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 Form


Child (5-17)/$25

* 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.


Madison Public Library Fall Kidspages

The Fall 2011 issue of Library Kidspages is now available. Grab a paper copy at any Madison Public Library location or print it off from the web site. The Fall 2011 Library Kidspages lists all of the events from September 1 through December 31 for children ages 0-12 at the Madison Public Library. Copies in Spanish are also available here.

Want to receive notices of upcoming programs by age? Sign up for the email newsletters – Library Kids, Books for Five Year Olds, Booked for Teens, and others.

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

Fall Half-Pint Resale – Sept. 9-10

The 8th Semi-Annual Half-Pint Resale is less than a month away! Half-Pint Resale takes place Friday Sept. 9 – Saturday Sept. 10 at the Goodman Community Center (149 Waubesa Street). Public sale runs Friday from 2 – 9 pm (volunteers and consigners get to shop in the morning) and again Saturday 9 am – 12 pm, followed by the Half-Price sale from 1 -5 pm.

What is Half-Pint Resale?
Half-Pint Resale is a local, mother-run two-day children’s consignment sale held semi-annually in early spring and fall. Area families consign their gently used items, giving area families a unique, affordable way to purchase quality clothes sizes 0-7, toys and baby gear. Each sale ends with a half-price sale, which gives amazing deals on everything a family needs. The sale started in the spring of 2008 and has grown each year. In it’s third venue due to amazing growth, the sale features over 200 consignors each season. Area families love shopping at Half-Pint because they find amazing deals on high-quality fun items and consignors love it because they get big checks for items they no longer need! As one shopper said, “Christmas came early for this label crazy momma!”

You can find more information about the sale here. If you’re interested in volunteering or consigning, look here and here.

If you haven’t shopped Half-Pint before, make sure to look here to learn how to make the most of your time shopping at Half-Pint.

Food Allergy Awareness Walk

The Food Allergy Association of Wisconsin‘s Food Allergy Awareness Walk is this Saturday, August 13, at Warner Park.

FREE Registration – 9:00 am
Pre-register here.

Walk begins at 10:30 am

A paved 1.5 mile walk to raise awareness and funds for Food Allergy Programs in WI. Allergen Friendly vendors will be there to showcase products. There will be kids’ activities and a silent auction.

Honorary Chair – John Stofflet, NBC-15 Anchor.

Can’t be at the walk? Be a virtual team walker – You can still create an online walk team.

This event is near and dear to Raising Madison‘s heart, as Milena had a severe milk allergy (that she thankfully outgrew last year!), and Liam has a severe dairy intolerance/allergy and is sensitive to eggs (and his mom Mallory is very allergic to both).

We believe it’s important for everyone to become more knowledgeable about food allergies; especially what you can do to keep your kids’ friends (and their parents) feel safe and included during playdates and also when you’re out in public with food.

I often shared this video with friends and family when Milena had her allergy: 10 Things Children With Food Allergies Want You To Know (allergymoms.com)

Celebrate Madison Children Museum’s First Birthday!

Put on your party dress (or outfit!) and head down to Madison Children’s Museum on Sunday, August 14, when the museum will throw a party to celebrate its first birthday. Exactly one year prior, the museum opened the doors of its Hamilton Street facility to the public.

On the museum’s birthday, every nonmember guest will receive $1 admission (nearly 90 percent off!). There will be an opportunity to present a birthday gift donation to support the nonprofit museum’s Access for Everyone program, which provides $1 admission every day to those in our community on public assistance so they can enjoy fun-filled educational exhibits and programs each day.

While the birthday is an all-day celebration, the party itself is from 2–3 p.m. Guests will celebrate in style with balloons, party hats, singing and cake.

Weather permitting, guests can enjoy a birthday concert starting at 2 pm on the museum’s rooftop by Ken Lonnquist and the Kenland Band. Other activities include a chance to win prizes at a birthday trivia game, and decorating party hats and birthday cards in the Art Studio. At 3 pm the festivities will conclude with singing, giant birthday cake and confetti cannons.

Following the party, museum staff will lead a scavenger hunt in the Possible-opolis exhibit area from 3–4 pm.

In addition to the museum’s birthday, August 14 is the official date for unveiling a new exhibit. The new rooftop climber is an acorn-shaped structure and a much anticipated addition to the Rooftop Ramble.

Since moving to its new location, the museum has been able to take full advantage of increased space. Both new and old exhibits now serve children from birth to age 12 and their families. In its first year at the new location, the museum served more than 290,000 visitors, more than double what the museum had projected. There are more than 7,000 member families, up from 1,900 families when the museum closed on State Street in January 2011.

Kids to Kids Garage Sale – Aug. 6, 2011

The City of Madison Parks will host its second Kids to Kids Garage Sale this Saturday, Aug. 6 from 9 am – noon. Individuals may sell items such as toys, games, dress-up attire, books, bikes, DVDs, and other like items. There will be approximately 60 booths. This event is free and open to the public.

The Kids to Kids Garage Sale will be held in the 100 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Event is adjacent to the Capitol Square and Saturday’s Farmers’ Market on MLK Jr Blvd between Main Street and Doty Street.

After shopping at the Kids to Kids Garage Sale, enjoy a hay ride around the Capitol Square. Rides are $2/person.