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.
This month’s featured event is the Tri 4 Schools Middleton Kids Triathlon on August 18th! Tri 4 Schools is a local non-profit that believes that all children deserve fun, safe, and welcoming opportunities to be active. Races and events are held throughout the year. Tri 4 Schools partners with businesses, individual, and grants to cover their costs so 100% of their race entry fees go back into area schools!
The Mombassadors for our Neighborhood Groups organize monthly meet-ups, so be sure to join the Facebook group for your area!
Links to area libraries, 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.
Wednesday, August 1: Madison Moms Blog Meet Us on The Green: 10-11:30 am at Hilldale | Join us for our weekly summer playdates on The Green with Madison Moms Blog! Each week features a different theme and will include crafts, snacks, playtime and more. While these events are free, we ask that you register so that we can plan appropriately for snacks and crafts!
Wednesday, August 1: Teen & Tween Yoga Nature Hike: 10 am – 1 pm at Common Ground, Middleton | Have your teen or tween join Ashlan and Allen Bishop of Good Neighbor Yoga for a summer workshop integrating yoga and nature. We’ll meet at Common Ground at 10am and begin a hike into the Pheasant Branch Conservancy with a yoga class at the peak of the hike including some fun opportunities for acro-yoga. We’ll return to Common Ground by 12pm for lunch.$30/participate – Includes lunch provided by Common Ground. Bring a water bottle and a yoga mat or towel. We will have a few mats available to borrow if needed! Ages 10-18
Wednesday, August 1: UW Football Family Fun Day 2018: 6-8 pm at Camp Randall | Fans of all ages are encouraged to head to Camp Randall for a chance to meet the team and head coach Paul Chryst for autographs and photos. Fans will also receive complimentary team posters courtesy of American Family Insurance.
August 2-12: Wisconsin State Fair: State Fair Park, West Allis | See website for full details.
Thursday, August 2: Kids Day at The Duck Pond!: 9 am – 12 pm at the Madison Mallards | Ballpark lunch, 3 hours of activities (face painting, petting zoo, inflatables & more!), interaction with players and mascot, ticket voucher & tons of fun! $9
Friday, August 3: Butterfly Action Day: 10 am – 2 pm at Olbrich Botanical Gardens | Join us for a special day with representatives from local monarch conservation organizations! Interactive displays focused on monarch butterflies will highlight what you can do to help the population. Monarchs make one of the longest known insect migration on earth and everyone can make a difference in supporting their spectacular journey! There are various displays with information and activities about the monarch life cycle and migration. There will be an opportunity to make pollinator seed informational packets and a pollinator fortune teller game for kids! You can also purchase equipment for raising caterpillars. Free admission.
Friday, August 3: Friday Fun Days – Pirate Day!: 12:30-3:30 pm at the Monona Community Pool | Transform a normal Friday into a Fun Friday! Almost every Friday form 12:30 – 3:30 pm, our wacky staff will plan a variety of water games and other activities for children of all ages. Patrons can also bring their own floatation devices to enjoy some Friday fun! Pool Pass or daily admission is required for entry.
Saturday, August 4: Saturday Science: Healthy Living: 10 am – 12 pm at the UW Discovery Building | Learn about researching, preventing and treating cancer! Explore research from Carbone Cancer Center, learn about sun safety and receive a complimentary sample of sunscreen, taste healthy foods and discover how to prepare healthy recipes, investigate how the immune system fights cancer, walk through giant inflatable organs on display and more. This drop-in event is free and open to the public. It features interactive exploration stations for kids and families.
Saturday, August 4: Cranes of the World Festival: 9 am – 5 pm at the International Crane Foundation, Baraboo | This day of fun includes special guided tours, free with admission, at 10 a.m. and 1 and 3 p.m. Entertainer David Stokes will share live animals, songs, stories and fun at 10 and 11 a.m. and at 1 and 2 p.m. Fun activities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for families include craft tables hosted by the Baraboo Children’s Museum staff. Children also can engage in crane enrichment activities from 12 noon to 1 p.m.
Saturday, August 4: The Wonders of Magic with Isaiah Foster: 10 am – 12 pm at DreamBank | Spend quality time with your little ones and prepare to be amazed! DreamBank is hosting entertainer Isaiah Foster for a morning of magic, comedy and mystery. Bring the kids to one of two 45-minute magic shows from 10-10:45 and 11-11:45, whichever fits into your action-packed Saturday!
August 6-9/August 20-23: Kehl Disney Camp | Join us! Kehl School of Dance is hosting TWO Disney themed camps in August. Camps will be ran and supervised by adult staff members while Kehl competitive dance team students volunteer their summer hours to fundraise for their upcoming trip to Disney in Summer 2019. See website for additional information or to register.
Tuesday, August 7: Inter-generational Stories and Pond Life: 10-10:45 am at the Heritage Senior Center, Middleton | Join Storytelling Naturalist Coral Conant Gilles as we play and learn through stories, songs, and hands-on nature activities. Kids and residents will enjoy a free Sensational Summer storytelling program before exploring pre-caught pond critters. We’ll sort through water and pond weeds searching for critters like damselfly nymphs, midge larva, aquatic adult insects, aquatic worms, water striders, snails, other aquatic macroinvertebrates, and, possibly, tadpoles and minnows. All are welcome. Target audience: 2 – 6 year olds (siblings welcome) and Heritage residents. Free.
Tuesday, August 7: Movies on the Water: School of Rock: 7-11 pm at The Edgewater | Playful, high-energy comedy about a teacher who turns his pupils into a rock band. Take advantage of sunset seating on The Statehouse Terrace for dinner and a show. Movies begin at Sunset and are licensed for Edgewater use by Swank Motion Pictures, Inc. Free.
Wednesday, August 8: Madison Moms Blog Meet Us on The Green: 10-11:30 am at Hilldale | Join us for our weekly summer playdates on The Green with Madison Moms Blog! Each week features a different theme and will include crafts, snacks, playtime and more. While these events are free, we ask that you register so that we can plan appropriately for snacks and crafts!
Wednesday, August 8: Yummy Sprout Artistic Foodie Camp (ages 2-8): 10-11:30 am at Festival Foods | Join us for a FUN morning camp perfect for ages 2-8. In this hands-on and interactive camp we will make splatter paint doughnut apples, rainbow guacamole and swirly smoothies plus we will make a doughnut craft! Parents or caregivers are encouraged to participate or watch (they attend free with student ticket). Includes recipes book and coloring sheets to take home. $18
Thursday, August 9: Madison Moms Blog Summer Playdate Series at Greenway Station: 8 am – 1 pm at Greenway Station | We have partnered up for a Summer Playdate series with Greenway Station! These free events will take place during the Greenway Station Farmers Market with extra special entertainment from 9am-11am. See website for a list of events and to register. Free.
Thursday, August 9: Elephant Portraits & Learning: 2-3:15 at the Black Earth Children’s Museum | Join us for an art class for 5-10 year olds! As we are just around the corner from World Elephant Day, we are keeping with the theme and painting the beautiful animals! The little artists will also have a chance to learn a bit more about elephants who can paint too! Cost includes professional instructor time, supplies, the take-home canvas and includes admission for the registered child AND 1 adult to the museum for pre or post-class exploration time. See website to register.
Thursday, August 9: Morning Play Date: 10-11 am at DreamBank | Spend a morning meeting new friends at DreamBank! While the kids enjoy 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!
Thursday, August 9: Sing-A-Long Streets of Sun Prairie: 5-7 pm at Cannary Square | Sing along to your favorite animated film songs with The Piano Gal Shop’s Marta Hansen and Clarisse Tobia. This annual Sing-a-Long will take place in Downtown Sun Prairie’s Cannery Square. Lyric sheets will be available. Audience participation is encouraged, as well as costumes! Funny Faces Family Entertainment will provide glitter tattoos. Free.
August 9-12: Watertown Riverfest | See website for full details.
Friday, August 10: Pack ‘N The Park: 6-10 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 be games, inflatables, prizes, food for purchase from the Fitchburg Optimist Club, and a movie. The movie showing will be Sherlock Gnomes and it will start at approx. 8:15pm. Free.
Saturday, August 11: Girl (& Mom!) Wonderful: 10:30 am – 12 pm at Revel| The start of the school year is just around the corner. Make the most of the last weeks of Summer and spend quality mom + daughter time* (or bestie time…or dad + daughter time…or #selfcare time) in our inspiring space! We’ve partnered with Girl Wonderful and Marla Bergh Photography to create a morning of connection and creativity! Select your desired Girl Wonderful t-shirt [you’ll choose the design and size at checkout!] and get ready to embellish it with fabric paint, brightly-colored gems, sequins, and other trims. Feeling extra crafty? Sew an embroidered monogram or accent onto the shirt to add an extra personalized touch! Once you’re finished with your shirts, pick your favorite photo wall and let Marla Bergh snap a mini polaroid print that you can take home to remind you of the fun morning! $30
Saturday, August 11: Kickin’ it for Kids: McGraw Park, Fitchburg | “Kickin’ It For Kids” brings family, friends, coworkers and neighbors together for a fun-filled day of activities for the whole family. Concessions, Team Registrations, Sponsorships, and general donations benefit REACH-A-Child™! Businesses can put teams together that consist of employees, clients, friends, and family to compete in the double elimination kickball tournament! This is a FREE event for the public to come out to! Activities include: First Responder vehicles & moreConcessionsBouncy HouseKids Reading areaBags/Cornhole Volleyball ANDKids Vs. First Responders kickball game!
Saturday, August 11: Hands-On History: Wisconsin 102: 10:30 am – 12 pm at the Wisconsin Historical Museum | Explore 160 years of Wisconsin history, from the creation of the state through the modern Civil Rights era. From lead to aluminum and wheat to dairy, discover the stories of Wisconsin’s American Indian tribes, Swedes, Germans, Latinx, African Americans, and more through the exploration of images and artifacts from our collections.
Saturday, August 11: R.E.A.D to the Dogs: 9:30 am – 12 pm at DreamBank | Help your kiddos 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.
Saturday, August 11: Playful Poses: Acro-Yoga With Kids: 10-11 am at Good Neighbor Yoga | Acro Yoga with kids is a fun way to build strength, teamwork, and trust in a fun and exciting way!
In this workshop we will explore several basic beginners aco yoga poses. Kiddos will learn about body tension to provide stability and Adults will learn how to use bone-stacking to bear the weight of the child in a safe way without relying on muscle strength. Workshop cost is $15 for both participants. This workshop is appropriate for kids 6-12 years old. Basic yoga experience is recommended for adult participants.
August 12-19: Grant County Fair | See website for full details.
Wednesday, August 15: Madison Moms Blog Meet Us on The Green: 10-11:30 am at Hilldale | Join us for our weekly summer playdates on The Green with Madison Moms Blog! Each week features a different theme and will include crafts, snacks, playtime and more. While these events are free, we ask that you register so that we can plan appropriately for snacks and crafts!
August 15-19: Dodge County Fair | See website for event details.
Thursday, August 16: Yummy Sprout Breakfast Bliss: Mini Sprouts (ages 2-8): 10-11 am at Festival Foods | Join us 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 a menu perfect to start the day with; Very Berry Chia Jam, No-Bake Granola Protein Parfaits and Wake-Up Smoothies plus read “Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast” by Josh Funk! Parents or caregivers are encouraged to participate or watch (they attend free with student ticket). Includes recipes and coloring sheet to take home. Designed for ages 2-6. $16
Thursday, August 16: Summer Fest at Fitchburg Farmers Market: 3-6 pm at Agora Fitchburg | Community Pig Roast Fundraiser for the Verona Road Business Coalition * Live Music of Derek Ramenance.
August 16-18: Sweet Corn Festival: Sun Prairie | See website for event details.
August 16-28: Irish Fest: Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee | Experience the world’s largest celebration of Celtic music & culture. See website for full event details.
Friday, August 17: Friday Fun Days – Rubber Ducky Day!: 12:30-3:30 pm at the Monona Community Pool | Transform a normal Friday into a Fun Friday! Almost every Friday form 12:30 – 3:30 pm, our wacky staff will plan a variety of water games and other activities for children of all ages. Patrons can also bring their own floatation devices to enjoy some Friday fun! Pool Pass or daily admission is required for entry.
Saturday, August 18: Tri 4 Schools Middleton Kids Triathlon | This is a kids triathlon for ages 3-14 that will raise money for local schools. The swim is in the Middleton Aquatic Center’s outdoor pool, with a bike course on neighborhood streets. The run course takes place on the Middleton High School campus and Pheasant Branch trail. Finisher medals will be given for all participants!
Saturday, August 18: Nature Play and Crafts with Tinkergarden: 9:30 am -12 pm at DreamBank | Bring your little explorers to DreamBank to play with nature treasures, forest putty, and more! Join area Tinkergarten leaders for a morning of engaging materials, thoughtfully designed play invitations, and fun crafts. Tinkergarten classes and activities help kids develop a host of important capabilities, including empathy, collaboration, creativity, persistence and problem solving.
Saturday, August 18: 10th Annual Agora Art Fair: 10 am – 6 pm at Agora Fitchburg | Surround yourself with art from over 100 local and regional artists from every medium, amid the unique architecture of the agora and the natural prairie landscape of southern Wisconsin.
Saturday, August 18: Africa Fest: 11 am – 10 pm at McPike Park (formerly Central Park) | “Strides For Africa” – a 5k run/walk for all ages kicks off the festival at 10:00 am. African immigrants in the Madison area will sing songs, demonstrate crafts, tell stories, cook everyday and celebratory dishes, illustrate various occupational skills, discuss how they live their daily lives, and address issues of cultural identity, history, and heritage. Food vendors, craft vendors of authentic African wares will be at the perimeter of the main tent and across the park to pamper your taste. Our sensational local groups are Kikeh Mato, Tani Diakite, Atimevu and Jam Ak Jam. The Niegrian Masquerade, and other local cultural dance groups.
Saturday, August 18: Stoughton Coffee Break Festival: 9 am – 3 pm at Mandt Park | See website for event details.
Saturday, August 18: Gandy Dancer Festival: 11 am – 8 pm at Westland Promenade, Mazomanie | The Mazomanie Charitable Alliance is proud to announce the return of the Gandy Dancer Festival to the Dane County music festival scene! On Saturday, August 18th, Mazomanie will host some of the hottest and most respected groups in Bluegrass, Folk, and Americana music for this family friendly one-day (11am-8pm) festival celebrating the village’s railway history. Tickets to the Gandy Dancer main and second stage will cost $10 in advance and $15 day-of. Children 12 and under will be free. Senior (65+), Veteran, and student discounts will be available day-of with current valid ID. Access to downtown Promenade is still free.
Monday, August 20: History on State: Fall Harvest Celebration: 5-6 pm at the Wisconsin Historical Museum | Join Old World Wisconsin for a celebration of fall on the Capitol Square! As days grow shorter, everyone on the farms joins together to harvest, butcher, pickle and preserve the bounty of the summer. Taste the flavors of fall with samples from Old World Wisconsin’s kitchens, learn tips for your garden, pose for a picture with a farm animal, and share in the traditions of Autumn on the Farm.
Tuesday, August 21: Yummy Sprout Campfire Fun Culinary Class (ages 3-9): 11 am – 12 pm at vomFASS – delecTable | Join us 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 make a menu perfect for any camping trip…Cheesy Chicken Dog Bites, Skillet S’mores and Terrific Trail Mix plus read “S is for S’mores” by Helen Foster James ! Parents/caregivers attend free with student and are encouraged to participate or watch (or head into the store to check out the awesome specialty vinegars, oils and liqueurs vomFass has to offer). Includes recipes and coloring sheet to take home. Designed for ages 3-9. $18
Wednesday, August 22: Madison Moms Blog Meet Us on The Green: 10-11:30 am at Hilldale | Join us for our weekly summer playdates on The Green with Madison Moms Blog! Each week features a different theme and will include crafts, snacks, playtime and more. While these events are free, we ask that you register so that we can plan appropriately for snacks and crafts!
Thursday, August 23: Morning Play Date: 10-11 am at DreamBank | Spend a morning meeting new friends at DreamBank! While the kids enjoy 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!
August 23-26: Orton Park Festival | See website for event details.
August 24-26: Good Neighbor Festival: Fireman’s Park, Middleton | See website for event details.
Saturday, August 25: Flower Power with Aldo Leopold Nature Center: 9:30 am – 12 pm at DreamBank | From the first spring blooms to fall’s tall prairie plants, flowers are fantastic! Bring the little ones and join Aldo Leopold Nature Center at DreamBank to learn all about flowers through games, crafts, and exploration. We’ll even learn a bit about the insects that pollinate them too!
Saturday, August 25: Houdini Workshop for Kids: 10:30-11:30 am at the Wisconsin Historical Museum | RJ the Magician will be teaching the same card tricks and escape techniques that he taught the children of Debra Messing, Ben Stiller and Alicia Keys in New York! This Houdini workshop will feature escapes as well as card tricks (Houdini called himself “The King of Cards”). You’ll leave this class knowing how to escape from ropes and how to perform magic tricks with everyday objects! This class is for children age 8 and up. $30 per adult/child.
Tuesday, August 28: Movies on the Water:Sing: 7-11 pm at The Edgewater | A koala impresario stages a gala singing competition in order to save his theater, and the contest attracts the attention of such musically inclined animals as a harried pig mom, a teenage gorilla, a shy elephant and a punk porcupine. Take advantage of sunset seating on The Statehouse Terrace for dinner and a show. Movies begin at Sunset and are licensed for Edgewater use by Swank Motion Pictures, Inc.
Wednesday, August 29: Madison Moms Blog Meet Us on The Green: 10-11:30 am at Hilldale | Join us for our weekly summer playdates on The Green with Madison Moms Blog! Each week features a different theme and will include crafts, snacks, playtime and more. While these events are free, we ask that you register so that we can plan appropriately for snacks and crafts!
Ongoing Summertime Activities/Events:
Olbrich’s Blooming Butterflies – Thursday, July 19 – Sunday, August 12 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 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. Admission – $7 ages 13 & up; $3 ages 3 – 12; Free ages 2 & under; Free for Olbrich Members.
Kids Dream Summer Film Series – KIDS DREAM SCHEDULE – FINAL MONTH: 10 am at participating Marcus Theatres.
“Early Man”: July 29, 30 and August – Rated PG. A cave man named Dug, his sidekick Hognob and the rest of their tribe face a grave threat to their simple existence when Lord Nooth plans to take over their land and turn it into a giant mine.
“Despicable Me 3:” August 4, 5, 6 and 8 – Rated PG. Gru meets his long-lost charming, cheerful and more successful twin brother Dru who wants to team up with him for one last criminal heist.
“My Little Pony: The Movie:” August 11, 12, 13 and 15 – Rated PG. When a dark force threatens Ponyville, the Mane 6 embark on an unforgettable journey beyond Equestria where they meet new friends and exciting challenges on a quest to save their home.
“Peter Rabbit:” August 18, 19, 20 and 22 – Rated PG. Peter Rabbit enjoys spending his days in Mr. McGregor’s vegetable garden. When one of McGregor’s relatives suddenly moves in, he discovers a family of new rabbits in his home and a battle of wits ensues.
“Sherlock Gnomes:” August 25, 26, 27 and 29 – Rated PG. After a string of garden gnome disappearances in London, Gnomeo and Juliet look to legendary detective Sherlock Gnomes to solve the case of their missing friends and family.
Capitol City Band Concerts in the Park – Thursdays June 14 to August 30 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Rennebohm Park.
Concerts on the Square – Wednesdays. See website for full details.
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!
Summer Spin – Chazen Museum of Art, June 7 – August 23. Grab the kiddos and join us every week as we bring the museum outdoors! Enjoy live music, cool and refreshing treats, outdoor films, adventures with art, and lots of surprises. Everyone is welcome.
Art Cart and Art Cart Extra – The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art’s popular, free outdoor art programs bring expert instruction and a relaxed attitude to art projects at parks, playgrounds, and beaches in Madison and Dane County during the summer. Both programs offer a variety of individual and group art activities planned for children ages three and above. All children should be accompanied by a supervising adult. Organized summer camps and other childcare programs must pre-register at 608-204-3021 to attend Madison Art Cart sites; families are invited to drop-in with no pre-registration necessary. Art Cart will begin in Madison on Thursday, June 14.
Drop-In Summer Ice Skating Lessons – 6/11/2018 – 8/20/2018 Weekly on Monday 5:15 pm – 5:45 pm at the McFarland Community Ice Center. $15
East Wild Rumpus – Weekly on Thursdays, 6/28-8/16, 5-7:30 pm. Enjoy play-centered, child led activities in the park each week, based on the educational approach of Anji Play. The library will provide special play equipment to spark your children’s imagination. At the end of each event, kids will create a Play Story, drawing and/or writing about their play for that day. Wear messy clothes, bring a water bottle, (optional) bring a picnic dinner or purchase a meal from the “Let’s Eat Out” local food carts, and make an evening of it! Please note, this program takes place at Reindahl Park (1818 Portage Rd).
Kids Create at the Top of State – Fridays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., June 1, 2018 through August 31, 2018. Madison’s Central BID presents a children’s art and activity series to take place on Fridays from 10am-1pm in The Grove. The BID will partner with various local organizations to provide an afternoon of themed art and learning projects for children. This event will provide children and downtown families with an afternoon of fun and educational projects.This summer’s theme is Music and Movement. Free.
Leopold Community Nights – Join the Fitchburg Public Library on Tuesday evenings for Leopold Community Nights at Aldo Leopold Park, 2906 Traceway Dr. Held from 5-7 pm, there will be activities for the whole family – food, sports, arts & crafts, BINGO & much more. All are welcome. Every week on Tuesday from June 19, 2018 – July 31, 2018.
Summer Expeditions – Summer Expeditions is a free program for students in grades K-8 to explore, engage and discover science at UW–Madison and the Morgridge Institute for Research with structured hands-on activities. The program takes place on Wednesday afternoons during the summer from 1:30 to 3 p.m. and includes two 45-minute guided activities. Summer Expeditions runs from late June to early August.
Terrace Art Zone – Memorial Union. June 13-September 3. Join Wheelhouse Studios for art making/crafting this summer – all supplies provided! Enjoy FREE programs in The Art Zone: Wednesday evenings in June and July and our popular Terrace Paintacular is back on Labor Day!
Science Thursday – Wingra Boats. Join us every Thursday from 6-7pm during the summer at Wingra Boats for a FREE science education program for kids.
Ice Cream Boat Float – Wingra Boats. For $3 a spoon ( in addition to rental) you can paddle around Lake Wingra to different stations to get your bowl, ice cream, toppings, whipped cream & cherry.
Family Field Trip – Goodman Youth Farm. Bring the whole family out for a fun-filled afternoon in the garden! Harvest and cook a healthy snack, plant seedlings, explore the worm compost bins, create outdoor art, visit with our resident chickens or explore the tall grass prairie. Activities will vary by date. Join us for one (or all!) of these hands-on garden adventures! Garden-themed activities for all ages, 12:30-2:30 pm: Kids’ garden, 6/22, 7/6 & 20, 8/3; Youth farm, 6/26, 7/10 7 24, 8/7. Free.
Live Music in the Backyard – Wisconsin Brewing Company. Live outdoor music! Check website for specific bands. Kid-friendly! Grab your friends and head to Wisconsin’s Backyard for beer and live music! The brewery opens at 3pm and the band plays from 6:00-9:00pm. Miller and Sons brats and hot dogs will be sold with proceeds benefiting a local non-profit.
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.
Dane County Farmers’ Market
Eastside Farmers’ Market
Capitol View Farmers’ Market
Union South Farmers’ Market
Northside Farmers’ Market
Southside Farmers’ Market
Hilldale Farmers’ Market
Monroe Street Farmers’ Market
Westside Community Market
Greenway Station Farmers’ Market
Downtown Middleton Farmers’ Market
Fitchburg Farmers’ Market
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.
$5 Tuesdays at The Movies – All first-run Marcus Theater locations. See the hottest blockbusters for just $5. If you’re a MMR member, the popcorn is on us!
$6 Early Bird Movies – Palace (Sun Prairie) and Point (Madison) Cinemas. Early risers can catch any film for just $6 before 11 a.m. at participating locations.
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.
Story Saturday – Madison Historical Museum. Story Saturday at the Wisconsin Historical Museum features fun and exciting Wisconsin stories geared toward families and kids. Free activities and crafts bring the stories to life! Presented in partnership with the Madison Reading Project.
Barnes & Noble East Towne – Various themed storytimes. See website for schedule.
Barnes & Noble West Towne – Various themed storytimes. See website for schedule.
Ongoing Playgroups & Parent Groups:
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.
Sun Prairie Birth-to-Three Play Group – Weekly on Monday from 9-10 am at CI Pediatric Therapy Centers, 395 E. Linnerud Dr., Sun Prairie. Our drop-in play group allows children to build social skills and enjoy a new environment! Our play group is led by a skilled therapist and is available to answer general development-related questions.
Janesville Birth-to-Three Play Group – Weekly on Thursday from 9-10 am at CI Pediatric Therapy Centers, 4445 Woodgate Dr., Janesville. Our drop-in play group allows children to build social skills and enjoy a new environment! Our play group is led by a skilled therapist and is available to answer general development-related questions.
Middleton Birth-to-Three Play Group – Weekly on Thursday from 9-10 am at CI Pediatric Therapy Centers, 701 Deming Way, Middleton. Our drop-in play group allows children to build social skills and enjoy a new environment! Our play group is led by a skilled therapist and is available to answer general development-related questions.
Verona Birth-to-Three Play Group – Weekly on Thursdays from 9-10 am at CI Pediatric Therapy Centers, 305 S. Main St., Verona. Our drop-in play group allows children to build social skills and enjoy a new environment! Our play group is led by a skilled therapist and is available to answer general development-related questions.
Fitchburg Birth-to-Three Play Group – Weekly on Fridays from 9-10 am at CI Pediatric Therapy Centers, 2927 S. Fish Hatchery Rd., Fitchburg. Our drop-in play group allows children to build social skills and enjoy a new environment! Our play group is led by a skilled therapist and is available to answer general development-related questions.
Waunakee Birth-to-Three Play Group – Weekly on Wednesday from 9-10 am at CI Pediatric Therapy Centers, 101 E. Main St., Waunakee. Our drop-in play group allows children to build social skills and enjoy a new environment! Our play group is led by a skilled therapist and is available to answer general development-related questions.
Hike It Baby – Hike It Baby wants to inspire your family to get outside and explore! Hike It Baby is a volunteer run parents group that hosts trail hikes, park & plays, urban strolls, toddler trail wanders and more. See the website or Facebook page for more information.
Little Learners – What? Educational play-dates with your little ones. Sessions include story time, music, art, sensory bins, and a snack. Who? Children ages 0 – 5 with their parents or caregivers. When? 10am – 11am on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of every month. Where? Our Redeemer Lutheran Church Community Room. Cost? $5 per family/session. Payment can be made when you register or on the day of the session
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!
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:
Open Art Studio – Arts & Literature Laboratory. Open Art Studio welcomes youth ages 6-19 years old to explore their creativity through self-guided art-making and writing (using our supplies and library)! Registered students can participate in open art for free or by donation.
Craft Making – Daily at JNJ Craftworks. Just walk in any day, you will find a craft and supplies which you can make for $5 – $10. Examples include: scrabble tile desk stand, paper flower, small earring, etc.
Breastmilk Donation – Got extra breastmilk? Swing by the Mother’s Milk Alliance every Thursday from 10 am to 6 pm to donate. Call 608 251 0776 for more details or check out our website at www.mothersmilkalliance.org.
little Om Big Om – Yoga for kids and families.
Kid’s Herpetological Society Meeting – The general meetings typically occur on the second Friday nights from 7-10 pm at the Clark Street Community School in Middleton. A Kid’s Herpetological Society meets for an hour before regular meetings from 7-8 pm. See website for details and schedule.
Snooze at the Zoo Sleepovers – Henry Vilas Zoo – Sleep next to the animals and enjoy special animal encounters while learning about all zoos do to care for animals here and in the wild! See website for dates and prices.
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.