MCM Punch Buggy Exhibit Dedication

Looking for something to do this wintery afternoon? The Madison Children’s Museum is having a dedication for its newest exhibit today at 4:30 pm. Visitors will even have a chance to try out the Punch Buggy before the museum closes at 5 pm. More info in the press release below:

Punch Buggy Exhibit Dedication Monday, Jan. 31

What do you get when you give Madison Children’s Museum Exhibits Designer Jon Edwards a 1957 Heinkel Trojan automobile, a couple of charcoal grills, a handful of discarded window sash weights, and a boxing glove from Ford’s Gym?

The answer is the Punch Buggy, of course. The museum’s newest exhibit—part of the second-floor Possible-opolis exhibit area, in the Bolz Gallery—offers visitors the chance to swivel the car, raise or lower the boom, and take a jab at a selection of whimsical targets hanging in the museum’s atrium.

Join museum staff plus employees from J.H. Findorff & Son, the company that is generously sponsoring the Punch Buggy, as the exhibit is officially unveiled. The museum is open until 5, so visitors will be able to try out the Punch Buggy for photo and video opportunities.

WHAT: Dedication ceremony for Madison Children’s Museum’s newest exhibit, the Punch Buggy

WHEN: Monday, January 31, 4:30 p.m.

WHERE: Possible-opolis exhibit area of Madison Children’s Museum, 100 N. Hamilton Street, Madison

WHO: Museum administrators and staff members, along with Findorff representatives Matt Premo, Mike Dillis, and Dave Beck-Engel

Kids’ Ice Fishing Day with the Yahara Fishing Club

Hey, Raising Madison readers, let’s give a warm welcome to Carousel, our newest RM blogger! Carousel lives on Madison’s west side with her husband and their two girls, Cass (5) and Mari (1). We are so excited to have Carousel join us!

Sometime in mid-January every year, the depths of winter and cabin fever set in, and I realize that the end is not in sight. OK! It’s time to get outside. On January 15th, the Yahara Fishing Club hosted a Kids Day on Monona Bay. Yes, that’s right, fishing club. We live in Wisconsin; it’s time to try Ice Fishing! My 5 year-old Cass and my husband headed out. The club made it easy – the club members drilled the holes; provided fishing rod, reel, and bait; provided buckets to sit on; and gave Cass basic instruction on how to set up her line and pole. The only thing missing was the covered tent to keep everyone warm. But it was pretty nice sitting out in the fresh air, no matter how cold it was. Cass had a great time. She didn’t catch a fish, but the boy next to her did. Of course, when Cass got home and I asked her how it went, she said favorite part was the hot cocoa with marshmallows. That might have been my favorite part too.

For more information about ice fishing this winter and to see pictures from last summer’s Kids’ Fishing Day at Warner Park, check out the Yahara Fishing Club’s, website at www.yaharafishingclub.org.

Kids in the Rotunda – January 29

Overture Center’s Kids in the Rotunda is a series of free artistic programs designed for children and families which runs from the last weekend in September through April. 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 programs run every Saturday at 9:30 am, 11 am and 1 pm (each performance lasts around 45 minutes). The 1 pm performances are sign language interpreted.

This week’s performer is Stuart Stotts (Folk music & stories)

One of Madison’s favorite family entertainers, Stuart Stotts, puts on a show that one third-grade fan claims is “even better than recess.” Winner of the Parents’ Choice Seal of Approval, Stuart delivers humor, pizzazz and an energy that can’t be matched to every song and story. Your family will leave this Rotunda performance brimming with laughter and smiles and unable to stop humming delightful tunes like “Eight Hugs a Day,” “When Daddy Starts to Dance” and “Movin’ On to First Grade” in an experience that a second grader said “made my ears happy!”

Know of any other family-friendly events taking place this weekend? Feel free to mention them in the comments!

12th Annual Celebrating Youth!

Wisconsin Youth Company presents the 12th annual Celebrating Youth! Sunday, January 30, 11 am – 5 pm at the Monona Terrace. Donations Welcome.

2011 will mark the 12th anniversary of Wisconsin Youth Company’s annual showcase of youth arts and performance. It’s a day to let young people know how much we value their contributions to our communities. It’s a celebration of the youth in our region and the diversity of their cultures, talents, and interests. We highlight the amazing talent and dedication of our youth, and give them a chance to shine and share their passions. Enjoy multiple stages of youth performances, a visual art exhibit, hands-on activities, and exhibit booths with resources on programs and services for youth and families. It’s a day filled with fun for all ages! Check the website for a complete schedule.

Currently scheduled performances:

Accompany of Kids: With an average age of fourteen, 50 to 60 youth will entertain you with high energy dance and vocal performances
Black Star Drumline & Music Makers (Boys & Girls Club of Dane County): The Boys & Girls Club of Dane County Black Star Drumline program was formed in 2004 and continues to grow.
Children’s Theater of Madison (CTM): Children’s Theater of Madison, a resident company of the Overture Center for the Arts, is Madison’s premiere theater for youth and families.
Club TNT (Today Not Tomorrow): Club TNT (Today Not Tomorrow) is a locally produced, sixty minute, weekly television show, airing Saturday mornings on TVW-14. Club TNT uses the medium of entertainment and technology to promote positive behaviors, build self-esteem and confidence ALL in a drug-, alcohol- and violence-free environment.
The Dance Academy of Mexico: The Academy is dedicated to teaching Mexican folkloric and traditional Aztec dances for everyone. They have approximately 80 students of all ages and experience.
East Madison Community Center Jugglers: The East Madison Community Center Jugglers are a group of elementary and middle school students from the after school programs at the East Madison Community Center.
EMCC Breakers: East Madison Community Center Breakers are drawn from our regular free Open Practice. About 40 people meet every week to practice and teach each other breakdancing.
Hua Mulan Traditional Chinese Dance Troupe: Hua Mulan Dance Troupe performs and fuses classical Chinese dance with other traditional cultural dances such as Indian Bharatanatyam; flamenco and Bollywood.
Kehl School of Dance: Kehl School of Dance is Madison’s original dance school run with programs such as Dance Sampler, Hip Hop, and Fairytale Ballet.
Madison Hope Chinese School: Immerse yourself in this culturally enriched performance to honor the year of the rabbit. Ribbons, handkerchiefs and waist drums will enthrall the audience.
Madison Unicyclists: Unicycle riders possess abundant energy, athleticism, artistry, and perseverance. Riders from the Madison Unicyclists unleash their creative energy riding backwards, hopping, spinning, jumping, and sitting atop “giraffe” unicycles.
Meadowood Elites: The Meadowood Elite Team is a dance teamcomprised of 10 youth from Toki Middle School.
Meenakshi Ganesan and the Kalaanjali School of Indian Dance: Indian Classical Dance form through various outreach programs, workshops, seminars, fund raisers performed by dancers as young as 5 years.
Pakistani Fashion Show: Youth from Wisconsin Youth Company’s afterschool program will showcase fashions from Pakistan.
Suzuki Strings of Madison: Since 1990, Suzuki Strings of Madison has provided children of all ages quality, comprehensive musical instruction through the violin. Musical selections will include Bach, Kabalevsky, Rameau, Faure and others.
Static Illusion: Static Illusion gives an opportunity for our youth to work together as a dance team and to showcase their talents in the community they live in.
Wild Rumpus Circus: Since 2001, they’ve been introducing kids to the fun and physicality of the circus arts, teaching focus and concentration, building self esteem and cooperation through juggling, clowning, acrobatics, aerial dance, stiltwalking and more.
Wisconsin Tibetan Association: There will be two traditional Tibetan dances performed by boys and girls ranging in age from 6 to 10 years old. Each performance will depict the distinctive traditional costume and dance of a province in Tibet.
Yonim Israeli Folk Dance Troupe: Yonim (Hebrew meaning doves, peace) is Madison’s Israeli Folk Dance Troupe. Dancers share their enthusiasm for Israeli Folk Dance and have fun while developing coordination, improving self esteem and learning to respect each other.
The Young Shakespeare Players: YSP is designed to show its participants, aged 7-18, and their families and the community that the plays of Shakespeare and Shaw are delightful, accessible, and fun.

The Wisconsin Youth Company is a non-profit organization providing care, recreation and enrichment programs to children and youth. For more information about what WYC offers area children, please check the website.

Date Night: Restaurant Week

If you haven’t had a night out without the kids in awhile, now is the perfect time to do it – it’s restaurant week! We’d love to hear about the restaurants you visit this week.

eta: Apologizes for the old links. Everything should work properly now!

Madison Magazine presents Restaurant Week: January 23 – 28

Madison Restaurant Week is the perfect opportunity for food lovers to get out of the house in the middle of winter and sample some of Madison’s finest restaurants.

Madison Restaurant Week is a six day event where some of Madison’s finest restaurant locations offer a prix-fixed menu with 3 courses and 3 options for each course for just $25. Some restaurants will also be offering a lunch menu for $15.

Madison Restaurant Week is a semi-annual celebration that highlights area restaurants. With more restaurants per capita than any other city in the midwest, and at just $25 per meal, this is your opportunity to try as many restaurants as you can!

No passes, tickets or coupons are required. Diners may simply visit their favorite participating restaurants throughout the week to enjoy the special menus. Diners are strongly recommended to make reservations in advance.

Click here for a list of participating restaurants!

(Summer Restaurant Week will be July 24-29.)

New Play Area at East Towne Mall

New East Towne play area to have grand opening Friday

A new play area at East Towne Mall will have its grand opening Friday, followed by family-friendly activities all weekend.

The Play and Learn area was custom-designed by East Towne Mall and the United Way and is sponsored by Kraft/Oscar Mayer. Besides a traditional play area, which is also new to the mall, the Play and Learn site will feature educational sessions monthly and developmental screenings. Oscar Mayer, which is owned by Kraft Foods, gave $28,000 to the project.

Kraft spokeswoman Syd Lindner said the project was an extension of the company’s commitment to fighting hunger and promoting healthy lifestyles.

Events begin at noon Friday, with the ribbon-cutting at 1 p.m. Events begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The new play area is near J.C. Penney.

Kids in the Rotunda – January 22

Overture Center’s Kids in the Rotunda is a series of free artistic programs designed for children and families which runs from the last weekend in September through April. 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 programs run every Saturday at 9:30 am, 11 am and 1 pm (each performance lasts around 45 minutes). The 1 pm performances are sign language interpreted.

This week’s performer is Mark Hayward (yo-yo tricks & juggling)

He’s a world yo-yo champion. He’s a spin-top champion. He’s a member of the world juggling team and even founded Madison’s Annual Juggling Festival, MadFest. David Letterman calls Mark Hayward‘s tricks “a thing of beauty.” A self-proclaimed cool guy, Mark’s Madison-mom claims, “he’s the best!” But don’t take her word for it. Bring your family to the Rotunda Stage for a first-hand experience of exciting stunts and high-energy mastery with Mark Hayward!

Know of any other family-friendly events taking place this weekend? Feel free to mention them in the comments!