Open Thursday to Sunday, 9 am–4 pm. Walk-up tickets available or reserve advance tickets for guaranteed entry

Thursday–Sunday: 9 am–4 pm

Open Thursday to Sunday, 9 am–4 pm. Walk-up tickets available or reserve advance tickets for guaranteed entry

Visit the Museum 608.256.6445 Find Us
Thursday–Sunday: 9 am–4 pm

MCM Roadshow

When Madison Children’s Museum closed in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our staff began brainstorming ways that we could use our expertise to create imaginative, educational activities for children— and to bring those experiences out of the museum’s building and into the community. Two programs resulted: MCM Roadshow, an ongoing program of creative, community-focused offerings for children and families and MCM at Home.

Roadshow Programs:

Look down. The sidewalk just got a little less pedestrian—and a lot more joyful.

In these times of great stress and isolation, creative, healing play is especially important. In that spirit, Madison Children’s Museum launched Sidewalk Surprises in collaboration with the city of Madison.

This community-wide exhibit is enlivening city sidewalks with playful, whimsical, cross-cultural hopscotch challenges, encouraging movement and physical activity. Using dozens of game patterns from around the world, MCM is infusing physical play with citywide math and cultural learning.


Museum staff and local artists are covering sidewalks across Madison and beyond with hundreds of these temporary hopscotch courses, mazes, and labyrinths. Chalk artists worked over the course of a week and finished the project in late June. The spray chalk will last several weeks, depending on the weather, giving many children a chance to enjoy them.

These solo sidewalk games encourage walking—and skipping, hopping, and jumping—through spaces, rather than gathering. The games support social distancing as they create joy. This is especially important since many of children’s most beloved places in the community are currently closed—Madison Children’s Museum among them. Based on the book Hopscotch Around the World (Mary Lankford), the hopscotch games support cultural and math learning, spatial awareness, small and gross motor skills,  and dexterity. They are spread across the city’s many, diverse neighborhoods and enhanced by online learning resources. Over thirty different kinds of sidewalk games and activities are represented. As a group, they include multicultural themes, games for younger children, and courses that can be accessed by those with different abilities, including wheelchair users.

Sidewalk Surprises designs:


For more outdoor adventures, download a Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt in English or Spanish 

MCM Roadshow is generously sponsored by:

© 2022 Madison Children's Museum | Privacy Policy