If you are looking for a guide to keep you and your family entertained, we have got you covered! We’ve started a monthly events guide to be sure you don’t miss a thing happening around the Madison area. Here are this month’s “need to know” activities.
The Mombassadors for our Neighborhood Groups organize monthly meet-ups so be sure to join the Facebook group for your area!
Links to area library calendars, open swim times, and open play/jump activities can be found near the end of this post. This is by no means a comprehensive list. If you know of any fun family activities we have missed, please let us know in the comments.
August 1: Read Like a Badger Summer Reading Club Concert and Picnic at the Gardens with Ken Lonnquist: 6-8 pm at Olbrich Botanical Gardens | Featuring activities with Olbrich Gardens, Madison Public Library and Overture staff and a concert with Ken Lonnquist at 7 PM.
August 2: National Night Out-Middleton: 5:30-7:30 pm at Lakeview Park | It’s time to make plans to attend this popular FREE community event that will take place at Lakeview Park at 6300 Mendota Avenue in Middleton on Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. National Night Out is an opportunity for communities nationwide to promote police-community partnerships, crime prevention & neighborhood camaraderie. This year’s festivities will include free food & drink, prizes, children’s activities, dunk tank & participation by our Fire Department, EMS, Police Department & other local law enforcement & public safety agencies, including K-9 & horse patrols. Med-Flight & DEA helicopters have also been invited. Citizens will be able to tour squad cars, fire apparatus & ambulances & have a chance to meet & talk with Law Enforcement Officers, Paramedics, Firefighters & more!!
August 2: Free Family Night: 5-8 pm at the Madison Children’s Museum | On the first open Wednesday night of each month, MCM invites our entire community to enjoy the museum for free. Free Family Night is a great time for first time visitors to enjoy the museum, and is a popular time for older children to return to visit their favorite exhibits.
August 3-13: Wisconsin State Fair | See website for details.
August 4: PBS Kids Get Up and Go! Day: 10 am – 12 pm at University of WI Gordon Commons | Join in the fun for Wisconsin Public Television’s annual PBS Kids Get Up and Go! Day! Get Up and Go! Day highlights ways Wisconsin families can be active, enjoy the outdoors, and be healthy! This fun-filled, free event encourages children to live healthy and active lives. Special appearances by Daniel the Tiger, Katerina Kittycat, and Clifford the Big Red Dog!
August 5: Verona & Madison Children’s Business Fair: 9:30 am – 1:30 pm at Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Verona | Observe the opportunity for children to launch their very own startup business! Kids develop a brand, create a product or service, build a marketing strategy, and then open for customers at our one-day marketplace. We will host 15 tables at the 1st annual event Verona/ Madison on Aug 5th 2017 from 9.30 am – 1.30 pm. This event is sponsored by JNJ CraftWorks & Acton Academy, And the generous support of our donors and volunteers.
August 5: Saturday Science: Solar Eclipse Edition: 10 am at the Discovery Building | Discover how life is connected to the sun! Learn about the total eclipse starting August 21, build an eclipse viewer, explore solar energy, hold fossilized sunshine and more. This event is free and open to the public. It features interactive exploration stations for kids and families.
August 5: KEVA Open House: 12-5 pm at KEVA Sports Center | Come out and see what KEVA has to offer on Aug 5 from 12-5pm. This is a free event and open to the public. KEVA will provide family and adult activities- cookie decorating, inflatables, music, free soccer and flag football class trials, and drawing of many prizes, adult soccer and volleyball tournament, and sand volleyball open play.
August 5: Atwood City Limits Music Festival: 1-10 pm at Tex Tubb’s Taco Palace | This isn’t your everyday parking lot party. This is an Atwood neighborhood music fest! We’ll be slinging our signature tacos, our famous fresh-squeezed Palace Margaritas (made with Sauza Blue Reposado 100% Blue Weber Agave), Deschutes Brewery beers, and Tito’s Handmade Vodka drinks to keep you fueled through the entire set. Come by anytime after 1 p.m. for your favorite band, or hang out all day.
August 5: National Mustard Day Celebration: 10 am – 4 pm at the Mustard Museum | On August 5, (rain or shine!) Middleton will transform into the Condimental Divide as the undisputed Epicenter of Condimental Appreciation where thousands of mustard lovers gather — some spicy, some sweet; some exotic, some hot. It takes all kinds. This year, we’re proud to partner with the nonprofit research accelerator, No More Kids With Cancer.
August 5: Book’n It Run: 7 am – 12 pm at Sheehan Park, Sun Prairie | This family fun event consists of four runs and a walk for all ages and abilities. This event is organized by the Sun Prairie Public Library Foundation and all money raised goes to sponsor all the things that make the Sun Prairie Public Library so incredible, like the digital book collection and many other learning tools for all ages.
August 5: Penske Truck: 9 am – 12 pm at Home Depot | Join our hands-on workshop and you and your child can build a wooden Penske truck to roll some fun into August. Once the project is complete, your child can personalize their truck with stickers and paint. All kids get to keep their craft, receive a FREE certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron, and a commemorative pin while supplies last. Children must be present at the store to participate in the workshop and receive the kit, apron and pin.
August 5: Juggling Extravaganza with the Truly Remarkable Loon: 9:30-11:30 am at DreamBank | Stop by DreamBank for a morning of family fun and flying objects! The Truly Remarkable Loon will be putting on juggling shows from 9:30-10 am and from 11-11:30 am. We’ll also be hosting a juggling workshop between shows, where the Truly Remarkable Loon will be teaching the art of juggling!
August 5: Art IN the Square – Sidewalk Chalking: 2-3 pm at the Middleton Public Library | Sign up as an individual or as a group to fill your square with your tribute to books, the library & summer fun. Registration is required – weather dependent. All ages.
August 7: TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL! Supply Drive: 6:30-8:30 pm at the Hartmeyer Ice Arena | Summer will be over before we know it! But before it is, come beat the heat by ice skating at HARTMEYER ICE ARENA while helping provide school supplies for local schools. For every NEW school supply that you bring, you will receive $1 off your admission! (Admission: adults $5, kids/students $3, skate rental $3) Cash donations will also be accepted at the door.
August 8: Mini Sprouts Culinary Class: Things That Go: 9:30-10:30 am at Whole Foods Market | Join other mini sprouts as we make food fun in this culinary class designed for kids. This hands-on and interactive class will give children the confidence to try new foods. We will prepare some fun and healthy recipes about planes, trains and things that go and read “Alphabet Rescue” by Audrey Wood and Bruce Wood! Parents or caregivers are encouraged to participate or watch (they attend free with student ticket). Includes recipe packet and coloring sheets to take home. Designed for ages 2-7. $16
August 9: FIT4MOM Stroller Strides Grand Opening: 10:30 am – 12:30 pm at Marshall Boats | Join us for the Grand Opening of Stroller Strides Madison! This will be a free class, followed by raffles, refreshments and fun! Arrive early as we expect a large turnout. Class will begin at 11 AM and run for 1 hour- but plan to stick around for the fun afterwards too
August 11: Pack ‘N The Park: 6-8 pm at McKee Farms Park, Fitchburg | Bring the kids to Pack ‘n the Park! The fun starts at 6pm at McKee Farms Park. There will have games, inflatables, prizes, food for purchase from the Fitchburg Optimist Club, and a movie. The movie showing will be Moana and it will start at approx. 8:15pm.
August 12: Kids Boxing with Canvas Club: 9:30 am – 12 pm at DreamBank | Come glove up at DreamBank! Coaches Leo and Melissa of Canvas Club will be teaching jabs, hooks, and uppercuts in a series of stations before leading a group class at 11. Not only is boxing a great workout for the mind and body, it also helps kids increase focus, reduce stress, and build self-confidence! Please note, no contact is involved.
August 13: Free Family Yoga Class: 2-3 pm at Happy Bambino | Marcie Robinson will lead a FREE, open to the community Family Yoga Class at The Happy Bambino. Join Kidding Around Yoga’s Family Yoga class! Spend an hour with your favorite littles as we sing, dance, stretch, laugh, build strength, and cultivate calm through traditional yoga practices with kid-friendly twists. No yoga experience is necessary and the whole family is invited. All ages welcome.
August 14: Coffee With a Cop: 9-11 am at Hurts Donut | On Monday, August 14th, 2017, from 9:00am to 11:00am, officers from the Middleton Police Department will come together with community members in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships and drink coffee. Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the department’s work in Middleton neighborhoods.
August 16: Mini Sprouts Culinary Class: Picnic Time: 10-11 am at Festival Foods | Join other mini sprouts as we make food fun in this culinary class designed for kids. This hands-on and interactive class will give children the confidence to try new foods. We will take an island adventure and make some fun and healthy recipes perfect for taking on a picnic and read the classic “Blueberries for Sal” by Robert McCloskey! Parents or caregivers are encouraged to participate or watch (they attend free with student ticket). Includes recipe packet and coloring sheets to take home. Designed for ages 2-7. $16
August 16-20: Dodge County Fair | See website for event details.
August 17: Summer Fest & Brat Fry: 3-6 pm at Agora Pavillion, Fitchburg | Come celebrate the peak of the Summer Harvest. Community Pig Roast $12 /Plate To-go Box * Live Music of the Mud Music as well as all the usual market finds.
August 17-20: Sun Prairie Sweet Corn Festival | See website for event details.
August 19: Magic by Ryan Martin: 10:30 am – 12 pm at DreamBank | Stop by DreamBank with the family and prepare to be amazed by the wonders of magic! Ryan Martin will be performing two shows, one from 10-10:30 and another from 11-11:30 with close-up mingling magic from 10:30-11 and 11:30-12. You’ll watch one dollar bills be transformed into $100 bills, playing cards turn into blocks of glass, and much more!
August 19: Stoughton Coffee Break Festival: 9 am – 4 pm at Mandt Park | Coffee Brew Off – Sample coffee from different coffee roasters and vote for your favorite brewer. Car show featuring vintage and modern cars, trucks, motorcycles and new this year tractors. Family Entertainment, food stands, pig roast, beer & music through out the day.
August 19: Kickin’ it for Kids: 10 am – 8 pm at McGaw Park | “Kickin’ It For Kids” brings family, friends, coworkers and neighbors together for a fun-filled day of activities for the whole family. Activities include: First Responder vehicles & more; Concessions; Bouncy House; Kids Reading area; Bags/Cornhole; Volleyball; AND Kids Vs. First Responders kickball game! FREE for the public to attend.
August 19: Agora Art Fair: 10 am – 5 pm at Agora Pavillion, Fitchburg | The 9th Annual Agora Art Fair is a feast for your senses. Beautiful artwork from local artists including paintings, sculpture, pottery, jewelry, fiber art, photography and more are artfully displayed on the grounds of the stunning Agora. The event also features the enticing Beer Garden and a selection of local food vendors. The lush tall grass prairies are the ideal setting for a picnic. Don’t hesitate to bring the kids along! The Children’s Art Yard is well-equipped to keep little hands busy with a number of art projects.
August 20: Makeshift Festival: 3-8 pm at Olbrich Park | Makeshift Festival is a new event that celebrates creativity in the visual & culinary arts and highlights the rich history of Madison’s public spaces. Makeshift brings together regional designers and visual artists to use the natural beauty of Madison’s parks as their canvas, and restaurants from Madison and throughout the Midwest to present ambitious, affordable dishes in a family-friendly, engaging and immersive experience. This year’s event takes place at Olbrich Park, along the shores of scenic Lake Monona. $10 tickets and kids under 12 are free.
August 22: Mini Sprouts Culinary Class: Kitchen Science: 9:30-10:30 am at Whole Foods | Join other mini sprouts as we make food fun in this culinary class designed for kids. This hands-on and interactive class will give children the confidence to try new foods. We will prepare some fun and healthy recipes, explore the science behind them, and read “If You Give A Dog A Donut” by Laura Numeroff! Parents or caregivers are encouraged to participate or watch (they attend free with student ticket). Includes recipe packet and coloring sheets to take home. Designed for ages 2-7. $16
August 24-27: : Wizard of Oz, Jr.: Cambridge-Deerfield Players Theater-Times Vary | The CD Players is performing Wizard of Oz, Jr. at the Cambridge Historical Gymnasium. Tickets available starting August 7. Ticket prices: Reserved seating – $15 General bleacher seating – $10
August 24-27: Orton Park Festival | See website for event details.
August 25-27: Middleton Good Neighbor Festival | See website for event details.
August 25-27: Just Between Friends Resale: Alliant Energy Center | JBF is a fun, fashionable, affordable, and friendly way to have fun with your friends as well as make some new BFF’s along the way.
August 26: Madison Moms Blog 2nd Annual Hangin’ with the Heroes: 10 am – 1 pm at KEVA Sports Center | It will be a morning filled with Super Heroes (think Super Man & Wonder Woman) thanks to Princess Parties By Paolina; community heroes; tons of activities (Knocker Ball!!!, story time with Fitchburg Public Library, kids yoga with little om BIG OM, obstacles, crafts, super hero tattoo station, sidewalk chalk station, bubbles & much more to be announced!); snacks & refreshments, SWAG, giveaways and a fun Super Hero photo booth! Come celebrate the hero in all of us on one of the last weekends before school is back in session. We will also have a raffle to benefit Badger Childhood Cancer Network! Tickets will go on sale August 7th!
August 26: Sprouting Chefs Culinary Class: Cure the Lunchtime Blues: 10:30-11:45 am at Whole Foods | Join other sprouting chefs as we make healthy food fun and learn kitchen skills in this culinary class designed for kids. This hands-on and interactive class is a perfect chance for kids to express themselves and their creativity through food. We will prepare some fun and healthy recipes perfect to pack in your lunchbox plus read “Bread & Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban! Includes a recipe packet and a treat to take home. Parents or caregivers are encouraged to participate or watch (attends free with student). Designed for ages 4-12. $20
August 26: R.E.A.D to the Dogs: 9:30 a m- 12 pm at DreamBank | Help your child get back-to-school ready with the help of a furry, four-legged friend! Join us as we partner with Dogs on Call Inc., which promotes literacy and the animal-human bond through Reading Education Assistance Dogs. As your child reads to an attentive canine, you’ll see tails wag and confidence rise.
Dane County Farmers’ Market – Saturdays on the Capitol Square. April 15-November 11 from 6:15 am – 1:45 pm.
Westside Community Farmers’ Market – Saturdays, 7:00am – 12:30pm, April 15 – November 4. Behind UW Health Digestive Health Center , Corner of University Avenue & University Row.
Fitchburg Farmers’ Market – 3-6 pm every Thursday May – October at the Agora Pavillion.
Hilldale Farmers’ Market – Wednesday and Saturday: 8AM – 1PM. May 6, 2017 – November 4, 2017. Location: At the corner of University Ave. and Midvale Blvd. across from Metcalfe’s Market.
Eastside Farmers’ Market – Tuesdays 4PM-7PM April 18th – October 31st. Central Park, 202 South Ingersoll St.
South Madison Farmers’ Market– Sundays, May 1 – Oct., 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Mondays, May 9 – Oct., 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Tuesdays, May 17 – Oct. 25, 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Thursdays, May 26 – Oct. 27, 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Labor Temple 1602 S. Park St. Mondays: 2518 Rimrock Rd. Thursdays: Villager Mall on Park St. Madison.
Northside Farmers’ Market – Sundays 8:30 am – 12:30 pm, May 7th-October 22nd. 2817 N. Sherman Ave, Northside TownCenter parking lot, across from Warner Park. Over 30 vendors, offering fresh produce, cut flowers, plants, eggs, meat & cheese. As well as prepared food, coffee and baked goods. Live entertainment each week & Master Gardener, 1st & 3rd Sundays. Located between Willy St Co-op North and Old National Bank. Accept SNAP/EBT & Double dollars participant.
Sun Prairie Farmers’ Market – Stop by between 7a.m.-noon to check out everything the market has to offer! Location: behind City Hall (300 E. Main).
Janesville Farmers’ Market – Saturday Mornings 8 am – 1 pm May – October.
Lodi Farmers’ Market – Fridays, 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. April 29 – October. 902 N. Main St., next to Kolks Lumber Lodi Valley.
Greenway Station Farmers’ Market – Every Thursday, May 11-October 5, rain or shine from 8am-1pm, Locally grown fruits, vegetables and flowers, plus homemade baked goods, jams, cheeses, meats and more! The Market is located in the parking area near Fuddruckers.
Monroe Street Farmers’ Market – Every Sunday May 7 – October 29, 9am – 1pm, Edgewood High School parking lot. A variety of fresh produce and local food from South Central Wisconsin will be available in a fun, family-friendly environment.
Mineral Point Farmers’ Market – Saturdays 8:30-11 am May – October. Water Tower Park, Business 151 at Madison Street.
Capitol View Farmers’ Market – The Capitol View Farmer’s Market operates from May 31 – October 11 from 3:00PM – 7:00PM. The market will close at 6:30PM closer to Fall. The Capitol View Farmers Market is located on Madison’s far east side at 5901 Sharpsburg Drive.
DeForest Farmers’ Market – Tuesdays from 3:00 to 6:00 PM May 23 – October 24, 2017. We decided to keep the market in Fireman’s Park for the first half of the season and to move it in front of the DeForest Village Hall for the second half of the season.
Monona Farmers’ Market – Sundays, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. May – October. Ahuska Park in Monona, WI. Located at East Broadway between Monona Drive and Stoughton Road.
Verona Farmers’ Market – Tuesdays, 2:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. May 10 – Oct. 18. 306 Main St. Verona.
Concerts at McKee – Be sure to mark your calendar for the third Monday of June, July and August for this lively party in the park! Bring a picnic and a bottle of wine or have dinner and drinks at one of our many food carts and brew carts available to serve you at the concert. Food and drink carts open at 6pm along with Madison Music Foundry youth bands and headliners begin at 7pm. Concerts at McKee includes a selection of food carts, including Slide Food Cart, Taqueria MariMar, Cupcakes A Go-Go, Banzos (just to name a few) with local tap beers and powerhouse bands. It will truly be a party in the park!
Summer Concert Music Series – 5:30-6:30 pm at DreamBank. Complement Madison’s beautiful summer evenings with the dream-inspiring sounds of local musicians. Drop by DreamBank to check out these talented artists, and enjoy free snacks before you head out to enjoy a musical evening on the square. June 28-August 2nd. See website for details.
Casey Day – 9-10 am most Saturdays at The Cargo Bike Shop, Willy St. Join us at The Cargo Bike Shop for an hour of fun music, dancing and singing. Most Saturdays from 9am to 10am. Fun for all ages, whether it’s shaking your booty to Baby Beluga and other Casey Day favorites, or enjoying some Cafe Domestique coffee and a treat from Batch Bakehouse or Underground Food Collective.
Monday Night Kid Music with David Landau – 5:30- 6:15 at the Harmony Bar and Grill | Fun for kids 2 to 8 and totally tolerable for parents of any age! Cover – $3.
The Lunchtime Show with David Landau – 11:30 am – 12 pm at McFarland House Cafe | There is a cover charge of $5.00 per kid for this show. Adults, babies, and babysitters are free of charge.
Concerts on the Square – Wednesdays on the Capitol Square.
Orpheum – Family-friendly films. See website for full details.
ZOOvies – Join us for our new series: ZOOvies at the Henry Vilas Zoo! Grab some popcorn, set up a blanket on the lawn, and enjoy a movie on the big screen! Tickets: $5/person (free admission for children under 3). For all movie dates, the zoo gate will open at 7pm and the movie will start between 7:15 and 7:30pm. See website for dates and movies.
Kids Dream Summer Film Series – 10 am June 11 – August 16 on Sundays, Mondays & Wednesday at Marcus Theatres. Admission only $3.00!
Movies with Madison Parks – Bring a blanket or lawn chair, and enjoy a free showing of one of these classic movies! See website for details and locations.
Kids & Pets Storytime– Animart Pet Store – 10:30 am – 11 am weekly on Tuesdays. Read with the Story Time Pet of the Week. A fun event for parents and children. Admission is $1.89 + tax per child.
Museum Storytime – UW Madison Geology Museum – 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month at 10:30 am. Museum storytime is geared toward preschool-aged children and each week features a book, museum specimens and a craft to take home. No reservations required, except for groups larger than 10. Free.
Stories, Songs and More – Barnes & Noble West Towne. Join in as our Barnes & Noble staff members share stories and songs with children, ages 2 to 6, and their families. See website for details.
Stories, Fingerplays and More – Barnes & Noble West Towne. Join in as our Barnes & Noble staff members share stories and songs with children, ages 2 to 6, and their families. See website for details.
Barnes & Noble East Towne – Various themed storytimes. See website for schedule.
Barnes & Noble West Towne – Various themed storytimes. See website for schedule.
Communication Innovations Summer Play Group – June 12-September 1st from 9-10 am at various locations: Waunakee: Wednesday – Janesville: Thursday – Middleton: Friday – Sun Prairie: Friday. Play groups for kids ~birth to 5 (we don’t have an age cut off :)) And it’s just a time for kids to enjoy our facility- ball pits, swings, slides, games, crafts and books. And while we of course welcome kiddos with special needs, typically developing children are always welcome too as we are a general family facility. Call for more info: (608) 819-6394.
Morning Play Date at DreamBank – Enjoy a morning of meeting new friends at DreamBank. While the kids participate in interactive story time and crafts, grown-ups can explore our exhibit and enjoy a cup of coffee in our inspiring space. Free snacks, fun and learning abound, so bring your hungry bellies, listening ears and colorful imaginations! 10-11 am.
Ongoing Parent Groups:
Lodi Moms’ Group Meet-up – We meet on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month from 9:30 to 11:00/11:30 at Lake Wisconsin E Free Church in Lodi. There is childcare for pre-school children for the first half while we meet together for a time of connection and study. Then we all go upstairs to play together in the big multi-purpose room. In the summer we have been meeting in parks to play.
Babywearing Meetings – Come join us to learn about babywearing, connect with other caregivers, and bond with your little ones. Bring your own carriers, or learn with ours. Our meetings are always FREE and open to the public! BWI-Madison Meetings are really helpful for learning about safety and new techniques, trying on a wide variety of carriers, and getting personalized guidance from accredited Volunteer Babywearing Educators (VBEs). Plus, you’ll meet some really nice people, and the meetings are super kid-friendly! Become a member and check out a different carrier each month from our lending library of over 150 carriers!
Mommy & Me Hour – 10 am Tuesdays at Nicki’s Diapers. Join us for the NEW Mommy & Me Hour at the Nicki’s Diapers Madison Retail Store! Each week we will have a topic to discuss in an informal, friendly environment.
Mother Baby Hour – Located at the Meriter Business Center-See website for various days/times. Mother Baby Hour is a time for moms and their babies to get together to ask questions, express concerns, learn about resources and share stories. A Registered Nurse/Community Educator facilitates the groups and offers a weekly topic. Join us as early as the first week after your baby is born!
Other Ongoing Activities/Events:
Blooming Butterflies – Thursday, July 20 – Sunday, August 13, 2017. 10 am – 4 pm daily at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Experience the magnificence of free-flying butterflies while strolling through the tropical Bolz Conservatory. Live butterflies emerge from chrysalises daily in the Conservatory, including low-flyers like the playful yellow and black striped zebras and bright orange julias. More than a dozen species of butterflies, native to both Wisconsin and the more tropical areas of the southern United States can be seen at various times during the exhibit.
Free Yoga in the Park – July 10-August 14. Weekly on Mondays. Join us for the first parent/child YOGA class in the park! Yoga in the Park will be held on Mondays at 10am and is FREE for parents and children ages 2-5. A new park will be featured each week. Check our Facebook page for locations. https://www.facebook.com/prairieathleticclub/
Schedule: July 10,17,24,31/August 7,14.
VSA Wisconsin Art Center Summer Programs – VSA’s early childhood art and music classes are for children, ages 3-6, with disabilities, including learning disabilities, speech/communication disorders, emotional and behavioral disorders, physical disabilities, visual and hearing impairments, developmental disabilities and autism. Typically developing children are also welcome.We ask that parents stay at the Art Center during class time – participation in the class is encouraged! See website for classes and times.
Free Science Thursday – 6:30 pm on Thursdays at Wingra Boats. Join our weekly Free science education for children. Each week is a different topic, and will include hands on environmental activities. All ages are welcome! Reservation is not necessary but RSVP’s are appreciated.
Kids Create at the Top of State – 10 am – 1 pm at the Wisconsin Historical Museum. This summer, come to The Grove at the top of State Street for some family fun and education! Each Friday the Wisconsin Historical Museum will partner with the Central Madison Business Improvement District and other local organizations to provide a fun, outdoor educational experience for kids and families. Museum staff will offer take-home crafts and hands-on activities that highlight different parts of the Wisconsin story.
Drop-In Pontoon Rides – Drop-in rides take place June 5th – September 29 at these sites: Fridays, at Tenney & UW Goodspeed Family Pier, 650 N Lake St (Goodspeed rides dependent on construction – check www.mscr.org) 1:30-2:30pm & 2:45-3:45pm & Sundays, at Tenney, 1:30-2:30pm & 2:45-4:15pm. Please arrive 45 minutes early to sign in. First come, first served. Children 3 and younger are free. New this year – free Drop-In Ride tickets are available for people who can’t afford the fee. Please call 204-3020 or email [email protected] Please allow at least one week to process request.
Mad-City Ski Team Free Waterski Show – The Mad-City Ski Team is made up of a group of dedicated volunteers that perform free water ski shows for the Madison community throughout the summer and compete in regional and national water ski show tournaments. See website for full details.
Summer in Your City – Various free kid-friendly activities happening in downtown Madison.
Lakeside Kids – Wednesdays 10-11am • Ages 4 and up. Come to Monona Terrace on Wednesday mornings and enjoy this eclectic and educational program designed for children ages four and up. A wide variety of local performers, artists, and organizations provide entertainment, hands-on fun, and learning. In the event of inclement weather, outdoor programs will be moved inside. Please call 608.261.4000 after 8:30 a.m. the day of the event for program location.
Sassy Cow Creamery Free Farm Tours – Join us for free farm tours in June, July and August. Tours will run at 2 p.m., 2:45 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. No need to register, just meet us at the creamery. From there, you will follow the tour guide to the farm in your own vehicle. If you have questions, feel free to give us a call at 608-837-7766.
Flea Market – 8 am – 3 pm at Angell Park, Sun Prairie. First Sundays May-October (except June, which will take place Memorial Day weekend, May 28).
Flea Market – 9 am – 2 pm at Gorman Wayside Veterans Memorial Park, Fitchburg. Every week on Sunday from June 4, 2017 – August 27, 2017.
Art Cart – Art Cart and Art Cart EXTRA! are free outdoor art programs that travel to parks, playgrounds, and beaches across Dane County in summer. The programs bring expert instruction and a relaxed attitude to making art outdoors for children ages three and above. All children should be accompanied by an adult. Families are invited to drop in with no pre-registration necessary. See website for schedule.
Family Field Trips – Troy Kids’ Garden and Goodman Youth Farm. field trip will feature hands-on outdoor activities for parents and kids of all ages: harvest and cook a healthy snack, plant seedlings, explore the worm compost bins, or create outdoor art. At the Kids’ Garden, located on Madison’s northside, families can also visit with our resident chickens or explore the tall grass prairie. At the Youth Farm, on Madison’s east side, unique experiences include meeting our honey bees or packing fresh produce to donate to the local food pantry. Activities will vary by date. Join us for one (or all!) of these hands-on garden adventures! See website above for dates and to register.
Zoo Sleepovers – Bring your family (ages 5 and up) and join us for pizza from the zoo’s Glacier Grille, behind the scenes tours, and animal encounters before tucking in to sleep in the Discovery Center/Herpetarium. Wake up and enjoy a continental breakfast, then explore the zoo before it opens. Morning before the visitors come is one of the busiest and most fun times at the zoo! Watch how the keepers care for and work with the animals, and enjoy the chance to interact with the animals when you are the only visitors in the zoo! This program is designed for families and groups (scouts, clubs, church, etc.) and is full of fun and exclusive experiences! Zoo members: $55/person; Non-members: $65/person. See website for days/times/registration.
Warner Family Fun Nights – Warner Park Community Recreation Center, 5:30 – 8:30 pm, Fridays (see website for dates), $5 per family.
KEVA Open Play – Youth Open Play at KEVA Sports Center. Mondays/Tuesdays/Thursdays 9:30-1. Lots of indoor activities set up for toddlers. Drop in fee accepted or free with a KEVA membership. Begins September 5th.
MMoCAkids ArtPack – Families are encouraged to stop by the reception desk in the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art lobby and ask for the MMoCAkids ArtPack, the museum hands-on discovery kit for exploring art. Designed for family members to use together, the ArtPack contains a variety of fun activities that promote observation and imaginative thinking about visual art. Visiting an art museum with a child can be stressful if you are so worried about your child touching the art that you can’t enjoy the art, but the joy of art and art making is for people of all ages. These programs are designed for families with young children.
UW-Arboretum Family Walks – See website for dates and details.
Car Seat Checks – The goal of the Safe Kids Injury Prevention Program is to help educate families on safety and injury prevention. A large component of our work is providing safety information and services to our Dane County communities. Car seat checks are available throughout the Madison area, see website for dates and locations. Appointments are required for car seat checks. You can make an appointment by calling (608) 890-8999 or e-mail [email protected].
Bird and Nature Walks – 1:30-3 pm at various Madison parks – Free, family-friendly Bird and Nature Walks are offered year-round on Sunday afternoons 1:30-3:00 pm by Madison Parks and FUN: Friends of Urban Nature partner groups. Join the FUN!
Open Art Studio – Use the Monroe Street Arts Center studio as your own! Work on a self-directed project under the guidance of an experienced art teacher. We will provide all of the art materials and one planned project per class to get you started. This is a drop-in class, but please call ahead to hold a spot, 608.232.1510. Cost is $12 per class or $48 for 5 classes with an Open Art Studio Pass.
The Crafty Project – The Crafty Project does monthly Kiddo Crafty Events at their creative studio. Additionally, The Crafty Project studio is a fabulous location for mom’s to get together and have a night out and create. They have a fun schedule of classes and offer private events.
Eastern Holistic Health For Families – 11:00am – 12:00pm third Saturdays at Tao Sangha Center. Fee: $8-10 per parent/child pair. Learn and practice how to make our energy and heart positive and strong through fun holistic practices including yoga, family shiatsu healing and Buddhist meditations. Everyone welcome, no experience necessary. RSVP Tao Sangha Healing Center, 2330 Willard Ave, Madison. 608-257-4663 or [email protected] TaoSangha-na.com.
Meditation for Kids and Families – Kadampa Meditation Center of Madison – On Sunday mornings from 10-11:15, we offer Mindful Living: Prayers for World Peace in the main meditation room and Dharma for Kids in the kid’s meditation room. Dharma for Kids is suitable for kids ages 4-10. Older children and teens are welcome to attend the teaching with their parents, and parents with toddlers younger than four can stay with their children to participate in kids class together. Cost: $5/Adult and $1/child over 4.