Madison Waldorf School Benefit Garage Sale

The Madison Waldorf School Garage Sale is taking place this weekend at 4609 Keating Terrace (270-9005). It’s a neighborhood-wide sale with everything from furniture to toys. There will also be a food tent and games. 100% of the proceeds goes to Madison Waldorf School.

Friday & Saturday (Sept. 3 & 4): 7 am – 3 pm
Sunday (Sept. 5): 9 am – noon (Everything 1/2 off on Sunday!)

The Madison Waldorf School is an independent day school. They opened their doors in September 2007 and have grown in numbers and in classrooms every year. Their Waldorf-trained teachers provide a curriculum that not only addresses children’s intellectual capacities with lessons that reach their heart, head and hands, but also encourages their sense of wonder and joy in being alive in the world today. The Madison Waldorf School welcomes students and families of all races, religions and cultures to join them.

The Madison Waldorf School is located at 6510 Schroeder Road (270-9005).

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University Book Store – music time & story time

RM reader Amy sent us an e-mail earlier this week telling us about a new discovery of hers – University Book Store (at Hilldale Mall) offers music time and story time! And both are free! Have any of you gone to either of these events? I always just assumed University Book Stores catered only to the university students!

Family music time is held the first Tuesday of every month at 10 am. Play, sing, & dance! Led by music teacher Lynn Hilgers.

Story time is held every Thursday from 9:30 am- 10:30 am. It’s led by UW Library Student Claudia Rohr and Kirsten Rogers and is recommended for ages 2-5.

University Book Store is located in the Hilldale Mall at 702 North Midvale Boulevard, Madison.

Thanks so much for the e-mail, Amy!

Bean Sprouts: Bebe Meals Restaurant Review

I’ll start this review by saying I’m a huge fan of Bean Sprouts Restaurant(s)! That being said I owe it to my readers to be 100 percent honest about Bebe B and I’s experiences eating out, and so I will. Many parents already know about Bean Sprouts, a restaurant unique in that is is designed for kids, oh and it’s actually HEALTHY food!! And did I mention grown-ups will love it too. Exciting news…they have now opened a second location in the brand new (completely amazing) Madison Children’s Museum. We recently ate there for lunch on our first (of many I am sure) trips to the new Museum. It was insanely busy, which is to be expected considering the museum just re-opened and all of the school aged children were still on summer break the day we went. That being said the adorable cafe, located in the DeAtley Community Concourse

Bebe B watching the water feature display

(you don’t have to be a member or have purchased museum admission to eat at the cafe), was handling the hoards of hungry, hungry patrons very well. The staff, which I recognized as Carisa Dixon (executive chef) and Shannon Payette Seip (co-founder) had smiles on their faces and welcoming words to say. I like the fact that the cafe is set up sort of a-la-carte, in that you can take your items from the coolers/ warmers and then pay for them at the register. This was smart for the environment and makes it easy to grab a quick snack any time. Of course it would be nice to have a couple extra hands to carry stuff, but that could be said pretty much about every aspects of motherhood. Bebe B had the “Noodle-Dee-Do” (whole wheat macaroni blended with cheddar cheese) and I had a “Bruschetta Chicken Sandwich” (grilled chicken, mozzarella, tomato and pesto). We also picked up some of our favorite sweet potato chips and we shared a mini cupcake. Bebe B has had the noodles (noonies) before and was happily eating them when I gave her the cheese from my sandwich (that darn lactose thing limits how much dairy I can tolerate) and after that all she wanted was my sandwich. She pretty much forgot about her noonies and ate almost half of my sandwich. I was happy to share with my girl. We were really having a blast despite that crowds. As you can see from the picture Bebe B was being quite silly. The mini cupcake was a wonderful little treat to finish up our meal. I scraped off the frosting (it was just a dollop of green on top) because I was unsure of what they use to color it and we try to avoid any artificial coloring, so I played it safe. I’ll try to remember to ask next time. It was chocolaty and not too sweet, just the perfect size to share with my bebe. (Ps. Is chocolaty a word? If not it should be) So over all our experience at the new Bean Sprouts in the Madison Children’s Museum was fabulous! We loved it and are looking forward to going again soon.

As for the Bean Sprouts flagship restaurant in Middleton, we have been there too (at least 4 or 5 times) the first being when Bebe B was 15 or 16 months. We never had a chance to try any of the homemade organic baby food on their menu but I love that they have it! You all know how I feel about homemade baby food!! The restaurant is adorable including fun touches like the kid sized door next to the regular sized door for entering and exiting the restaurant, a kids area full of play kitchen toys and a large chalkboard with plenty of chalk. Almost all of my experiences have been great at the restaurant. I love the “Turkey, Avocado and Tomato Wrap” and we always get the edamame and grape kebob for sides. Prices are reasonable and I would definitely recommend the place to anyone one with bebes or children. Also they sell their meals in different proportions: kid size, adult size and big daddy size. That being said I did have one less then pleasant experience back in May of this year. Bebe B and I had taken my mother there for a weekday lunch to celebrate Mother’s Day a little early. It was obvious when we walked in that it had been a very busy day and the one staff member working there looked as though she had been trampled by a heard of elephants. It was too late to go anywhere else so we opted to eat there anyway, as we only had 45 minutes left before my mom had to return to work. The floors were quite covered in food, but it is a kid’s restaurant and I could completely understand that. My floor looks like that everyday. (I’m not exaggerating when I say I have to sweep 6 -7 times a day) I could tell the staff member was overwhelmed, but I can understand that too, anyone who has worked in food service knows there are days like that. We ordered our food and Bebe B happily played with the toys. It was quite messy in the area but she was having fun none the less and her Nani was happy to have a chance to play with her. Another customer and her son came in, ordered food and sat down. Then another customer came in with a little one. They sat for a few minutes. By this time we had received our food and hungrily began enjoying our meals. It was then that the newest customer began to yell at the staff member telling her the place was disgusting and she was appalled and they were leaving (I’m sugar coating it a bit, she was quite rude). I certainly could understand the women’s frustration but her behavior seemed a touch extreme and uncalled for, especially in front of other customers while they are eating. It was one of those awkward situations that makes you feel all squirmy inside. I admit that the restaurant was not at it’s best that day but, even so the food was good and it was healthy and my bebe was happy. Anyone (or restaurant) can have a bad day but this is a local place that serves fresh, healthy food that is fun for kids (and adults) so this place is still at the top of my list. They also have cooking classes for kids and other events (check out their website for more information). (Kat from RM adds: I’ve heard great things about Bean Sprouts catering to parents and children with special dietary restrictions. They even have a section on their menu for those looking for foods that are free of gluten or milk or casein.)

Bebe B playing at the Bean Sprouts restaurant in Middleton, WI in April 2010

Once last thing to mention is their fun cookbook Bean Appetite (by Shannon Payette Seip & Kelly Parthen with Carisa Dixon). Love it! I am proud to have my own signed copy. (If you buy a copy at the store and any of the authors are working they are more than happy to sign it for you). It’s full of fun recipes, games and more and would make a wonderful gift for kids. I plan to make “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” (based on the book by Eric Carle) for Bebe B’s upcoming birthday party of the same theme! Along with many of my own creations I have been working on (which I promise to share in the next month). If you would like this recipe, the Authors have shared it with Parents Connect, click HERE to view. Okay I think that about sums it up .. cool place with healthy food, one rough day, great new location, and fun cookbook!

Footnote: This is a completely unbiased review, I received no compensation for this review. We paid for our meals ourselves.

Bean Sprouts is located at 6719 Frank Lloyd Wright Avenue, Suite 101, Middleton, WI 53562 and inside the Madison Children’s Museum 100 N. Hamilton Street, Madison, WI 53703

Be sure to visit local mama Tara Verma’s Bebe Meals website for more restaurant reviews, Bebe Meals blog, and recipes!

Orton Park Festival

Join Marquette Neighborhood in celebrating the 45th Annual Orton Park Festival Thursday, Aug 26 – Sunday, Aug 29.

The Orton Park Festival is held three days in August every year. Both the Orton Park Festival and the Waterfront Festival (held every year in May) are held to celebrate Marquette Neighborhood’s community and businesses.

“Each festival is held in a park that is within the geographical area of the neighborhood. Local community businesses – particularly from the Williamson Street business district – and local non-profit organizations providing services that are of benefit to community residents have booths at the festivals. The festivals keep neighborhood residents connected to community services and expose community residents to services that are available in their neighborhood.”

This year’s Orton Park Festival begins tonight, August 26, at 6:30 pm with a family night. Ice cream and soft drinks will be for sale while you enjoy Daithi Wolfe & Company and later Cycropia Aerial Dance Theater.

The rest of the weekend’s activities include:

Friday, August 27th
5:00 – 8:00 p.m. – International Dinner with Vendors
5:45 p.m. – The Tony Castañeda Latin Jazz Sextet
6:45 p.m. – MNA Auction
7:15 p.m. – Razia Said (NYC/Madagascar)
8:45 p.m. – Cycropia Aerial Dance Theater

Saturday, August 28th
Noon – Whitney Mann
1:30 p.m. – Robert J and the Rowdy Prairie Dogs
3:00 p.m. – Cris Plata and Extra Hot
4:15 p.m. – MNA Auction
5:15 p.m. – Monika and Christian Nieves (Puerto Rico)
7:00 p.m. – The Carolina Chocolate Drops
9:00 p.m. – Curley Taylor and Zydeco Trouble

Sunday, August 29th
9:00 a.m. – Jazz Brunch with The Randall Harrison Trio
11:30 a.m. – The Rohnalleros
1:00 p.m. – The Getaway Drivers
2:00 p.m. – Orton Cake Walk
2:30 p.m. – Kings Go Forth
3:45 p.m. – MNA Auction
4:45 p.m. – The Rousers
6:45 p.m. – Dave Alvin & the Guilty Women

For more information on the event and activities, visit the Marquette Neighborhood’s website!

Orton Park is located at 601 South Ingersoll Street, Madison.

Kidz Place open this Friday

Last week we told you about Kidz Place in Verona. It’s been closed since our post but reopens at a new location this Friday, August 27!

Kidz Place is now located in room 415 at Country View Elementary (710 Lone Pine Way, Verona). Kidz Place is a FREE open play activity room staffed by trained volunteers. It’s open Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:00 am – 11:00 am.

Visit the Verona Area School District website for a complete list of dates when Kidz Place is open.

Are any of you planning to check out Kidz Place this week? We’d love to hear what you think of it and its new location!

Ride the Drive

Madison is holding another Ride the Drive on Sunday, August 29 from 10 am – 4 pm, and this time there’s a special guest!

Join Lance Armstrong at the top of E. Washington Ave. at the Capitol Square at 10:30 am for Ride the Drive Opening!

Photo Credit: Kerry G. Hill

Ride the Drive is free, open-to-the-public, and a family event. It’s a celebration of Madison’s commitment to healthy, active lifestyles. This community event is an invitation for all citizens to leave their cars behind to experience some of Madison’s most scenic byways a whole new way – by riding, walking, skating, or strolling along some of our city’s most beautiful streets. The route is a 6-mile loop from East Washington Avenue to State Street to North Shore Drive to John Nolen Drive.

Photo Credit: Kerry G. Hill

The event includes music, food, and plenty of activities. See the website for a complete listing of activities!

Milena, Jess and I biked during June’s Ride the Drive and had such a good time! We’re really excited to get out on the streets again this weekend.

Overture Center for the Arts – New Season and Kids in the Rotunda


The 2010/2011 season at Overture Center is almost here! Single tickets go on sale Saturday, September 11, so now is a great time to check out what the new season has to offer your family! We’ve done the hard work for you and compiled a list of all the youth-oriented and family-friendly shows. Enjoy! (all show descriptions taken from the Overture Center website)

Shows designed for youth

Ferdinand the Bull Sunday, Feb. 20, 3pm

Meet Ferdinand, an unusual bull who prefers picking flowers to joining the bullfighters in the ring, and Danilo, a young nobleman whose father Duque Dodo has big dreams for him. Watch what happens when Danilo, the reluctant matador, meets Ferdinand in the bullring. You’ll cheer for them as they refuse to go along with the crowd and strike a blow for individuality and the celebration of our differences in this rousing musical that blends English and Spanish languages as it teaches peaceful solutions to life’s difficulties.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Saturday, March 12, 11am

This is the show that “in-the-know parents go nuts for,” says New York Magazine. The charming blacklight puppetry gives even the youngest theatergoers a spellbinding experience. The elegant telling of these beautifully simple stories transfixes young and old alike. Since its first performance more than ten years ago, this collection of Eric Carle stories has come to life for more than a million wide-eyed children. And now it’s your turn to watch your little caterpillars grow wings and fly!

Perô, or the Mysteries of the Night Sunday, May 1, 3pm

This sweet, simple, tender tale has only gotten richer since its beginnings centuries ago in the storied tradition of Italian Commedia dell’arte. She does laundry by day; he bakes by night. Will they ever find true love? Find out in this charming musical adaptation from the Netherlands that blends artistry, creativity and a European sensibility to create what ParentMap calls “sparkling, tour-de-force theater.”
http://www.dutchperformingartsevents.blogspot.com/

Strega Nona Sunday, Nov. 21, 3pm

Based on the beloved children’s books by “creative visionary” (Boston Globe) Tomie de Paola, this is the rich and colorful tale of a friendly witch who strives to cure the everyday ills of her tiny Italian town. Featuring an energetic score by composer Aron Accurso, the use of traditional Commedia dell’arte and a set design inspired by the Strega Nona pop-up book, this enchanting production illustrates the importance of the adage “be careful what you wish for – you just might get it!” Most enjoyed by children 4-9.

Although not specifically designed for youth, all ages are admitted at parents’ discretion to the following shows:

Popovich Comedy Pet Theater Sat. Feb. 5, 3 pm

It’s raining cats and dogs – and clowns and jugglers! Gregory Popovich, heir to the storied Moscow Circus legacy, brings his highly unusual, family-oriented blend of the unique comedy and juggling and the extraordinary talents of his performing pets. Each of the show’s 15 cats and 10 dogs were once strays, rescued from animal shelters. Now, they love to show off onstage – by performing a variety of stunts and skits! This extravaganza of European-style clowns, amazing juggling and balancing acts, and of course, very talented performing pets will delight adults and kids alike.

The Peking Acrobats Sun. Feb. 14, 3 pm

Since 1958, the Peking Acrobarts have toured the world, leaving audiences spellbound. This elite group will vault, juggle, and climb—at times flying or balancing high above Overture Hall stage. See how the impossible was done before the days of movie special effects as these performers transform 2000-year old athletic disciplines into a kaleidoscope of entertainment and wonder. A live Chinese orchestra plays, lights dazzle, and clouds of fog roll in to complete the scene, fit for an emperor—or you and your family.

Lakota Sioux Dance Theatre Fri. April 15, 8 pm

Immerse yourself in the rich traditions of Native American culture. Founded at the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota with the support of traditional Lakota Indian educators, healers, community leaders, championship pow-wow dancers, singers and storytellers, they perform Cokata Upo! (Come to the Center), an elaborate and captivating theatrical work celebrating the culture of the Lakota people. Live traditional, sacred and courting songs accompany traditional dances set against a backdrop of spectacular video imagery and interwoven with stirring narratives and wisdom-filled creation stories.

Mariachi Los Camperos Thu., Nov. 11, 7:30 pm

A traditionalist and a visionary, Nati Cano has both mirrored and shaped the history of mariachi music. He and Los Camperos, the group he founded and directs, have been a fixture in the Los Angeles area and a driving force in the mariachi tradition in North America for nearly 50 years. His longtime association with Linda Ronstadt, backing her up in live performances and on her milestone Canciones de Mi Padre album, helped catapult mariachi music to unprecedented national prominence. Our historic Capitol Theater plays the perfect host to this storied musical tradition.

Drumline Live! Sat. Nov. 27 – Sun. Nov. 28

This incredible new show, created by the music team behind the hit movie ‘Drumline’, brings black marching band tradition to the theatrical stage for the very first time. With riveting rhythms, bold beats and ear-grabbing energy, their “inspired and energized” (Newark Star Ledger) show is an adrenaline-laced tribute to the historically black college and university experience. Incorporating original compositions and soul-infused interpretations of top 40 hits, group performances range from colorful, choreographed routines to heavy doses of drum riffs and cadences.

Single tickets to all Overture shows except Les Miserables go on sale on Saturday, September 11. In person sales begin at 8 am – phone and internet sales start at 10.

Lap Seats
For many of the family-friendly shows, you can order $3 lap seats for young children ahead of time.

Kids in the Rotunda

Each Saturday from the end of September through April at 9:30 am, 11 am and 1 pm, Overture Center presents Kids in the Rotunda, a series of FREE artistic programs designed for children and families. This popular performing arts series on the Rotunda Stage offers a relaxed, kid-friendly environment in which to enjoy a diverse lineup of local and regional musicians, storytellers, jugglers, theater troupes, magicians and dancers. The 1 pm performances are sign language interpreted.

The first Kids in the Rotunda this fall is The Figureheads on Saturday, Sept. 25. Check the website for the complete schedule.

Overture Center is located at 201 State Street.