What to do in Fall/Winter in Madison

Let’s be honest, in Madison there are two seasons:  Summer and the rest of the year.  

Summer is great!  Festivals, beaches, sun…

As for the rest of the year…

Well, the rest of the year consists of a delightful combination of snow, rain, mud, slush, leaves, humidity, and then more snow.  I tend to hermit myself in the winter, or rather, when the weather is lousy.  It’s too easy to stay inside and veg out reading books for the SIX MONTHS THAT IT’S LIKE THIS instead of going out and doing great things.

So, like  my summer list, I am making a list of things to do to take advantage of our time in this lovely season.

Note: you may notice that this list is longer than my summer list.  This is because I am looking to not go insane for inspiration.

Enjoy!  

  • Go to Half Pint Resale to get all school clothes!  Woo hoo!
  • Gymnastics lessons for Liam (to work on more gross motor activites)
  • Fall leaves walk at Olbrich Gardens
  • Big birthday party for Liam in October
  • Apple Orchard (we used to go to Eplegaarden, but this one is simpler and easier.  Plus they have hayride events a few times 🙂
  • Hayride
  • Make applesauce together + can it
  • Trick or Treat on State Street
  • Get a great costume for Halloween
  • Have bonfire in backyard and roast marshmallows
  • Make vegan pumpkin pie together
  • Pumpkin picking at Schusters 
  • Rake leaves together and jump into piles
  • Make ginger molasses cookies together
  • Go to last outdoor farmers market
  • Go see Madison Ballet (normally way more expensive) at Kids in the Rotunda on Nov 12
  • Visit farm to get turkey together, see where the turkeys are raised
  • Make local only Thanksgiving for friends and family
  • Go to Winter Farmer’s Market
  • Teach Liam how to ice skate (we did it last year with more fighting than skating)
  • Sled at Olbrich park
  • Snowball fight
  • Decorate playroom with paper snowflakes
  • Make snow angels
  • Make a snow castle
  • Go to Olbrich Conservatory
  • Teach Liam and/or expose him to downhill skiiing
  • Teach Liam how to make a great snowman
  • Go to Christmas tree farm and cut down our own
  • Decorate Tree
  • Make presents for family members
  • Make cookie plates for friends
  • Make cookies for Santa
  • Buy new stockings and add special things to them
  • Make clay ornaments together
  • See Holiday Trains at Olbrich
  • Host New Years Eve Party, if we’re in town
  • Walk on frozen lake Monona
  • Go to Holiday in Lights at Olin Park
  • Long walk to find animal footprints in the snow
  • Build snow fort
  • Go to the Arboretum and discover
  • Make Valentines Day cards for classmates
And when things are getting to that LONG LONG period when there is still winter, but no fun holidays to distract you from the blah-ness of it all:
  • Play board games together
  • Illustrate a snowy day poem
  • Have winter movie marathon (Polar Express, Elf, Happy Feet, etc)
  • Make the whole room a fort
  • See Twinkle Twonkle at Overture Center 
  • Go to Madison Winter Festival
  • Force spring bulbs in jars so you can see the root growth
  • Go bowling
  • Go to Cave of the Mounds, where no matter what temp it is outside it is always 50 degrees inside here
  • Most people make gingerbread houses during the holiday season, I say that we make our after, when things have cooled down and you can go candy crazy!  Look here for a super easy way to make it!
  • Paint your own pottery studio
  • Try climbing for the first time at Boulders Climbing Gym
  •  Book camping trip for the summer
That’s all I’ve got for now… what are your thoughts?  Any winter must dos that I am missing here?

Kids in the Rotunda – April 30

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 KG & The Ranger (Cowboy songs, yodeling & rope tricks) *This is the last KITR of the season!

Cowboy heroes and the west come to life when KG and the Ranger sing classic cowboy songs, yodel in harmony and demonstrate trick rope-spinning. This popular show will take families on a lighthearted and magical musical journey out west. This dynamic duo has been performing nationally at cowboy events across the United States for almost 20 years and brings their wranglin’ expertise to the Rotunda. KG and the Ranger will have audiences of all ages toe-tapping and yelling ‘Yee haw!’

Art After Overture Saturday 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.

Kids in the Rotunda – April 23

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 David Landau (Songs & storytelling)

Welcome David Landau to Kids in the Rotunda! A beloved local professional musician and teacher, David Landau’s music is the winner of the Parents’ Choice Award and two Best of Madison-Children’s Musician Awards. You may recognize him from his first-grade teaching days or from the Cork ‘n’ Bottle String Band, a Madison favorite! His hilarious stories, catchy songs, and energetic dances have been known to give families serious cases of the giggles!

*Next week (April 30) will be the last Kids in the Rotunda until fall.

Art After Overture Saturday 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.

Kids in the Rotunda – April 2

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 Robbie Clement (Folks music & stories)

Robbie Clement’s energetic performances of songs and creative silliness combine music, comedy and storytelling with guitar, banjo, dulcimer, limberjack, jawharp and audience accompaniment. Recipient of the Parents’ Choice Award and the Children’s Choice Seal of Approval, Robbie makes music magic by sharing it in the time-honored way: friend to friend and heart to heart.

Art After Overture Saturday 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.

Kids in the Rotunda – March 26

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 Clare Norelle (Multicultural songs & stories)

Clare Norelle brings multilingual songs and stories from around the earth to the Rotunda Stage. Clare has lived and performed in many parts of the world, and her appreciation for cross-cultural sharing is contagious. With participatory stories, fun songs, lots of movement, and friendly humor, she engages children and helps them feel connected with each other, with their communities, and with people and places far away.

Art After Overture Saturday 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.

Kids in the Rotunda – March 19

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 performers are Meenakshi Ganesan & Kalaanjali School of Dance (Classical Indian dance)

For nearly 25 years, the Kalaanjali School of Dance has shared the drama of traditional Bharatanatyam-style dancing of southern India with southern Wisconsin. Vividly experience breathtaking stories of the East through the graceful bodies, percussive feet, vibrant costumes and dynamic expressions of the Kalaanjali dancers. Led by Meenakshi Ganesan, dancers of all ages will capture your spirit with the beauty, elegance and magnificence of classical Indian dance.

Art After Overture Saturday 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.

Kids in the Rotunda – March 12

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 Trinity Academy of Irish Dance

You’ve seen them on Johnny Carson, Good Morning America and countless local news broadcasts. Now it’s time to see Trinity Academy of Irish Dance live in the toe-tapping, hand-clapping flesh at Madison’s best Saturday spot for kids and families: Overture’s Kids in the Rotunda! Come one, come all and come early because this St. Patrick’s Day celebration is guaranteed to be packed!

PLEASE NOTE: This Kids in the Rotunda presentation of Trinity Academy of Irish Dance will be in the Overture Hall Lobby, not on the Rotunda Stage.

Art After Overture Saturday 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.