for a photo opportunity. Those who take a photo using the cutouts will receive a prize and will be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift card for shopping in downtown Madison. This event is presented by the Wisconsin Union and made possible with support from Madison's Central BID. Guests must pre-register to participate here.

People can also enjoy the outdoors through the Union’s Winter Scavenger Hunt, which will take place Jan. 16-Feb. 14 around Memorial Union and East Campus Mall. Participants can complete the scavenger hunt, which includes 15 questions, any time between Jan. 16 and Feb. 14. Those who answer all 15 questions will have a chance to win Wisconsin Union gift cards ranging in value from $5-$25. The drawing will take place Feb. 15. Guests can learn more about how to participate here.

The Union’s Take-To-Make Snowman Project Kit will allow participants to build a snowman in the comfort of their own homes. To take part, people can register to pick up a snowman luminary or snowman letter writing kit. Pick-up will occur at the North Park Street turnaround by the doors to Memorial Union on Jan. 23 between 1-3 p.m.

“We created Winter Wonderland to help people feel connected and to help them enjoy outdoor recreation opportunities safely,” said Heidi Lang, Wisconsin Union assistant director for program and leadership development. “We also want to be of service to our amazing community.”

The Union team encourages participants to share their Winter Wonderland experiences with the team by tagging the Wisconsin Union on social media and by using the hashtag #WIUnionWonderland.

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

Masks are required at all events. Guests must practice physical distancing whenever possible during Winter Wonderland. The Union team greatly appreciates participants’ help in creating safe, enjoyable experiences.

The Wisconsin Union team still aims to hold its annual outdoor recreation event series, called Winter Carnival, later in 2021, but continues to monitor health and safety guidelines and their impact on events’ feasibility. The team will make details about this historic tradition, which has been held since 1940, available in the near future.

For more information about Winter Wonderland, visit

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