Open Thursdays–Sundays, 9 am–4 pm. Walk-up tickets available most days or reserve advance tickets for guaranteed entry

Thursday–Sunday, 9 am–4 pm

Open Thursdays–Sundays, 9 am–4 pm. Walk-up tickets available most days or reserve advance tickets for guaranteed entry

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Thursday–Sunday, 9 am–4 pm

Birthday Party Frequently Asked Questions

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Food and Beverage

Can we bring in our own food?

Madison Children’s Museum does not allow any outside food to be brought in for birthday parties, except for cake and non-alcoholic beverages.  We have an excellent birthday party caterer that you may order food through at an additional cost to your party. The only exception to this rule is for allergy-related alternatives. Please email the facility rental coordinator at for more information on these limited exceptions.

I ordered want food for my party from your catering partner. What do I do?

Attached to your confirmation email was the menu from our catering partner. To order your food, please visit the link provided in that email and use the password that was provided. Once your order is submitted, please contact the facility rental coordinator at  if you have questions or concerns. Food orders must be submitted online by the Sunday before your party. Orders must be finalized the Monday before your party, so all changes must be submitted by then.

I place a food order, but I need to make a change.

Email the facility rental coordinator at explaining in detail what changes you would like to make to your catering order. You will receive a confirmation if and when the update to the order has been made. Please note that past the Monday prior to the party, changes to your order are based solely on the availability of our catering partner to accommodate the change.

We ordered food from your catering partner? When do I pay that bill?

Our catering partner will invoice you electronically via an email. You are to pay that invoice in the manner they describe by the date they set.

What about the cake I ordered?

The cake that you ordered at the time of making your reservations will be ordered and coordinated by our Facility Rental Coordinator.  Once you’ve made the reservation, we will take care of it. Any changes to your cake need to be submitted the Monday prior to your party.

I don’t remember the cake that I ordered.

Please refer to your parent guide that was sent to your with your confirmation email. Any changes to your cake need to be submitted by the Monday prior to your party, no exceptions.

I need to make a change to the cake I ordered.

Please email the facility rental coordinator at and list in detail the changes you wish to make to the cake. All changes to a cake order must be in by the Monday prior to the party, no exceptions.

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Your Guest List

I don’t know yet what kids are going to be there? When do I have to tell you by? How many can I invite?

You do not have to know which children are coming at the time of booking.  Attached to your confirmation email is a fillable guest list form. This form, or an email containing the same information, must be submitted to the facility rental coordinator at by 4 p.m. the Wednesday before your party. 

Your guest list should include all children who might attend. We will mark off which children actually show up for the party and only those children will count for your total. Children under 1 year of age are free but should be listed on the guest list.  Due to the size of the room, we recommend not inviting any more than 45 children. (Keep in mind that sometimes guest’s little siblings tag along, so to avoid any surprises it’s a good idea to figure out if any might attend and include them in your list and count.)

Some of my guests are members at the museum; can they get in for free?

All children attending the party will count towards your final guest count, whether or not they are museum members. The cost of your guests includes multiple expenses not included in a typical museum visit. Make sure to clear with parents ahead of time how you would like to handle siblings.

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Party Set Up

What time may I arrive to set up my party?

You may arrive at the celebrations room 15 mins prior to the start of your time slot. Your party attendant will be in the processes of setting up the tables and chairs for your party. They will also be able to assist you with (but are not responsible for) other set-up tasks such as presents and decorations.

What decorations am I allowed to bring?

 You’re more than welcome to bring in streamers, balloons, and all sorts of other decoration. We do prohibit glass decorations of any kind for the safety of the children. Piñatas are prohibited for safety due to such a confined space.

 What equipment will you provide?

 We will provide tables and chairs based on the guest list that you provide. For those that have booked a Value Party Package or Deluxe Party Package, we will also provide cups, plates, napkins, and silverware – enough for all your guests.

Do you provide tableware for parties?

Tableware is provided with Value Party Packages or Deluxe Party Packages (but not with Basic Party Packages). These packages include cups, plates, napkins, and silverware – enough for all your guests.

How many children will my Celebrations room hold?

We strongly recommend not inviting any more than 45 children to your party. A diagram of the celebrations room will be in your parent guide attached to your confirmation email showing potential configurations.  We strongly advise not inviting more than 45 children.

Can we have more time?

While many parents have felt that 90 mins is enough, more time can be rented if the party after yours has not yet been rented. The cost is $200.  Please contact the facility rental coordinator at to inquire about the availability of more time for your party.

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What happens if my guests arrive before I do?

All parties must provide a guest list before your party. This way, if your guests arrive before you do, our front desk will be able to check them off the list for free admission. We will also attempt to direct them to the party room.  The guest list is due the Wednesday before your party.

Can we store things prior to the party?

Yes. We will be more than glad to store a few items down at the front desk for you prior to your event. Please keep in mind however that the front desk does get busy, and can’t necessarily retrieve items on a moment’s notice, so please plan accordingly.


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During the Party

Can we play in the museum prior to the party?

Yes! We encourage it. All birthday party packages include all-day admission to the museum for you and your guests. You can arrive at any time during regular museum hours. Just make sure to be at the Celebrations Room and on the second floor check in with your Party Attendant 15 mins prior to the start of your time slot so you can set up just the way you want!

What happens during the party? Do you lead any special activities?

The party held in our Celebrations Room is a time for your group to celebrate however you would like – with cake, food, presents, etc. The museum does not lead any activities but will provide an attendant to assist you with logistics. For more details about what a party attendant does, please see below. You are also welcome to bring in your own activities as you desire. We typically find that the kids just want to play!

Will your staff members play with our kids in the exhibits?

Madison Children’s Museum staff members are not responsible for leading exhibit play or for watching over children while they are playing in the museum. Please make sure you have a sufficient number of chaperones at your party to aid in supervising.

What does the party attendant do?

The party attendant is there to help with setting up the chairs and tables, as well as other items that you might have ordered (favor bags, balloons, cake, etc). They will assist you with your set-up after they have completed their initial responsibilities. They will also assist (but not be responsible for) with checking arriving guests off on the guest list, cake cutting and serving, garbage removal, etc.

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After the Party

What are we responsible for when shutting down the party?

You are responsible for making sure to clean up major spills, collecting presents and other keepsakes, and cleaning up your decorations. We do ask that you then assist the party attendant with the collection of garbage, disposing of leftovers, etc. If the party attendant is in a position to assist you with anything, they will be more than glad to try.

Can we play in the museum after the party is done?

Admission for your guests is valid for the whole day, so everyone is welcome to arrive early or stay later and play in the exhibits. You are only restricted to the use of our Celebrations Room for the 90 minutes of your party.

We don’t want to leave just yet, we want to play! Can I store presents and other items till I’m ready to go?

Yes, you may store items at the Front Desk for you to pick up when you’re ready to leave for the day. Please speak with your party attendant. Be sure to pick up everything before you leave! All items left past 5 p.m. on the day of the party will be disposed of. No items may be left in the Celebrations room as other birthday parties and events may be using the room after you.

When do we pay the final bill?

Your final balance including any additional children (at $5 per child) will be available at the Front Desk when you’re ready to leave for the day. This is when and where you should pay the final bill!


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