A Madison Moms’ Guide to July 2017

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!

Also, be sure to check out our popular Greater Madison Area Guide to SUMMER! From berry picking to splash pads, this guide has everything you need to make the most of the season! 

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.

July 1: 3rd Annual Fourth Fest: 2 pm at The Edgewater | Join us Saturday, July 1, for an all-American celebration of our July 4th holiday. We’ll rock the dock for the 3rd Annual Fourth Fest, featuring live music, kids’ entertainment and waterfront fun.Expect Fourth of July favorites including burgers, brats, foot-long hot dogs, corn on the cob, and more!

July 1Celebrate the Red, White and Blue: 9:3.0 am – 12 pm at DreamBank | Get ready for Independence Day – DreamBank-style! Swing by with the whole family and make patriotic wands for parade watching, along with other red, white and blue crafts! Let freedom (and creativity) ring!

July 1Summer Showstoppers: DrumPower and Truly Remarkable Loon: 10:30 am – 12:15 pm at the Rotary Plaza, just outside the Madison Children’s Museum | Join us for free family performances at Rotary Plaza Stage, just outside the museum. DrumPower: 10:30-11:15 a.m. Truly Remarkable Loon: 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. In the event of inclement weather, the performances will take place inside the museum. Regular museum admission fees apply to indoor programming.

July 1: Saturday Science-More Than Fireworks: 10 am – 12 pm at the UW Discovery Building | More Than Fireworks: Science from 1776 to Today is free and open to the public. It features interactive exploration stations for kids and families. Explore changes in science and technology during this free event held on the first Saturday of every month! Race to communicate by pony, Morse code, walkie-talkie and the internet; discover energy sources from the last 200+ years; use scientific tools from the past and today; learn about medical breakthroughs; explore light bulbs from Edison to LEDs; and more.

July 1Story Saturday: “Paul Bunyan vs. Hals Halson”: 11 am – 12 pm at the Wisconsin Historical Museum | What will happen when the two giant lumberjacks, Paul Bunyan and Hals Halson, meet in the North Woods?! “Grow” your beard and build a log cabin after the story–just like a Wisconsin lumberjack!

July 1-2: BrickUniverse: 10 am – 1 pm at the Monona Terrace | Madison is going to have its first ever LEGO convention when the newly announced BrickUniverse LEGO Fan Convention arrives to the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Monona Terrace in downtown Madison for two days: July 1-2, 2017. The event is building on LEGO’s amazing popularity and ingenuity with awesome attractions all centered around everybody’s favorite plastic building blocks.

July 3-4: Monona Community Festival: Winnequah Park, Monona | See website for event details. 

July 4: WaunaBoom: 2-10:30 pm at Ripp Park, Waunakee | Come and celebrate Independence Day at this free event, while experiencing the fun, food, music, family activities, volunteer firefighter recognition, F-16 flyover and fireworks display. This wouldn’t be possible without the support of our generous sponsors, volunteers and the Waunakee Area Chamber of Commerce.

July 4Old World Independence Day Celebration: Old World Wisconsin, Eagle, WI | Celebrate the spirit of Independence Day in 19th-century America through living history presentation and fun hands-activities for the entire family. Help make ice cream, participate in a pie eating contest, games and enter the greased-pole contest! The event is highlighted by an interactive parade through the village!

July 4: Token Creek Fourth of July: 10:30 am – 4 pm | See website for event details.

July 4-9: Stoughton Fair: Mandt Park, Stoughton | See website for event details.

July 5: Free Night at the Madison Children’s Museum: 5-8 pm | On the first open Wednesday night of each month, MCM invites our entire community to enjoy the museum for free. We often host community organizations and have educational programs at Free Family Night. Please check our calendar to see information for each month. 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.

July 7Catfish River Music Festival: Rotary Park, Stoughton | The fourth annual Catfish River Music Festival is scheduled for July 7-9 in Rotary Park just outside the historic Stoughton Opera House located at 381 E Main St, Stoughton. The festival features free live music, yummy food and beverage vendors, and fun for the whole family.

July 7Yummy Sprout Kid’s Workshop at Revel: 1-3 pm at Revel | Get crafty and creative with food in this interactive workshop designed for ages 5-14. Join Yummy Sprout at Revel for an awesome summer adventure and let your imagination shine. See website for details and tickets.

July 8Family Fun with Funny Faces Entertainment: 10 am – 12 pm at DreamBank | Bring the whole family downtown to get creative at DreamBank! Join Funny Faces Entertainment for a family fun edition of Art Fair on the Square. There will be face painting, balloon animal, and a fun summer craft for the kiddos!

July 8-9: Art Fair on the Square | See website for event details. 

July 8: Goodman Youth Farm Volunteer Day: 9 am – 12 pm | 5017 Sudbury Way: Volunteers of all ages gather to weed, plant, compost, and learn about organic gardening. Join us for one Saturday, or all of them! Group are welcome to sign up together. 

July 9-12: Red Village Church Bible School | Red Village Church is hosting vacation Bible school Sunday July 9th through Wednesday July 12th at Rennebohm Park (115 N. Eau Claire Avenue) from 6:30 – 8 pm. All children ages 5-12 years old are welcome! See website for info.

July 10-16: Sauk County Fair | See website for event details. 

July 12MilliporeSigma’s Curiosity Cube™ Tour: 1-4 pm at the Discovery Building | MilliporeSigma’s Curiosity Cube™ is a 22×10-foot, retrofitted shipping container that has been transformed into a mobile science lab.

July 12-16: Jefferson County Fair | See website for event details. 

July 12-16: Lafayette County Fair | See website for event details. 

July 14Mini Sprouts Culinary Class: Fairytale Fun: 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 healthy and fun recipes with a modern twist on classic fairytales and read “Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears” by Beth Coulton! 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

July 14-16: Maxwell Street Days | More than 40 years of great bargains on clothing, jewelry, gifts, artwork, sporting goods, books and more, plus fabulous food from State Street and Capitol Square shops and restaurants.

July 15: Family Nutrition: Farmer’s Market Edition: 9:30 am – 12 pm at DreamBank | It’s never too early to help your little one create healthy habits! Join Tara from Yummy Sprout to learn the ins and outs of healthy eating as a family. Bring the whole family and learn how to put together a nutrient dense school lunch, try delicious snacks, take home simple recipes, and much more! Make this workshop an extension of your Farmer’s Market Saturday!

July 15Bike for Boys & Girls Club: 7 am – 1:30 pm at McKee Farms Park, Fitchburg | Bike For Boys & Girls Club brings family, friends, coworkers and neighbors together for a fun-filled ride through picturesque Dane County one summer morning every year. Pledges raised support the ongoing mission of the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County to provide programs that inspire and enable our youth to realize their full potential.

July 15: Kids in the Rotunda at La Fete de Marquette: 11 am – 5 pm at La Fête De Marquette, Ingersoll St., Madison | Join Kids in the Rotunda at a special summer session at La Fête De Marquette featuring music, games, food, drinks, sun and fun. We will be having performances in the Brearly St. Moon-Stage at the festival on Saturday, July 15 but be sure to check out all of the fun during the festival as well.

July 15-16: Mount Horeb Art Fair | Annual Art Fair on Mount Horeb’s historic main street our Trollway showcases fine artists & crafters from around the Midwest. Experience Norwegian culture, friendly atmosphere, food, silent art action, music and downtown amenities.

July 19Mini Sprouts Culinary Class: Tropical Treats: 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 healthy tropical recipes and read “Sand Cake” by Frank Asch! 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

July 19-23: Dane County Fair | See website for event details.

July 20: Kids Fest: 3-6 pm at Agora Pavilion, Fitchburg | Fruit Parfaits from Woods Hollow Children’s Center, Ballons, Face Painting, Live Music of Helen Avakian.

July 21: Flick & Float: 7-10:30 pm at the Monona Community Pool | Back by popular demand, the Monona Community Pool will host two separate Flick ‘n’ Floats at the pool. There will be games and prizes for the kids, music for everyone, concession specials, and when the sun goes down, we’ll show a movie on our inflatable big screen! Flick ‘n’ Float movie nights require an admission fee of $2 per person or season pass.

July 22: Zoo To You: 10 am – 12 pm at DreamBank | Who’s ready to spend a morning meeting new animal friends? Join the Henry Vilas Zoo at DreamBank for a little quality time with zoo animals in our inspiring space. Kids will learn about different animals while experiencing them first-hand!

July 22-23Midwest Fire Fest | See website for event details. 

July 23Kid’s Craft Bar Day with Box of Balloons: 1-6 pm at Revel | Kids, unicorns, and superheros: oh my! Join us for a day of family-friendly fun at Revel as we host a kids’ Craft Bar event and support local non-profit Box of Balloons. A portion of all proceeds from the day will be donated to further their mission of providing birthday celebrations for children in need.

July 25Mini Sprouts Culinary Class: Farmer’s Market Fun: 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 using ingredients found at the Farmer’s Market plus read “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle! 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

July 29-30: Atwood Fest | See website for event details. 

Farmers’ Market:

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.

Ongoing Music/Movies:

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!

Brewgrass Fridays with Door County Brewing Co. – 5-9 pm at The Edgewater. Fish Fry available in The Icehouse at 5 PM, live music starts at 6 PM. All shows (and sunsets) are free and open to the public! Hourly, covered parking is available on property. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for weather and real-time updates. #BrewgrassFridays
July 7 (5-9PM) The Brother Brothers
July 14 (5-9PM) The Appleseed Collective
July 21 (5-9PM) Them Coulee Boys
July 28 (5-9PM) Evan Murdock and The Imperfect Strangers

Live and LocALE Saturdays – 6-9 pm at The Edgewater. All shows (and sunsets) are free and open to the public! Hourly, covered parking is available on property. Concerts are outdoors, follow us on Facebook and Twitter for real-time show and weather updates. #LiveandLocALEmsn
July 8 (6-9PM) Natty Nation
July 15 (6-9PM) VO5
July 22 (6-9PM) The Big Payback
July 29 (6-9PM) The Mascot Theory

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.

Tunes on Tuesday – Weekly for 4 weeks from 6-8 pm starting June 6th. The Friends of Pheasant Branch Conservancy will once again host “Tunes on Tuesday” for four consecutive weeks starting on June 6. Enjoy a slow walk through the conservancy and hear local musicians as they perform along the path. The program will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. each week. There is no cost to attend.Musicians are scheduled to perform at Orchid Heights park, the springs, Frederick’s Hill and the original Homestead site.

Concerts on the Rooftop – Thursdays from 7-9 pm at the Monona Terrace.

Lunchbox Live – Thompson Investment Management invites you to our “Lunchbox Live!” June concert series. Open to the public. Bring your friends, and your lunch, and we’ll provide great music and a beautiful setting for you to enjoy your lunch hour! Weather permitting. Don’t have a lunch? Don’t worry, we’ll also have food carts featuring delicious foods for you to purchase. See website for full 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 Summer Movie Series – 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!

Studio Ghibli Fest – The STUDIO GHIBLI FEST 2017 series features one of Studio Ghibli’s revered animated classics each month and will include GKIDS MINIFEST, an ongoing festival of award-winning short animated films from around the world. All Sunday presentations will be dubbed and shown at 12:55 p.m. local time, while Monday showings will be subtitled and shown at 7:00 p.m. local time.

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. 

Facts and A Flick Presented by Lakefront Brewery – 7-10 pm at The Edgewater. We’ve partnered with Lakefront Brewery for Movies on the Water featuring Facts and A Flick, a free movie night for guests and locals alike. Movie-themed trivia will start at 7 pm for those who want to participate, followed by the outdoor movie at sunset. Movies will span from family-friendly favorites like Finding Dory and Despicable Me to classics like Jaws and Casablanca.
July 4 (7-10PM) Rocky IV – Trivia Theme: Stallone, Rambo, 80’s Pop Culture and Boxing
July 11 (7-10PM) Casablanca – Trivia Theme: Fashion, 40s music and Academy Awards
July 18 (7-10PM) Ghostbusters – Trivia Theme: Cast Questions, 80’s Pop Culture, SNL
July 25 (7-10PM) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – Harry Potter 101


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.

Ongoing Playgroups:

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.

Summer Family Playgroup – Friday mornings, June-July (June 9, 16, 23, 30 and July 7, 14, 21, 28), from 9-11 am at University Houses Preschool. Drop in to any or all of these free Friday morning playdates! Families are invited to have fun with the toys and activities inside and also explore the outdoor playground area. Bring a snack and enjoy the morning together! Siblings and friends are always welcome.

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:

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.

Family Fun Days – 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.

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.

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.

Calendar of Events for Libraries, Open Play Areas, and Open Swim

Madison Central
Alicia Ashman
Goodman South
Hawthorne Library 
Lakeview Library
Meadowridge Library
Monroe Street Library
Pinney Library
Sequoya Library
Rosemary Garfoot Library-Cross Plains
Fitchburg Library
McFarland Library
Middleton Library
Monona Library
Sauk City Public Library
Stoughton Library
Sun Prairie Library
Verona Library
Waunakee Library

Open Play/Jump
Open Swim
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