We asked, you answered: These are the coziest things to do this fall in Madison

In collaboration with cozy connoisseur Stacy Harbaugh, we’ve compiled a list of the most comfy places to go and things to do in town.
Leopold's book nook with two couches facing each other.
Photo courtesy of Leopold's
The Book Nook at Leopold's is the perfect space for cozy fall activities.

Two years ago, Stacy Harbaugh shared ways to stay comfy and cozy during the winter months. As Dane County’s unofficial cozy expert and the person behind Instagram and Twitter account, @danecozy, Harbaugh handed the reins over to the Madison community this year in a poll to her followers. We listened — and here are the answers. 

Coziest bookstore: Leopold’s Books Bar Caffè
As its name suggests, Leopold’s Books Bar Caffè is a triple threat, serving up coffee and cocktails with a side of books — three very cozy things. While most bookstores are organized by subject, the books at Leopold’s are organized geographically. The bar and cafe menu offers an extensive selection of food and drink. Leopold’s specializes in spiked coffee connotations, so grab your favorite boozy read and find comfort in the tucked away Book Nook. If you’re looking to mingle, events abound weekly from Friday night DJ sets to wine tastings and book launches. 1301 Regent St.

Coziest restaurant: The Weary Traveler Freehouse 
The Weary Traveler was opened in 2002 by former co-owner Christopher Berge, also a co-founder of Nattspil (another cozy favorite among locals). Perhaps what makes The Weary Traveler such a cozy space is the art that decorates its walls or the musicians that fill the space with charming melodies. The Williamson street restaurant is an avid supporter of local artists and musicians. French-born painter and musician Cedric Baetche has graced the Weary “stage” and his portraits can be seen throughout the restaurant. You’ve probably noticed the eye-catching door that is the main entrance. The custom piece is constructed of walnut and white oak and designed by Aaron Laux, making an entry into Weary that’s nothing short of a warm welcome. 1201 Williamson St.

Coziest cafe: Lazy Jane’s Cafe and Lakeside St. Coffee House
This one was a toss up between a breakfast haven and a lakeside favorite: Lazy Jane’s Cafe and Lakeside St. Coffee House. If you take a look at the reviews for Lazy Jane’s, it’s quite clear that the overwhelming majority of visitors describe the cafe in one word: cozy. It’s the perfect place for a hearty breakfast scramble or a warm bowl of French onion soup. Overlooking Lake Monona, Lakeside St. Coffee House is a scenic location to wind down (or up!). Funny enough, Lakeside sells scones from Lazy Jane’s as a part of its pastry selection. Lazy Jane’s Cafe: 1358 Williamson St.; Lakeside St. Coffee House: 402 W. Lakeside St.

Coziest fire pit: Picnic Point 
Throughout the warmer months, thousands of Madisonians venture out on the iconic mile-long peninsula that is Picnic Point. Less well known, however, is that through the colder months, there are still ways to stay warm at this popular destination. Picnic Point boasts six reservable fire pits from the tip of the peninsula to approximately .75 miles inland. With capacities ranging from 15 to 80 people, each fire pit maintains its own charm. Reachable by bus, bicycle, boat, car and on foot, these fire pits are an ideal spot for a warm meal eaten lakeside and fireside. 2000 University Bay Drive

Another popular answer was the rooftop fire pit at The Lone Girl Brewing Co., a Waunakee craft brewery and family-friendly restaurant just a drive from Madison. The rooftop deck sports a massive firepit in the center and live music fills the air throughout the week. 114 E. Main St., Waunakee

Cozy rainy-day activity: Chazen Museum of Art 
When Madison skies bring rain, locals head over to the Chazen Museum of Art on University Avenue. With so many exhibitions and collections to explore you may very well spend the entire day here. 800 University Ave.

Coziest drink: Chai or Cider
Any variation on a drink with chai or cider screams a cozy fall afternoon, and we’re glad you agree. We put together this list of fall drinks around Madison. Harbaugh is a personal fan of miel lattes that have honey and cinnamon, or any coffee drink that is fair trade, roasted locally and uses local maple syrup or honey. 

Go-to cozy song: Bon Iver, Fleetwood Mac and more
Suggestions for songs varied widely, so we included your selections with a few of our own to create a Spotify playlist: Cozy in Madison. Enjoy more than three hours of cozy tunes. 

Stay cozy, folks.

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