Chazen Museum of Art

The Chazen Museum of Art is only two blocks from the YAPC conference facilities. The Chazen is home to the second-largest collection of art in Wisconsin: more than 20,000 works include paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, photographs, and decorative arts. The permanent collection covers diverse historical periods, cultures, and geographic locations, from ancient Greece, Western Europe, and the Soviet Empire, to Moghul India, eighteenth-century Japan, and modern Africa. The collection continues to grow thanks to artwork donations and purchases. Perhaps best of all, it’s free!

Geology Museum

On your visit you can touch rocks from a time when there were volcanoes in Wisconsin; see corals, jellyfish and other sea creatures that used to live and swim where we now walk; and stand under the tusks of a mastodon while imagining yourself in the Ice Age. Also on display at the Geology Museum are rocks and minerals that glow, a model of a Wisconsin cave, dinosaurs and meteorites. Admission is free, and it’s about 8 blocks from the YAPC conference facilities.

Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

MMoCA serves the art life of the community by creating opportunities for direct experience with works of art, by providing a forum for the exchange of ideas about art, and by offering programs to enhance the appreciation and understanding of art. In addition, all of its exhibits and admissions are free! It is located about 7 blocks from the YAPC facilities.

Wisconsin State Historical Museum

The Wisconsin Historical Museum is located on Madison’s Capitol Square and is full of wonderful information about the state’s rich history. Explore Wisconsin’s distinctive heritage and a variety of other American history topics through artifacts, photographs, full-scale dioramas, audio-visual presentations, and interactive multimedia programs. It is about 8 blocks from the YAPC 2012 facilities. And at only $4 (suggested donation) per person, it’s well worth a look.

Wisconsin Veterans Museum

The Wisconsin Veterans Museum encourages people of all age groups and backgrounds to visit our award winning facility. We serve the public in four unique areas. The museum offers instructive exhibits that highlight important events in Wisconsin military history from the Civil War to the present. The museum has received national recognition for its displays. Secondly, the museum develops educational programs often focusing on specific themes such as World War II or Korea. Thirdly, the museum also operates a Research Center where books, photographic materials, oral histories, and archival collections can be accessed. In addition, the Research Center provides online reference assistance. Finally, the museum cares for and safeguards a large collection of artifacts associated with Wisconsin's military history. It is located about 8 blocks from the YAPC facilities. And admission is completely free!

Children's Museum

If you think you might bring your kids with you to Madison and make a vacation out of your trip to YAPC, then one thing you have got to see is the Madison Children’s Museum. They have amazing hands on demonstrations, art projects, and fun activities. At only $8 per person for a whole day, it’s an inexpensive way to have some fun with the family.

National Mustard Museum

If you like doing unusual things when you visit a new place, one of the things you should definitely check out while you're in Madison for YAPC::NA 2012 is the National Mustard Museum.

On the bottom floor they have an archive of the history of mustard. You'll be amazed by all the things you didn't know about mustard. In addition, they even have jars of actual mustard dating back to over 100 years.

On the top floor they have the most amazing selection of mustards for purchase you have ever seen, literally hundreds of types of mustards. And best of all, you can sample any mustard in the store whether you intend to buy or not.

You will have to take a bus, a cab, or drive though, because the National Mustard Museum is about 6 miles from the YAPC facilities. It's worth the effort.