2017 CrossFit® Games: Your Guide to Madison

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crossfit games team competition

Our team has attended the CrossFit® Games for the past five years, but there’s some extra excitement buzzing throughout the office around this year’s Games. The main reason? It’s in Madison, WI, marking the first year it’s been outside of California.

Each year we typically share tips on why you should attend The Games and survival tips during your time there. This year, we asked around and compiled insider tips from our friends living in Madison to help you make the most of your trip. Here’s everything you need to eat, drink and see in Madison.

What to Eat

When you think of Wisconsin staples, cheese curds are probably the first thing that comes to mind. We’ve been told The Old Fashioned fries up the best cheese curds in Madison, and offers an impressive beer menu as well. The kitchen is open until midnight to satisfy any after-Games cravings you may have.

Seeing that you’ll be surrounded by some of the fittest people in the world, you’re probably interested in finding some healthier options in town as well. Madison boasts the largest producer-only market in the United States. On Wednesday and Saturday be sure to swing by the Dane County Farmers’ Market. You’ll find fresh vegetables, meats, cheeses and specialty products from over 275 vendors, all of which are produced in Wisconsin by the person behind the stand.

farmers market

What to Drink

With a professional baseball team named the Brewers, you know you’re going to find some excellent craft beer in Wisconsin. We asked around and our friends recommended the following breweries:

  • Karben4: They make excellent IPAs, especially Fantasy Factory and Dragon Flute.
  • One Barrel: You can’t go wrong with any of their Belgians.
  • New Glarus: The fruity, Lambic beers at New Glarus are wonderful, however it’s a decent trek from Madison. Fortunately, Woodman’s carries their beer (and a large selection of other delicious brews) so you can stock up in town.

    One Barrel Brewing in the heart of Madison

If beer isn’t your thing, NessAlla brews a variety of tasty kombucha right in the heart of Madison. Check out this list to see where you can find their tea on tap throughout town. If you’re in need of a caffeine fix, be sure to stop by top-rated Colectivo on the Square.

What to Do

While most of your time will be spent at the Alliant Center cheering on your favorite athletes, if you happen to have some spare time, check out the following hotspots:

  • The Terrace at UW: a quintessential hangout spot for students situated right on Lake Mendota.
  • State Street: the famous pedestrian street downtown that connects the campus to the capitol.
  • Willy Street: the “artsy” district full of fun shops and restaurants.
  • The Botanic Gardens on Atwood: we’ve been told the Thai pavilion is a must-see.
  • CrossFit Recursive: if you feel like you need to get a workout in, be sure to drop-in for a WOD with our friends at CrossFit Recursive.
botanic gardens
Who to See

Our team members and fellow athletes, Emily and Tiffany, will be at The Games and would love to hear how things are going. If you’re planning to attend, follow us on Instagram and Facebook to see where we’ll be, or shoot us an email at marketing@zenplanner.com to schedule a time to meet up.

We’ve had a blast every year we have attended The Games and can’t wait for another awesome event. While it’s amazing to cheer on some of the best athletes in the world, it’s even more amazing to meet with our incredible customers from around the world. We are looking forward to meeting up with you this year.


Have you read our Affiliate Gym Benchmark Report yet? If not, get your free copy today.

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Tiffany Houkom

Tiffany Houkom, Search Engine Marketing Specialist
Zen Planner

Born and raised in Denver, Tiffany is a Colorado girl to her core. From snowboarding and hiking to working out at her neighborhood CrossFit® box, Tiffany has a hard time sitting still. Professionally, Tiffany has over six years of digital marketing experience, and currently serves as Zen Planner’s Search Engine Marketing Specialist.

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