Summer Concerts

Summer in Madison means lots of free outdoor concerts!

Concerts on the Square 2011 season begins this Wednesday, June 29 at 7 pm with the 2011 Young Artist Concerto Competition winner, pianist Amy Hua, and dance through the Waltz of the Flowers from The Nutcracker with dancers from the Madison Ballet.

Concerts on the Square is a weekly, free event that takes place at the King Street Corner of the Capitol Square.

Olbrich Gardens’ Summer Concert Series takes place every Tuesday at 7 pm (now through July 26) on the Great Lawn.

Enjoy the summer evening with a concert on the Great Lawn of Olbrich’s outdoor gardens. A wide variety of music is highlighted, including jazz, folk, honky-tonk, and much more. Olbrich’s Summer concerts are every Tuesday night in June and July at 7 p.m.

Bring a lawn chair or blanket, pack a picnic, or purchase hotdogs and brats at the Gardens from the Madison East Kiwanis. Picnics are allowed in the Gardens for Tuesday concerts only. In case of inclement weather, concerts will be held indoors, and the Kiwanis brat and hotdog stand will not be available. A $1 donation is suggested. Concerts are sponsored by the Olbrich Botanical Society.

Tomorrow’s concert: The Bar, Afro/Cuban Jazz and World Music

Monona Terrace Concerts on the Rooftop occur Thursdays from 7 – 9 pm.

Concerts on the Rooftop highlight some of the area’s best music, and offer a wonderful opportunity for networking after work, or kicking back with friends and family. This series is supported by a grant from the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission with additional funding from the Overture Foundation and the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation. Feel free to bring a blanket or lawn chair; seating on the rooftop is limited. The Lake Vista Cafe will be open for your enjoyment. Picnic baskets are welcome. Sorry, no carry in alcohol. In the case of inclement weather, please call 608.261.4000 after 2PM for concert location. Concerts will be moved inside unless otherwise indicated.

2011 Schedule
June 30 LoveMonkeys (Pop, Rock, Reggae) – MSCR Family Night
July 14 Madison County (Country Show Band)
July 21 SuperTuesday (Alternative Rock)

If you know of any other concerts happening in the area this summer, please mention them in the comments!


Toddler Wheezing Study

The UW Pediatric Asthma Clinical Research Program is currently recruiting for a new study they are doing at the University of Wisconsin Hospital. This study is for kids ages 1-6 who wheeze when they get a cold. Follow the link below for more information:
Toddler Wheezing Study

Iron Cupcake Madison Challenge

Nancy Sorensen contacted Raising Madison earlier this week asking if we’d write a post about the Iron Cupcake Madison Challenge happening this Sunday, June 26. The theme is Children’s Literature, and profits will go to benefit the Literacy Network. I don’t think she had any idea just how excited I would be to share this with you all! Everything about this event is near and dear to my heart: I love children’s literature, have volunteered with the Literacy Network, and … CUPCAKES!!

The event is this Sunday from 1-3pm at Basie’s Restaurant & Lounge (517 Grand Canyon Drive).

Numerous bakers (including one gluten-free baker!) have baked cupcakes which are interpretations of one of their favorite children’s books. Each ticket costs $7, and that ticket will get you 10-13 mini cupcakes to taste. Each ticket holder votes for their favorites, in a couple of categories.

Literacy Network is a team of teachers, learners, tutors, volunteers and donors all working together to improve adult literacy in Dane County. Our programs teach reading, writing and speaking skills to Dane County adults and families so they can achieve financial independence, good health and greater involvement in community life. All programs are free of charge. Follow the link above for more info on how to get involved.

Blog Catch Up

Okay, I admit it, some days the last thing I want to do during Milena’s nap time is sit in front of the computer and write blog entries. And I’m realizing it’s becoming more and more common for me to just click “share” on Facebook and post events/etc on our FB page without a single thought to our blog readers.

My apologizes!

So here’s what you may have missed recently (plus some new stuff for our devoted FB readers!):

Bellypallooza at Happy Bambino: Treat Your Girls Right! This Saturday, June 18, at 1 pm.

Adria Cannon, Happy Bambino’s fabulous Lacation Consultant, will discuss how your breasts change through pregnancy, breastfeeding, and beyond.

Alison will go through the basics of finding a great-fitting bra to give your hardest working assets the support they deserve and discuss why having a good nursing bra is so important.

Adult Swim at the Madison Children’s Museum, Friday, June 24 at 6 pm.

No kids allowed in a children’s museum? Yes, you read that right! MCM’s first Adult Swim event in March was a smashing success, with more than 400 grownups getting to be kids for the night. No, we don’t have a swimming pool, but we’ll honor the time-honored “adult swim” tradition at public pools as we kick the kids out so adults can have the museum to themselves. It’s a great event to attend with a group of friends, family, or co-workers!

The event features the disco beats of the Madison supergroup V05; favorite activities from our Retro Technology Nights, including vintage films, theremin-playing, and Pong; plus wine, beer, and Roman Candle pizza available for purchase. Climb the Hodgepodge Mahal, drive the Punch Buggy, and take in the work of more than 120 local artists who contributed pieces to the new museum!

Event schedule:
6:30–7:30: Lounge music in Possible-opolis by Dave Adler of The Gomers
6:30–8:30: Vintage cartoons, commercials, and film rarities from the collection of Biff Blumfumgagnge
6:30-8: Make a Tie-Dyed Silk Scarf ($5 materials fee)
7:30–9:30: VO5 dance party on the Rooftop Ramble
Throughout the evening: Elevator Music by MCM’s Tom Teslik

Ages 21 & up only
Tickets: $10 advance, $12 at the door; includes one free drink ticket. Tickets are on sale now at

RM reader Mallory passed along this link to us today:

Wisconsin Explorer Booklet for ages 2-5. (the site says “3-5 years”, but I know my two year old will love this!)

Follow footprints, be a tree detective, watch the clouds, look at the stars, play “I Spy,” and find special places! Preschoolers will need a caring grown-up to explore with them.

Kids can pick up a free Wisconsin Explorer booklet at a participating state park, forest, trail, or recreation area OR download the booklet here.

And don’t forget to have your kids pick up a Nature Passport this summer! (Milena already has 5 stamps in hers!)

Nature Passport is an educational nature “scavenger hunt” for children and parents. Explore Nature Net nature centers, parks and museums in the Dane County area at your leisure and, using your senses, record observations in your own Nature Passport. See if you can meet Ringo Raccoon’s nature challenge this year! During your visit, stamp your Nature Passport to mark your adventures. Visit as many Nature Passport sites as you want!

Nature Passport Includes:

For Kids…
Each child receives a special Nature Passport containing pages to draw and write about their amazing journeys at various Nature Passport sites! This year’s theme also includes a “Movin’ Mission” to encourage healthy, physically-active kids.

For Parents…
Look at the online Parent’s Guide for fun facts and explanations to help spark your kids’ imagination and answer those big questions like: How do we see color?

Madison Public Library’s Summer FUN Agenda

Looking for some family fun in the downtown area this summer? We’ve got your FUN Agenda! The Madison Children’s Activity Calendar features entertainment, hands-on fun, and learning for kids and their families. A collaboration among the Madison Children’s Museum, the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, the Wisconsin Historical Museum, the Madison Public Library – Central Library, UW Space Place, the Madison Mallards, and Monona Terrace, the program includes a variety of fun and educational events for the whole family.

Start off with the FUN Agenda kickoff event on Wednesday, June 15, 10-11:30 am. in the Monona Terrace Exhibition Hall (1 John Nolen Drive). The event will feature seven different activity stations for children aged 4 – 8:

Madison Public Library – Central Library
Paper Dragon Masks, in celebration of our “One World, Many Stories” summer reading club we will be making paper dragon masks. Kids can color, cut, and decorate their own mask!

Madison Children’s Museum
Plant a garden and run a market stand with our Let’s Grow mobile exhibit, which promotes nutrition education while providing an opportunity for kids to learn about cultivating healthy foods and getting them onto the table. Plant seeds in Dixie cups and visit with the chickens.

Madison Mallards
Come get your photo taken with the team mascot, Maynard the Mallard, and take a leap onto the Velcro Wall. Don’t forget to pick up your Madison Mallards pocket schedule.

Monona Terrace
Frank Lloyd Wright not only designed buildings he also designed carpeting. Come design your own carpet pattern and using crayons, markers, and colored pencils add color to your design.

UW Space Place
We will be doing the ever popular alka-seltzer rockets and making sun necklaces.

Wisconsin Historical Museum
Join staff from the Wisconsin Historical Museum as they celebrate 25 years on the Capitol Square by fabricating a celebration spiral decoration to take home.

Wisconsin Veterans Museum
Commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with educational games and making bald eagle hand puppets.

In the event of inclement weather, program will be moved inside.

Dream Bikes

It’s biking weather! I love biking with my kids, and I’ve had nothing but amazing experiences getting out and biking safely from the folks at Dream Bikes.

Dream Bikes is an amazing organization and their mission statement is as follows:
“To make our community better, we provide our youth with work experience to open up more job opportunities and to create a difference in people’s lives.  We provide access to affordable, quality bikes to those in need.”

And they really follow through. Bikes are donated  from individuals and Dream Bikes teaches young people how to repair and maintain bikes and get the donated bikes ready to be sold. They also learn to help customers in the retail portion of the shop. Bikes that have been repaired and ready to be sold are available at a variety of price points so everyone has access to a bike for transportation. My bike and my daughter’s bike are from Dream Bikes and we had some maintenance done on another bike there. The staff is friendly, helpful and attentive. When I didn’t find just the right bike on one visit, they took detailed information about what I was looking for and called me the following week when my “Dream Bike” came through the door.

They offer a wide range of new, used and adorable vintage adult bikes, a large variety of childrens bikes and some times specialties like adult tricycles and recumbent bikes.  They also carry helmets, baskets, reflectors and other gear.

Dream Bikes is located at  4611 Verona Road Madison, WI 53711 608-467-6315
(Dream Bikes is moving this month to a new location at 4245 West Beltline Highway Madison, WI  53711)


Fitchburg Summer Rec Program!

Did you know that the City of Fitchburg offers a range of summer activities for kids available through their recreation department?

I’m not surprised. I’m a resident of Fitchburg, and my husband and I are involved in our neighborhood association and local festivals, and we’ve never heard of it either.

Well now you know. I was happy to see how many activities they offer for my daughter Liliana’s preschool age bracket (shes 4.5) and I signed her up for tennis, soccer, art and daycamps.

Information is available online here  (click view activities) and the next sessions start June 13th.

So… any advice on where to buy a kids tennis racket?

Splash into Summer

It is a HOT one out there – and it looks to stay the same for the next couple of days at least. Thankfully, relief (in the form of water) is on the way!

The Middleton Splash Pad is opened Memorial Day! Located at 6300 Mendota Ave, just off Allen Blvd, the Splash Pad is FREE and open daily from 10 am – 7 pm.

Cypress Splash Park is open daily 11 am – 7 pm. Located on Madison’s south side, on the corner of Cypress Way and Magnolia Lane, the spray park is FREE and features both a wet and a dry play area. The wet play area will have misting and low spray water features for toddlers and pre-schoolers and rain shower and cascading water features for adolescents. The wet play area is fenced and unlocked daily in the summer months by a park attendant. The season for the wet spray area corresponds with Goodman Pool’s open season which is first day of Madison Metropolitan School Districts summer break to Labor Day. The dry play area features traditional play structures and swings. This dry play area is open to the public year round.

The Monona Public Pool is open for the season. Go here for info on hours and prices. Regular season hours begin Thursday.

Goodman Pool opens for the season on Friday, June 10, from noon – 7 pm. First 500 kids get in free, thanks to Goodman’s Jewelers. (follow the link for hours and prices).

And we’re really excited that Fitchburg is developing a Splash Pad as well! They hope to begin construction on the Fitchburg Splash Pad at McKee Farms Park in 2013, but are still in need of donations. Two of our RM mamas live in that area, so 2013 can’t come soon enough!

If you know of any other local splash pads or pools or beaches, please mention them in the comments below!