Everything you want to know about events at Monona Terrace

Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center is widely regarded as the foremost location in the Madison WI area for events of any size or occasion. While we specialize in weddings, we host everything from multi-day expos, farmers markets, and conventions to private business meetings, sumptuous dinner celebrations, and exhibits.

Monona Terrace is well-known as one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s crowning achievements in organic design, showcasing a perfect symmetry of nature and architecture. We welcome nearly 400,000 visitors each year to events and special occasions. And because Monona Terrace is open to the public, we enjoy year-round visitors who come to experience the building and take in views of downtown and Lake Monona from the William T. Evjue Rooftop Gardens.

Thanks to all Monona Terrace has to offer, we receive all kinds of questions about events here and the best way to get the most out of a visit. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions and key information you should know about visiting Monona Terrace.

What events take place at Monona Terrace?
While we host hundreds of private events each year, we have a variety of events that are open to the public (many free of charge), as well as daily public tours. Check out our Events Calendar and the availability of our public tours.   

Is Monona Terrace open year-round?
We are open year-round but closed on major holidays. Lake Vista Café is only open during the warmer months and typically opens in the spring and closes in early fall. Visit our homepage for more information on our hours of operation and days we’re closed.

How much does it cost to have an event at Monona Terrace?
The cost of an event varies depending upon the number of guests, choice of event space, and food/beverage requirements. Start here to get a better idea of how to plan an event with Monona Terrace and costs involved.

Can I have my wedding at Monona Terrace?
Weddings are the most frequent event here at Monona Terrace. From an intimate gathering on our Rooftop Garden to a 200+ guest lavish festivity, our team can help make your dream wedding a reality. But our wedding schedule fills up months in advance. Get started here!

Does Monona Terrace offer catering?
Yes we do! One of the highlights of having an event here at Monona Terrace are our top-tier culinary offerings. We have a plethora of delicious menu options to please any palate, and our professional service team provides your guests with an unmatched dining experience. We also have a wide range of bar packages that include both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options, that includes imported wines and beers from local breweries. Check out the options and menus here. And if you have a special cultural culinary request, let’s talk!

Can I have my own caterer provide food and beverages for my wedding?
We do not allow outside catering. That’s why we offer such a variety of tasty  food and beverages!

If I have a wedding at Monona Terrace, can I bring my own wedding cake?
You may engage an outside bakery for a tiered wedding cake, but several guidelines must be followed. For instance, the bakery must be pre-approved and professionally licensed by the State of Wisconsin. For more information, see our Wedding Menu (page 15) or contact one of our wedding coordinators. 

Can I bring in a band or DJ to play at my event?
Of course! We do have some limitations, such as sound level requirements and cut-off times for music. Just work it out with your event planner.

Can I have an event on the Rooftop Garden?
Yes, you can! Our Rooftop Garden is massive and can accommodate up to 3,000 guests. The gorgeous views of Lake Monona make this an unforgettable venue for weddings. But, this space books up fast, so contact us as soon as possible.  

What if the weather is bad on the day/evening of my event on the Rooftop Garden?
For sure the weather here can be unpredictable. Your dedicated event planner will work with you to ensure there is an indoor contingency (additional costs may be incurred).

Is the Rooftop Garden free?
Our amazing Rooftop Garden is free to the public. The views of downtown and Lake Monona are unrivaled in all of Madison. The Lake Vista Café offers lunch and dinner during the warmer months.

Do you have floorplans of your various event spaces?
Monona Terrace boasts 5 levels with 30 rooms, from 350-30,000 sqft. We offer a variety of floorplans to accommodate almost any size event, as well as everything you need from services, equipment, and technology. Learn more about all we have to offer and floorplans of our event rooms here.

Does Monona Terrace have hotel rooms available?
While Monona Terrace doesn’t have its own hotel on site, we are connected via skywalk with the Hilton Madison Monona Terrace, which is adjacent to our location.  This luxury 4-star hotel features on-site restaurants, an indoor pool, and plenty of parking. Some rooms feature views of Lake Monona. And, “yes”, they do have special rates for weddings! More information is available  here, or check out the many other wonderful hotel options in the area here.Can people park at Monona Terrace if they aren’t attending an event at Monona Terrace?
Absolutely! Monona Terrace has a state-owned, 600-space, automated parking structure that is available 24/7. Credit cards and cash are accepted (no coins!). You can also find metered street parking. Our location is great for a day-long walking excursion downtown. Find out more information about directions and parking here.  

Are wheelchairs available?
Monona Terrace is a fully accessible ADA compliant convention center. We do have several wheelchairs available on a first-come, first-served basis at our Guest Services counter on Level 4.

What’s the best way to stay up to date with things that are happening at Monona Terrace?
General information can be found here, and also visit our Calendar of Events to see what’s coming up month-by-month. Also, check out our Facebook page for the most up-to-date information we have.

Have more questions? Contact Us and we’ll be delighted to help you!