Ride the Drive – June 5

Ride the Drive is Sunday, June 5, from 10 am – 3 pm. This free, open-to-the-public, family event is a whole new way to experience our great city. For this event, the city closes down the streets to cars and open it up to bikers, walkers, roller bladers, and those out to share in the experience and fun atmosphere. The streets are temporarily closed to cars, but open to people.

Along the route there will be activities, information booths, food vendors, and plenty of other ways to enjoy the city.

The route will feature a six mile loop downtown that will include a beautiful view of the Capitol on John Nolen Drive, the bustling State Street, and other highlights. (Be sure to check out the route info if you’re planning on driving downtown during this time, as many major streets will be closed – including parts of John Nolen and E. Washington.)

During Ride the Drive, participants will have the opportunity to get out in the streets & participate in various activities such as aerobics, hula hooping, or just relax, shop/dine in downtown, sit by the Capitol & enjoy the day. Go here for a list of activities and their locations along the route.

If you haven’t participated in Ride the Drive before (or even if you have), be sure to take a moment to read through the etiquette page before heading to the event.

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Birthday Giveaway {Part 5}

This is our fifth and final giveaway! Congratulations to everyone who has won so far, and thanks to everyone who’s commented!

This week’s winner will receive a membership to the Madison Children’s Museum!

Madison Children’s Museum is an award-winning destination for fun family activities and hands-on learning located just off the Capitol Square at 100 N. Hamilton Street. Along with its permanent exhibits, the Madison Children’s Museum offers countless events and programs every month.

To enter this giveaway, answer the following question in the comments (one entry per person. Please include your first & last name when commenting):

What do you love best about raising your family in the Madison area?

Comments must be received by midnight on Friday, June 3. Winner will be chosen using random.org and announced Sunday, June 5.

{Part 4} Winner

Congratulations, Beth*! You’ve won our Daisy Cafe & Cupcakery and Nicki’s Diapers giveaway.

Please send us an e-mail to claim your prize: raisingmadison@hotmail.com

*Beth’s comment: For local places, We love Daisy Cafe (we were just there yesterday). Staff are very accomdating with kids and they have all of those toys in the front. Also, a great changing table area in the bathroom. We also enjoy the ZuZu Cafe and Ella’s Deli.
For chain restaurants, Cracker Barrel has clean high chairs, good kids meals and the store keeps the kiddos busy.

Birthday Giveaway {Part 5} will be announced tomorrow morning!

MCM to Offer Free Admission to Military Families

Madison Children’s Museum is participating in the 2011 Blue Star Museums Program, making it one of the many museums around the country that will be offering free admission to active-duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

All active-duty military personnel and up to five of their immediate family members (spouse and children) will be given free admission to Madison Children’s Museum beginning Friday, May 27, through Labor Day, September 5, 2011. There is no limit on how many times you may visit the museum between these dates!

This special admission program includes access for any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card, or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card. This includes all active-duty military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard), National Guard, and Reserve members along with their families. Any spouse of a military member who is currently deployed may also use this free admission if they have their forms for active-duty military family members.

For more information about the Blue Star Museums Program, please visit http://www.bluestarfam.org/Programs/Blue_Star_Museums.

Local Resale Events

I love rummage sale season! Especially when I happen upon something we actually need/want (Milena’s princesses finally have a castle! Hooray!). But I hate having to drive from sale to sale. It’s so much in and out of the car (generally TOO much in and out for my little girl), which is probably why I love Half-Pint Resale as much as I do. Everything is right there, in one room, and organized by type and size!

Over the last few months we’ve become aware of other, similar resale events, and we wanted to share the info with all of you! And please share your finds in the comments below.

Just Between Friends

At these events, consignors bring their new and gently-used children’s and maternity merchandise to sell. Shoppers can then browse and purchase these items at great savings, usually far below retail prices. Children, Junior, and Maternity items are available. Anything and everything child related, including: clothing, toys, books, games, baby equipment, furniture, outdoor riding toys, sporting equipment, etc. The next Just Between Friends sale will be September 30 to October 2 at the Waunakee Village Center.

Moms of Multiples Sale

The Madison Area Mothers of Multiples, Inc. club is a support group for families with multiples … twins, triplets, quads or more! Many of the members also have single birth children.

The next sale is Saturday, September 10, 2011. Go here for more information, including times and location, and read through the FAQs.

Dandelion Resale

Dandelion Resale is owned and managed by two local moms. Their website offers high-quality new and like-new children’s clothing, maternity clothing and baby gear.

If you missed it last year, here’s a link to the “Thrifty Kiddos” resale reviews we did last summer!

Local Memorial Day Weekend Events

It’s almost Memorial Day! What do you and your family have planned for the three-day weekend? Numerous events are taking place locally this weekend, including parades, brat fests (yes, plural!), and the zoo’s 100th birthday celebration! See below for details, and feel free to share your family’s plans in the comments.

World’s Largest Brat Fest, May 27-30 at the Alliant Energy Center. Brat Fest is 28-year family tradition that started with Tom Metcalfe (passed in 2006) and the Brat tradition of fun continues. In addition to mouth-watering brats, cold Pepsi, beer and live music, each day at Brat Fest is an unique and unforgettable experience.

Follow the links for more information on the celebration, including music line-up, plus the list of the 2011 charities benefitting from this year’s Brat Fest.

Henry Vilas Zoo Century Birthday Party, Saturday, May 28, 10 am – 3 pm. Events include: Cake contest featuring area bakers, education animal talks, Ken Lonnquist and the Kenland Band, Facepainting, Bounce House, and more!

Between Memorial and Labor Days, the zoo will present 100 days of celebration to reward visitors and recognize the Zoo’s centennial with some fun, entertaining and educational happenings. See the event listings categorized by month in the left column of the website.

Children’s Day Celebration “Fun”raiser for Japan, Saturday, May 28, 11:30 am – 4:30 pm at Happy Bambino. Happy Bambino is partnering with Tao Sangha Madison’s Global Uni Community to celebrate Children’s Day, a national holiday in Japan dedicated to celebrating children.

Come make simple dolls and write notes to send to Japanese families, enjoy “the spirit of Japan” slideshow, make your own Japanese fish kite ($3 donation) and enjoy Shiatsu (for grown-ups, $10 and kiddos, $3-$5).

100% of donations will go directly to assist Japanese people in need.

The People’s Bratfest, Saturday, May 28 at 10:00 am – May 29 at 6:00pm, MLK, Capitol Square. The 1st Annual People’s Bratfest is intended to show the great local variety offered by the people of the Farmers’ Market, Madison and the whole of Wisconsin can put on together. All products are purchased from local WI businesses. The event is staffed completely by volunteers. The profits all go to charities who aren’t required to do anything beyond continuing their wonderful charitable missions.

Alt-Bratfest, Sunday, May 29, 11 am – 6 pm at Orton Park. Alt-Bratfest will feature sausage and other yummy stuffs from local farms, charcutiers, and chefs…. Jordandal Farms, Black Earth Meats, Goose Chaser Farms, Underground Food Collective, Alchemy, Natt Spil, Weary Traveler Freehouse, and many more!

Live music by DJ Jeremy Thomas, Josh Harty, Taki Allstars, Chick Singer, and Screamin’ Cyn Cyn and the Pons.

Tickets can be purchased on www.BrownPaperTickets.com

For a $10 donation, you will get 2 food items and one beverage
For a $15 donation, you will get 3 food items and two beverages

Proceeds to this event will be donated to local charities.

The Madison Marathon is Sunday, May 29. The Wheelchair/Handcycle Marathon begins at 6:55 am; and the full, half, kids’ race and quarter marathon start shortly thereafter. (schedule)

Go here to download the pdf of course, parking and traffic maps along with FAQs.

Memorial Day Ceremony, Monday, May 30, 9:30 am, Capitol’s State Street steps. Concert followed by Memorial service. Sponsor: Madison Veterans Council

Memorial Day Parade, Monday, May 30 at 10 am. The 1.5 mile route begins at Monona Grove High School heading South down Monona Dr. and ending at Owen Rd. Everyone enjoys the thrill and pageantry of a parade! Join the Celebration of 56 years for Wisconsin’s largest and longest running Memorial Day Parades will consist of more than 100 units. For everone’s enjoyment there will be military color guards, clowns, marching bands, live animals, fire trucks, scouts, floats, antique autos, local elected officials, dance groups and much more. After the parade brief Memorial Ceremonies will be held at Blooming Grove, Roselawn Cemeteries, Highland Memory Gardens and the Madison Veterans Park. To honor those who have and are serving our country. There will also be a ceremony of rememberance at the Dane County Veterans Monument, Ahuska Park, Monona at 1 p.m. www.monona.com