Every year we put together some version of gift guide to share with our community and they are centered on local or small businesses. (All our past articles are linked below!)
A few years back we shared a post on local shops that we love and we thought it would be time for an updated list. This year may be the best year to shop local — yes, I say that every year… but now more than ever!
Get ready to shop local in the Madison Area!
If you’re landing here, you may be wondering what a graphic designer and christmas lights have in common… They’re both visual forms of creativity and I’ve always happy to spread cheer, regardless of the time of year.
Driving around during the holiday season is one of my favorite things to do. While winter is something I dread every year, the holiday lights always light up my spirits!
Last year, my fiance and I found this (outdated) list, of homes decorated for the holidays. We went on a road trip around Madison and explored homes lit up with Christmas merriment. I underestimated how fun it would be to drive around, listen to holiday tunes, and sip a thermos of hot cocoa. 2019 was our first year of this new tradition… Who knew that 2020 would bring new ventures that would require socially distanced holiday fun.
I thought it would be so fun to gather an up-to-date list of some of the most special light displays in Madison, Wisconsin. AND as a bonus to you, we’ve created an extra fun activity for you to print off and bring along on the journey. At the end of our post, we’re sharing a scavenger hunt I put together, with some of the things you’ll see while you’re on your holiday drive. Some of them are easy, but beware, there may be some tricky ones too!
There are 3 parts to this post:
- Holiday lights (with maps) for each region of Madison.
- The top ten homes if you want to see the highlight reel.
- FREE Scavenger Hunt to print and take along on your ride.
Let’s dive in!
Madison Christmas Lights by Region
Stay tuned as we add more light displays to our list!
The lights have been divided into different areas of Dane, County. To make your light tour even easier, I’ve made a google map for each route. The link can be found at the bottom of each table. Disclaimer: Some lights are set to specific times, for best viewing, I would recommend visiting between 5-9pm.
** Asterisks note our favorite homes we don’t want you to miss!
|5110 Regent St., Madison||2218 Center Ave., Madison|
|University Avenue at University Bay Drive, Madison||2109 E. Dayton St., Madison|
|2101 Jefferson St., Madison||** 2550 Upham St., Madison|
|910 Whittier St., Madison||** 2926 Sachs St, Madison|
|Olin Park Holiday in Lights, 1156 Olin-Turville Court, Madison||907 Progressive Lane, Monona|
Click here for our pre-planned map for central Madison Christmas lights: https://goo.gl/maps/vHubzMFN6i6Ry4BP7
North West – Middleton & Waunakee
|3736 Cardinal Point Trail||102 Winston Way, Waunakee, WI 53597|
|** 9018 Settlers Road, Middleton||802 S. Century Ave., Waunakee|
|** 7006 Colony Drive, Madison (More info)||410 E Main St, Waunakee, WI 53597|
|7618 W. Hampstead Court, Middleton||
** 1808 Dover Drive Waunakee (Light show info/hours)
|3719 Spring Hill Drive, Middleton|
South West Madison – Fitchburg & Verona Area
|1025 S. Whitney Way, Madison||5 Laredo Ct, Madison|
|3262 S High Point Rd, Madison, WI 53719||9 Hartford Ct, Madison|
|9032 Ancient Oak Ln, Verona, Wisconsin||6048 McKee Rd, Fitchburg|
|729 Fairview Terrace, Verona, WI 53592 (Light show info/hours) Almost made the top ten!||2984 Cassidy Ct, Fitchburg (Almost made the top ten!)|
|802 Whalen Rd, Verona, WI 53593||***2700 Marledge St. Fitchburg, WI Be sure to see their view from Lacy Road too!|
Link to our route for Southwest Madison, including the Fitchrona Area: https://goo.gl/maps/aRhf8xWjY3wspKWKA
South East – Cottage Grove & Oregon Areas
|102 Crystal Lane, Madison 88.1 (Almost made the top ten!)||749 Willow Run Street, Cottage Grove|
|6202 Sharpsburg Drive, Madison||2136 Colladay Point Dr, Stoughton|
|** 4289 Dicky Ln, Madison||1220 S. 4th. St. Stoughton|
|4281 Vilas Hope Dr., Cottage Grove||** 324 S 6th St, Stoughton (more info / hours)|
|3015 Pheasant Run, Cottage Grove||314 N Oak Street, Oregon|
North East – Sun Prairie Area
|2962 Bailey Rd, Sun Prairie||1091 Tara Dr, Sun Prairie|
|306 Windsor St, Sun Prairie||
** 1816 Carrington Dr, Sun Prairie
|945 Jerico Ln, Sun Prairie||** 3784 Token Rd, DeForest|
1425 St Albert the Great Dr, Sun Prairie
Looking to visit the top ten homes?
Here’s a list of the public displays in our area (also in regional maps).
Fantasy in Lights – Olin Park – Turville Drive
Waunakee – 2020 Rotary In Lights – 410 E. Main Street
Janesville Rotary Gardens – Holiday Light Show (Not on our maps, but VERY cool if you’re up for the drive!)
Note: Zoo Lights are closed this year
We’d love to hear from you! Is there an incredible holiday display we missed? What’s your favorite display on the list?
Did you find all the scavenger hunt items? What was the hardest thing to find?
To say I’m excited is an understatement. Last night I went down a rabbit hole and I couldn’t be more in love with what I discovered.
Did you know you can search for gifts on Etsy by location!? *MIND BLOWN*
Here’s what lead me to this amazing discovering…
Last night I was on the hunt for a really cute gift for my new niece. I found one I LOVED. I was seconds away from ordering when I noticed, “woah, this isn’t going to be here until after xmas!” and then, “Wait, what? This is coming from Russia?”. *Insert major sad face*
I thought to myself how much I wish I could search for something in the US and started looking around. I saw there was a filter button and I went to explore. To my surprise, there was a choice to pick Made in the United States. SCORE! But here’s the more exciting thing…
Below the US option is a custom field to choose your own location. So I tried searching for gifts in Wisconsin. IT WORKED… Then I wondered if I could get even more specific and filter for sellers in Madison, WI and that worked too!
I was insanely excited and given that it was after 11pm, I figured I should probably not message everyone I know right now. I can probably wait until the morning to share my excitement. After a couple of hours laying in bed and finding amazing things on Etsy, I’m here to tell you, it’s an amazing discovery! And here we are!
I am so elated to share what I found. I thought it would be a perfect post to share how we all could shop locally while also shopping online this year. Both very important in the 2020 climate!
I’m going to walk you through some of my favorite finds and hope they inspire some of your own holiday shopping. As an added bonus, at the end of this post, I will show you how you can shop local online too!
Today I was chatting with a client about setting up their blog posts to optimize for Google and other search engines. This tactic is commonly referred to as SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. Before we get ahead of ourselves, I am going to start by saying that the SEO world is HUGE and it can get very complex. There are experts that specialize in optimizing businesses and we could dive REALLY DEEP into this world…. but for the sake of this post, we are going to start with a beginner’s guide for setting up your blogs for SEO success.
A couple years ago, I spoke in a local group I’m a part of about SEO. I didn’t actually realize how much knowledge I had until I was prepping for my talk. (Below you’ll see a checklist and a cookie I made for each attendee.) As it turns out I know a lot more than I realized!
In this post, we are going to specifically talk about on-page SEO. This refers to the optimizing you’re doing on a specific page or post. I will keep these guidelines pretty simple and easy to follow. If you’re working on uping your SEO games, I 1000% recommend installing the Yoast Plugin to your site, if you had Sprout build your website, it should already be installed. 🙂 (NOTE: Yoast is a free SEO plugin and you do not need to upgrade to premium even though they’ll try to sell you on it)
Let’s dive in! Read more
We wanted to help out some of the mom’s who are at home with little kids trying to homeschool. We reached out to some friends with children to see what might be helpful resources for them. We wanted to create fun printables that are fun for kids, but also helpful for parents.
* NOTE: All Printables are for personal use. Please contact me for use in your classrooms or commercial use.
Our first product to share is a daily routine for pre-readers who aren’t able to read the charts that are out there. This is great for the pre-school aged kids and features spot at the top for them to practice their writing as well as outlined illustrations so they can color it themselves.
Do you feel like your world has just turned upside down? Or maybe, it’s at the very least, it’s gone sideways? It’s an interesting time in our lives and businesses and some of us will need to think about ways we can pivot. Event coordinators and businesses that focus on in-person interactions might feel like they’re struggling right now.
Despite how we are working hard to flatten the curve, the truth is, this pandemic will take time to run it’s coarse. We have a couple of options, we can stress about the changes, or we can think about what we can do in the meantime to get through these times.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and governments from all around the world are closing schools and businesses, and they are canceling all types of events. Here in Wisconsin, our Governor just extended our “Safer at Home” order for another month. From concerts to conferences, we are seeing the impacts.
We love it when we get this question, and honestly, it depends a lot on what you’re looking for. That said, we want to be a resource for all of you, so we’ve listed out our best advice for where you should get your business cards printed.
It’s hard to believe I haven’t had a blog post about FONTS yet! It’s basically impossible for you to go about your day without looking at fonts. They are all around you, even for those non-designers out there! Well, maybe not last week when I was literally stuck in bed with the worst flu of my life. 🤔 But even then, there was text on my medication that I was taking… so I guess even when you’re sick you’re consuming type in some way.
There’s an insane number of fonts out there. Since there’s a lot of poorly designed options, we wanted to give you a hand. We thought we’d share our go-to san serif fonts that you’ll often find us using/suggesting with our clients. These typefaces might seem simple, but there’s a lot of power in simplicity. These subtle beauties would be great paired with a display font or your brand logo.
While we usually share design tips or education tidbits for you. Today, we’re switching it up and sharing our favorites from yesterday’s Superbowl commercials! While this may seem incredibly random, advertising has its space under the “design” umbrella. PLUS, guess what, everyone has the desire to break the rules and have a little fun every now and then! Read more