Among the on-site spaces that accommodate groups from 30 to 1,000 people are the auditorium, a 7,800-square-foot ballroom, a cocktail room with a full bar and a fireplace for use during winter, and a small classroom space.

“We have our own full kitchen on-site with a preferred caterer that can provide an assortment of meals,” said Zimmerman, who added the caterer could provide cocktail reception fare, full meals (plated or buffet) or food stations.

Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Olbrich Botanical Gardens is a popular public garden that attracts nearly 300,000 visitors annually.

“Groups that rent Olbrich’s meeting rooms can enjoy a stroll in the 16-acre outdoor gardens, which look awesome in every season, for no additional fee,” said Patti Jorenby, the venue’s rental coordinator.

Olbrich Botanical Gardens, which accommodates corporate meetings, staff retreats and more, has three spaces available for rent, including the Evjue Commons, which has one wall of glass windows and doors that look out to the gardens and can seat 150 guests for a meal; the atrium, which can seat up to 64 people for a dinner or event; and the upstairs meeting room, which accommodates 20 to 25 people seated.  

“For evening rental groups, the Bolz Conservatory, a 10,000-square-foot tropical garden, can be added to a room rental for a nominal fee,” Jorenby said. “Although food and beverage are not available in the Bolz Conservatory, it’s a wonderful post-meeting or post-dinner stroll.”

Jorenby added that for a separate cost, group tours can be arranged in advance during the warm-weather season, and groups might also sign up for an educational class if it coincides with the event.

The Orpheum Theater

When the circa-1926 Orpheum Theater opened it featured Vaudeville shows and movies. Today, it showcases live concerts and national touring comedy acts, and accommodates private events.

“The Art Deco exterior and extravagant French Renaissance interior make the Orpheum Theater an icon in Madison’s downtown area, gaining it entry on the National Register of Historic Places,” said Deirdre McCready, the venue’s senior vice president of sales and special events.

Corporate events, meetings, product launches and cocktail receptions for anywhere from 50 to 1,700 people are regularly booked here.

“An event can absolutely coincide with a group tour, whether it be for a private event or for a public event to be used as a fundraiser,” McCready added. “We have access to all of the hottest touring acts and love to assist in making an event to remember. Other fun, interactive event ideas that we can host are casino nights, murder mystery dinners and more.”

The Orpheum partners with several local caterers that will work on the perfect menu for each group.

Lussier Family Heritage Center

The Lussier Family Heritage Center, located less than 15 minutes from downtown’s Wisconsin State Capitol Square, is surrounded by acres of prairies, meadows and wetlands.

“This view, from the deck of the main level, is part of what makes our location so popular for corporate ‘getaway’ meetings, workshops and retreats,” said Linda Mittnacht, the venue’s director. “The rustic facility, with cedar and stone decor, creates a warm atmosphere with all the amenities required for a successful event.”

The facility’s main level accommodates groups as large as 150 people, while its lower level can host smaller functions of up to about 60 people.  

“The lobby on the main level welcomes guests with a large stone fireplace and plenty of room for a registration area and for serving food and beverage during the event,” Mittnacht said.

The main level also has a newly installed audiovisual system, and wireless Internet is available throughout the facility at no additional charge.

“The lower level meeting space has a walk out to a covered patio with picnic tables and easy access to trails leading through the prairie,” Mittnacht added. “Our on-site naturalist is available to lead walks or talks for attendees related to the grounds and historic areas surrounding the center.”