If you are looking for a guide to keep you and your family entertained, we have got you covered! Here are this month’s “need to know” activities.
MMB’s Top Pick for September :: SwimWest Swim School offers high quality year round swimming lessons in Madison and Fitchburg for everyone from infants to adults with a focus on keeping children safer in and around the water. Their indoor warm water pools provide a comfortable environment for babies, children and teens to excel. SwimWest offers continual, year round registration, so enroll anytime for ongoing lessons!
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.
August 31-September 1: Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw and Festival | See website for event details.
August 31-September 2: Wilhelm Tell Festival: New Glarus | See website for event details.
August 31-September 3: Rock River Thresheree: Edgerton | See website for event details.
Saturday, September 1: FAMILY EVENT: Badger Fan-demonium: 9 am – 12 pm at DreamBank | Show your Wisconsin pride during the first football weekend of the season! Bring your Badger spirit and make crafts to cheer on your favorite player or team. Bucky Badger will be on the scene from 9-10 am for fun family photo ops! We’ll also have a face painter from Funny Faces Family Entertainment from 10 am-noon, so stop in for some post-game day fun!
Saturday, September 1: Saturday Science: It’s a Mystery: 10 am at the Discovery Building | Discover how we use science to solve crimes, riddles and other mysteries! Find out if you would be a good eyewitness, dive into DNA detective work, solve a crime and more. This drop-in event is free and open to the public. It features interactive exploration stations for kids and families.
Saturday, September 1: DIY: Field Goal Game: 9 am – 12 pm at Home Depot | Kickoff football season with a portable action-packed field goal game. In this workshop, you and your child can build a game to test your aim. Simply flick or drop-pluck the ball through the goal posts to score a field goal worth three points. Once the game is built, your child can customize it with paint and stickers—play solo or with a friend and switch between field judge/scorekeeper and placekicker. Recommended for ages 5 through 12. All Kids Workshop attendees must be accompanied by a parent or adult at all times. All kids get to keep their craft, receive a FREE certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron, and a commemorative pin while supplies last.
Monday, September 3: Labor Day Dash: 8 am at Warner Park | This event has become a “must do” for Madison area runners because it is a great way to support children in our community. And this year (due to Vilas construction) we have a NEW location: Warner Park! Families and people of all ages gather at Warner Park Shelter for a 5K run/walk or 10K run. And don’t forget the Stroller Division and the “Tot Trot,” a free mini-dash for the littlest runners. Come celebrate 15 years of the Labor Day Dash with us and help Safe Harbor help kids!
September 7-9: Half-Pint Resale: Madison Curling Club | Madison Area’s Largest Children’s Consignment Sale
(for pregnant moms and young families, featuring items for ages 0-12).
Saturday, September 8: FAMILY EVENT: Grandparents Day Crafts: 9:30 am – 12 pm at DreamBank | We’re getting crafty for National Grandparents Day! Bring the kiddos and their creativity down to DreamBank and make a gift that Grandma and Gramps will be sure to cherish forever. We’ll provide all the supplies needed to create your masterpiece, just be sure to bring those imaginations!
Saturday, September 8: Movies with Madison Parks – Coco: Worthington Park | Grab a blanket or a lawn chair and enjoy the FREE show with Madison Parks! In partnership with the City of Madison’s Neighborhood Resource Teams (NRT) we are presenting free movies at parks throughout the city! As the sun sets, we will begin the movie. All are welcome!
Saturday, September 8: IronKids Fun Run: Capitol Square | Join in for a casual fun run around the Capitol Square in Downtown Madison, followed by a post-race celebration in the heart of IRONMAN Village. Each athlete receives a race bib, finisher shirt, medal, goodie bag and the pride of calling themselves an IRONKID! Ages 3-13.
September 8 – November 4: Harry Potter Magical Movie Showcase: Marcus Theatres | Calling all Witches, Wizards and Muggles, too: Harry Potter and the gang are returning to the big screen this fall at the Marcus Point (Madison) and Palace (Sun Prairie) Cinemas! The Harry Potter Magical Movie Showcase features all eight Harry Potter films, plus “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” The fun kicks off September 8 and runs through November 4, with showtimes on Saturdays and Sundays at noon. Best of all, tickets are just $5!
Wednesday, September 12: Madison Moms Blog & Hilldale will be hosting their monthly Meet Us on The Green event from 10-11:30. The playdate is FREE to attend. Send any Q’s to [email protected]
Thursday, September 13: Madison Moms Blog & Greenway Station will be hosting a FREE playdate from 9-11am at Greenway Station. The event takes place right by the Farmer’s Market (next to Fuji Parking lot area). Special music with David Landau from 9:30-10:15am; and from 9-11am join Middleton Public Library for Middleton Public Library for games/activities, coloring sheets, library card sign up and book check out! Special Treats & Crafts to Celebrate the end of summer! FREE to attend – register here.
September 14-16: Green County Cheese Days: Monroe | See website for event details.
Saturday, September 15: Learn to Fish: 9:30-11 am at Wingra Park | Catch a fish with Madison Parks and Wingra Boats! This 90-minute class is designed especially for kids aged 15 and under. Our instructors will work one-on-one with each child on setup, tips and techniques in catching a fish.
Saturday, September 15: FAMILY EVENT: 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!
September 15-16: Enchanted Valley Acres Fall Opening Weekend | Join us at Enchanted Valley Acres Saturday, September 15th – Sunday, September 16th 9am-6pm for our fall opening weekend! Try out the corn mazes, the Giant Slide (over 200 feet long), magnetic fishing, rubber ducky races, human hamster wheels, ball zone fun, trike races (for adults too), and much more all included in admission price except Gem Stone Mining, Dinosaur Dig and Face Painting and any food/non activity purchases. Hope to see you at the farm! $11 a person, Kids 2 years of age and under are free.
September 15-17: Wauktoberfest: Waunakee | See website for event details.
Sunday, September 16: Make a Felted Fantasy Garden: 1-2:30 pm at Olbrich Botanical Gardens | Create your very own magical land and simple creatures to live and play there. We will use needle felting to create a small playscape on a piece of fabric. You decide how it will look – a magic pond, mushroom chairs, a small bridge, flower covered hills – the possibilities are endless. After learning the basics of needle felting, you will create small creatures to inhabit your new land – hedgehogs, bunnies, and maybe even a gnome child. All materials provided. Class fee includes one child/adult pair. Ages 8 and up w/ an adult. $26/$21 member. Registration Deadline: September 10.
Wednesday, September 19: Oktoberfest At Quivey’s Grove | Mark your calendars for the Verona Road Business Coalition‘s Oktoberfest Customer Appreciation Event at Quivey’s Grove! Stop by September 19th from 4pm – 7pm for cold beer from Wisconsin Brewing Company, food from HyVee and Quivey’s Grove, live music and authentic Swiss yodeling! Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door and include one meal and one drink. Tickets are available at HyVee, Oak Bank, and the City of Fitchburg front desk. Cash only!
Thursday, September 20: Fall Fest At Fitchburg Farmers Market: 3-6 pm | Culvers Frozen Custard Sundaes from EAGLE School * Free Carriage Rides * Water Bottle & Tote Bag Handout by Oak Bank * Live Music of Prairie Bayou (Cajun).
Saturday, September 22: Tri 4 Schools Family Mud Run: 8 am in Verona | Kids and parents can join in the muddy fun again this year for our fifth annual fall mud run. Race starts at 8am and all proceeds support school health and fitness initiatives.
Saturday, September 22: Movies with Madison Parks – The Lion King: 6-9:30 pm at Elvehjem Park | Grab a blanket or a lawn chair and enjoy the FREE show with Madison Parks! As the sun sets, we will begin the movie. All are welcome!
Saturday, September 22: Trucks & Treasures: Reindahl Park | The big rig gig is a showcase of Madison’s premier public service machinery, equipment and employees. Kids of all ages (adults too!) are welcomed to climb on, explore and get up close and personal with the big rigs and meet the employees who operate them. Vehicles participating include those from Madison Police Department, Madison Fire Department, Madison Metro, Madison Water Utility, Madison Streets Division and the Madison Parks Division including a fire engine, police car, construction equipment, dump trucks and more! There will be plenty of photo opportunities.
Saturday, September 22: FAMILY EVENT: Music Lab with Julie Mazer: 9:30 am – 12 pm at DreamBank | Uncover your little one’s innate musicality with music-making activities using their voice, body and instruments! Local early childhood music teacher, Julie Mazer, will guide your child’s journey with simple rhythmic and melodic concepts. They’ll even get to create their very own musical instrument to take home!
Sunday, September 23: Madison Moms Blog 3rd Annual Hangin’ with the Heroes: 3-5pm at Keva Sports Center | Chance to meet (and take pics with) our favorite heroes: Bucky Badger; Princess Moana; Wonder Woman; Superman; DC Hawk of the Madison Capitols; local Police & EMT. A planting station with Klein’s Floral & Greenhouses; Laser Tag with Ultrazone Laser Tag Madison; photo booths; super hero tattoos; obstacle course; sidewalk chalk; Super Hero snacks and super foods from Metcalfe’s Market; ice cream from Sassy Cow Creamery; Klarbrunn and Hogwash drinks; face painting with Funny Faces Family Entertainment; and MORE! Tickets are now available (but are limited to ensure everyone has a great time), get yours here: https://bit.ly/2P3uMWx
*Ticket includes EVERYTHING listed above (even the snacks & refreshments) – no required add’l expenses once in the door, but we will have a raffle where 100% of proceeds go to Badger Childhood Cancer Network. Tickets will NOT be sold at the door and supplies are limited.
Saturday, September 29: Papel Picados with Folklore Village: 10-10:45 am at the Wisconsin Historical Museum | Colorful and festive, traditional papel picados are easy to make and bring great joy to the artists who make them. Kids and families will learn the history and folklore of papel picados and about the people who make them. Children will be asked to think about how their families, schools, and neighborhoods decorate for special occasions. This workshop has a maximum participation of 25 people, and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Arrive a little early to make sure you can make these fun papel picados!
Saturday, September 29: NESCO’s 18th Annual AppleFest: 9:30 am – 3:30 pm at Warner Park | AppleFest is a community-supported event attended by over 1,500 people—children to older adults—with our enormous used book sale, raffle/drawings, live music and entertainment, a vintage jewelry sale, a fun kiddie carnival and more. Adults are $2 at the door, kids are free!
Saturday, September 29: Pipers in the Prairie: 4:30-8:00 pm at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center | Join the Aldo Leopold Nature Center as we light up the night sky at the 16th Annual Pipers in the Prairie & Festival Fire! A captivating and unforgettable celebration of the harvest season, our major fundraising event of the year is family-friendly and offers a unique blend of activities found nowhere else in Madison. Tickets: $75/adult (18+), $25/child (ages 5-17), Children 4 and Under Free . Pre-registration is recommended.
Sunday, September 30: Movie Fundraiser – Flight of the Butterflies in 3D IMAX: 10:45 am at New Vision IMAX, Fitchburg | This visually stunning movie is great for children. It follows the story of a young boy interested in butterflies. He pursues his passion, eventually becoming a scientist who solves a major mystery of the natural world. The film explores not only the incredible transformation of monarch caterpillar to butterfly, but also the unbelievable migration the butterflies take all the way to Mexico. In 3D the butterflies practically tickle your nose! The movie is a fundraiser for Friends of Lake Wingra, a local 501c3 non-profit. Our goal is to improve the health of Madison’s wildest lake, along with the neighborhoods around it. By doing so, we also work to protect important habitat for species like the monarch.
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.
Enchanted Family Acres – Join us at Enchanted Valley Acres 9am-6pm for fall fun at the farm! Open Saturdays and Sundays, September 15th- October 28th and Fridays also in October. Try out the corn mazes, the Giant Slide (over 200 feet long), magnetic fishing, rubber ducky races, human hamster wheels, ball zone fun, trike races (for adults too), and much more all included in admission price except Gem Stone Mining, Dinosaur Dig and Face Painting and any food/non activity purchases. Hope to see you at the farm! $11 a person. Kids 2 years of age and under are free.
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.
little Om Big Om – Yoga for kids and families.
To the Moon! Yoga for Kids -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.
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. These programs are designed for families with young children.
UW-Arboretum Family Walks – See website for dates and details.
Car Seat Checks – 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.
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. 2330 Willard Ave, Madison. [email protected]
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. Cost: $5/Adult and $1/child over 4.