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.

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Museum News – January 2019

The museum will be open for a half day on January 1, from 12 to 5 p.m.
We will be closed for annual winter maintenance January 7–11.

Featured Events

December 26–January 6

Winter Wonder Weeks continue! We’re ringing in the new year with a full schedule of wintry activities while school is out and the kids need creative and engaging things to do. Check the daily program schedule during Winter Wonder Weeks and stop by to cure your cabin fever! See below for a few extra-special Winter Wonder Weeks events:

New Year’s Eve Dance Party, Monday, December 31, 2:30–4:30 p.m.

Shake, rattle, roll, and bid farewell to 2018 at the earliest New Year’s Eve party in Madison! If your little ones aren’t quite ready to stay up until midnight, stop by to dance to the beats of DJ Scott Mueller, sip sparkling juice, and ring in 2019 with Auld Lang Syne. Owing to the popularity of last year’s party, we’re starting earlier this year and running a bit longer to accommodate the crowds.  Learn more.

Open New Year’s Day, Tuesday, January 1, 12–5 p.m.

For the very first time, we’re open on New Year’s Day, starting at noon. Join us for a magic show by James the Magician at 1 p.m., Pinwheels of Promise in the Art Studio, and New Year’s Around the World starting at 2 p.m. on the rooftop. Also, bring your little one to our DIY Baby New Year photo booth! Learn more.

Governor-elect Evers’ Inaugural Madison Kids Gala, Saturday, January 5, 10 a.m.–12 p.m.

Madison Children’s Museum is pleased to have been chosen as the Dane County location for Governor-elect Evers’ Madison Kids Gala. The gala will be a fun and casual event with activities, music, snacks, and a short address by the governor-elect. Admission will begin at 9:30 a.m., with special activities running from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 
This event is organized by the 2019 Wisconsin Gubernatorial Inauguration. Tickets are now being sold on their website: $5 for kids and adults, or $15 for a family of four, free for kids 2 and under. Proceeds from all 2019 Wisconsin Inauguration events benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee. Space is limited and at-door admission cannot be guaranteed if we reach our capacity. See our website to buy tickets and to learn more.

Saturday, January 12, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

In November, kids elected “Amazing Animals Day” as the next special theme day at the museum. Join us to celebrate all of our furry, finned, and feathered friends throughout the museum, with visits from the Madison Herpetological Society, Henry Vilas Zoo’s “Zoo to You” critters, Madison Pet Partner’s “Read to Me” program, as well as special programs inspired by the museum’s resident chickens, snake, pigeons, fish, rabbit, and more. All of our theme days are free for members and free with museum admission. Learn more.

January 25–27, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

We’re joining our fellow children’s museum’s around Wisconsin to let kids’ imaginations run wild during Celebrate Art Weekend. Each museum will offer programs that encourage creative exploration and discovery through art. Here in Madison, we’re focusing on how art enhances and contributes to the pursuit of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Art turns STEM into STEAM! See our calendar for all of our program schedules and details.

Thursday, January 31, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

As approved by kids in our Polling Place referendum, the museum will celebrate “Yad Drawkcab Lanoitan” this year! National Backward Day is an opportunity to reverse our thinking, our directions, or simply our shirts. Stop by the museum to see what’s backward with programs and activities that celebrate the topsy-turvy. Learn more.

Other Programs

Wednesday, January 2, 5–8 p.m.

The museum will be free and open to all from 5 to 8 p.m. Free Family Night is a great time for first-time visitors to enjoy the museum. It’s a popular time for older children to return to visit their favorite exhibits. Free Family Night is an Access for Everyone program. Learn more about Free Family Nights.

From Our Blog

This Is How We Do It! From Madison To Johannesburg, South Africa

Read our guest post by Shiloah Coley, Posse Scholar at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Shiloah describes her internship creating a program to facilitate cross-cultural learning between kids at Madison Children’s Museum and Play Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa. The children made and shared art about their daily lives. The resulting artwork from this project will be on exhibit in the museum in February.

Meet the Museum Staff

Jon Edwards, Senior Exhibits Designer & Fabricator

Starting out as a van and motorhome customizer and barn rebuilder, Jon Edwards applied for a position at the newly created Madison Children’s Museum in 1991. In the 27 years since, he has impressed with his versatility and creativity in exhibit design and creation. Jon has been involved in the creation of nearly every exhibit in the museum including the Gerbil Wheel, the paint wall, the cow lifter, the metal-acorn climbing structure, and many more. He says the “Dream Machine” (pictured here) is probably the most outlandish project he’s worked on. When asked about his favorite aspect of work for the museum, Jon says “an exhibit is pulled out of a dream, and I have the opportunity of making an imaginative idea solid.”

Become a Museum Member!

Madison Children’s Museum membership offers more than just a year of unlimited admission; it’s your family’s invitation to exclusive events, exciting classes, special discounts, and more. Members receive 10% off camp registration, workshops, Adult Swim tickets, and other programs and events. Members also receive early access to registration for popular events like summer camps. And you can take your membership on the road, where you’ll get free or half-priced admission to hundreds of museums and science centers. Learn about these and other benefits and pick your membership level online.

Discounted Memberships

Families of first babies under 18 months of age are eligible for our free, First-Time Parent Membership Program. Thanks to the generosity of many donors, reduced-price Family Access Memberships are also available. Check for qualifying programs.

January Programs


  • Note: The museum will be open 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday, January, 21st for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. All other Mondays the museum is closed.
  • Kindness Challenge 1/21 | 12–2 p.m.







Visit our website for a full list of programs and events.

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and the world beyond through discovery learning and creative play.

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