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Alan Tanner

Family Life in Madison

by Alan Tanner Monday, March 14, 2016

My family arrived in Madison in August 2015.  None of us had ever stepped foot in the state and school started in 2 weeks. Through recommendations by former students in the UW MBA program we found a townhome in a small town northeast of Madison called DeForest.  As we drove to our house for the first time it took us around Madison and through corn fields for the last 40 minutes of our drive.  I thought we had taken a wrong turn and ended up back in Iowa.  Little did we know what a great town DeForest was and how much we would enjoy Madison .

My family consists of my wife and I and our three (now four) kids.  DeForest has turned out to be a great town to raise our family.  We live across the street from a park and within walking distance to walking and biking trails.  We have a fishing pond 2 miles away.  We also are 20 minutes from grocery shopping and malls.  Larger housing is affordable giving us plenty of space for the kids to run around and get some exercise.  Madison also has many great family friendly neighborhoods. They put you close to campus (10-30 min) while still providing affordable, family-friendly housing. 


Beautiful walking trails minutes from our home.

 From our home in DeForest, Downtown Madison is just a 30-minute drive.  To get to school I generally take the bus.  (Bus passes are free to students!) I drive to a bus stop and bus the rest of the way in.  It takes 45-60 minutes, but I use the time to study or catch up on email. 

Madison is a great city for families.  They have a great children’s museum downtown with a combination of play areas and educational areas.  The zoo downtown has penguins, polar bears, elephants, giraffes and more and best of all, it is FREE!  My family has also enjoyed several activities on campus that are family friendly.  The kids love to see where daddy goes to school. 


Up close and personal with a Tiger at the FREE zoo.