The chairs are back at Memorial Union Terrace

From yoga and kayaking to ice cream and crafts, the Memorial Union Terrace has plenty of offerings beyond its iconic sunburst chairs.

608 terrace chairs

Grab a seat (and a pitcher). | Photo by Jenny Shults

The iconic sunburst chairs are back at the Memorial Union Terrace, marking the start of lakeside lounging season in Madison.

On Wednesday, April 17 the Memorial Union will host its Opening of the Terrace Party from 4 to 6 p.m. Can’t make it? Follow us on Instagram to soak up the sun(burst chairs) vicariously through us.

Before you grab a seat, check out what Madison’s favorite lakeside spot has to offer throughout the season both outside on the terrace and inside the Memorial Union building.

Food and drink


  • Brat Stand | Brats, burgers, grilled chicken, and corn on the cob
  • BBQ Stand | Smokehouse sandwiches and sides
608 Babcock

Orange Custard Chocolate Chip is Babcock’s signature flavor.

Photo by 608today



Get moving

Rent canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards at the Outdoor UW station located on the east end of the terrace’s shorefront walkway.

Yoga classes for the summer 2024 season will be posted online. Test your skills on solid ground, or sign up for a paddleboard yoga sesh.

Get creative

Wednesdays through Saturdays, from May 29 to Aug. 17, the Terrace Art Zone will be open 5-8 p.m. between the theater and Der Stiftskellar.

Here, locals of all ages and skill levels can participate in the weekly free project. Think: Flower pot painting and handmade stamps.


SUP, Sip, and Sound | Thursday, June 20; Sunday, July 21; Saturday, Aug. 17 | $25 | Participants will paddleboard with an Outdoor UW guide and wind down with a drink (included in ticket price) on the terrace.

Family Nights | Saturday, May 18; Saturday, June 15; Sunday, Aug. 4; Sunday, Aug. 25 | $12-$20 | For two hours, an instructor will guide your family on a Lake Mendota adventure via kayak.

Live performances
Live music and movie nights will take place on the outdoor summer stage throughout the season. Performances will be posted on the Memorial Union’s event calendar as they’re scheduled.

Painting of live music playing on stage at Memorial Union Terrace

“Terrace at Sunset” by Chele Ramos. | Image via Chele Ramos


Q: Can I bring my dog?
A: Yes, but pets are only allowed on the path area between the terrace and the lake.

Q: Can I bring my own food?
A: Yes, feel free, but no alcohol.

Q: Can I reserve a spot on the terrace?
A: No, the sunburst chairs are first come, first serve.

Q: Is it accessible?
A: Yes, the Memorial Union is equipped with ramps, elevators, bathrooms, pathways, and wheelchair-accessible direct entrances.