A visit to Madison Children’s Museum provides smart fun for your class or group!
Exhibits and programs engage children’s creativity with hands-on exploration, movement, teamwork, open-ended play, and problem-solving strategies. Museum exhibits complement classroom curriculum, support the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards, and provide opportunities for interdisciplinary learning—blending art with science and environmental education with social studies.
Group visits provide discounted admission to groups of 10 or more students when booked in advance.
Group visits are two hours in length and are available at 9:30, 10, and 10:30 a.m.; and 12:45, 1:45, and 3 p.m. Tuesday–Friday. Exceptions may apply during school holiday breaks.
Self-Guided Visits offer the chance to explore all of the museum’s exhibit areas at your own pace. See our Exhibits page for descriptions.
Program Tours include a 30-minute facilitated activity in one of our exhibit classrooms with a member of the museum’s Education staff team, plus 90 minutes of self-guided exploration. Program tours are only offered at the 10 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. time slots.
Program Tour Offerings
Creepy Crawly Overlapping Insects, Grades K–6
Students will identify and examine real insects, and discuss and label insect anatomy and traits. After insect discussion, students will create their own three-dimensional insects while developing skills in art techniques using different types of lines and shapes. A variety of fun and unique materials, including recycled materials, will be used. (FOSS Insects)
Artful Mixtures & Solutions, Grades 3–6
Students will use crayons, soap, and water to create designs on roofing felt tiles while conducting a wax-resist science experiment. Mixtures and solutions will be discussed, and students will formulate hypotheses about the outcome of the experiments. Students will experiment with different types of lines, color families, and the use of positive and negative space. (FOSS Mixtures and Solutions; Water)
Gadget Gurus, Grades 1–6
Experiment with a variety of STEM-related activity stations from our collection of Possible-opolis™ exhibit programs. Gadget Guru activities are selected based on the age range of the students attending the program and can be tailored to support your classroom FOSS curriculum or other STEM content streams. Gadget Gurus inspires kids to see the world as full of possibilities using art and science, open ended play, invention, and creativity, all while engaging children’s brains and hands in solving problems.
Log Cabin, Grades K–6
Log Cabin program tours allow students to immerse themselves in the lives of Wisconsin pioneers. Explore a real log cabin and yard, and learn about how pioneers lived and interacted with their environment and the people around them. These program tours focus on hands-on activities and exploration. Depending on grade level and season, the outdoor/indoor facilitated programs may cover the following topics: glaciations, native people, first contact, food growing, preparation and storage, Madison history, and the running of a farmstead in Wisconsin in the 1840s. Pre- and post-visit materials offer opportunities to extend the learning experience and support the Wisconsin Common Core Standards for English Language Arts.
Click below for an Educator Guide:
Fall Log Cabin Group Visit: An Experience in Pioneer Living in Wisconsin
Rowland Rooftop Ramble, Grades K–6
Rooftop Ramble program tours highlight the interconnections between ecological systems that support life. Explore a living urban green roof that includes a chicken coop, homing pigeons, a greenhouse, alternative energy demonstrations, climbing structures, and native Wisconsin animal collections. These tours focus on hands-on activities and exploration. Depending on grade level and season, these outdoor/indoor facilitated programs may cover the following topics: urban and native plants and animals; structures of life; air, water and weather; alternative energy; and food and nutrition. (FOSS Plants and Animals; Air and Weather; Structures of Life; Water; Food and Nutrition; Environments)
Science Dabblers, Grades preschool–2
Children will be encouraged to explore their natural curiosity, make observations, ask questions, and test hypotheses during hands-on investigations and experiments with a variety of common household and natural materials. (FOSS Solids & Liquids)
Forestry Education, Grades preschool–2
The Forestry Education focus tour meets FOSS science standards for kindergartners through second-graders and helps pre-kindergarten children learn about Wisconsin trees. Children will use their senses to compare the similarities and differences in bark, wood, and leaves on trees. They will have the opportunity to make leaf prints. Children will be engaged by staff and offered opportunities to make observations, recognize patterns, and draw conclusions that will help them develop respect for biodiversity, forests, and the planet. The program augments children’s understanding of forests and a tree’s life cycle by including tree-related activities that teach about photosynthesis, food production, decomposition, and human consumption. (FOSS Trees; Wood and Paper; Plants and Animals)
Self-Guided Tours: $4/child
Program Tours: $6/child
Reduced rates are available for qualifying groups through the museum’s Access for Everyone program. Please inquire when registering.
We will begin accepting group visit reservations for the 2012-13 school year in early June. Groups wishing to visit must pre-register a minimum of one month in advance. Registrations are made on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to availability. We can accommodate a maximum of 60 students per reservation.
Prepayment is required for group visits. Payment is due a minimum of one month in advance. Please note that MCM family memberships, coupons, and guest passes may not be used toward your payment.
To inquire about a group visit, please contact our registration team at 608.256.6445, ext. 156; or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your reservation is not secured until payment has been made and you have received a confirmation number. Group visit payments are due at the time of booking to secure your reservation and are not refundable. Cancellations made at least 14 days prior to the visit will be issued a voucher for a future reservation. Cancellations made less than 14 days prior to the visit may result in a $50 cancellation fee.
If you are interested in a group visit, please let us know your first and second choice of date, and general school or group information below so that our registration staff contact you regarding availability. Please note that this is a request for a visit. Registrations are made on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to availability. Our registration team will contact you regarding your request.
Please note that the museum cannot accommodate unscheduled groups visits of 10 people or more. Groups arriving without a reservation may be declined admittance or required to pay full-price admission.
Chaperones: Teachers and/or chaperones are required for all group visits. There is a minimum requirement of one adult (18 or older) chaperone for every five children. Required chaperones are admitted for free; additional chaperones beyond a 1-to-3 ratio will be admitted at $4 each. An insufficient number of chaperones may result in additional fees or the cancellation of your field trip.
Transportation: Bus passenger drop-off is at the Metro bus stops on the Capitol Square in front of The Old Fashioned on North Pinckney Street, or in front of UW Credit Union on East Mifflin Street. Buses can be parked at Olin-Turville Park off John Nolen Drive. Locate Madison Metro’s stops on its system map.
Lunch Policy: Please be sure to make lunch plans elsewhere for your group. We regret that we are unable to accommodate group lunches or provide lunchroom space.
Madison Children’s Museum memberships are available for in-home child care providers, day care centers, and preschools, as well as for home school co-ops and elementary school classrooms.Make regular weekday visits to the museum and take part in our daily programs so you can enjoy all that MCM has to offer.
Child Care Provider, $85 (one year) or $160 (two years)
* Unlimited free weekday admission for up to two adults and eight children
* Subscription to quarterly MCM newsletter and events calendar
* Discounts for birthday parties, special programs, and classes
* Two one-time MCM family passes to share with friends
* Pre-sale and discounted ticket purchasing opportunities for live local performances
Classroom, $175 (one year)
For qualified day care centers, preschools, and elementary school classes
* Unlimited free weekday admission for named teacher(s) and up to seven chaperones with 25 children** (can combine classrooms)
* Subscription to quarterly newsletter and events calendar
* Discounts at downtown restaurants
**This membership is good for a specific teacher’s classroom. Multiple teachers may join their classrooms under one membership as long as the total number of children in all classrooms combined does not exceed 25 children. Visits must be scheduled in advance for 10 or more children.
Sign up above to receive our Field Trips & Group Visits catalog, or for more information, please call 608.256.6445, ext. 156.
Scouting programs: For Girl Scout programs, click here. For Boy Scouts, watch the museum website for more information or call 608.256.6445, ext. 550, to get on the e-mail update list.