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!
February 25-March 12: Seussical: Overture Center Playhouse-Times vary | Imagine that! Join the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz and all your favorite Seuss characters in this must-see musical caper that will have you singing its tunes all the way home. See website for times and tickets.
March 2-4: WIAA State High School Hockey Tournament: Alliant Energy Center | Tickets are available only upon arrival at Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Alliant Energy Center. General admission is $8/session. A session is two games.
March 3: Conservation Events-International Polar Bear Day: Henry Vilas Zoo | The Henry Vilas Zoo participates in a variety of wild animal conservation programs. Our Conservation Education Celebrations, which focus on helping save the wild counterparts of the animals at our zoo, are not only fun but also give you the chance to make a difference in the lives of wild animals.
March 4: Be Amazed by Magic with Brian Holt: 10-11:30 at DreamBank | Gather the kids and prepare to be amazed with this show for the whole family! For over 30 years, Brian Holt has been providing quality entertainment through magic, comedy and mystery. Bring the kids to one of two half-hour magic shows from 10-10:30 and 11:00-11:30. It’s an exceptionally entertaining way to spend your Saturday morning!
March 4: Kid Disco: 11 am – 2 pm at The Great Dane-Hilldale | The Great Dane Hilldale is bringing disco back and making it cooler than ever. Kid Disco is back for another year of fun and entertainment. Funny Faces Entertainment will be helping out to bring the kids all the fun they could ask for, from balloon sculptures to face painting they have it all. Don’t forget about the music. DJ Nick Nice will be setting the mood of the 70’s through his musical genius.
March 4: Kids Workshop-Build a Rain Gauge: 9 am – 12 pm at Home Depot-West | Join our hands-on workshop and you and your child can build a rain gauge house, so you and your budding scientist can measure the rain dropped by spring storms. Once the gauge is built, your child can paint their project to personalize it. 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.
March 4: Saturday Science: Aldo Leopold: 10 am – 12 pm at the UW Discovery Building | Celebrate Wisconsin’s legendary naturalist during this free event held on the first Saturday of every month! Identify birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians; read animal tracks; make your own nature journal; examine amazing insects; discover the history of a tree through its rings; and more. This event is free and open to the public. It features interactive exploration stations for kids and families.
March 4: Art Spin: 12-3 pm at the Chazen Museum of Art | Free projects for all ages related to Francesco de Mura exhibit. See website for full details.
March 4-5: Madison Kids Expo: 10 am – 4 pm at the Alliant Energy Center | See website for full details.
March 7-27: Baby & Me Party: 6-6:45 pm at the Fitchburg Community Center | Designed for ages 0-4. $30 for session (drop-in fee of $10 is available). Register online or by phone (608) 270-428. See website for details.
March 7-27: Baby & Me Yoga: 7-7:45 at the Fitchburg Community Center | Designed for ages 0-4. $30 for session (drop-in fee of $10 is available). Register online or by phone (608) 270-4285. See website for details.
March 10: MSCR The Best You! Family Festival: 6-8:30 pm at Madison East High School | Free event! Activities include: dinner, youth performances, photo booth, YOGA, martial arts, MSCR fitness classes, art activities, MSCR FIT VAN, community resource booths, door prizes….and so much more!
March 11: Science Day: 9:30 am – 12 pm at DreamBank | Bring your tiny Einsteins down to DreamBank for a hands-on, educational adventure in science! Give your kids the freedom to explore and watch them become more curious, creative and confident with every discovery. We’ll be featuring four different science departments from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, so stop by to join the fun!
March 11: 11th Annual Waunakee Wellness & Energy Fair: 8:30 am – 12:00 pm at the Waunakee Village Center | *FREE ADMISSION* TIMELINE OF EVENTS: Wellness & Energy Exhibitors (Gym) 8:30 am – 12:00 pm. Pancake Breakfast to benefit Waunakee Neighborhood Connection 8:30 am – 10:30 am. Free Zumba Class 9:00 am – 9:50. FREE SCREENINGS AVAILABLE: Diabetes. Blood Pressure. Vision Screening for Adults & Pre-School. Olfaction (smell). Asthma. Hearing. Also: Door Prizes. Mascots. Facepainting. Giveaways. Shuttle Service by Van Go Taxi.
March 11 & 12: Dance Wisconsin’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: 2 pm at the Mitby Theater | Please join Dance Wisconsin for an afternoon of wonderful imagination as Chelsey Bradley’s original choreography will intrigue you to follow Alice as she chases the White Rabbit and discovers that nothing is impossible. Tickets: $20 Adults, $15 Seniors (age 62 and older), $10 Youth (age 17 and under).
March 12: Natural Family Expo: 10 am – 4 pm at the Monona Terrace | See website for full details. Free.
March 12: UW Arboretum Family Walk-Mud: 1:30-2:30 | Learn about changes around us as spring approaches. What’s happening to the plants, animals, and ground we walk on? Free, no registration required. Meet at the Visitor Center.
March 12: Children’s Theatre: Sounds Like Science: 1 pm at the Waisman Center Auditorium | This Mad Science show is all about sound and sound waves. We’ll use ordinary objects to simplify complex ideas! We’ll make bagpipes out of trash bags and use cups and buckets to create sound amplifiers. Metal pipes and rods will sing…and shriek. We’ll even create a shock wave — a sound so strong that it can be “heard” with your skin! Join us for early bird activities beginning at noon on this show day! Interactive! Educational! Fun! Admission: $2.00, adults; $1.00, children.
March 16-19: March Basketball Watch Party: Join us at The Edgewater as we watch our favorite teams go head-to-head during March basketball. For those looking to watch the games, head over to Augie’s Tavern to take in the action, grab a bite and a beer, and cheer on your favorite teams. From March 16-19, Augie’s Tavern will be open from 11 am – Midnight offering $5 ‘MSG’ Wings, $7 Augie’s Burgers and half-priced Wisconsin drafts. Time to brush up on your shooting skills? We’re saying farewell to Winter on the Water and the Ice Rink, and breaking out the basketball hoops to create a make-shift court on The Grand Plaza, free and open to the public starting Wednesday, March 8.
March 18: Maple Syrup 101 with the Aldo Leopold Nature Center: 9:30 am – 12 pm at DreamBank | We’re teaming up with The Aldo Leopold Nature Center to celebrate this Wisconsin tradition! Spend a fun morning with the family learning about forest wildlife, tapping trees and getting up close to the fascinating process of making irresistibly delicious maple syrup! Of course, we’ll be taste-testing, so be sure to bring your sweet tooth.
March 18: Box of Balloons Family Night: 5-10 pm at Rockin’ Jump | Box of Balloons is hosting a Family Fun Night on March 18th at Rockin Jump in Madison, WI. Mention ‘Box of Balloons’ when you check in and proceeds will go to us so we can provide happy birthdays to kiddos in need. Rockin Jump is the ultimate trampoline park with open jumping arenas, a rock wall to climb, dodgeball, slam dunk zone and much more! Come and jump, bounce and flip for a good cause. Price: $15 (per jumper of any age) for 2 hours. *Make sure to mention Box of Balloons* Come hungry! The Rockin Jump cafe has tons of food options including pizza, nachos, popcorn, ice cream to name a few.
March 18: Public Barn Tour: 1-2:15 pm at Heartland Farm Sanctuary | Come take a public tour to learn more about Heartland and meet our farm animal friends! Tours are approximately 75 minutes long and the fee is $10 per person ($5 for Veterans and their families). RSVP is required. To RSVP, Please register online at: bit.ly/1XcFknC
March 19: Madison Comic Con: 10 am – 5 pm at the Monona Terrace | The Madison Comic Con is back! Our first event of 2017 will be on Sunday, March 19th at Monona Terrace. With dozens upon dozens of vendors, artists, creators, and guests plus costumes, games, comics, toys, and everything else a fan could want! Free admission for kids and free comics at the door to boot!
March 22: Spring Break Kiddo Crafty Event: 10 am – 12 pm at The Crafty Project | Join us for our monthly kiddo crafty event! No signup needed, just drop in with your kiddos and get crafty with us! See link for March craft details.
March 25: Kids Zumba: 9:30 am – 12 pm at DreamBank | Let your kiddos burn off their extra energy and learn something new at our fun Zumba party! Zumbatomic helps strengthen children’s balance, coordination and mobility while encouraging self-confidence, teamwork and pride in diverse cultures. Jenny Blake, owner of Pure Beauty Fitness, will crank up the Latin-inspired tunes for a dance-tastic afternoon!
March 25-27: Just Between Friends Spring Sales Event: Alliant Energy Center | It’s time for the spring sales event where you can find everything you need to raise a child under one roof! Be sure to claim your ticket for shopping from the website!
March 26: Maple Syrup Fest: 1-4 pm at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center | Maple Syrup Fest will feature stations set throughout the nature center grounds to lead visitors, at their own pace, through the history and science of maple syruping and related activities. Visitors will see demonstrations of various methods by which Native Americans, pioneers, and people today tap trees for the production of maple syrup and sugar. We also have maple syrup and maple candies for sale in our Gift Shop…it’s a sweet way to support ALNC and start the spring season off right!
Healthy Snacks Storytime: Fridays at 9:45-10:30 at Huckleberry & Persimmon. Join Yummy Sprout for a fun and kid friendly storytime! A wonderful chance for kids to try new, healthy recipes as healthy snacks will be served every week (children under 12 months attend for free). Register ahead of time or drop-in (cash and card accepted).
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.
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.
Winter Concert Series – 2-3 pm at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Enjoy a winter Sunday at Olbrich with musical performances in our Evjue Commons. All Winter Concerts are traditional theatre-style seating with the exception of our Botanical Boogie dance concerts. In 2017, all of Olbrich’s Winter Concerts will require a $2 admission fee per person.
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
Edgewater Open Skate – 1/4/2017 – 2/24/2017 Weekly on Wednesday , Thursday , Friday. Adult $7, Students (with valid ID) $6, Youth (12 yrs – 5 yrs) $4, Seniors $4, 4 and Under FREE. Skate Rental Fee: $3 Available in size Youth 9 through Adult 13.
Warner Family Fun Nights – Warner Park Community Recreation Center, 5:30 – 8:30 pm, Fridays (see website for dates), $5 per family.
Circus After School – Mondays at The Rumpus Room, Mazomanie. Circus After School with Marcia Miquelon and Jacob Mills. This is a special, after-school survey of all things circus, including aerial arts, juggling, physical comedy, tightwire, stilt walking, acrobatics, German wheel and more! $90 for 9 weeks. PARTIAL SCHOLARSHIPS are available! Drop-in enrollment is also available!
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.
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.
Stories, Fingerplays and More – Barnes & Noble West Towne, Tuesdays at 10:30 am. Join in as our Barnes & Noble staff members share stories and songs with children, ages 2 to 6, and their families.
Stories, Songs and More – Barnes and Noble West Towne, Thursdays at 10:30 am. Join in as our Barnes & Noble staff members share stories and songs with children, ages 2 to 6, and their families.
Kids in the Rotunda – Free shows for kids and families at the Overture Center. See website for times and schedule.
Art After Overture – 9 am – 2 pm at Madison Central Library. Stop by Central Library for art activities, special book displays and more, inspired by performances at Overture Center for the Arts’ Kids in the Rotunda series. Activities will be available from 9 am – 2 pm in the Children’s Room.
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].
Toddler Story & Stroll – Learn and play with your youngster in this fun, hands-on series that focuses on nature and the seasonal changes of spring. Classes include a story, a stroll through the outdoor gardens, and theme-related activities designed for you and your preschooler to spend quality time together. Sign up for one class or the entire series. Ages 2-4 with an adult. Limited space; register early!
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!
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.
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.
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!
Italian Language Courses for Kids – Tuscany Language Academy offers Italian language courses for children starting in January 2017. Each course will be provide weekly exposure to the Italian language. Each lesson will be enriched with songs, videos, games, visual and interactive material.
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.
Calendar of Events for Libraries, Open Play Areas, and Open Swim