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 the September “need to know” activities. Further happenings, such as library events, open play/jump/swim, and ongoing Madison Children’s Museum events can all be found on our calendar.
Feel free to join our various Neighborhood Groups where Mombassadors organize meet-ups for area moms!
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 5: Walworth County Fair | See website for event details.
September 1-5: Iowa County Fair | See website for event details.
September 2: Open Season:Scared Silly: 7:30 pm at Penn Park | The woodland creatures of “Open Season” return for another comic animated adventure. PG
September 2-3: Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw | See website for event details.
September 2-4: Wilhelm Tell Festival | See website for event details.
September 2-5: Rock River Thresheree | See website for event details.
September 3: Saturday Science-Living Things: 10 am – 12 pm at the UW Discovery Building | This event is free and open to the public. It features interactive exploration stations for kids and families. Discover what living things have in common, look at pigments to see why leaves change color, extract DNA from fruit and learn why it’s important, follow your senses, pretend to be an animal, watch the life cycles of insects and more.
September 3: Badger Fan-demonium: 9 am – 4 pm at DreamBank | Show your Wisconsin pride for the first football game 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 10-11 am for fun family photo ops! We’ll also have a balloon sculptor from Funny Faces Family Entertainment from 1-3 pm, so stop in for some game day fun!
September 3: ShrekFest: 4-9 pm at James Madison Park | ShrekFest is a free-to-the-public, all-ages-invited event with plenty of Shrek food/drink, games, prizes, and an interactive screening of the film. Free admission.
September 3-4: Taste of Madison | Held since 1983, the Taste is MFI’s flagship event, with over 80 restaurants, 3 entertainment stages and 26 beverage stands drawing over 250,000 to the Capitol Square over Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend. There is no charge for admission or entertainment.
September 5: Labor Day Dash and Tot Trot: Vilas Park Shelter | See website to register and for event details.
September 6: Mini Sprouts Culinary Class: Pizza Parlor: 9:30-10:10 am at Whole Foods Market | Join other mini sprouts as we make food fun in this culinary class designed for toddlers and preschoolers. This hands-on and interactive class will give children the confidence to try new foods. We will prepare some fun and healthy PIZZA recipes and read Frank Asch’s classic book Pizza! Parents are encouraged to participate or watch. Includes recipe packet and coloring sheets to take home. Designed for ages 2-6. See website for tickets.
September 9: Strings and Wild Things: 5:30-8:30 pm at Henry Vilas Zoo | Grab your picnic blanket or chair and join us at the Henry Vilas Zoo for a night of music and nature. Enjoy the summer evening and fabulous music from the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra (the concert will start around 6:30p.m.)! $3 for children (3-17 years old), $7 for adults (18+), and children under 2 are free. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the gates (starting at 5:30 p.m.) on September 9th.
September 9-11: Half-Pint Resale: Madison Curling Club | Saturday, September 10 – 8am – 7pm | Public Sale (Umbrella strollers allowed after Noon) | Sunday, September 11 – 8am – 1pm | Half-Price Sale | Volunteers and consignors will be able to shop early at a special presale on Friday, September 9.
September 10: Yahara Riverfest: Conservancy Commons Park, DeForest | Come out for a fun-filled day of family-friendly activities for all ages that celebrate the Upper Yahara River. See website for event details.
September 10: Move and Groove: 9:30 am – 12 pm at DreamBank | Get the entire family movin’ at DreamBank! Join Susan Neeley , owner of Moove and Groove, for an extreme dance party complete with bubbles, games, hula hoops, bean bag toss and so much more. Be sure to bring your dancin’ shoes!
September 10: IronKids Fun Run: 9 am at the Capitol Square | The Madison Area Sports Commission is the proud host of the IronKids Fun Run, taking place during the Ironman Wisconsin event weekend! 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.
September 10: Mexican Independence Festival: 11 am – 9:30 pm at Warner Park | See website for event details.
September 10: Despicable Me: 7:30 pm at Lisa Link Peace Park | A megalomaniacal supervillain (voiced by Steve Carrell) sets his sights on lassoing the moon in this animated family film. Carell’s delivery is amusing — we can hear intimations of both an arch-criminal and a petulant child. PG
September 10: Family Safety Day: 10 am – 2 pm at the Middleton Fire District | This event is packed with educational fun for kids and safety information for parents! Local companies and organizations will be available to give their expertise on keeping families safe. Interactive presentations and demonstrations on safety will be offered throughout the day.
September 11: New Glarus Family Fest: New Glarus Village Park | See website for event details.
September 16-18: McFarland Family Festival at McFarland High School | See website for event details.
September 17-18: Willy St. Fair | See website for event details.
September 17: Engineering for Kids: 9:30 am – 12 pm at DreamBank | When it comes to engineering, kids are naturals! Drop by DreamBank to cultivate your child’s curiosity about the way things work. We’ll have fun activities by Engineering for Kids of Dane County — a creative organization encouraging a new generation of engineers. Bring the whole family to have fun and be inspired. It might be the start of your child’s lifelong passion!
September 17: Batman Day: 2pm at Barnes & Noble West Towne and East Towne | Join us for the third annual Batman Day celebrating the Dark Knight’s endearing legacy. The event will include activities, trivia, coloring and much more. Cosplay welcome!
September 17: Movies with Madison Parks- Back to the Future: 7:30-9:30 pm at Owl Creek Park | Bring your blanket or lawn chair and enjoy the free showing of the movie Back to the Future!
September 17: Cambridge Fall Fest: 10 am – 3 pm at Veterans Park in Cambridge | Take a tractor hayride, build a scarecrow or bid on an award-winning homemade pie. Enjoy live music, chainsaw art and beekeeping demos, face painting, and the FFA farm animal petting zoo. See website for event details.
September 17: Sprouting Chefs: Awesome Apples: 10:30-11:45 am at Whole Foods Market | Join other sprouting chefs as we make healthy food fun and learn kitchen skills in this culinary class designed for kids. This hands-on and interactive class is a perfect chance for kids to express themselves and their creativity through food. We will prepare some fun and healthy recipes using apples and read Secrets of the Apple Tree by Carron Brown. Includes a recipe packet and a treat to take home. Parents are encouraged to participate or watch. Designed for ages 4-12. See website for tickets.
September 17/18 & 24/25: Orchard Days: 10 am – 5 pm (last ticket sold at 3:30) at Eugsters Farm | Admission: $7.50 per person. Age 1 & under free. Admission includes: wagon ride to U-pick Apple Orchard, Petting Farm, 2 Corn Mazes, Milk House Cafe & Bakery. See website for full details.
September 18: The Ride: Sun Prairie | The Ride is a bike event put on by the UW Department of Human Oncology. Money raised for the event will go to the UW cancer center. There are five routes to appeal to all cycling levels. The family ride is 3 miles and is free to register. Enjoy a kids tent, and after party with music, food and beverages. See website for additional information and to register.
September 18: Viva Mexico Festival: 12-5 pm at the Alliant Energy Center | La Movida hosts the official Mexican Independence Day celebration with Viva México Festival! For over 15 years, the Latino community has made this festival the premiere event in Madison. The day starts with a car parade, reading of the proclamation, time honored El Grito, and this year, we are proud to welcome the Mexican Consulate to the event! Entertainment includes traditional Folkloric dancers, bands, contests, crowning of Miss Viva México and more! This year the event returns to the grounds of the Alliant Energy Center.
September 18: Walk for Wishes: 8:30 am – 12 pm at McKee Farms Park | Please join us for Walk For Wishes on Sunday, September 18, 2016 to help make wishes come true for Madison area children who are living with life-threatening medical conditions. Walk For Wishes is a 5K run, two-mile walk, wheelchair race and kids’ dash. See website to register.
September 20: Mini Sprouts Culinary Class: Kitchen Science: 9:30-10:30 am at Whole Foods Market | Join other mini sprouts as we make food fun in this culinary class designed for toddlers and preschoolers. This hands-on and interactive class will give children the confidence to try new foods. We will prepare some fun and healthy recipes, explore the science behind them, and read “If You Give A Dog A Donut” by Laura Numeroff! Parents are encouraged to participate or watch. Includes recipe packet and coloring sheets to take home. Designed for ages 2-6. See website for tickets.
September 22-24: Lil’ Badger Consignment Sale: Monona Community Center | See website for times and details.
September 23: Zoovies: Inside Out: 7-10 pm at the Henry Vilas Zoo | Bring your blankets and chairs to see Inside Out on the zoo’s 16′ outdoor screen. Tickets are $5 at the gate (for ages 3 & up; under 3 is free), and the gates open at 7 pm. Movie begins at dusk. Concessions will be available for purchase.
September 23-October 31 (Weekly on Friday & Saturday): Treinen Farm Fall Festival: 3-8 pm (call to confirm times) at Treinen Farms | A real family farm! The home of the Treinen Farm Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch is a real 200-acre farm. It has been in the Treinen family for nearly a century. Our mission is to provide our guests a unique, entertaining way to connect with family, friends, and rural Wisconsin, and to provide a sustainable way of life for our farm family and local community. Come on the weekends for our Fall Festival Fun, or book a bonfire for famliy fun any day of the week!
September 23-15: Oktoberfest in New Glarus | See website for event details.
September 24: AppleFest: 9:30 am – 3:30 am at Warner Park Community Recreation Center | Includes raffle & drawing prizes, Bucky book sale, Apple and Bake Sales, Gently Used Jewelry Sale, Kiddie Carnival, Sloppy Joe Lunch, Popcorn and Slushies, and entertainment all day!
September 24: Movies with Madison-The Good Dinosaur: 7-9 pm at Elvehjem Park | Bring your blanket or lawn chair and enjoy the free showing of the movie The Good Dinosaur!
September 24: Toe-Down Hoedown: 5-8 pm at Maple Bluff Country Club | A family friendly hoe-down, with line dancing and BBQ! Supporting Central Midwest Ballet Academy, you can learn some line dances at the event or even at our free lessons beforehand (details on website). Come in your best cowboy boots and dance the night away!! $38 -Adults $12 – Children 4-12 Free – Children 3 and under.
September 24: Tri 4 Schools Family Mud Run | Remember to enter the name of the school you would like to donate your money to when you register! See website for information and to register.
September 24: Monroe Street Festival: 10 am – 5 pm on Monroe Street | See website for event schedule.
September 24: R.E.A.D to the Dogs: 9:30 am – 12 pm at DreamBank | Reading out loud can improve your child’s comprehension and self-esteem. And there’s no better listener than 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.
September 24: Trucks and Treasures: 9 am – 12 pm at Reindahl Park | 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!
September 25: Zoo Run Run: 9 am at the Henry Vilas Zoo | The Zoo Run Run and Roo Run Run help us to keep the Henry Vilas Zoo forever free. Please join us to help us make our 11th Annual Race another record breaking year. And don’t forget to register your kids early because the 2015 Kids Roo Run Run sold out!!
Badger Bash Tailgate Party: September 12, 19, 26, October 3, 17, 31, November 21 at Union South – Just steps from Camp Randall at Union South. This is a free and family-friendly event that features live entertainment, appearances by the UW Band and Bucky Badger, activities for kids and more. You can also tailgate prior to the games at the Engineering Mall (1415 Engineering Drive) on campus. See website for full details.
You can also tailgate prior to the games at the Engineering Mall (1415 Engineering Drive) on campus. This is also family friendly and features live entertainment, appearances by the UW Band and Bucky Badger, activities for kids and more.
Fitchburg Flea Market – Every Sunday from 9-2 at McGaw Park (closed on 9/4 | open dates 9/11, 9/18, 9/25 ). Vintage collectibles, antiques, bakery, repurposed items, produce, homemade crafts, and household treasures. Free admission. Vendor spots available for $15. Dogs welcome at the park.
Sassy Cow Creamery Tours – Fridays from 2-4 pm. Join us for FREE farm tours and learn about how we care for our cows. Just show up at our creamery!
Eugster’s Summer Petting Farm – Open daily 10am-5pm June 10th-September 16th. $5.50 per person (Age 1 & Under Free). Admission includes Eugster’s 15-acre Petting Farm and optional animal feeding.
Moonlight Movie – Madison Parks: See website to details.
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].
Toddler Story & Stroll – Learn and play with your youngster in this fun, hands-on series that focuses on nature and the seasonal changes of spring. Classes include a story, a stroll through the outdoor gardens, and theme-related activities designed for you and your preschooler to spend quality time together. Sign up for one class or the entire series. Ages 2-4 with an adult. Limited space; register early!
Bird and Nature Walks – 1:30-3 pm at various Madison parks – Free, family-friendly Bird and Nature Walks are offered year-round on Sunday afternoons 1:30-3:00 pm by Madison Parks and FUN: Friends of Urban Nature partner groups. Join the FUN!
Kids & Pets Storytime – Animart Pet Store – 10:30 am – 11 am weekly on Tuesdays. Read with the Story Time Pet of the Week. A fun event for parents and children. Admission is $1.89 + tax per child.
Museum Storytime – UW Madison Geology Museum – 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month at 10:30 am. Museum storytime is geared toward preschool-aged children and each week features a book, museum specimens and a craft to take home. No reservations required, except for groups larger than 10. Free.
Open Art Studio – Use the Monroe Street Arts Center studio as your own! Work on a self-directed project under the guidance of an experienced art teacher. We will provide all of the art materials and one planned project per class to get you started. This is a drop-in class, but please call ahead to hold a spot, 608.232.1510. Cost is $12 per class or $48 for 5 classes with an Open Art Studio Pass.
The Crafty Project – The Crafty Project does monthly Kiddo Crafty Events at their creative studio. Additionally, The Crafty Project studio is a fabulous location for mom’s to get together and have a night out and create. They have a fun schedule of classes and offer private events.
Mommy & Me Hour – 10 am Tuesdays at Nicki’s Diapers. Join us for the NEW Mommy & Me Hour at the Nicki’s Diapers Madison Retail Store! Each week we will have a topic to discuss in an informal, friendly environment.
Mother Baby Hour – Located at the Meriter Business Center-See website for various days/times. Mother Baby Hour is a time for moms and their babies to get together to ask questions, express concerns, learn about resources and share stories. A Registered Nurse/Community Educator facilitates the groups and offers a weekly topic. Join us as early as the first week after your baby is born!