OPEN 4 AM - 10 PM daily
Parking lots are also open from 4 AM - 10 PM. Vehicles parked beyond this time may be ticketed.
An outing to Picnic Point has long been a tradition for many Madisonians. There are six reservable fire circles on Picnic Point for visitors to enjoy a warm fire or cook a picnic meal.
Before you reserve a fire circle, please review Visitor Etiquette.
To make a fire circle reservation: visit the Campus Event Services/Wisconsin Union website.
Campus Event Services will respond to your submission within 2 business days. You will receive an e-mail confirmation of the date, time, and site number. Since reservations are not required, the site may be in use when you arrive. You may politely ask that party to leave and show them the print out of your confirmed reservation.
Campus Event Services/Wisconsin Union
Hours: 8am-5pm, Mon-Fri
Address: Union South, Room 233, 1308 W. Dayton St.
Fire circles are numbered 1 through 6 from the base of Picnic Point to the tip. The distance from the entrance to Picnic Point to fire circle #6 is approximately 0.75 miles (1.2 km); it’s about a 15 minute walk.
Swimming is only allowed at the Memorial Union swim pier.
Is it safe to go out on the frozen lake? Visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website for ice safety tips.
Photos: Early 20th century family (CLP-U0011l); Visitors cook over a fire (University of Wisconsin Madison Archives); Evening fire by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison; Fire circles 1-6 by Bryn Scriver.