Friday, June 10, 2011

101 Ideas for Summer Fun in Madison

Dreading the inevitable "Mom, I'm bored!" this summer? Print off this list and keep it handy for ideas on summertime fun!

  1. Watch an evening performance of the Mad City Ski Team (water ski, that is).
  2. Let Rudabaga Outfitters teach your family to kayak.
  3. Spend the day getting splattered at Apocolypse Paintball.
  4. Complete the Sun Prairie Geocaching Challenge.
  5. Letterbox at Glenwood Children’s Park.
  6. Help the volunteers complete the new BMX Track in DeForest.
  7. Have a picnic at the Concord Zoo (Exit 275 on I-94).
  8. See The Young Shakespeare Players in their first performance of the season.
  9. Find a frog at Picnic Point.
  10. Splash and play at Conservancy Way (DeForest).
  11. Yell “Kastup!” at the National Mustard Museum.
  12. Shop for deals at the Mattel Store on the American Girl campus in Middleton.
  13. Earn a free ticket to the Mallard’s Game through your local library reading program.
  14. Climb Gibraltar Rock (but hang on tight to your toddlers please).
  15. Ride the Merrimac Ferry (both ways).
  16. Tour Sassy Cow Creamery and have an ice cream cone.
  17. Take in the Highway 18 drive in.
  18. Feed the cute goats at Kappell Park in Waunakee.
  19. Visit Jimmy the Groundhog at Jerry’s Apples in Sun Prairie.
  20. Brush up on your physics at the LR Ingersoll Physics Museum.
  21. Cool off and get your sluice on at Cave of the Mounds.
  22. Paint some pottery (Madison has at least two different studios).
  23. Look for the fabric fairy at the Create Studio Lounge.
  24. Ian’s Pizza by the slice.
  25. “Billet on” at Boulder’s Climbing Gym.
  26. Compare the indoor play areas at East Towne and West Towne Malls.
  27. Canoe down the Wisconsin River (Wisconsin River Outfitters can help).
  28. Coffee shops with kids areas (caffeine and crayons for everyone).
  29. Kids eat free on Tuesdays as many local restaurants (we like Market Street Diner in Sun Prairie).
  30. Visit a dream park in Deerfield, Monona, Fitchburg, Janesville, or Sun Prairie.
  31. Story time at the UW Geology Museum.
  32. Ride the train at Little Amerricka in Marshall.
  33. Ride the train at Mid-Continent in North Freedom.
  34. Make a sand castle at Maple Bluff beach.
  35. Talk to a naturalist at Aldo Leopold Nature Center.
  36. Paddle a swan on Lake Wingra.
  37. Ride the carousel at Ella’s Deli or the Henry Vilas Zoo.
  38. Open skate at Fast Forward.
  39. Bowling (many places have Kids Bowl Free all summer long).
  40. Hike on the stroller-friendly trails at MacKenzie Nature Center in Poynette.
  41. Find a horse. Ride a trail.
  42. Collect your pennies and find some fountains.
  43. Olbrich Botanical Gardens (outside or in).
  44. Frosting overload at Daisy Cafe & Cupcakery.
  45. Discounted movies at Marcus Theaters (search for “Kids Rule”).
  46. Splash, swim, and sunbathe at an aquatic center (in Madison and surrounding towns).
  47. Ice cream (and bait) at at the Monona Bait and Ice Cream Shop.
  48. Find the museum at Folklore Village in Dodgeville.
  49. Pick berries (strawberries are ready now).
  50. Migrate to the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo.
  51. Fly a kite or play frisbee golf (McCarthy Park has a new course).
  52. People watch at the Memorial Union.
  53. Check out a free kids activity pack at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
  54. Make a salad (but get the vegetables from a local farmer’s market or your own garden).
  55. Learn about badgers and mining at Pendarvis.
  56. Pizza and games at Rocky Rococco or Chuck E. Cheese.
  57. Take a tour of the capitol building (get your rotunda on).
  58. Dinner and a movie at the Stoughton Cinema Cafe.
  59. Let your kids get crafty at The Glitter Workshop.
  60. Community events at The Goodman Center.
  61. Fondue for two at The Melting Pot.
  62. Shop for shoes (and see the parrots) at The Shoebox.
  63. Play mini-golf or the do the real thing at Vitense Golfland.
  64. Look for superheroes at Westfield Comics.
  65. Go on rides and see the animals at the Dane County Fair.
  66. Cool down in the Lodi Pool and look for Suzie the Duck.
  67. Take a field trip to Old World Wisconsin.
  68. Take a field trip to Circus World.
  69. Take a field trip to the Cranberry Discovery Center.
  70. Take a field trip to Palermo’s Pizza.
  71. Take a field trip to Forevertron.
  72. Finally enjoy the rooftop exhibits at the Madison Children’s Museum.
  73. Learn how cheese is made at Babcock Dairy Hall.
  74. Fourth of July parades and fireworks.
  75. Camp in your backyard, at a state park, or a private campground.
  76. Press a penny at the Wisconsin Historical Museum.
  77. Eat popcorn on State Street.
  78. Talk about the Civil War at Camp Randall.
  79. Find a 5K race and run or walk with your kids (many have 1 or 2 mile fun runs).
  80. Bike the entire “Planet Trek Dane County” (from Monona Terrace to Mount Horeb).
  81. Play inside at Legacy Academy.
  82. Be inspired at the Monroe Street Fine Arts Center.
  83. Play ball at Hitter’s Sports Complex.
  84. Bounce around at Pump it Up or Bouncy Town USA.
  85. Open tumble at Madtown Twisters or Gymfinity.
  86. Say “uff da!” at Little Norway.
  87. Open skating at the Ice Pond in Waunakee.
  88. More farms and orchards (Trienen, Hinchley, Busy Barn, Elegant Farmer, Schusters, Waldvogel or Epelgaarden, to name a few)
  89. Complete the Junior Ranger Program (pick up a booklet at Governor Dodge State Park).
  90. Shop for survival gear at the Glacier’s Edge Council store (boy scouts rule).
  91. See Sam Sanfillippo’s stuffed animal dioramas.
  92. Music programs and church camps.
  93. Swimming lessons at the YMCA or your local Parks & Rec.
  94. Visit the animals at Animart or the Humaine Society.
  95. Tour the new Discovery Center in the heart of the UW-Madison campus.
  96. Have lunch and watch planes land at The Jet Room.
  97. Hike at Devil’s Lake.
  98. Say “ommm” at Bliss Flow Yoga (kids can play while parents stretch).
  99. Register for a summer sports camp at MATC.
  100. See the Midget Racing at the Angell Park Speeday (bring old clothes and ear plugs).
  101. Unplug and relax.
Thanks, Madison Loves Kids, for sharing this awesome list!

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