10+ holiday family photo locations around Madison


Fall setting at Picnic Point, 2000 University Bay Dr. | Photo by @ninusiable

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We know Halloween just wrapped up, but it’s never too early to get your holiday photos planned out.

While you have the difficult task of rounding up the family + furry friends and getting everyone in coordinating outfits, we wanted to help lighten your load for the holidays with a list of places around Madison that would make great holiday photo backdrops. From a classic city backdrop on John Nolen Drive to candid shots at the Olbrich gardens, there’s a holiday card photo op for every Madison family.

Note: Professional photographers may need a permit to shoot in some locations. Additional fees may apply.

Tenney Park

📍402 N. Thornton Ave.
Our favorite backdrops: The bridge, lagoon, open space, and views of Lake Mendota

Olbrich Gardens

📍3330 Atwood Ave.
Our favorite backdrops: Exotic plants, orchids, waterfall, Thai Pavilion, rose garden



📍1207 Seminole Hwy.
Our favorite backdrops: Open space, plants, flowers, prairies, savannas

Memorial Union

📍800 Langdon St.
Our favorite backdrops: Lake Mendota + the Wisconsin Union

Picnic Point

📍2000 University Bay Dr.
Our favorite backdrops: Marked trails, marshes, bays
Pro Tip: Check out Picnic Point’s Photography Guidelines

Wisconsin State Capitol

📍2 E. Main St.
Our favorite backdrops: Stairs to the Capitol, green lawn + seasonal shrubbery

Pheasant Branch Conservatory

📍4864 Pheasant Branch Rd.
Our favorite backdrops: wetland prairies, creeks, forests, greenery

Wisconsin Historical Society

📍816 State St.
Our favorite backdrops: Historic building, large pillars, old white marble

Garver Feed Mill

📍3241 Garver Green
Our favorite backdrops: Brick building, modern design

John Nolen Drive

📍John Nolen Dr.
Our favorite backdrops: Existing paths, open space, Madison skyline

Camp Randall Arch

📍1455 Monroe St.
Our favorite backdrops: Arch, paved paths, trees

Epic Campus

📍1979 Milky Way, Verona
Our favorite backdrops: Whimsical buildings, large green spaces

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