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.

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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.

Enjoy a free narrated tour through the UW Arboretum aboard the Badger Trolley

Looking for something unique to do on a Sunday afternoon? How about a scenic narrated Badger Trolley tour through the UW Arboretum with your family? Best of all, it’s free! Tours begin at the Visitor Center and last approximately 45 minutes. See what’s in bloom in Longenecker Gardens, view prairies and woodlands in spring color and learn more about the Arboretum’s history and purpose. The next two tour dates are Sunday, May 8 at 1pm – 3pm (just in time for Mother’s Day) and Sunday, May 15 at 1pm – 3pm.

Although the tours are free, passengers need to pick up a ticket inside the Arboretum Visitor Center prior to the tour. Tickets are on a first-come, first-served basis. The Badger Trolley has heat and air conditioning and holds approximately 44 passengers. The Arboretum Visitor Center is open from 12:30 to 4 p.m. on weekends.

More about the UW Arboretum
Located between Lake Wingra and the West Beltline Highway at 1207 Seminole Highway, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum features the restored prairies, forests and wetlands of pre-settlement Wisconsin.

More about Badger Trolleys owned by Badger Bus
Badger Bus is a 90-year-old family-owned company based in Madison, WI. They offer daily bus service to/from Madison and Milwaukee for students, commuters and families. Rent one of their buses or the Badger Trolley for weddings, family reunions or corporate events. Or, escape for the day to Chicago or Ho Chunk. Badger Bus is on Facebook – www.Facebook.com/BadgerBus and on Twitter – www.Twitter.com/BadgerBus.

By: Beth Lindorff, mother of a 19 month old and Badger Bus Marketing Manager

Kid-Friendly Weekend – February 26-27

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 Madison Ballet

Madison Ballet returns to the Rotunda Stage for an “off-stage and personal” look at what it’s really like to be a dancer. Take part in a ballet class warm up, see the dancers practice their barre and center floor work, and watch a rehearsal up close. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to experience the Madison Ballet like never before!

Art After Overture Saturday, Feb. 26 from 9 am – 5 pm. Stop by the Central Library for art activities, special book displays and more, inspired by performances at Overture Center for the Arts’ Kids in the Rotunda series. Activities will be available from 9 am-5 pm in the Children’s Room. This FREE event takes place every Saturday after Kids in the Rotunda.

Kid Disco at the Great-Dane Hilldale 11 – 2 Saturday, Feb. 26. An event for the entire family, Kid Disco! DJ Nick Nice plays music the whole family can enjoy. Kids get to dance away the winter blues, and adults can have fun too! All in the comfort of our Pool Hall. $5 cover. Every Saturday through March 12 (Has anyone gone to this? We’d love to hear what it’s like!)

Little Miss Ann (music for tots) at the High Noon Saloon Saturday at 3 pm. Cost is $10 ($5 kids).

“In a great city called Chicago there is a 5’2 woman (thus the name) playing a guitar and singing tunes for kids. “Little Miss Ann” has been teaching at the pride of Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music for 4 years. At Old Town, she sings with the wee ones and their parents tunes that they can’t get out of their heads.

“Little Miss Ann” brings a different sound and face to kids music. She uses her experience as a first-generation filipina-american woman, a Chicago Public school teacher, mother, and band frontwoman to inspire a grand ole time.”

Zoo To You, Sunday Feb. 27 at 2 pm at the Central Library: Enjoy getting nose-to-nose with furred and feathered residents of Henry Vilas Zoo!

Earth Partnership for Families “Nature Stories,” drop-in program, Sunday, Feb. 27 from 12:30 – 4 pm at the UW Arboretum.

Arboretum Earth Partnership for Families: “Nature Stories.” Family Day at the Arboretum will focus on nature literature for children as our naturalists read and tell their favorite nature stories. A naturalist-led walk takes place at 1:30 pm.

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

UW Arboretum

If you haven’t visited the UW Arboretum recently, fall is the perfect time to visit! We love visiting throughout the year to see how the different trees and plants change with the seasons. It’s a great place for kids to learn while they explore – and with the Arboretum spanning 1200 acres, there’s a lot to explore!

The Arboretum trails are free and open to the public year-round from 7 am to 10 pm. Maps and brochures may be picked up outside near the entry to the Visitor Center and at various pedestrian accesses to the Arboretum. Guided tours are also available – perfect for classes and groups! “Arboretum tours are designed to introduce school children to the Arboretum as an outdoor teaching and research laboratory. Children learn about native Wisconsin ecosystems and ways to restore them.” There are a lot of different tours available, so be sure to check the website for more detailed information.

The Arboretum offers classes which “offer more in-depth coverage of topics than tours provide and explore ways humans interact with the environment, natural history, restoration and the arts. In addition, they provide opportunities for families to learn together.” View all upcoming classes at the Arboretum.

The Arboretum also has numerous free programs for families. “Bringing families together to learn about nature is an important part of our educational mission. On the second Saturday of every month, we offer a two-hour, kid-friendly program that uses nature hikes, stories, crafts and activities to explore animals, plants and natural phenomena. Each program is free, thanks to support from the Friends of the Arboretum. On the second Sunday of every month, we offer a one-hour Family Walk with topics that are especially appealing to the younger set.” View all upcoming Earth Partnership for Families events.

There are also a lot of public events happening at the Arboretum every week. Tomorrow there’s a night walk: Equinox: Wednesday, September 22, 6:30 pm – 8 pm. Watch the sun set on the autumnal equinox on this naturalist-led tour and learn more about this annual occurrence. And this weekend there’s a fun event for families happening after the Henry Vilas Zoo Run Run: Nature Play: Sunday, September 26, 12:30 pm – 4 pm. September family day at the Arboretum is all about playing in the woods. Children and adults will work together in our free-play nature area to build, discover and explore. Let your imagination be the guide.

The Visitor Center parking lot is open year-round from 7 am to 10 pm. Other Arboretum parking lots are open from sunrise to sunset. The Visitor Center is open weekdays from 9:30 am – 4 pm and weekends from 12:30 to 4 pm (excluding holidays).

The UW Arboretum is located at 1207 Seminole Highway, Madison (263-7888). Directions.