Stoughton offers a wide range of activities for the whole family! Indoors or out, there’s something to do every season of the year. Located on the Yahara River and just a few miles south of Lake Kegonsa, Stoughton is a destination for water sports and fishing enthusiasts, yet we also have a wide variety of cultural activities sure to entice the most determined city dweller.
Stoughton has so much to offer – rich history, a historic downtown, proud cultural heritage, unique events and activities, proximity to large metro area, and much more. What is included in much more? From racing action to stage entertainment and rural hands-on fun, Stoughton is surrounded by fun “extras” that make a vacation complete.
Don’t miss our crowning jewel, the Stoughton Opera House, offering fall and spring seasons with acts ranging from Doo-Wop to Classical, comedy to drama in this beautifully restored Victorian theatre. Throughout the year, there are other delightful productions by the Yahara River Show, the city band and the community festival choir.
For a live stage performance, be sure to see the Stoughton Village Players, one of the oldest community theaters in the area. Since they formed in 1972, the Stoughton Village Players have put on over 70 musicals, dramas, comedies, and variety shows. See Stoughton residents show off their talents at the Old Badger Theater, which is now home to the Stoughton Village Players. Built in 1921, the Old Badger Theater is on the National Register of Historic Places, which is an added bonus to attending a performance.
Explore Stoughton’s past at the two museum sites for the Stoughton Historical Society. The Depot, built circa 1913, and used by the Milwaukee Road Railroad for passenger and freight until the early 1970's is also currently home to the Stoughton Chamber of Commerce. You can stop by any time between 9am-4:30pm, Monday through Friday to view the small musuem in the back of the building.
The Stoughton Historical Museum, located in the First Universalist Church (324 South Page St.) was built in 1858 on land donated by Luke Stoughton is open on Sundays from Noon-4pm starting on Syttende Mai Friday (weekend closest to May 17th) through Labor Day weekend.
You could explore Stoughton’s City Hall. During the work week, take a tour of the Opera House or anytime the building is open you can go downstairs and look at the photos of historic Stoughton or check out our Stoughton Hall of Fame Room. Several Historic Neighborhoods representing homes of several styles of architecture which have been lovingly restored to their original grandeur. For pictures and details of Stoughton's historic buildings visit the Stoughton Landmarks Society web site.
Interested in genealogy? The Stoughton Public Library also contains a small section with information about Stoughton’s history, including a considerable amount of information about our Norwegian settlers. You may also want to visit Riverside Cemetary, founded in 1857. This cemetary contains the remains of some of Stoughton's founders including Luke Stoughton and his family in a beautiful hillside location.
Other indoor activities include taking a class provided by many of the downtown retail stores (cooking, knitting, beading, etc.), watching a movie at the Theater in downtown Stoughton, bowl a few frames at the local bowling alley or relax with a massage or manicure provided by one of our many spas. Don't forget all the great musical entertainment at the local pubs.
The parks and facilities available in Stoughton meet your every need. From swimming in a sandy bottomed swimming hole, disc golf, canoeing and boating in the summer months to ice skating, cross country skiing and snowmobiling in the winter, there’s plenty for the outdoor enthusiast. Stoughton has over 14 parks, including a skateboard park, tennis, basketball as well as two hiking trails. And, we’ll soon have a dirt bike park for the kids to use.
Didn’t bring your canoe? You can rent one from Kegonsa Cove or the Stoughton Senior Center and travel down the Yahara enjoying the beauty and wildlife. Nearby Lake Kegonsa State Park offers camping in the summer, hiking and water sports year round as well as cross country ski trails in the winter. There are plenty of additional camping opportunities, perfect for a weekend getaway or a family reunion.
Spend a day at The Flower Factory, the midwest's largest selection of perennials, hostas and ornamental grasses with over 400 varieties of new, better, best perennials. You can stroll through beautiful display gardens including shade, rock, garden railway, rooftop, pond and stream gardens.
Golfers have three excellent nearby courses. Coachman's Golf Resort is a challenging 27-hole course located six miles east of the city. Creekview Par Three is a sporty 9-hole course located along I-90 southeast of Stoughton. Both courses are public on a membership or daily fee basis. The Stoughton Country Club is an inviting 18-hole course for members and their guests and is located just northwest of the City.
Pegged as “Wisconsin’s Fastest Half-Mile Oval,” Madison International Speedway is located just minutes west of Stoughton on Highway 138. Many Friday nights (check their calendar) from May through September check out the action as racers from all around Midwest come together to test their skills. Bring the family! With over 10,000 available seats, free parking and tasty concessions, it is fun for everyone.
Other outdoor activities include walking tours of our beautiful downtown and neighborhood historic districts (booklets are available at the Stoughton Public Library and the Chamber of Commerce), and outdoor Farmer’s Markets. One is located in the Stoughton Plaza parking lot and is operational every Friday morning, May through October. A second farmer's market is located in Mandt Park and runs two Sunday's a month. See the community calendar for more information.