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 Madison. Here are May’s “need to know” activities. Further happenings, such as library story times, open play/jump/swim, and ongoing Madison Children’s Museum events can all be found on our calendar.
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!
April 30-May 1: Discover the Dinosaurs: Times vary by day at the Alliant Energy Center | Discover the Dinosaurs features a walk-through exhibit designed to bring you back in time to a landscape where dinosaurs lived. Ticket Prices: Adult $18, Child $22, Senior $15
May 1: Mother’s Day Gift Making: 1-2:30 pm at Monroe Street Arts Center | Create artistic flowers, cards and more for Mom! Use paper, clay and paint in this workshop especially for Mother’s Day! $24/per person
May 1: Kidz Bop: 3:30 pm at the Overture Center | KIDZ BOP is taking its 15th birthday celebration on the road with the ALL–NEW “Life of the Party” tour, and you’re invited! See website to purchase tickets.
May 1-22: Spring Barnyard Adventures: 10am -5pm at Busy Barns Adventure Farm | Busy Barns Adventure Farm will be open for families four Sundays in May. Admission is $10 per person. Admission includes; a haywagon ride, puppet show, rooster rustle, and entrance to our Acres of Adventure.
May 1: Financial Security for Young Families: 2-3 pm at Huckleberry & Persimmon | This workshop is focused on how families with young children can provide for their day-to-day needs, while planning for the future, saving for college, preparing for retirement, and ensuring their family’s financial security, should something catastrophic happen. See website to register. $10/per person.
May 2: Coffee and Songs: 10 am at McFarland House Cafe | Organized by our MMB McFarland/Monona Neighborhood Group Mombassador. Come out and meet other parents at McFarland House Cafe and watch the kids enjoy David Landau. David starts at 11:30. $5 per kid, parents are free.
May 4: Free Family Night: 5-8 pm at the Madison Children’s Museum | Enjoy free admission from 5-8 p.m. on the first open Wednesday of each month through the museum’s Access for Everyone program.
May 6: Gallery Night-Free Admission: 5-9 pm at the Madison Children’s Museum | Join us at MCM for a one of a kind Gallery Night celebration, with free admission from 5-9 p.m, featuring new exhibitions and art installations, including Get Small: Miniatures, Dolls and Houses from the Museum’s Collection. Celebrate all things miniature, from petite eats to live music played on wee instruments by The Tiny Band.
May 6&7: The Secret Garden: 7 pm on May 6th and 3 pm on May 7th at Madison College-Truax Campus Mitby Theater. | Musical adaptation by Madison Country Day School. $7 ($5 students).
May 6-22: To Kill a Mockingbird: At the Overture Center | Harper Lee’s Pulitzer-Prize winning story. Tickets $23 – $35.
May 7: Saturday Science-Dance to the Music: 10 am – 12 pm at the Discovery Building | Explore music and movement during this free family event! Take part in mini-workshops from tap to breakdancin’, discover the dance moves of different animals, see what movements plants can make, investigate how your body moves, learn about the science of sound, create musical instruments and more. This event is free and open to the public. It features interactive exploration stations for kids and families.
May 7: Art Spin Community Day at the Chazen: 12:30-3 pm at the Chazen Museum of Art | Join us for a spectacular afternoon of music, dance and hands-on activities as we celebrate the opening of “Japanese Masterworks: Woodblock prints from the Chazen Museum of Art Collection.” All Free!
May 7: Mother’s Day Crafty Project Open Class: 2:30-5 pm at The Crafty Project | So you’re ready to get a little crafty?! Grab a friend or two and come prepared to roll up your sleeves (only a little), have a lot of fun and leave with a unique customized piece made by you! See website for full details and to register.
May 7: Mother’s Day Kiddo Crafty Event: 10 am – 12:30 pm at The Crafty Project | Bring your kids to the studio to create an adorable painted pot perfect for Mother’s Day! We’ll be painting adorable 6″ pots and finishing off with pansies from Klein’s Floral & Greenhouses! We’ll have oodles of paint, paint pens, embellishments, and of course GLITTER to have your kiddos make an amazing one of a kind flowerpot for Spring! Project cost is $20 per project. No signup needed but we ask pretty please that you RSVP to our event. Note: this is a drop in class, so just pop in anytime during the event time to create, project takes around 30-45 minutes.
May 7: Learn to Massage Your Baby: 11 am – 12 pm at Huckleberry & Persimmon | Learn to calm and soothe your baby through nurturing touch! Classes are taught in small groups of parents/caregivers and their little ones (newborn to 24 months). Classes are taught in a five week series to allow your baby to gradually adjust to your nurturing touch. $125 per family. See website to register.
May 7: Mother’s Day Storytime: 11 am at Barnes & Noble East Towne and West Towne | In celebration of Mother’s Day, read about becoming an expert grandma sitter in How to Babysit a Grandma followed by Mom School. In Mom School a little girl imagines where her mom picked up all her amazing skills, like fixing a bike tire and baking cupcakes. Join us afterward to make a card for your mom or special caregiver.
May 7: Mother’s Day Tea: 3-4 pm at Huckleberry & Persimmon | Enjoy a special afternoon with mom! Come decorate a planter for your flower to take home; enjoy tea & juice and make your own fruit pizzas; capture this Mother’s Days with a beautiful family photo from Julia Matthews Photography. $20 per family. See website to register.
May 7: Mother’s Day Make ‘n’ Take: 10:30 am – 3 pm at The Sewcial Lounge | Want to make your mom a great handmade gift for Mother’s Day or something for yourself? Stop by The Sewcial Lounge on Saturday, May 7 and make an Infinity Scarf! There is no experience needed and we will supply all the materials. You can drop-in anytime between 10:30am & 3:00pm. The project will take about 20-30 minutes. This is not a class and our staff will be assisting with completion of the project where needed. Anyone aged 8+ can join.
May 7: Family Gardening Day: 9am – 1 pm at Allen Centennial Gardens | UW Family Gardening Day gives everyone a chance to see & explore some of the splendid facilities for teaching, research and outreach in the plant sciences as well as to tour the beautiful gardens on campus. Free admission.
May 7: Family Public Program-Wildflower Wander: 10:30 am – 12 pm at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center | Bring your mother or other for this easy stroll to see some of Wisconsin’s spectacular spring wildflowers. ALNC members: $7/person or $25/family; Non-members: $8/person or $29/family. Pre-registration recommended; walk-ins welcome.
May 7: Community Appreciation Day: 1:30-4:45 pm at SwimWest | Start out the afternoon by competing in our one mile bike, half mile run, and 25 or 50 yard swim family triathlon. Re-energize and hit the Safety Stations and the pool! We’ll also offer lots of fun on land including the SwimWest bounce house, an appearance from the Middleton Fire Department fire truck, karate demonstrations, and an obstacle course created by Badger Gymnastics.
May 7: Kids Building Wisconsin: 10am – 4pm at McKee Farms Park | Kids Building Wisconsin is here to inspire and encourage kids’ interest in construction. At our event, we have big construction equipment, awesome hands-on exhibits highlighting the many exciting careers in the construction industry, food, fun visitors, and lots of chances to win prizes. The first 2,000 kids get a free safety vest. Free and open to the public.
May 8: Mother’s Day Concert: 2 pm at Olbrich Gardens | Wander through flower gardens blooming with spring and enjoy a Mother’s Day concert by the New Horizons Concert Band at Olbrich Botanical Gardens.
May 8: Mother’s Day 5K: Do something FUN with Mom this Mother’s Day! FREE Kids Dash with finisher ribbons! See website for details and to register.
May 9: Chocolate for Mother’s Day: 7-9 pm at The Chocolaterian Cafe | Hosted by The Relocated Wife. Mother’s Day can be a hard time for some and super fun happy for others. We want to celebrate with you if you are a mother, have a mother near by, far away or in heaven. Come eat chocolate and socialize to celebrate each other!
May 10-June 5: The Lion King: Times vary a the Overture Center | More than 70 million people around the world have experienced the phenomenon of Disney’s The Lion King, and now you can, too, when Madison’s best-loved musical returns to Overture Center. See website for times and tickets.
May 13: Family Fun Night: 5:30-8:30 pm at Warner Park Community Recreation Center | Join us for a fun-filled night of activities for all ages. Join one of the family fitness classes; take flight in the bouncy house in the gymnasium; try your hand at throwing clay in our pottery studio; stop by the art room for this month’s drop-in art project; or challenge your kids to a ping pong match in our game room. Kids age 11 and under need to be accompanied by an adult.
May 14: Kids Build: 10am – 12pm at Southern Training Center | Kids Build events are free, two-hour workshops for children ages 5-12. At these workshops, kids have the opportunity to make wood projects, as well as build their skills and confidence. The workshops are limited to 30 kids each month, who must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Staff and members from the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters are on hand to help children make their projects and learn new skills.
May 14: If You Ever Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, Don’t! Storytime: 11 am at Barnes & Noble East Towne | If your mom says to get ready to play at the beach, she means with a boat, or a Frisbee or a shovel. She is NOT talking about the piano. But Magnolia is a little girl with a big idea, determination and one very heavy upright piano she insists she needs to take with her. What’s the worst that can happen? Find out at Storytime. Activities to follow.
May 14: Maypole Dance: 5:30pm at Folklore Village | Join Maypole dance caller Becky Rehl in this sweet, annual celebration of Spring and rejuvenation. Bring some flowers to add to the wooden pole. We’ll start with an earlier, family potluck at 5:30 and start decorating the pole around 6:45. $7 adults, $5 seniors and teens, $4 kids. Kids under 5 admitted free. Family admission is capped at $20.
May 15: Family Food Fest: 12-3 pm at Lincoln Elementary School | Bring the entire family for this fun, all-ages event featuring delicious food, fun activities, and more! Local schools, organizations, and businesses are coming together to celebrate healthy eating and active living for children and families. Bucky Badger will be at the event and available for photos and fun from 1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.!
May 15: Community Yom Ha’atzmaut Program: 3-7:30 pm at Goodman Jewish Community Campus | Join us for this community event to celebrate Israel’s 68th year.
May 15: Elimination Communication for Babies (0-18 months): 4-5:30 pm at Huckleberry & Persimmon | By the end of this workshop you will feel empowered, encouraged, and equipped to start an elimination communication practice with your baby, whether it is full time, part times, days, nights, or weekends. $15/person; $20/couple. See website to register.
May 15: Great Glasses Play Day: 2-5 pm at the Madison Children’s Museum | Join us to celebrate our children in glasses, or contacts or patches! The Great Glasses Play Day is a day to show how proud we are of our children in glasses, how thankful we are for better vision for our kids, but most of all, just to have fun and support one another! Admission is free to the event for children with prescription glasses or corrective eye patches.
May 17: Taste of Willy Street: 5:30-8:30 pm at Wil-Mar Neighborhood | Join us for the Taste of Willy Street, presented by the GWABA – Greater Williamson Area Business Association and benefiting Youth Programs at Common Wealth. There are two seatings for the event. 5:30 pm and 7:00 pm. Tickets are $20 for adults in advance ($22 on the day of) and $7 for kids under age 12 ($8 on the day of).
May 19: Potty Training for Toddlers (18-30 months): 7-8:30 pm at Huckleberry & Persimmon | By the end of this workshop you will feel empowered (to teach your toddler the important life skill of using a potty), encouraged (that now is the right time, no need to wait), and equipped (with the knowledge you need to potty train gently and non-coercively). $15/person; $20/couple. See website to register.
May 20-22: Fitchburg Days: Times vary at McKee Farms Park | We’ve put together another great Fitchburg Days with great music, awesome food and fun for the whole family. All three days feature a carnival, great food and fun activities for the children.
May 21: Developing Healthy Sleep Habits in Young Children: 2-3 pm at Huckleberry & Persimmon | This workshop will focus on the importance of sleep and the impact of sleep deprivation on children. Parents will learn strategies to help children create healthy sleep habits as well as get some ideas on how to change unhealthy sleep behaviors. Strategies discussed are appropriate for infants through preschoolers. $10/person; $5/members. See website to register.
May 21: ThankoRama Storytime: 11 am at Barnes & Noble East Towne | Join us for a ThankoRama Storytime featuring The Thank You Book by beloved author Mo Willems. Enjoy a reading of the book and activities afterward that help remind children that thanking those who do things for you can be so much fun!
May 21: Puppies on Parmenter: 10 am – 3:30 pm at Capital Brewery | Come out and support OccuPaws Guide Dogs at our 7th annual Puppies on Parmenter Event on Saturday, May 21st. Bring the family ‘ including your furry friendly pups too! Children are free, except if you wish to make a $5.00 donation for each child, then they are entitled to an afternoon of many children’s oriented activities, games, and prizes!
May 21: Saturday Night at the Movies: 6-10 pm at Warner Park | FREE movies for all ages at the Warner Park Community Recreation Center. Enjoy these free indoor movies with popcorn, snacks and drinks available for purchase at the concession stand. DOUBLE FEATURE – Join us for one or both! Saturday, May 21 6:00pm – The Lego Movie (2014) 8:00pm – The Goonies (1985). See website for full rules and details.
May 22: Bellies & Brunch: 9-11 am at Huckleberry & Persimmon | An event for expectant parents. Join us for a catered brunch and conversation with prenatal, birth, and postnatal professionals in the Madison area. $10 per person. See website to register.
May 22: Madison Newbies Quarterly Dinner: 5 pm at Dream House by Dream Kitchens | Our evening will include pizza, wine & a little bit of baking – while mingling with other moms new to the area and with some Madison Moms Blog team members who are excited to help you get acclimated!
May 23: Spring Scramble: 9:30 am – 4 pm at Maple Bluff Country Club | The 8th Annual Spring Scramble will be held at the exclusive Maple Bluff Country Club to raise funds for museum exhibits and educational programs that provide discovery, learning, and creative play for kids. See website for full details.
May 27-30: Brat Fest: 10 am – 8 pm at the Alliant Energy Center | Brat Fest is 4 days filled with music, food and fun in the heart of downtown Madison, Wisconsin. See website for full list of activities and details
May 28: Our Great Big Backyard Storytime: 11 am at Barnes & Noble East Towne | To help commemorate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, this special Storytime explores Our Great Big Backyard. #1 New York Times bestselling authors’ former First Lady Laura Bush and her daughter Jenna Bush Hager have created an exuberant picture book tribute to our national parks and the importance of connecting with nature. Coloring and activities to follow.
May 28: Tri 4 Schools Madison Marathon Kids Run | 6:30 pm, kicks off the Twilight 5k/10k events | The Madison Marathon is a staple in our community, and we’ve partnered with Madison Festivals to help get kids active along with the adult series of running events. Kids ages 3-12 are welcome to participate. See website for full details and to register.
Madison Momshine was started by a Madison Moms Blog contributor and is a community of Madison area moms looking for a healthy balance in food, fitness, and life. Click link above for more information, or join the Madison Momshine private Facebook group here. There are various events and classes planned every month. Here is the list of May events-click on links for more information.
Ongoing Activities in May:
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].
UW-Arboretum Trolley Tours – Narrated 45-minute tours aboard the Badger Trolley begin at 1, 2, and 3 p.m. Tickets available at 12:30 p.m. on day of tour at the Visitor Center. View the beautiful spring blooms and learn more about the Arboretum’s history and purpose. (Fee: $5 per person, cash only, children 5 and under free.)
UW Arboretum Nature Walks – Various themes throughout the month. See website for dates and details.
Sleeping Beauty – See website for times and locations. – Sleeping Beauty will be performed at 17 Dane County venues this spring at a low cost for the entire family. A donation of $3 or less per person is suggested at most venues.
Wonder Bugs Preschool Program – Introduce your toddler or pre-school aged child to a safe and wonderful natural world. This program is specifically designed for children ages 2-5. Each week, we’ll explore a different seasonal topic through hikes, outdoor exploration, music, puppetry, songs, stories and more. Each session will include a snack. An adult must accompany all children to the program. $9/child. See website for registration.
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!
Monday Night Music With David Landau – 5:30-6:15 pm at The Harmony Bar and Grill – Fun for kids ages 2-8. Cover is $3.
The Lunchtime Show with David Landau – 11:30 am on Mondays 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.
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!
Morning Play Date -10-11 am at DreamBank. See website for list of dates. – Enjoy a morning of meeting new friends and dreaming new dreams at DreamBank. While kids enjoy interactive story time and crafts, grown-ups can explore our new exhibits 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!
Playgroup at University Houses Preschool – 10:30 am – 12 pm on the second Saturday of the month. Come along to play, chat and sing with your little ones. Bring a snack and talk to other families while the kids enjoy the toys and dramatic play area. When: September 12, October 10, November 14, December 12 and January 9, February 13, March 12, April 9, and May 14.
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, Fingerplays and More – Barnes & Noble West Towne – 10:30 am-11:15 am weekly on Tuesdays. Join in as our Barnes & Noble staff members share stories and songs with children, ages 2 to 6, and their families. Free.
Stories, Songs and More – Barnes & Noble West Towne – 10:30 am-11:15 am weekly on Thursdays. Join in as Barnes & Noble staff members share stories and songs with children, ages 2 to 6, and their families. Free.
Crafter School Fridays (Grades K-4) – Art Party Place – Join ART PARTY PLACE every Friday that school is in session from 2:45-4pm for a great seasonal craft, a quick snack and fun conversation about the weeks’ events. $10 per child. RSVP.
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!