NEW! Purchase general admission tickets online!

Museum Hours: Open Daily 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

NEW! Purchase general admission tickets online!

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Museum Hours: Open Daily 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

New Exhibits & Installations

We offer numerous opportunities for children and their caregivers to engage deeply with the arts

Now Open

Seymore’s Adventures
The Montgomery Ward Hardware Department
Glow Show III
Shadow Castle

Sidewalk Surprise Fire Monkeys

Wire, paper, resin, acrylic paint, LED lights

Opened March 2017

Lanterns made by MCM artists Laurie Rossbach and Jennika Bastian to celebrate the year 2016 as “Year of the Monkey”.


Seymore’s Adventure

Opened January 20, 2017

Seymore’s Adventure won MCM’s 2016 Polling Place election, with 36% of the vote cast by our under-18 visitors. Seymore returns to the museum floor after first appearing in MCM’s Leap Into Lakes exhibit nearly twenty years ago. Come have an adventure with Seymore and learn about fish anatomy and lake habitats while you play! Crawl through Seymore, imagine yourself below the surface of the lake, don a life jacket and catch fish from a boat, try on lake create costumes, learn about water, wetlands and limnology, plus more!


Hardware Department

Montgomery Ward Hardware Department

Opened August 1, 2016

Madison Children’s Museum’s building was originally built in 1929 as a Montgomery Ward department store, selling a wide variety of goods that were also available through its enormous catalogs. This summer we explore our (very) local history by re-creating a vintage Hardware Department as it would have been displayed at Montgomery Ward. Children can put on an apron to play shopkeeper with a cash register or pick up a vintage shopping basket to buy some tools. Play with bristly paintbrushes and real skeleton keys, and look at a display of vintage tools. There’s a balancing scale for practicing equivalencies and measuring; paint cans to help reinforce color and size sorting skills, and a magnetic tool wall where visitors can recognize and match silhouettes. Come in to learn through play in our Montgomery Ward Hardware Department.


Glow Show III

Through May 2017

Back for our third year, Glow Show features the neon work of UW-Madison glass students, who have created neon pieces based upon children’s drawings in our art studio. This year, Glow Show will look to the contributions made by MCM visitors to the Lynda Barry Compbook project, and may well feature celebrated images like a house on fire, a pair of scissors, or a bird. Glow Show will occupy the third floor windows overlooking the Capitol Square.


Shadow Castle

The museum back lot features the newest, largest piece of art at MCM, larger than the Love Birds sculpture on the rooftop, but much lighter, weighing little more than a shadow. Shadow Castle can be seen and enjoyed by visitors from the museum’s rooftop and Log Cabin yard. This whimsical, fantasy representation of the museum’s shadow includes a flying dragon.

This new art replaces the former Funkyard. With the back entrance now closed to the public, visitors to the Log Cabin will enter from the Pinckney Street sidewalk. Shadow Castle will remain for the foreseeable future, until the back lot is developed into a new play space.

What We're Learning:

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