Now that the stress of Christmas has just about reached its peak (if you aren’t done shopping be sure to check out my gift suggestions—including what to get the kid who has EVERYTHING), let me introduce you to the ultimate of ALL HOLIDAY HACKS for us Chicago moms. No, I’m not talking about sleeping away the entire day on December 26th. It’s even better. It’s a weekend away to relax and rejuvenate at the Edgewater in Madison. It provides the perfect excuse to escape the stress of home and recharge on the beautiful shore of Lake Mendota.
My family and I received a complimentary stay at the Edgewater. All opinions are my own.
The Edgewater History
The Edgewater, aptly named due to its prime placement on the edge of Lake Mendota, first opened its doors in 1948 and has played an integral role in the City of Madison for decades. It has hosted numerous celebrities and world figures (including the Dalai Lama himself) and that rich history comes alive as you explore the newly renovated hotel.
The talented team at the Edgewater created details that pay homage to the past through the interactive wall of Madison history (just ignore all of the Packers’ memorabilia, Bears fans) and encourages an amazing future for the community by hosting numerous events for neighbors and guests throughout the year.
We visited the Edgewater the day after Thanksgiving and were thrilled to join hundreds of Madison residents, as well as other guests, at the tree lighting celebration. So many families come together to attend the festive, day-long event which includes dance performances, arts and crafts stations, ice skating (as long as the weather cooperates), story time with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and more.
I can see why attending the Edgewater Tree Lighting ceremony has become a family tradition for so many because there truly isn’t any other community gathering quite like it—in Madison OR Chicago!
Next door to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and within walking distance of Capitol Square and the heart of downtown, the Edgewater truly embodies the spirit of Madison.
The Grand Plaza, located between the historic Langdon Building the new Wisconsin Building, comes alive during the summer with concerts, movies, and other community events that encourage locals to come together for family-friendly fun.
During the Fall it is a prime spot for tailgating (I’m looking at you, Badgers fans!) and at the end of November the Grand Plaza becomes the ULTIMATE winter wonderland.
The Plaza transforms into an outdoor ice skating rink that pulls out ALL THE STOPS, from heated flooring around the rink to avoid slips and falls, to The Icehouse which serves concessions (including spiked drinks for the adults) and televisions so that you can monitor both your kids on the ice and the big game all at once.
We can’t wait to come back in the warmer months to join in on the pop-up pier parties and take advantage of the complimentary boat rides the Edgewater provides so that everyone can enjoy the beautiful Lake Mendota.
Why is making the drive out to Madison to visit the Edgewater worth it? Because it is a AAA Four Diamond rated hotel with historic character in each and every corner. Whether you stay in the historic Langdon building or the new Wisconsin Tower, you will enjoy true luxury—with a VIEW! All of the 202 rooms offer stunning views of either downtown Madison, the Capitol Square, the University of Wisconsin, or Lake Mendota, and many of the rooms boast terraces, balconies, or French Doors that make your view Instagram-worthy.
In addition to refreshed rooms are the vast amount of amenities available at the Edgewater. While not highly publicized, all guests staying at the Edgewater have access to the peaceful and inviting relaxation pool located in the Edgewater Spa so pack swimsuits and sandals!
Once you enter the doors of the Edgewater Spa and experience the zen-like atmosphere, it will be incredibly difficult to not book one of their rejuvenating massages or signature facials, treat yourself to a hair or nail service at the salon, or take part in one of their yoga or fitness training classes at the wellness center. Don’t fight it—just give in! I’m so glad that I did.
When I had my signature massage, I enjoyed much needed quiet time in their relaxation room, treating myself to teas and other healthy snacks before a completely relaxing massage that rubbed away any and all holiday stress. If your family is still asking what you would like for the holidays, a trip to the Edgewater Spa is it! You can check out their menu of services here.
Dining at the Edgewater
While you might be like me and think that Wisconsin cuisine is all about cheese curds (yes, they play a pivotal role), enjoy a meal at one of the Edgewater’s restaurants to find out what the Madison food scene is all about!
Yes, you can get some out-of-this-world curds at The Boathouse while enjoying a local brew, but after a delicious meal at The Statehouse we learned that the chefs at the Edgewater are incredibly talented at recreating traditional favorites with local flare. My boys absolutely LOVED diving into fresh-caught salmon while I enjoyed the most delicious chicken dish that was ingredient-driven and market inspired.
Lastly, no trip to the Edgewater is complete without a cocktail from Augie’s Tavern. Be sure to sip one and enjoy a burger in one of the many cozy nooks while checking out photos of the celebrities that have also enjoyed time at the Edgewater. It truly makes for the perfect getaway, whether you are an in-demand celebrity or a mom who just spent the past month playing Santa is and EXHAUSTED.
Check out the unique packages that The Edgewater is highlighting right now so that you can end the year on a relaxed and rejuvenated note!
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