Open Wed–Sun 9am–4pm, plus late on Thur til 8pm. • Get tickets.

Open Wed–Sun 9am–4pm, plus late on Thur til 8pm. • Get tickets.

Visit the Museum 608.256.6445 Find Us

Children’s museum an active outlet during vacation

The Wisconsin State Journal

By David Wahlberg

If the post-Christmas lull has left young ones restless and parents ready for school to resume, the Madison Children’s Museum has a solution: Winter Wonder Week.

With sewing, broomball, music, ice carving, animal demonstrations and more, the week of drop-in activities, free with admission, offers something for everyone.

It runs through Saturday — except on Thursday, when the museum is closed for New Year’s Day.

“Dad’s off to the Packers game, so this was a good option for us,” Jane Kelly of Madison said Sunday afternoon, when she brought daughters Amelia, 6, and Lucy, 5, to “Drawing Big or Drawing Small,” a session by Madison artist Angela Richardson.

Lucy’s muse was apparently inspired by her father. For her big object, she drew Lambeau Field. Her small object was a butterfly.

Amelia drew a construction crane and a mouse.

For Christmas, the girls got a zoetrope, a cylinder-shaped toy onto which pictures can be drawn to simulate animation.

“They’re huge into drawing,” Kelly said.

Like Kelly, Jenny Tang of Middleton is a member of the museum who brought her children, Claire, 7, and Leon, 3, to the drawing session.

Claire drew an elephant and a snail, Leon the Earth and an ant.

Kevin Krueger and some of his family visited the museum’s art studio earlier in the day, when the focus was on making paper lanterns.

The eyes of Krueger’s 2-year-old granddaughter, Karissa, lit up when she saw the colorful lantern her uncles helped her make.

“It’s great to have all of these activities for the little ones,” said Krueger, of Albany.

For a complete listing of events this week, go to

The museum, which moved into its current location near the Capitol four years ago, will start planning for expansion next year, said Debbie Gilpin, executive director.

A two-level, 50-year-old parking lot in need of repair was closed last month after administrators decided not to spend $400,000 to replace it, Gilpin said.

The goal is to convert the area to outdoor play space. A “Funkyard,” with exhibits made from recycled pallets and cable spools, opened on part of the lot this summer and will reopen in the spring.

“We want to get kids outside and using their bodies in big ways,” Gilpin said.

Plans also call for occupying the third floor of the museum, now vacant. One possibility is science-based exhibits.

A fundraising campaign launched in November 2013 has raised $1.4 million to pay off $2.3 million in construction debt early, saving $350,000 in interest, Gilpin said.

The remaining $850,000 is expected to come mostly from anticipated large gifts.

“Before we open more spaces, we need to get this debt solidly behind us,” Gilpin said.

Read more:

© 2024 Madison Children's Museum | Privacy Policy
Madison Children's Museum