Getting around town during UW-Madison’s Graduation weekend

Graduation weekend is one of the city’s busiest. Scope out where to park and eat during this weekend’s commencement ceremony festivities.

Bascom Hall from the bottom of Bascom Hill

Congrats, grads. And thanks for the free parking

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UW-Madison’s Spring 2023 Commencement is this weekend. If you’ll be attending, congrats to you and yours. If you’re not attending, let’s check out how to best traverse (or escape) the isthmus on one of the busiest weekends of the year.

Friday, May 12
First ceremony | 5:30 p.m. | Kohl Center, 601 W. Dayton St. | Doctoral, MFA, and Medical Professionals

Saturday, May 13
Second ceremony | 12 p.m. | Camp Randall, 1440 Monroe St. | Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Law Degree Candidates


If avoiding the area isn’t an option for you, here’s the 411 on the campus parking lots this weekend. Buckle up — no pun intended — we’ve linked to each lot on an interactive map offering directions and addresses.

*Commencement parking only on Saturday, May 13

Zone 1 | Free Friday 12-11 p.m., and Saturday 7 a.m.-Sunday 2 p.m.

Zone 2 | Free Friday 12-11 p.m., and Saturday 7 a.m.-Sunday 2 p.m.

Zone 3 | Free Friday 12 p.m-Sunday 2 p.m.

Parking map

Check out the Commencement Parking Map for visuals.


Don’t expect to be able to walk into a restaurant downtown without a reservation and be seated in a timely manner, or at all. With graduation weekend overlapping with Mother’s Day, downtown reservations this weekend have been booked to the brim for weeks.

We suggest heading to the ‘burbs instead. Here are a few ideas to kick off your brainstorming sesh:

Full Mile Beer Co. | 132 Market St., Sun Prairie
Louisianne’s Etc. | 7464 Hubbard Ave, Middleton
Avantis | 119 S Main St., Verona
Waypoint Public House | 320 W. Broadway E., Monona
Rex’s Innkeeper | 301 N. Century Ave., Waunakee