Pipers in the Prairie

Engage your senses and rejoice in the season at Pipers in the Prairie, the Aldo Leopold Nature Center’s spectacular fall fundraising gala, Saturday, September 17 from 4:30 – 8 pm.

This family friendly event offers a unique and unforgettable seasonal celebration unlike anything in Madison! he eveningg commences with harvesthors d’oeuvress, Irish dance demonstrations, nature activities for the kids, a silent auction and scotch tasting, as Celtic music enchants with its ethereal and enchanting melodies..

As twilight descends, guests will hear a faint beating of drums in the distance. As they assemble outside the beat grows louder and faster – then suddenly stops – silence! Anticipation rises as a lone piper is heard in the meadow – other bagpipers from the Madison Pipes and Drums and Celtic Brigade Pipe Band, in full regalia, join him as they march up the trails to serenade the guests and lead them to the bonfire wood. Suddenly the wood pile erupts into a magnificent bonfire and lights up the night sky with its brilliance, and the threat of old man winter is driven off for at least one more day.

Don’t miss this unforgettable evening of enchanting and unique entertainment featuring:

-Complimentary Wine, Beer and Non-Alcoholic Beverages

-Hearty Hors D’oeuvres & Decadent Desserts

-Tasting and Judging of Highland Libations

-Captivating Celtic Music by West Wind

Nature-Themed Silent Auction / online & onsite (bidding now open! See below.)

-Nature Activities for Children

-Prairie Drama by the Green Man

-Irish Dance by Cashel Dennehy

-Pipers in the Prairie & Drummers on the Drumlin

-Spectacular Festival Fire and more!

Registration:
608-221-0404×3
Registration Form

Fee:

Adult/$75
Child (5-17)/$25
Toddler/free

* All proceeds directly benefit children’s programming at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center.

The Pipers in the Prairie Auction is now open for bidding. There are tons of exciting, one-of-a-kind packages to choose from, featuring art, tickets, collectibles, sporting goods, gardening tools, gift certificates and more from over 100 local businesses and artists!

The auction is open now until noon on Sunday, September 18. There are still dozens of packages that haven’t been bid on, and they’re adding new packages weekly, so bid today to get great deals on exclusive packages and support our children’s educational programs here at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center.

Bidding is easy too! Just click here and you’ll be directed to the auction site. If you have questions, feel free to e-mail devcomm@naturenet.com or 608-216-9374.

The Aldo Leopold Nature Center is located at 330 Femrite Drive, Monona.

Wonder Bugs – Aldo Leopold Nature Center

This summer we signed Milena up for the Wonder Bugs preschool program at Aldo Leopold Nature Center. This week was her second-to-last class (we learned all about ants!). We have had so much fun learning and exploring!

“Introduce your toddler or pre-school aged child to a safe and wonderful natural world. This program is specifically designed for children ages 2-5 (before entering kindergarten). Each week, we’ll explore a different seasonal topic through hikes, outdoor exploration, music, puppetry, songs, stories and more.”

Going into this summer camp, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Very few places have classes for 2 and 3 year olds, so I was really excited about the opportunity, but nervous about what the classes would be like. I was pleasantly surprised at just how wonderful they are!

Every week focuses on a different topic (parents are able to sign their children up for one class or multiple classes). Each begins with a discussion about the topic: for example, in our “Antsy Pantsy” class about ants today, we first looked at large toy ants to see the different parts, legs, etc. We talked about what ants eat and where they live. Our teacher, Miss Nicky, always does a great job keeping the kids’ attention and encouraging them to participate and shout out answers (right or wrong). Milena LOVES Miss Nicky!

All sessions involve some time outside where the kids can attempt to see the insect/plant/etc outside in its natural habitat. Each session also involves a snack and sometimes a craft, which often tie into that week’s topic.

Wonder Bugs Objectives:
1. to provide an opportunity for parents to interact with their child in a natural setting
2. to foster a sense of wonder for the natural world
3. to foster admiration and respect for the land

We LOVE Wonder Bugs, and we’re excited about the fall program sessions coming up. Aldo Leopold Nature Center also offers Wonder Bugs Family Days September 24, October 22 & November 19 from 9:30 -10:45 am, which take place on Saturdays (perfect for working parents!) – though they often repeat the topic covered during the week, so be sure to check before signing your child up for both!

Go here for information about the fall Wonder Bugs program sessions.

For more information about the Aldo Leopold Nature Center and its other events and programs, go here.

The Aldo Leopold Nature Center is located at 300 Femrite Drive in Monona. (608) 221-0404

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 MadisonChildrensMuseum.org.

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.

Nature Net

Nature Net is a not-for-profit initiative that provides “one-stop shopping” for environmental education resources for teachers and families of South-Central Wisconsin and beyond!

You’ll find nature centers, museums and other providers in Southern Wisconsin and all sorts of free ideas, suggestions and free educational resources on how to explore your local environment.

Nature Net has a great breakdown of local summer camps (including Aldo Leopold Nature Center, the Madison Children’s Museum, Olbrich Gardens, and Henry Vilas Zoo).

Wondering what to do with your children this summer? Looking for a family activity that costs nothing, has a variety of convenient locations, and is scheduled exactly when you want it? Do you enjoy the thrill of discovery and the fresh air? Get ready for the Summer 2011 Nature Passport!

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 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? And don’t forget to sign up for Nature Net’s FREE Nature Net News to stay up dated on area nature events and activities!

(Go here for info on where to pick up a Nature Passport):

For more information about Nature Net, visit the “About” section on the website or find it on Facebook.

Aldo Leopold Nature Center Camps

The Aldo Leopold Nature Center is outdoor heaven. Ponds, marshes, trees. Frogs, birds, bugs. Too bad they don’t have classes for adults. But they do have summer camps for ages 2 to 12.

Cass just finished her first experience with Aldo Leopold through two days at their spring break camp. She played in the mud, looked for animals, and learned outdoor skills.

The two instructors we met were almost the opposite that I’d expect from camp counselors. They were easy-going. None of this high-octane “are we going to have fun?” energy blast of the usual camps. It was more about fostering an appreciation of nature and a comfort in exploring the earth. Outdoor discovery is not a “crazy adventure” but a daily part of life. This attitude fits with Aldo Leopold Nature Center’s mission: To teach the student to see the land, understand what she sees, and enjoy what she understands.

Summer camps run from June 13th to August 26th. There are a range of programs — from one hour for the 2-3 year olds; to half-days, full-days, and full-weeks for 4 to 12 year olds. And there are three overnighters for ages 8 and up.

Find out more, and sign up for the summer, at www.naturenet.com/alnc/.