Got a little dancer who needs his own stage? The Madison Children’s Museum is selling one, and and it looks pretty cool.
Through noon on Sunday, the museum at 100 N. Hamilton St. downtown isselling off parts of its outdoor play area. The Funkyard was built in 2014 out of salvaged items like wooden pallets and cable spools.
Several little trikes, a canoe (“for sitting”), a tiki hut and a bowling pin fort have already sold. But several benches, large spools with planters and the pagoda fort are still available.
The items are posted on Craigslist, sold as is. They can be delivered with a $30 fee. Museum members get 20 percent off the purchase price, and the museum is open to negotiation on some items including that stage, now priced at $1,000.
According to Jonathan Zarov, the museum’s director of marketing and communications, St. James Catholic School bought some things for a “Mini-Funkyard” at their west side property.
The Madison Children’s Museum’s Funkyard, he said, was always meant to be temporary.
“It turned out to be way more successful than we thought it would be,” he said. “It was a great space downtown for kids to play outdoors.”
“It was a way to start experimenting with what we could do out there that would be cool.”
Starting in May of next year, the museum plans to add a bridge to the log cabin (made out of what? “something wonderful,” Zarov said). There will also be some artwork in the space.
Long term, the museum is going to have to deal with the structural problems presented by the parking lot, which has been closed since summer 2014.
“In some years, we’ll have something incredible back there that will be permanent, but first we’ll have to take down the whole lot,” Zarov said.
Meanwhile, the museum has been having “listening sessions” with users of the museum.
“We’ve learned a lot,” Zarov said. “We’ve had discussions with over 300 people at this point. People value adventuresome play, safe but … being able to take a risk, so kids can go off on their own in a space.”
He’s heard interest in preparing and growing food, which is a program element also present on the museum’s garden-focused rooftop.
“Overall people value outdoor play,” Zarov said. “I think 83 percent of people use one of our outdoor spaces when they come here, regardless of weather … that includes the herb garden, the rooftop and the Funkyard.”