Open 9:30–5, Tuesday–Sunday. Closed Mondays. Buy tickets.

School-Year Hours: 9:30–5, Tuesday–Sunday. Closed Monday.

Open 9:30–5, Tuesday–Sunday. Closed Mondays. Buy tickets.

Visit the Museum 608.256.6445 Find Us
School-Year Hours: 9:30–5, Tuesday–Sunday. Closed Monday.

Special Events

Something is happening every day at Madison Children’s Museum!

We also have special events throughout the year. We look forward to seeing you here!




Shine On Madison at the Children’s Museum

Saturday, November 16 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Calling all tiny tots with their eyes all aglow!

Kick-off the holiday season with a special evening event! Madison’s Central Business Improvement District presents Shine On Madison, which launches tonight with a holiday lighting ceremony at 6:08 p.m., an outdoor Winter Night Market, and special activities throughout downtown Madison.

Madison Children’s Museum stays open until 8 p.m. this evening. Help us build a collaborative glowing sculpture to light up the Rooftop Ramble, and join in light and illumination themed crafts.

Madison Children’s Museum’s drop-in programs are included with museum admission (free for members, $9 for non-member adults and children ages 1+, see our registration pages for information on discounts or to buy admission tickets). No pre-registration is needed. 

You may buy general admission tickets at the front desk, or save time and order them online. Tickets are good for visiting on any day the museum is open to the public; and they never expire. 

Buy Tickets Now!

Learn more about Madison Children’s Museum admission, including membership and discount programs.

This event is part of Winter Wonder Weeks at
Madison Children’s Museum:


Toddler Date Night: Party Animals

Friday, November 22 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Join us for a special night celebrating everything wonderful and woeful about parenting a toddler! 

Bring your toddler along to date night at the museum and enjoy playful fun for all!

Activities for Toddlers:

  • Animal Bathtime on the Rooftop — whether you’re pro- or anti-bath, you’ll enjoy helping our messy toy animals get clean
  • Playdough Party — smash, mush, squish, and use animal-shaped cutters to get the tactile fun you crave. It’s even better than playing with your food!
  • Ball Room — Too little to play in the ball pit with the big kids at the resturant? Well, there are no big kids here, so all the balls are yours!

Activities for Parents:

  • Toddler Tantrum Confessions — We know. You’re the worst parent in the world. You wouldn’t let her wash your smartphone or eat the french fries he found under the picnic table at the park. Clear your conscience by writing your tantrum-causing sins on our whiteboard for all the world to see. (Get ideas here.)
  • Family Photobooth — Did she walk into the table and get a giant bruise the day before you were going to go get holiday photos taken? Haul your offspring over to our photo backdrop and snap a few shots that might do for your obligatory holiday card or at least a decent Instagram post.
  • Parent & Kid Handprint Art — Use your handprints to create an adorable kid & parent art project to keep (or in a cheap frame it makes for a great addition to grandma’s holiday gift!)
  • Mocktail for parents, snacks for kids — Featuring our signature mocktail the “Tantrum Tamer.” Because sometimes mommy or daddy needs a pick-me-up too!
  • Wobbly Walkers Contest — Whose toddler is the fastest? Divisions for new, experienced, and advanced walkers; with prizes!
  • End the evening with a dramatic —but censored—reading of F*%$, Now There Are Two Of You by Adam Mansbach.

Register Now

Registration is $7 for adults, and free for toddlers. Child attendees should be age 3 and younger.

Space is limited and this event may sell-out, so please register soon. Members get 10% off of registration.

Did you know we offer free membership to new parents?!

Sign up for our free First-Time Parent Membership if you’re a first-time parent with a child under 18 months old.

The First-Time Parent Membership program is presented by:

Unity Point Meriter

Tea & Trains 2019

Saturday, December 7 @ 10:30 am - 2:00 pm

Bring your family to celebrate the holidays and support Madison Children’s Museum

Tea & Trains
Saturday, December 7, 2019
10:30 a.m.–2 p.m. at the Madison Club

Get Tickets Now

Tea & Trains is a holiday tradition for Madison area families, enjoying time together while raising money to support Madison Children’s Museum. This special event features signature train collections by guest conductors, activities for children and families and, of course, our annual holiday high tea, with hot chocolate, too.  Find gifts, take family photos, craft keepsakes, and make memories to last a lifetime. Tea & Trains is a treat for the young and young at heart.

All proceeds from Tea & Trains support the museum’s Access for Everyone programs, helping all families play, create, imagine, and learn together.

Individual tickets ($35 each) for adults and children over one. Children under one-year-old are free. Please buy your tickets in advance to attend. Quantities are limited and tickets usually sell out. This year we do not plan to offer at-door admission. Ticket holders should check in at our registration desk upon arriving at Tea & Trains.

Activities at Tea & Trains

  • Holiday high tea featuring gourmet food and treats to delight all ages
  • Conductor Joe Schappel’s private American Flyer electric Model Railway Display, plus interactive train toys
  • Find gifts for every member of the family in our Tea & Trains Silent Auction 
  • Storytime with special guest, to be announced, reading our featured storybook: Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
  • Winter arts & crafts with members of the Madison Children’s Museum staff

Special add-on experiences:

  • Doll Hairstyling Salon staffed by American Girl Benefit Sale volunteers—bring your own American Girl doll to giver her hair a festive new style
  • Toy basket raffles featuring three bountiful baskets of toys, perfect for gifting

Ticket Packages

All packages include Tea Room recognition and Tea & Trains email recognition, in addition to the benefits listed below:

Jingle Bells Package: $125

  • 2 Tea & Trains tickets
  • 1 museum admission pass (admits up to 4 guests)

Elves Package: $250

  • 4 Tea & Trains tickets
  • 2 museum admission passes (admit up to 4 guests each)

Conductor Package: $500

  • 8 Tea & Trains tickets
  • 4 museum admission passes (admit up to 4 guests each)

Become a sponsor of Tea & Trains!

Please see the Tea & Trains event page for all details, updates and ticket information. 

Sensory-Friendly Museum Time, with a visit from Santa!

Wednesday, December 11 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Join us for special visiting hours just for children and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and/or sensory challenges

This month we’re pleased to have Sensory-Friendly Santa join us for Sensory-Friendly Museum Time. Santa will be available to meet and take photos with children. We’ll have a special area set aside for Santa so children who don’t want to meet Santa will be able to explore the rest of the museum.


Pre-registration is not required, but pre-registered families will be able to take advantage of express check-in. Walk-ins are welcome.

Sensory-Friendly Museum Times are free to all attendees.

About Sensory-Friendly Museum Time

Madison Children’s Museum welcomes children and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and/or sensory challenges to experience the museum during Sensory-Friendly Museum Times. This program aims to bring families together to learn through play in an environment that supports the unique needs of children with ASD and/or sensory challenges.

Sensory-friendly museum times are held outside the museum’s regular general admission hours. Pre-registration for these events is not required, but pre-registered families will be able to take advantage of express check-in. Walk-ins are welcome and the event is free to all attendees.


ASD- and Sensory-Friendly Exhibit Changes

During Sensory-Friendly Museum Times, changes are made to the museum’s exhibit spaces, with the intention of helping make the museum more accessible and enjoyable for children with ASD and sensory issues. These changes include:

  • Hand dryers will be closed off and paper towels will be available in all bathrooms.
  • The Wildernest, Cozy Cottage, and first floor First Aid room will be designated comfort rooms.
  • The entire museum, except for the Log Cabin, will be open and all ages are welcome, including friends and family.
  • The Wayback Machine exhibit and pinball machines will be turned off for the events, including all lights, sounds, and video.
  • Fidgets, timers, headphones, and other sensory resources will be available for children and families to use in the museum.
  • Simple signage designating quiet zones and sensory-seeking areas will be posted throughout the building.
  • The Roman Candle Sparkler Café will not be open, but the café area will be available for eating if attendees wish to bring their own food. We request that families eat only in the café area, and only bring foods that are free of peanuts and tree nuts.

Our primary goal in making these changes is to create a welcoming, supportive, and fun environment for families to play and explore together. To assist the museum in meeting this goal, we welcome and encourage participants’ feedback on every aspect of our sensory-friendly programming.


Adult Swim: Wizard Academy Yule Ball

Friday, December 13 @ 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Wizard Academy is coming back to Adult Swim, with a holiday twist!

By popular demand, Adult Swim at Madison Children’s Museum is bringing back our Wizard Academy theme; this year we’re channeling the festivity and drama of the Hogwarts Yule Ball!

Featured activities (so far!):

  • Craft sparkling potions as jewelry, gifts, or ornaments
  • Delve into the obscure art and science of wand making
  • Adopt your own “adorable” mandrake from our mandrake nursery
  • Compete to win the Triwizard cup for your school in our most challenging scavenger hunt yet!

Special Add-On Activities:

  • Craft Dragon’s Eye Talismans: Sculpt your own amazingly detailed dragon’s eye pendant or wall hanging from polymer clay.  (Image right) To reduce congestion, you will sign up for a one-hour crafting timeslot. Be sure to arrive on time!  $12 advance; $15 at the door (if still available — slots are limited).
  • Divination Class: Register for an expert-led, 30-minute workshop on three forms of divination (the are of gaining insight into the present and future). Choose from Tarot for Beginners, Scrying (flame/water), or Tasseomancy (tea leaf reading). Read a full description of the classes below. Space is limited to 10 per timeslot, and don’t be late to class!  $10 advance; $12 at the door (if still available — slots are limited).
Check back for more activities coming soon!

Get Tickets!

Come see why Adult Swim is one of Madison’s favorite night-out activities!

You must be 21+ years old to attend Adult Swim. Photo ID required.

Ticket Details Price
Individual Admission to Event $12.75 or $15 day-of
Add-on Dragon’s Eye Talismans $12 or  $15 day-of
Add-on Divination Class $10 or  $12 day-of

Get Tickets!

 About Divination Class:

New for this swim only: we’re channeling the best of Profs. Trelawney and Firenze for a unique add-on experience!

Divination is a broad term describing many techniques that have been historically used for gaining information or foretelling the future. You don’t have to believe in anything supernatural to use these techniques for personal insight — the same methods can be used to tap into our own subconscious or inner wisdom. Tarot and other forms of divination have become increasingly popular, so in honor of the least-loved class at Hogwarts we present a slightly more accessible take on the subject.

This Swim, we’re offering five half-hour workshops covering three of the most iconic forms of divination technique: Tarot cards, tea-leaf reading, and scrying. Each workshop will be a small-class experience, aimed to get you reading and interpreting on your own.

About the professor: Florence Edwards-Miller has been studying divination for over twenty years. She’s the museum’s reader-of-choice at our annual Wonder Ball galas. Her technique combines intuition, skepticism, and humor to make divination accessible to both the true believer and the curious cynic.

  • Tarot: Tarot is a deck of 78 cards with a different picture and name for each card. The decks and symbology originated in Renaissance Italy and has been further refined over the years. Mastering Tarot can take a lifetime of study, but in this workshop we’ll dive right in and teach students a  structural approach to reading that will get you started on reading the cards immediately. This class will not assume any prior experience, though it will be useful for those who have tried Tarot before and not quite found their groove yet. You’ll learn two spreads and get a chance to try some hands-on reading of your own. Decks will be provided, or bring your own.
    • Choose from Tarot workshops at 6:30, and 8 p.m. 
  • Scrying: Crystal balls, magic mirrors, animal entrails, turtle shells, flights of birds, incense smoke… there are hundreds of techniques from cultures across the world that fall under the broad category of looking for patterns and symbols within a random medium. Students will learn meditative techniques needed to scry and then we’ll practice two different methods, reading a static form and reading a moving image with flame and water.
    • Scrying workshop will be held at 7:15 p.m.
  • Tasseomancy: Popularized in Victorian drawing rooms, tea-leaf reading or “tasseomancy” is an accessible and delightful method of divination that involves drinking a cup of loose-leaf tea and interpreting symbols in the patterns left behind. Contrary to what Prof. Trelawney might say, discovering “the Grim” is unlikely.  This is a great workshop to do with a friend as, just like in the books, we’ll partner up to read each other’s cups.
    • Tasseomancy workshop will be held at 8:45 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

To create a hands-on experience, classes are limited to 10 persons in each session. It is highly likely that sessions will sell-out prior to the night of the Swim so get your tickets now!

Get Tickets!

About Adult Swim:

Adult Swim at Madison Children’s Museum honors the public pool tradition of kicking the kids out so adults can have the space to themselves (without the water or need for a swimsuit). This 21-and-up event series offers adults the opportunity to play like a grown-up for the evening—crawling, sliding, crafting, and dancing their way through the museum. Adult Swim events are held 6-8 times a year, each with its own unique, photo-worthy theme. From Steampunk to Prohibition, Science Soirees to Prom, the topics and fun are endless.

Please note, this event is not affiliated with ADULT SWIM, the television and entertainment network—also, we don’t have a swimming pool.

Want to stay up-to-date on the latest Adult Swim news and event announcements? Join our mailing list!



New Year’s Day (We are Open!)

January 1, 2020 @ 9:30 am - 8:00 pm

Ring in the New Year with Madison Children’s Museum

New this year! Madison Children will be OPEN for regular business hours 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. on New Year’s Day.

And as it’s also the first Wednesday of the month, we will be open for FREE from 5–8 p.m. for Free Family Night.

Beat holiday cabin fever and dive into a new year of creative learning!

Madison Children’s Museum’s drop-in programs are included with museum admission (Free for members, $9 for non-member adults and children ages 1+, see our registration pages for information on discounts or to buy admission tickets.) No pre-registration is needed. 

You may buy general admission tickets at the front desk, or save time and order them online. Tickets are good for visitation on any day the museum is open to the public and never expire. 

Buy Tickets Now!

Learn more about Madison Children’s Museum admission, including membership and discount programs.

This event is part of Winter Wonder Weeks at
Madison Children’s Museum:

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