Your Family-Friendly Guide to the Greater Madison Area!
Includes events, activities & listings relevant to all communities in Dane County, WI
Upcoming Family-Friendly Happenings
January 3 | Saturday
Sing-a-Long-a Sound of Music
1:00 p.m.
@ Overture Center for the Arts
The Overture Center's Remember When Series presents
this performance that will get the audience signing along
to the most successful movie of all time! Not appropriate
for children under 6.
January 10 | Saturday
Tiki Torch Toboggan &
Campfire Cookout
4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
@ ALNC - Black Earth Campus
Bring your sled or snowshoes for a for an evening of fun
in the snow at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center's Black
Earth Campus. (Adult & child snowshoes available).
Warm up to the campfire with hot cocoa & snack. Bring a
dinner to cook over the campfire or eat in the cabin.
January 11 | Sunday
Winter Magic Show: Wayne
the Wizard
1:00 p.m.
@ Waisman Center Children's
Waisman Center Children’s Theatre (WCCT) enhances
the arts for young children in Dane County by providing
high quality, diverse, educational, and interactive live
theatrical performances at a modest cost and in fully
accessible settings. See website for instructions to
obtain tickets, and detailed directions to theater, or call
(608) 263-5837.
January 18 | Sunday
Madison Parks Groove &
Glide Ice Skating Party
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
@ Vilas Park
This special Groove & Glide party, hosted at Madison's
premier ice rinks includes a visit from the UW Women's
Hockey Team & Bucky Badger. Rental skates are
available on a first-come first-serve basis; a warming
house and concessions are available.
January 23 - 25 | Friday - Sunday
Monster Truck Nationals
7:30 p.m. Fri & Sat; 1:00 p.m. Sun
@ Alliant Energy Center Veterans
Memorial Coliseum
The most famous monster truck, BIGFOOT turns 40,
come out and celebrate with a Coliseum bash! See
website for admission prices.
January 24 | Saturday
Polar Dash
10:00 a.m. - Noon
@ Meriter - Monona Clinic
Physicians Plus Insurance & Meriter are holding the 7th
annual Polar Dash. Children will pull a plush polar bear
on a sled on an outdoor course; then families can warm
up inside with activities and fun treats. Participants are
encouraged to register in advance.
Children of the Rainforest:
Chicago Samba
10:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.
@ Olbrich Botanical Gardens
The Children of the Rainforest series celebrates cultural
differences in rainforest regions around the world with
authentic performances of music and dance! The series
offers performances for children and families and
includes free admission to Olbrich's tropical Bolz
January 31 | Saturday
Saturday Science at UW
Space Place
10:00 a.m.
UW Space Place, S Park St
Theme: "Balloon Jousting"
Space Place family workshops are free & offered every
Saturday for children, ages 6-10, and their families. No
registration required, but attendance is limited to first 50
February 4 | Wednesday
Free Family Night at MCM
@ Madison Children's
Museum, 5-8pm
Enjoy free museum admission from 5 - 8pm on the first
Wednesday of each month.
February 6 - March 22 | Recurring Fri/Sat/Sun
Marcus Theatres Kids Dream
Winter Film Series
@ Eastgate & Point Cinemas,
10 am
View your favorite family flicks for just $2 on Fridays,
Saturdays & Sundays at 10am, Feb 6th - March 22nd at
your local Marcus Theatre. Special pricing on
concessions too! See website to learn how to get FREE
tickets from American Family Insurance.
February 7 | Saturday
Saturday Science at
@ Wisconsin Institutes for
Discovery, 10am - Noon
"The Science of Badger Athletics"
Saturday Science at Discovery is a monthly series that
consists of free science exploration and education
programs aimed at families and learners of all ages.
Kids Rock! (MCM Benefit)
@ High Noon Saloon, 1 - 4pm
Benefit for Madison Children's Museum featuring live
music , other activities & entertainment. Event is at the
High Noon Saloon at 701 E Washington Ave, Madison.
February 8 | Sunday
Goon Goo Peas @ WCCT
@ Friends of the Waisman
Center Auditorium, 1pm
WCCT enhances arts for young children in Dane County
by providing high-quality, diverse, educational &
interactive live theatrical performances at a modest cost
and in fully accessible settings. See website for more
series information.
Peking Acrobats
@ Overture Center, 3pm
"Since 1958, they’ve toured the world, leaving audiences
spellbound. They’ll vault, juggle and climb, at times high
above the Overture Hall stage. A live Chinese orchestra
plays, lights dazzle, and clouds of fog roll in to complete
the scene, fit for an emperor, or you and your family."
February 13 - 15 | Friday - Sunday
Zor Shrine Circus
@ Alliant Energy Center
Veteran's Memorial Coliseum
7pm (Fri)
10am; 2:30pm & 7pm (Sat)
1pm & 5pm (Sun)
This three-ring circus is back for its annual show
complete with aerial acts, trained animals and other
mesmerizing & entertaining performances.  Choose
from six show times, reserved seating & general
admission tickets on sale at PDQ stores, the Shrine
Circus office or at the box office before each show time.
February 14 - 15 | Saturday - Sunday
Madison Winter Festival
@ Capitol Square, all day
events Sat & Sun
(see schedule)
Over ninety truck loads of snow will transform the inside
lanes of the Capitol Square into a race & recreational
venue, complete with both competitive & family-oriented
activities. See website for a complete schedule.
February 13 - 22 | Recurring Performances
CTM's The Music Lesson
@ Overture Center, multiple
show times
After escaping the Bosnian war and starting a new life in
the U.S., a music teacher finds herself torn between the
memory of the 12-year-old prodigy she left behind, and
Kat, the bright but resistant American teenager. This
beautiful drama, featuring Colleen Madden of American
Players Theater, weaves the music of Bach into a story
about forgiveness, courage and the power of music to
carry us through.
February 21 | Saturday
International Festival
@ Overture Center, 10:30am
- 5pm
Enjoy more than 30 FREE performances celebrating the
rich culture heritage of two dozen nations on five
continents, all by artists who currently call Dane County
their home. Indulge in cuisines from around the world
and browse stunning arts & crafts.
Family Ice Fishing Fun
@ Aldo Leopold Nature
Center, 10am - Noon
We’ll teach you and your family the basics behind the
popular and addicting winter sport of ice fishing on our
very own education pond.  No prior fishing experience or
gear needed. ** Pre-registration preferred.
February 21 - 22 | Saturday - Sunday
Mad City Model Railroad
@ Alliant Energy Center, 9am
- 5pm
(Sat & Sun)
This annual event showcases beautiful model train
layouts, classic toy trains, historical exhibits & railroad
videos.  Kids can build a giant wooden train layout or run
or ride a model train. There will be vendors with
merchandise for sale, and hourly door prizes.
PDF flyer here.
February 22 | Sunday
Sid the Science Kid Live
@ Overture Center, 1pm &
The popular PBS Kids show comes to life as Sid, May,
Gabriela, Gerald and teacher Susie explore with
interactive activities, cooperative problem solving and
plenty of laughs to go around.
February 27 - March 1st | Friday - Sunday
Madison Fishing Expo
@ Alliant Energy Center
Exhibition Hall
4pm - 9pm (Fri)
9am - 7pm (Sat); 9am - 5pm (Sun)
A diverse lineup of fishing tackle, equipment and boats;
along with kids activities, including fishing at the Kids
Pond, minnow races and more.
February 28 | Saturday
Children of the Rainforest:
Lymanya Drum & Dance
@ Olbrich Gardens, 10:30am
& 1:30pm
The Children of the Rainforest series celebrates cultural
differences in rainforest regions around the world with
authentic performances of music and dance! The series
offers performances for children and families and
includes free admission to Olbrich's tropical Bolz
Note: Events are posted approximately 30 days
in advance, but often revised or late-notice
events may be posted days ahead.
Search Madison with Kids on FACEBOOK! Often last-minute reminders and added events
are posted, and an easy way to share with your family & friends!
Copyright 2011-2014, Madison with Kids (Div of Preschool Life, LLC)
Recurring Activity Ideas
This list includes recurring, seasonal or year-
round programs for children in Dane County.

American Family Dream Bank
DreamBank is a one-of-a-kind dream exploration
space on the square in Downtown Madison. The
DreamBank experience includes interactive
technology, thought-provoking exhibits, and inspiring
events, all of which are free and open to the general
public. Come by for Family Saturdays each week to
see what activities will educate & inspire your kids!

Home Depot Kids Workshop
Drop-in 9am to Noon the 1st Saturday every month for
a FREE "how-to" clinic for kids (recommended ages 5
to 12). Real woodworking projects are often themed
around seasons & holidays. These year round
workshops are intended to encourage one-on-one
time with adults and children, teach tool safety, and
give children the sense of accomplishment.
Home Depot (Verona Rd only) also offers the
workshop on the 3rd Saturdays - for those that
missed earlier in the month.

Kids in the Rotunda
Enjoy free performances in a relaxed, kid-friendly
environment every Saturday from the end of
September through April. Shows offered at 9:30,
11am, and 1pm (sign-language interpreted at 1pm).
The series takes place on the Rotunda Stage in the
Overture Center on State Street in downtown

Rocky Rococo Family Movies
Rocky's Party Pizzeria's East & West show movies on
their big screen throughout the week,
daytimes/eve's/wknds (see location for times.)
Movies are rated 'G' or 'PG', it's a fun way to get out
of the house and enjoy lunch or dinner with a kid-
friendly movie in a family-friendly atmosphere.

Saturday Science at Discovery
A monthly series that consists of free science
exploration and education programs aimed at
families and learners of all ages. These drop-in
programs are generally from 10:00 a.m. - Noon on the
1st Saturday of the month, held at Town Center of the
Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery on the UW
Madison Campus.

Waisman Center Children's Theater
This annual series of performances and activities  
provides family-friendly entertainment one Sunday
each month from Fall through early Spring. WCCT
features a variety of performers- magicians, singers,
dancers, musical groups, "learning is fun"
educators/performers, and professional theatrical

Open Play [or "Open Gym"]
Nearly a dozen places in & around Madison offer
their facilities for 1-2 hours, or even all day for
regular "open gym"  times throughout the week.
Admission charges vary by venue, often dependent
on age, from $4 to $8 and provide equipment to play,
slide, jump; but most importantly a kid-friendly, safe
environment for activity and social interaction (for
mom or dad, too!) Click above for list.

Story Time Events
Ever heard of "Kids & Pets Story Time" at Animart? or
"Jammin with Jeremy" at Barnes & Nobles? Find
recurring story time events that often include a craft
or story-themed activity; or special costumed
character events.  

Library Activities
Be sure to check out the many wonderful, free, kid-
friendly events throughout the season at your local
library. Activities often include recurring story times,
plus other scheduled crafts, movies & special events.
Nearly every library offers something unique in the
designated children's area, so just hanging out
looking at books or discovering something new can
be a fun, yet peaceful way to spend a cold day!

Art, Music, Sports Classes
See the Play, Learn, Shop Directory for the most
complete area listing of businesses and
organizations offering classes for children. Many
offer a free trial class so you can determine if it's a
good fit for your child.