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
More Holiday Events & Activities >>> CLICK HERE
Find festive activity ideas and special holiday events/performances in December!
Daily through January 4th
Holiday Fantasy in Lights | Olin Park, Madison
Madison’s favorite holiday light display, features a festive path of illuminated holiday
structures – makes for a memorable car ride with the kids after dusk. Don’t forget your free
candy cane on the way out. Donations appreciated.
December 6th through December 31st
Olbrich's Holiday Express | Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Madison
The gardens are open daily to view a festive display of large-scale model trains winding
through whimsical birdhouses and hundreds of colorful poinsettias!
December 3 | Wednesday
Free Family Night at MCM
5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
@ Madison Children's Museum
Enjoy free museum admission 5 pm - 8 pm on the first
Wednesday of each month.
December 5 | Friday
Polar Express Story Time
7:00 p.m.
@ Barnes & Noble [East & West]
The Polar Express story will be read, along with some
activities. Kids can come in their PJ's!
December 5 - 7 | Friday - Sunday
Cambridge Country
Daily activities
@ Downtown Cambridge
The village of Cambridge sets a festive holiday scene
reminiscent of a Victorian Christmas. Enjoy horse drawn
hayrides, gingerbread house building, dress-up vintage
photos, madrigal singers, visits with Santa and more.
See complete brochure at
December 6 | Saturday
Saturday Science at
10:00 a.m. - Noon
@ Wisconsin Institutes for
Discovery Town Center,
UW-Madison Campus
"Frozen in Time"
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.
MCM's Tea & Trains
10:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
@ The Madison Club
Tea & Trains is an annual tradition held at the Madison
Club and benefits the Madison Children's Museum.
Families will enjoy elegant tea & hot chocolate service
with holiday treats, arts and crafts, formal family portraits,
magic shows, a toy basket raffle and other surprises.
[RSVP by Dec 1st]
December 7 | Sunday
Winter Family Hoedown
11:00 a.m.
@ High Noon Saloon
This family-friendy event is from 11am - 1:30pm at the
High Noon Saloon at 701 E. Washington Ave in
Madison. $5 admission, children 5 & under are free.
December 12 | Friday
The Snow Queen
7:00 p.m.
@ Overture Center for the Arts
Playtime Productions is a community theatre "by children
for children". This performance at Overture's Promenade
Hall is for all ages, open to the public for a suggested $3
donation at the door.
See this performance at other venues around the
December 12 - 23 | Multiple Show Times
A Christmas Carol
Multiple performances
@ Overture Center for the Arts
Children's Theater of Madison brings back their
signature production of A Christmas Carol.
Recommended ages 6 & up.
December 13 - 27 | Multiple Show Times
The Nutcracker
Multiple performances
@ Overture Center for the Arts
Madison Ballet's magical production of the world's most
beloved ballet returns to the Overture Center with 10
performances to celebrate 10 years of The Nutcracker in
Overture Hall.
December 14 | Saturday
Nutcracker Fantasy
1:00 p.m.
@ Waisman Center Children's
Check out this fantasy full of beautiful costumes and
engaging choreography in this seasonal ballet preview
with some of Madison's finest young dancers!
Click here for info
December 19 | Friday
Winter Solstice Celebration
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
@ Aldo Leopold Nature Center
Celebrate the longest night of the year with a winter hike
under the stars. Help to feed the winter bird neighbors,
gather around the campfire, sip cocoa and eat a
seasonal solstice snack. Appropriate for all ages!
December 20 - 21 | Saturday & Sunday
The Nutcracker Ballet
2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. | Saturday
2:00 p.m. | Sunday
@ Wisconsin Union Theater
Dance Wisconsin presents The Nutcracker with the
Dance Wisconsin Orchestra. Music arranged by Taras
Nahirniak, conducted by Blake Walter and Lori Nahirniak
and the Monona High School Singers.
December 26 | Friday
Harlem Globetrotters
7:00 p.m.
@ Alliant Energy Center Veterans
Memorial Coliseum
With incredible ball handling wizardry, amazing
rim-rattling dunks and trick shots, side-splitting comedy
and unequaled on-court fan interaction, this must-see
event is guaranteed to entertain the whole family
creating memories that will last a lifetime.
December 31 | Wednesday
US Bank Eve
New Year's Eve at three
> 4pm - 8pm @ Keva Sports
> 6pm - 10pm @ Monona Terrace
> 6pm - 10pm @ US Bank Plaza
A variety of entertainment acts await Madison area
residents ringing in the New Year. This family-friendly,
alcohol-free event features family games sports &
activities at Keva Sports in Middleton; or head to one of
two downtown Madison locations to enjoy live magic
shows and other activities & entertainment.  For ticket
prices & locations, visit
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. Find more details at
Children of the
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
Don't forget to browse our dedicated list of December
Holiday Events >>>
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.
Holiday Happenings
Dec 2014 | Click Here