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Kid-friendly activities in Madison

We’re highlighting the best kid-friendly activities that Madison, WI has to offer — complete with art classes, public beaches, and outdoor fun.

street view of Madison Children's museum.

The Children’s Museum also hosts Adult Swim nights. | Photo by 608today

Table of Contents

We’re not kiddin’ around. From major attractions like the Madison Children’s Museum to hidden gems like the Young Rembrandts, there’s something in Madison for children of all ages. You’ll have no trouble entertaining the under-18 crowd with this list of 24 kid-friendly activities.

Limber littles

Urban Air Adventure Park | Zip lines, trampolines, and climbing walls. Plus, sensory-friendly playtime is available for children with special needs. Kids will remember the tubes playground.

The Little Gym | Your little one will flip for this gymnastics program that not only boosts physical activity but also focuses on building confidence and social skills. Kids will remember the Super Quest day camp.

Move Out Loud | Choose from a variety of themed summer camp dance classes. Kids will remember the Paw Patrol and Taylor Swift classes.

Crafty kids

Monroe Street Arts Center | MSAC offers a mix of programming for creative kids interested in exploring sculpting, painting, or mixed media art. Kids will remember the day off camps that fall on Madison Metropolitan School District’s off-days.

Young Rembrandts | An art curriculum that focuses on motor skills as well as social and intellectual development. Kids will remember the themed workshops.

Madison Children’s Museum, 100 N. Hamilton St., Madison | A classic choice, the museum boasts a variety of hands-on educational exhibits. Kids will remember the Wonderground playground.

Techy tykes

Engineering for Kids | Summer camps and after-school programs include interactive engineering, robotics, and coding. Kids will remember learning a new skill.

Code Ninjas | Learn the basics for building video games through this coding boot camp. Kids will remember the implementation of games like Roblox and Minecraft into the curriculum.

Maydm | Providing girls and youth of color with the skills, experiences, and connections to pursue careers as developers, engineers, and professors. Kids will remember where their career in STEM started.

Splash around

Local beaches | Check out the city’s beach page to find which beaches have swim ropes and/or lifeguards on duty. Kids will remember the best part about growing up on an isthmus.

Rutabaga Paddlesports | Youth programs include counselor-led canoe, kayak, and stand-up paddleboard camps. Kids will remember learning about water safety.

Splash parks | Head over to one of the city’s three splash parks this summer which typically open around memorial day. Kids will remember staying cool while having fun.

Esther beach

Soak up the sun at one of Madison’s many (free) beaches.

Photo via City of Madison

Animal encounters

Henry Vilas Zoo | From day camps to behind-the-scenes tours. Kids will remember the Children’s zoo featuring the Zoo train and carousel.

Havens Petting Farm | Mingle with the farm animals at the farm or book a mobile petting zoo for your kid’s next birthday party. Kids will remember getting up close and personal with the critters.

Camp Pawprint | The Dane County Humane Society orchestrates this program where kids learn animal-related lessons while completing service projects. Kids will remember interacting with a variety of animals.

Great outdoors

Madison Angling | Half-day trips are available for kids to catch walleye, bass, muskie, and more. Kids will remember that first catch feeling.

Family Nature Programs | This activity pairs a nature walk with exploration stations. Kids will remember exploring the UW Arboretum.

Aldo Leopold Nature Center | After school programs, field trips, birthday parties, and more. Kids will remember getting a closer look at their local ecosystem.

Foodie families

Cooking with Chef Lily | Tune in to Chef Lily’s 12-video educational series. Kids will remember learning to cook in their own kitchens.

Hemmachef | Sign up your kids for a variety of specialized classes, like knife skills class. Kids will remember learning how to be independent in the kitchen.

Kids Cook at Pasture and Plenty | Choose between in-person or virtual classes. Kids will remember the Food as Art classes.

After-hours attractions

Children’s Theater of Madison | This theater offers afternoon and evening showtimes. Kids will remember discovering their love for theater.

Mallards games | Catch a night game at Warner Park. Kids will remember the on-field hijinks and themed evenings.

UW game | Keep tabs on the master calendar to plan your next family outing. Kids will remember learning to love Wisconsin sports at a young age.

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