Bring Your Child (or Inner Child) to the Madison Children's Museum!

By: Kristen Guilfoos
By: Kristen Guilfoos

We've spent the past few weeks touring Wisconsin, hitting lots of fun, family-friendly destinations.

So now, we're showing them to you.

In our "Trips on a Tank" series, we'll be giving you an inside look at some ways to keep your family entertained this summer, without spending a fortune.

For trip number one, we'll travel 140 miles south to Madison, where we visited the Children's Museum.

The street sign at the corner of Hamilton and Pinckney in downtown Madison separates two different worlds.

On one side, you'll find the state capital, where quiet, order and serious faces are the norm.

On the other side of the sign, the exact opposite. It's the Children's Museum, where it's complete chaos, and that's just the way they like it.
Associate Director Sandra Bonnici-Hoecherl says, "We have 36,000 square feet strictly dedicated to play and learning. I think it's really important for all kinds of growth and development, but it's also a lot of fun. We love fun."

The fun begins up. Way up.

"We like to think of it as a park in the sky," she says.

It's the Rooftop Garden, where you can check out native Wisconsin plants, and spend some time with some chickens.

You'll also find animals inside the building, but they're bigger, and not as noisy.

For instance, there's a flying cow, which is designed to teach kids about levers and pulleys.

The next stop is Possible-opolis.

"It's all about building and looking at all the possibilities that can exist when you re-purpose and reuse different types of materials."

The crowning glory of Possible-opolis is the Hodgepodge Mahal.

"There's a Lake Michigan buoy, farm sisterns, a castoff water park slide."

A few steps away you'll find a moving lego-land, an art studio, and a totally natural, toxic free play area specifically designed for kids under five.

We saved the best part for last.

"The human gerbil wheel. that gets a lot of oohs and ahhs."

We just had to try it out for ourselves and the conclusion is that it's pretty great, and so is the rest of the museum, but you don't have to take it from us. We asked the kids we met while playing and here's what they had to say.

"It's really fun."
"Really amazing."
"Really awesome."

But why should the pint-sized population have all the fun? Once a month, on a Friday night, the museum hosts Adult Swim, where it's grown-ups-only time to play.

"It’s from 6 until 10. We usually have a theme. The next one is August 10th."

So whether you want to bring your inner child, or your actual child, the Madison Children's Museum is definitely a knock-out.

The museum is open seven days a week through Labor Day.
It's free on July 11th and August 1st. Both are Wednesday nights. It's no-cost from 5pm to 8pm.

Otherwise tickets are right around $7 each.

For more information on the exhibits and admission, here's the museum's website.

Click Here


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