A Museum Trip For All Ages
by Patricia Cazares, age 13 and Pallav Regmi, age 12
On a recent Saturday morning fellow Free Press writer Pallav Regmi and I, along with one of our editors, visited the Madison Children’s Museum. This museum is located in downtown Madison. At the museum, there are a variety of exhibits where visitors can learn, have fun, and interact with their families.
One of our favorite exhibits was the Art Studio. When we entered, the floor-to-ceiling pillars, decorated with thousands of bottle caps, fascinated us. We later learned that the students at local elementary schools created all the bottle caps. In the Art Studio, guests can create art out of recycled materials, paint on windows, draw and contribute to the collage wall. There is also a weaving area, where visitors can help to weave quilts, which are then distributed to local community centers. One feature carried over from the old Children’s museum building is the Shadow Room: a dark room that momentarily captures a picture of one’s shadow and freezes the image on a lime-green glow-in-the-dark wall. This is really cool. The room also has illuminated pens that can be used to write on the walls with light.
On that same floor is Possible-opolis, a miniature city constructed with 90 percent recycled materials. Visitors can burn energy by running inside a giant Gerbil Wheel, or climb the Hodgepodge Mahal, a tall jungle gym. Of course we had to try the giant Gerbil Wheel. It was difficult to keep our balance, but once we got the hang of it, it was amazing.
On the first floor lies the Wildernest. It’s an exhibit space designed for kids ages five and under. The exhibit was made almost completely out of natural materials. Our favorite part of the Wildernest was the water dome: a small area that gives off the impression of standing under a waterfall with out getting soaked. In the water dome are small fountains, cups, and tools for kids use to play with the water. The Wildernest, and the museum as a whole, is a great place for kids. Kids of all ages have fun playing, exploring, and trying all sorts of activities. They can also learn a lot about math, science, the arts, and sustainable living.
Our visit ended at the Rooftop Ramble, an exhibit where visitors can connect with nature. In the summer, flowers grow alongside herbs and green vegetables in the rooftop garden. The Clubhouse, located in the corner of the Rooftop, has six chickens that grew up together in the Madison Children’s Museum. Claire Miller, an editor at the Simpson Street Free Press was a Rooftop Ramble intern at the Children’s Museum. She carried a chicken outside so we could pet it. Near the Clubhouse, there is a large industrial-style sculpture called the Two Headed Chicken that was created out of recycled metals by Baraboo’s own Dr. Evermore. (See Free Press archives for more on Dr. Evermore’s art.)
Visiting this museum was a lot of fun. We loved the Gerbil Wheel the most, because we could see people entering the museum beneath us while running. We recommend this museum to any family that wants to spend a great time together and learn new things together. The Madison Children’s Museum is a wonderful place to visit. And again, this place is for people of all ages.
If you are interested in visiting the Madison Children’s Museum, it is open every day from 9:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., and on the first Thursday of the month until 8:00 P.M. It is located on 100 North Hamilton Street in Madison, right off the Square. You can also visit them online at www.MadisonChildrensMuseum.org or call them at (608) 256-6445.