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Things I am NOT Doing This Holiday Season: A Holly Jolly Manifesto

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You read that right. Here are 25 things I am not doing for this holidays this year:

  1. Comparing my holiday to the perfectly curated ones I see on Instagram. My whole life is basically one big unfiltered swipe, and that’s okay.
  2. Buying myself Christmas pajamas. I am 41. I don’t want Christmas pajamas, not even for the Gram.
  3. Baking the entire Betty Crocker cookie playlist. Usually, my kitchen is a cookie factory from Thanksgiving through New Year, and it is cozy and delightful and as delicious as it sounds. This year? I am gearing up for a January Whole30, and none of us needs that much sugar.
  4. Eating Christmas candy, except for on Christmas day. I mean, who can resist a stocking full of Fannie May? Not this old lady. But I can resist the daily temptation of the dreidel-shaped candy dish in my living room.
  5. Stressing out about Christmas cards. I sent the first 20 with American flag stamps, and I am totally fine with it.
  6. Buying my dog a present. Because she’s a dog, and she doesn’t even celebrate Chrismukkah.
  7. Obsessing about the Elf on the Shelf. If he moves, he moves. If he doesn’t, the kids must have been extra bad.
  8. Setting foot inside Kohls unless it’s to pick up my online order from the robot in the online-pickup locker. Ditto Target. Drive-up app orders all the way. Ho ho freaking ho.
  9. Day drinking, even if the kids’ school break gets extended because it’s too cold to leave the house. (This has happened before. Why do people even live here? Why do I live here?)
  10. Overthinking gifts. If I see something cool, I am just going to buy it right that second. Who has time for second trips to the store?
  11. Wrapping complicated packages. It’s all brown paper with green polka-dots and red yarn this year.
  12. Buying my kids too many gifts. It’s OK to say no to the really extravagant requests. 13-year-old who is asking for an iPhone11, I am looking at you.
  13. I want to spend every night of our holiday break in my own bed waking up to my own coffee. Bah humbug.
  14. Displaying any holiday décor unless I love it. I left a lot of stuff in my attic bins, friends, because it’s only junking up my house if it sparks joy.
  15. Buying new holiday décor. Enough is enough! Unless I can’t live without it, it is not coming home with me.
  16. Keeping my tree one second past December 26th. If my family won’t help me, I will throw it out the front door and have a driveway bonfire. I am not even kidding a little bit.
  17. Missing a second to play Christmas music. It’s all Apple Music Essential Christmas from now till 2020.
  18. Forgetting to take a picture of any of our eight crazy Hanukah nights. Those earnest faces! Those dripping candles in my grandma’s choo-choo train menorah! The Christmas tree/Hanukah light mashup. I love it all so much.
  19. Ignoring the perfection of my 6-year-old’s misspelled Christmas list. She scoured the American Girl catalog eleventy billion times, and she still wants “Joolee’s bafroom.” (Which, I mean, she is not getting because what doll without an excretory system needs a $200 bathroom?) (Also, it’s sold out until May, so, apparently, a lot of them?)
  20. Failing to appreciate the magic of a couple more holidays with little kids who want toys. Once they hit tweendom, it’s all screens, and robots, and expensive shoes.
  21. Abstaining from a Christmas-Eve-eve sugar cookie binge. Santa’s fat self will be lucky if there’s a single crumb left for his plate.
  22. Letting anyone in my family beat me in our gingerbread house competition. It’s high-stakes you guys.  Like a really fattening part-time job.
  23. Skipping date nights. Sure we’re hemorrhaging money, but the holidays—even these happy golden ones with little kids—are stressful. My husband and I need time to connect as a couple and remember why we are supposed to be so holly jolly in the first place.
  24. Taking one twinkle-lit moment of this season of magic for granted. None of us is guaranteed tomorrow, which sounds really grim but actually? Gives us permission to be our best selves.

Given the nature of this list, it probably goes without saying, but there’s one more bonus thing I am not going to do this holiday season, and that’s feel guilty about the intentional way I spend my time with, as the song goes, those who are dear to me gathered near to me once more. And you know what? I don’t think you should, either.

No one knows this better than moms, but we only have so many hours in the day. Every time we say yes to one holiday task/celebration/tradition/event, we are simultaneously saying no to something else we could be doing instead. Be mindful of how you spend your time this month, and be as deliberate about your no’s as you are generous with your yes’s,

Happy holidays, mamas, however you spend them.

5 Tips for Raising Financially Savvy Kids

My daughter recently returned home from a trip to Target with her dad carrying two nearly identical stuffed foxes she had purchased. I rolled my eyes and said, “You really needed both of those?”

“Yep!” she chirped before darting up the stairs with her prizes.

I sighed and looked at my husband.

“It’s her money,” he said with a shrug. He’s right. It was her money to spend in whatever frivolous way she wants to.

1. Let your kids spend their own money how they want to

If we were at Target together, I certainly wouldn’t buy my daughter a stuffed fox, let alone two stuffed foxes. But, this was her money, and she can choose how to spend it. She has to prioritize her spending and realize if she buys the stuffies, she won’t have enough for the Skittles she also wants.

2. Give your kids an allowance and opportunities to earn

In order to wrestle with how best to spend their money, kids need to have some. Give your kids an appropriate base allowance but also offer other chances to earn more. We give our kids their age minus four each week. So, my six-year-old receives $2 a week and my 13-year-old gets $9. They get a “raise” on each birthday. They also have the opportunity to earn by completing all of their chores or doing extra tasks for the family.

3. Encourage them to spend, save, and donate

Being a financially savvy adult means balancing short-term desires with long-term needs. It also should mean sharing your wealth with those less fortunate. Children can learn these lessons on a small scale. It’s OK to indulge that urge for a candy bar, but if my son wants to save up for an expensive game, he’ll have to forgo a few candy bars and save. It’s a lesson that will serve your child well when she’s deciding whether to lease an expensive car or save for a down-payment on a house.

Making frivolous decisions can also lead to experiential learning. My kids have had buyer’s remorse at times when their savings dried up and they saw something particularly tempting. They’ve also been let down by something they just “had to have.” These experiences can lead to fruitful discussions about how possessions don’t necessarily bring joy, and if they do, it is often fleeting.

An essential lesson in managing finances is how to share the wealth. It’s never too early to talk to kids about donating to those less fortunate. Encourage your children to support a cause they feel passionate about. My son had a lemonade stand this summer and donated the proceeds to the Epilepsy Foundation. These practices offer opportunities to encourage gratitude for their own blessings as well as a chance to experience the deeper satisfaction of spending money on others rather than themselves.

4. Teach your kids about delaying gratification and compound interest

Saving is hard to sell when a child is faced with a packed toy aisle and $20 burning the proverbial hole in their pocket. But, by demonstrating the wonder of compound interest, kids can learn a math lesson and create strong saving habits.

We used to have four separate bank accounts for our kids, but the fractions of cents they earned weren’t very encouraging and transferring money back and forth became a hassle. We’ve since switched to the RoosterMoney app. It’s a flexible setup that allows you and your kids to track chores and designate money to save and spend. You can release compound interest at your own rate to demonstrate the time value of money.

5. Be a good role model

As in most parenting situations, what you say matters much less than what you do. You can go over and over the importance of saving, but you need to put your money where your mouth is. It’s also important not to make money a topic of shame and fear. Money can be a source of fun, freedom, and generosity, if it is used responsibly. I often discuss with my kids saving for college, paying our mortgage, and how credit cards work. We also demonstrate paying bills on time, designating money for charity, and balancing immediate desires for long-term goals.

Teaching financial responsibility is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children. Greater even than a swollen trust fund. By teaching our children to manage their money now, we set them up for a greater chance at a fulfilling future.

Madison Events | December 2019

If you are looking for a guide to keep you and your family entertained, we have got you covered with Madison events and happenings!

Our Guide to December Events is sponsored by Fantasy in Lights. If you haven’t taken a ride through Olin Park to see the glittering lights, make sure to add the trip to your holiday bucket list! Full of whimsical, family-friendly displays (including one from Madison Mom!), Fantasy in Lights is a FREE activity the whole family will enjoy! Open dusk through dawn from now until January 4, 2020. For more information, visit http://www.fantasyinlights.com/.

December is packed with both indoor and outdoor events, so get out your calendars and make a note of all the festive fun – and be sure to let us know if there’s anything we missed!

Guides for area libraries, open swim times, and open play/jump activities can be found near the end of this post. This is by no means a comprehensive list. If you know of any fun family activities or Madison events we have missed, please let us know in the comments or feel free to add it here.



Upcoming Madison Events

Dec
5
Open Play | Keva Sports Center
Don’t you wish you had as much energy as your kids? Well, fuel up with coffee from our concession area and you may have just enough to run around with them during our Open Play time. Open Play is ju...
Dec
5
Tiny Tots Story Time | Middleton Public Library
In the downstairs New Programming Room (through the lobby stairwell) Tiny Tots Storytime (ages 1-2) Thursdays @ 9:30 & 10:30am* Songs, rhymes, puppets, music, and short books. *No in-library story...
Dec
5
Open Play | Play N WI
Our all day, unlimited open gym play sessions allow children the benefits of fun-filled physical activity. Toddlers, tweens and even grandparents will enjoy our brightly decorated, 12,000+ square foot...
Dec
5
Tiny Tots Story Time | Middleton Public Library
In the downstairs New Programming Room (through the lobby stairwell) Tiny Tots Storytime (ages 1-2) Thursdays @ 9:30 & 10:30am* Songs, rhymes, puppets, music, and short books. *No in-library story...
Dec
5
Open House – 22nd Anniversary
Please join Kneaded Relief Day Spa in celebrating their 22nd Year Anniversary with their Annual Holiday Open House. Enjoy complimentary services, 15% off Service Gift Cards, 10% off Most Retail Items,...
Dec
5
Deck the Halls | Fitchburg Public Library
What better way to kick off the month than by creating festive décor for around the house? We’ve pulled out the craft supplies and will be making fun holiday garlands perfect for around the tree, d...
Dec
5
Zoo Lights | Henry Vilas Zoo
Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with one of the most unique events in Madison! This one-of-a-kind festival of lights begins the day after Thanksgiving and runs Thursday-Sundays from 5:30...
Dec
5
Tudor Holiday Dinner Concert
Join the Wisconsin Union as the team welcomes the 86th Annual Tudor Dinners back to the Great Hall at Memorial Union. Be the Union’s guest as it presents an updated, interactive take on Wisconsi...
Dec
6
Baby Lapsit Story Time | Middleton Public Library
Baby Lapsit Storytime (pre-walkers) Fridays @ 9:30am* Songs, rhymes, and short, interactive books specifically designed for young babies. *No storytimes November 29.
Dec
6
Winter Magic Zumbini Session
For ages 0-4 with a caregiver, Zumbini combines music and dancing with learning for you and your little one. It’s a workout, brain builder, and a bonding experience all in one!
Dec
6
Little Sprouts Story and Stroll: Whistling Trains
Join us for our December Delights Little Sprouts Story & Stroll classes! Attend one class or more as a series. Classes are nature and literature-based early childhood programs designed to meet the...
Dec
6
Open Play | Play N WI
Our all day, unlimited open gym play sessions allow children the benefits of fun-filled physical activity. Toddlers, tweens and even grandparents will enjoy our brightly decorated, 12,000+ square foot...
Dec
6
Santa at Hilldale
You better watch out, you better not cry! Santa Claus will once again be visiting our Macy’s Atrium during select dates and times this holiday season. Children are invited to sit on Santa’s lap an...
Dec
6
Madtown Twisters-Family Open Gym
Family open gym is for children of all ages with their parents. It is a great chance to explore all we have to offer! Trampolines, obstacle courses, bounce house, foam pit, ninja courses and more! We ...
Dec
6
Fun-tastic Friday!
Friday is Funtastic! Join our afternoon Fox Club on Fridays for a bounce house, floor projector games, slime and more to get the weekend started early! *Drop off 12:30-2:30pm **Email us at TreehousePr...
Dec
6
Zoo Lights | Henry Vilas Zoo
Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with one of the most unique events in Madison! This one-of-a-kind festival of lights begins the day after Thanksgiving and runs Thursday-Sundays from 5:30...
Dec
6
Light the Night | Waunakee Village Center
Mark your calendars…Friday, December 6, 2019. Kick off the Holiday Season in Waunakee by joining your neighbors at this downtown celebration! Start at the Main Street Roundabout where Santa will...
Dec
6
Tudor Holiday Dinner Concert
Join the Wisconsin Union as the team welcomes the 86th Annual Tudor Dinners back to the Great Hall at Memorial Union. Be the Union’s guest as it presents an updated, interactive take on Wisconsi...
Dec
7
Date Nights (Evening Drop-in Childcare)
Date Nights are our themed evenings for children ages 3 – 7. Children enjoy crafts, games, free play, and fun with friends in the care of our licensed teachers. Parents enjoy 3 carefree hours! Date ...
Dec
7
Holy Cross Cook Walk & Bake Sale
Cookie Walk and Bake Sale We are excited to announce the 2019 Holy Cross Cookie Walk & Bake Sale, Saturday, December 7th, 8:00-11:00am. This will be our 5th year and we know it’s going to be a w...
Dec
7
M2E2 | Coding & Technology Day Camp
Do you have a child in middle school or high school? Register them for a day full of coding and technology! In just a few hours, they will learn how to program their own animations and characters to b...
Dec
7
M2E2
Do you have a child in middle school or high school? Register them for a day full of coding and technology! In just a few hours, they will learn how to program their own animations and characters to b...
Dec
7
Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair | Warner Park
Join us for the 20th annual HolidayFest Arts & Crafts Fair held the first Saturday in December each year. Over 80 crafters from the Midwest will be selling their handmade goods. Shop for a variety...
Dec
7
Kids in the Rotunda | Overture Center
From award-winning folk singers and zany jugglers, to friendly furry animals and traditional Indian dancing, our popular Kids in the Rotunda series for families is sure to engage, educate and entertai...
Dec
7
Open Play | Play N WI
Our all day, unlimited open gym play sessions allow children the benefits of fun-filled physical activity. Toddlers, tweens and even grandparents will enjoy our brightly decorated, 12,000+ square foot...
Dec
7
Saturday Science Workshop | UW Space Place
Space Place family workshops are offered during the school year on Saturdays at 10 a.m. for children ages 6-10 and their families. The workshops are free and open to the public. No registration is req...
Dec
7
Open House
Cozy family-friendly fun. Tour our historic building, enjoy some homemade snacks, engage in hands-on activities, and chat with our teachers and staff. Prospective families, current families, and commu...
Dec
7
Olbrich’s Holiday Express | Olbrich Gardens
All aboard for Olbrich’s Holiday Express! Large-scale model trains wind through a holiday scene overflowing with hundreds of poinsettias, fresh evergreen! During the show, members of the Wisconsin G...
Dec
7
Gingerbread Day | MCM
Celebrate the season with gingerbread-themed fun throughout the day! Decorate a giant cardboard gingerbread house, make gingerbread people ornaments, listen to gingerbread-themed stories and games, en...
Dec
7
Pictures with Santa & Holiday Crafting
Get in the holiday spirit and head to DreamBank with the family for free hot cocoa, a holiday crafting workshop and photos with Santa! Photos with Santa will be on a first-come first-serve basis.
Dec
7
Free Family Movie: Polar Express | New Vision Theatres Fitchburg
Just in time for the holidays, New Vision Theatres is pleased to present The Polar Express Free Movie and Holiday Food Drive. Bring your whole family because admission this year is just a single canne...
Dec
7
Holiday Glow on Monroe
Join the businesses of Madison’s Monroe Street for a festive day of activities including a visit from Santa, carolers, a “Where’s Wingra” game for kids and the annual Books for...
Dec
7
Tea and Trains | MCM
Activities at Tea & Trains Holiday high tea featuring gourmet food and treats to delight all ages Conductor Joe Schappel’s private American Flyer electric Model Railway Display, plus intera...
Dec
7
Kids in the Rotunda | Overture Center
From award-winning folk singers and zany jugglers, to friendly furry animals and traditional Indian dancing, our popular Kids in the Rotunda series for families is sure to engage, educate and entertai...
Dec
7
Kids in the Rotunda | Overture Center
From award-winning folk singers and zany jugglers, to friendly furry animals and traditional Indian dancing, our popular Kids in the Rotunda series for families is sure to engage, educate and entertai...
Dec
7
Santa and Mrs. Claus | Waunakee Village Center
Ho! Ho! Ho! Come join us on Saturday, December 7th from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. This event is FREE, so bring your friends and family for this fun packed day. Don’t forget your camera.
Dec
7
Christmas in the Courtyard | Prairie Lakes
Join us for an afternoon of free family fun! Horse drawn carriage rides, carolers, refreshments, a visit from Santa and the Prairie Lakes tree lighting all included!
Dec
7
Yoga Flow & Restore: A Box of Balloons Benefit Class at Haumea
This event is guaranteed to make you feel good! Giving back ✔️ Flow yoga ✔️ Time to restore ✔️ Join Megan and Kristin on December 7th from 2-3:30 for a fundraiser Flow and Restore at Haume...
Dec
7
Madtown Twisters-Family Open Gym
Family Open Gym is for any age children with parents. Enjoy our gym filled with trampolines, obstacle courses, bounce house, foam pit, ninja courses and more! 2 smaller gyms with equipment specificall...
Dec
7
Zoo Lights | Henry Vilas Zoo
Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with one of the most unique events in Madison! This one-of-a-kind festival of lights begins the day after Thanksgiving and runs Thursday-Sundays from 5:30...
Dec
7
A Christmas Carol | CTM
A Christmas Carol The spirit of the season is calling! Travel back to Victorian England as the ghosts of Scrooge’s past, present, and future remind us of the power of generosity and the joy of givin...
Dec
7
Tudor Holiday Dinner Concert
Join the Wisconsin Union as the team welcomes the 86th Annual Tudor Dinners back to the Great Hall at Memorial Union. Be the Union’s guest as it presents an updated, interactive take on Wisconsi...
Dec
8
Sunday Funday: Parents Play Free | Ultrazone Laser Tag
The best deal of the week: Parents play free! With one paying child, one parent can play for free! Take advantage of free laser tag and see what all the hype is about! Laser tag is definitely not just...
Dec
8
Olbrich’s Holiday Express | Olbrich Gardens
All aboard for Olbrich’s Holiday Express! Large-scale model trains wind through a holiday scene overflowing with hundreds of poinsettias, fresh evergreen! During the show, members of the Wisconsin G...
Dec
8
Madtown Twisters-Family Open Gym
Family Open Gym is for any age children with parents. Enjoy our gym filled with trampolines, obstacle courses, bounce house, foam pit, ninja courses and more! 2 smaller gyms with equipment specificall...
Dec
8
Open Play | Play N WI
Our all day, unlimited open gym play sessions allow children the benefits of fun-filled physical activity. Toddlers, tweens and even grandparents will enjoy our brightly decorated, 12,000+ square foot...
Dec
8
Taste of Tech: 3D Pens | MCM
Come and play with 3D pens! 3D pens are part of an exciting new frontier of technology – and they’re really fun too! Trace images, make your own sculptures, and get an idea of how to use 3D techno...
Dec
8
33rd Annual Children’s Holiday Party | Fitchburg Community Center
Join the fun at the 33rd Annual Children’s Holiday Party! Children can have fun in the crazy castle and inflatable playground, have their face painted, visit with Santa, make a craft and warm up...
Dec
8
The Polar Express: Sprouting Chefs | Vom Fass
Back again by popular demand is our culinary trip on the POLAR EXRESS!! Join us as we make healthy food fun and learn kitchen skills in this culinary class designed for kids. This hands-on and interac...
Dec
8
A Christmas Carol | CTM
A Christmas Carol The spirit of the season is calling! Travel back to Victorian England as the ghosts of Scrooge’s past, present, and future remind us of the power of generosity and the joy of givin...
Dec
8
Run Santa Run 5K Madison
It’s Madison’s favorite Christmas tradition and it’s so easy to join in the fun! STEP #1: Decide whether you want to run as a Santa, an Elf, or Abominable Snowman. STEP #2: Get your costume. We...
Dec
8
2019 Capitol Christmas Pageant | Wisconsin State Capitol
The 96th annual Capitol Christmas Pageant takes place on Sunday, December 8. Two performances with the first beginning at 4:15 and the second at 5:15.
Dec
8
Zoo Lights | Henry Vilas Zoo
Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with one of the most unique events in Madison! This one-of-a-kind festival of lights begins the day after Thanksgiving and runs Thursday-Sundays from 5:30...
Dec
8
Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga Love
Designed for moms-to-be and new moms (once ready to leave baby at home). Whether you are a new or experienced yoga student, you will be gracefully guided through meditation, breathing, and movement sp...
Dec
8
Tudor Holiday Dinner Concert
Join the Wisconsin Union as the team welcomes the 86th Annual Tudor Dinners back to the Great Hall at Memorial Union. Be the Union’s guest as it presents an updated, interactive take on Wisconsi...
Dec
9
Anytime Ticket
Monday’s 9am-3pm Any 3 hours for $25!
Dec
9
Open Play | Keva Sports Center
Don’t you wish you had as much energy as your kids? Well, fuel up with coffee from our concession area and you may have just enough to run around with them during our Open Play time. Open Play is ju...
Dec
9
Preschool Story Time | Fitchburg Public Library
Preschool storytime is a 30 minute program for those who are able to sit through longer stories and participate in more advanced activities. Featuring stories, songs and movement activities. Suggested...
Dec
9
Open Play | Play N WI
Our all day, unlimited open gym play sessions allow children the benefits of fun-filled physical activity. Toddlers, tweens and even grandparents will enjoy our brightly decorated, 12,000+ square foot...
Dec
9
Olbrich’s Holiday Express | Olbrich Gardens
All aboard for Olbrich’s Holiday Express! Large-scale model trains wind through a holiday scene overflowing with hundreds of poinsettias, fresh evergreen! During the show, members of the Wisconsin G...
Dec
9
Preschool Story Time | Fitchburg Public Library
Preschool storytime is a 30 minute program for those who are able to sit through longer stories and participate in more advanced activities. Featuring stories, songs and movement activities. Suggested...
Dec
9
Monday Night Kid Music with David Landau
This is a popular kid music series that has been happening every Monday night for several years. You may not think it would be a good idea to have a kid show in an old-school Wisconsin neighborhood ta...
Dec
9
Monday Night Kid Music with David Landau
Fun for kids age 2-8. Totally tolerable for their grown-ups.
Dec
10
Open Play | Keva Sports Center
Don’t you wish you had as much energy as your kids? Well, fuel up with coffee from our concession area and you may have just enough to run around with them during our Open Play time. Open Play is ju...
Dec
10
Everybody Story Time | Verona Public Library
Stories, songs and crafts for children and their caregivers. 30 minutes. No registration. Ages 0 – 5. To request sign language interpretation or other accommodation for special needs, please con...
Dec
10
Little Sprouts Story and Stroll: Splendid Gingerbread
Join us for our December Delights Little Sprouts Story & Stroll classes! Attend one class or more as a series. Classes are nature and literature-based early childhood programs designed to meet the...
Dec
10
Open Play | Play N WI
Our all day, unlimited open gym play sessions allow children the benefits of fun-filled physical activity. Toddlers, tweens and even grandparents will enjoy our brightly decorated, 12,000+ square foot...
Dec
10
Playdough Party | Madison Children’s Museum
Join us in the Art Studio Classroom for a play clay party!  We’ll have all sorts of colorful dough, tools, and cookie cutters for some all-ages sensory playtime. This is a time to use your imaginat...
Dec
10
Olbrich’s Holiday Express | Olbrich Gardens
All aboard for Olbrich’s Holiday Express! Large-scale model trains wind through a holiday scene overflowing with hundreds of poinsettias, fresh evergreen! During the show, members of the Wisconsin G...
Dec
10
New Beginnings: Support Through the 4th Trimester
The weeks following birth are a critical period for both mothers and their infants. New Beginnings provides new mothers the opportunity to get together, make new friends, share their parenting experie...
Dec
10
Stories, Fingerplays and More | Barnes and Noble West Towne
Join in as our Barnes & Noble staff members share stories and songs with children, ages 2 to 6, and their families.
Dec
10
Lunch & Legos
Kids will help prepare their own food & enjoy a series of lego-themed challenges and craft options. Price includes lunch.
Dec
11
Little Kids Story Time | Middleton Public Library
In the downstairs Archer Room (through the lobby stairwell) (event is over) Little Kids Storytime (ages 2-3) Wednesdays @ 9:30am & 10:30am* Books, music, and movement activities followed by a craf...
Dec
11
Toddler Story Time | Verona Public Library
Stories, songs, dancing, & crafts for toddlers and their caregivers. 30 minutes. No registration. For ages 1 and 2. To request sign language interpretation or other accommodation for special need...
Dec
11
Open Play | Play N WI
Our all day, unlimited open gym play sessions allow children the benefits of fun-filled physical activity. Toddlers, tweens and even grandparents will enjoy our brightly decorated, 12,000+ square foot...
Dec
11
Stories and Sculpting | Alicia Ashman Library
Preschool Storytime plus sculpting! We’ll start with some books, songs, and an app of the week, then explore different methods of creating sculptures each week. Be sure to wear clothes that can ...
Dec
11
Olbrich’s Holiday Express | Olbrich Gardens
All aboard for Olbrich’s Holiday Express! Large-scale model trains wind through a holiday scene overflowing with hundreds of poinsettias, fresh evergreen! During the show, members of the Wisconsin G...
Dec
11
Little Kids Story Time | Middleton Public Library
In the downstairs Archer Room (through the lobby stairwell) (event is over) Little Kids Storytime (ages 2-3) Wednesdays @ 9:30am & 10:30am* Books, music, and movement activities followed by a craf...
Dec
11
Preschool Story Time | Verona Public Library
Verona Public Library Story Time Room Stories, songs and crafts. Child may attend independently or with an adult. 30 minutes. No registration. For ages 3-5. To request sign language interpretation or ...
Dec
11
Wiggle and Jump | Madison Children’s Museum
Join us in exploring active games geared for our youngest visitors! We will have lots of fun with movement: playing games that help evolve those important gross motor skills. This event will take plac...
Dec
11
Free Family Night | Madison Children’s Museum
On the first open Wednesday night of each month, MCM invites our entire community to enjoy the museum for free. Free Family Night is a great time for first-time visitors to enjoy the museum and is a p...
Dec
12
Kids Express Learning Center Open House & Parent Panel
Join us for an Open House on Thursday, December 12 from 8:30-10:30am. Learn more about our current programming, along with our exciting plans of expansion through 8th grade. Guests will tour our 10-ac...
Dec
12
Open Play | Keva Sports Center
Don’t you wish you had as much energy as your kids? Well, fuel up with coffee from our concession area and you may have just enough to run around with them during our Open Play time. Open Play is ju...
Dec
12
Tiny Tots Story Time | Middleton Public Library
In the downstairs New Programming Room (through the lobby stairwell) Tiny Tots Storytime (ages 1-2) Thursdays @ 9:30 & 10:30am* Songs, rhymes, puppets, music, and short books. *No in-library story...
Dec
12
Open Play | Play N WI
Our all day, unlimited open gym play sessions allow children the benefits of fun-filled physical activity. Toddlers, tweens and even grandparents will enjoy our brightly decorated, 12,000+ square foot...
Dec
12
Olbrich’s Holiday Express | Olbrich Gardens
All aboard for Olbrich’s Holiday Express! Large-scale model trains wind through a holiday scene overflowing with hundreds of poinsettias, fresh evergreen! During the show, members of the Wisconsin G...
Dec
12
Morning Play Date with Music Together
Spend a morning meeting new friends at DreamBank! While the kids enjoy special guest, Catherine from Music Together, grown-ups can explore our exhibit and enjoy a cup of coffee in our inspiring space....
Dec
12
Tiny Tots Story Time | Middleton Public Library
In the downstairs New Programming Room (through the lobby stairwell) Tiny Tots Storytime (ages 1-2) Thursdays @ 9:30 & 10:30am* Songs, rhymes, puppets, music, and short books. *No in-library story...
Dec
12
Zoo Lights | Henry Vilas Zoo
Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with one of the most unique events in Madison! This one-of-a-kind festival of lights begins the day after Thanksgiving and runs Thursday-Sundays from 5:30...
Dec
12
UW Women’s Basketball | UW Madison
2019-2020 Schedule: October 30 at 7:00pm VS UW Whitewater November 5 at 7:00pm VS North Florida November 10 at 2:00pm VS Wofford November 17 at 6:00pm VS Milwaukee November 26 at 7:00pm VS Eastern Ill...
Dec
13
Baby Lapsit Story Time | Middleton Public Library
Baby Lapsit Storytime (pre-walkers) Fridays @ 9:30am* Songs, rhymes, and short, interactive books specifically designed for young babies. *No storytimes November 29.
Dec
13
Winter Magic Zumbini Session
For ages 0-4 with a caregiver, Zumbini combines music and dancing with learning for you and your little one. It’s a workout, brain builder, and a bonding experience all in one!
Dec
13
Little Sprouts Story and Stroll: Splendid Gingerbread
Join us for our December Delights Little Sprouts Story & Stroll classes! Attend one class or more as a series. Classes are nature and literature-based early childhood programs designed to meet the...
Dec
13
Open Play | Play N WI
Our all day, unlimited open gym play sessions allow children the benefits of fun-filled physical activity. Toddlers, tweens and even grandparents will enjoy our brightly decorated, 12,000+ square foot...
Dec
13
Olbrich’s Holiday Express | Olbrich Gardens
All aboard for Olbrich’s Holiday Express! Large-scale model trains wind through a holiday scene overflowing with hundreds of poinsettias, fresh evergreen! During the show, members of the Wisconsin G...
Dec
13
Madtown Twisters-Family Open Gym
Family open gym is for children of all ages with their parents. It is a great chance to explore all we have to offer! Trampolines, obstacle courses, bounce house, foam pit, ninja courses and more! We ...
Dec
13
Warner Park Family Fun Night | Warner Park
Join Us •Warner Park Community Recreation Center •5:00 – 8:00 pm, Fridays (dates listed below) •$5 per family •Sign up online for email reminders of monthly themes: https://my.cityofmadi...
Dec
13
Zoo Lights | Henry Vilas Zoo
Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with one of the most unique events in Madison! This one-of-a-kind festival of lights begins the day after Thanksgiving and runs Thursday-Sundays from 5:30...
Dec
13
A Madison Symphony Christmas | Overture Center
This beloved annual tradition embraces the season with Christmas classics and enchanting new music featuring the orchestra, three choruses and opera stars. From caroling in the lobby, to the final sin...
Dec
14
Kids in the Rotunda | Overture Center
From award-winning folk singers and zany jugglers, to friendly furry animals and traditional Indian dancing, our popular Kids in the Rotunda series for families is sure to engage, educate and entertai...
Dec
14
Open Play | Play N WI
Our all day, unlimited open gym play sessions allow children the benefits of fun-filled physical activity. Toddlers, tweens and even grandparents will enjoy our brightly decorated, 12,000+ square foot...
Dec
14
Saturday Science Workshop | UW Space Place
Space Place family workshops are offered during the school year on Saturdays at 10 a.m. for children ages 6-10 and their families. The workshops are free and open to the public. No registration is req...
Dec
14
Olbrich’s Holiday Express | Olbrich Gardens
All aboard for Olbrich’s Holiday Express! Large-scale model trains wind through a holiday scene overflowing with hundreds of poinsettias, fresh evergreen! During the show, members of the Wisconsin G...
Dec
14
Madison Waldorf School Winterfestival
Good food, crafting, the famous Dragon Maze, the Gnome Scavenger Hunt, puppet show, artisan vendors, bonfire – you’ll find all this and more at our annual Winterfestival! Fun for all ages....
Dec
14
Penguin Painting Class | BECM
Penguin Painting Class (Ages 5-10) Saturday, December 14th 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM REGISTER HERE ​Join Kendra from Wall Whimsy Murals as she guides young artists through a Penguin-themed painting!...
Dec
14
Music with Corey | BECM
Music with Corey Saturday, December 14th 10:00 AM – 10:30 AM ​ Music with Corey is a fun and interactive musical experience for toddlers, preschool aged children, and their families. Come join...
Dec
14
Pictures with Santa & Holiday Crafting
Get in the holiday spirit and head to DreamBank with the family for free hot cocoa, a holiday crafting workshop and photos with Santa! Photos with Santa will be on a first-come first-serve basis.
Dec
14
Saturday Science at Discovery: You Can Be a Science Hero
Use science to shape a better world at this free monthly event for kids and families! Create pledges and science crafts to share as gifts, dive into hands-on activities to fuel the super power of crea...
Dec
14
Free Preschool Playgroup
Saturday Playgroup at University Houses Preschool Come along to play and explore with your little ones. Bring a snack and talk to other families while the kids enjoy the toys and dramatic play area. W...
Dec
14
Kids in the Rotunda | Overture Center
From award-winning folk singers and zany jugglers, to friendly furry animals and traditional Indian dancing, our popular Kids in the Rotunda series for families is sure to engage, educate and entertai...
Dec
14
Holiday Kid Disco | The Great Dane
The Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company, Hilldale Location is bringing Kid Disco back with a special appearance by SANTA himself! DJ Nick Nice will be setting the holiday mood with his musical genius...
Dec
14
Holiday Open at the Edgewater
The Edgewater Market is hosting our first ever shopping open house event this holiday season! The event will feature home & lifestyle goods, clothing, accessories and local food and beverage. Stop...
Dec
14
Good Day Market: Holiday Edition | Garver Feed Mill
Good Day Market is a highly curated shopping event feature well-made handmade home & lifestyle goods and the people that make them. This year we’re featuring 70+ midwest makers and a curated...
Dec
14
Art Spin! Holiday Bazaar
Join us for the LAST Art Spin of 2019! From 12 p.m. to 2.p.m. in the lobby, we will be hosting a FREE holiday card-making workshop, inspired by the animals in Ojibwe artist, Rabbett Before Horses Stri...
Dec
14
Kids in the Rotunda | Overture Center
From award-winning folk singers and zany jugglers, to friendly furry animals and traditional Indian dancing, our popular Kids in the Rotunda series for families is sure to engage, educate and entertai...
Dec
14
Live Reindeer! | Verona, WI
INSIDE FROM 2:00 PM – 5 PM Enjoy live music, snacks, cider, and crafts. OUTSIDE FROM 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM Line up outside in Badger Ridge Middle School’s parking lot to have a photo tak...
Dec
14
Madtown Twisters-Family Open Gym
Family Open Gym is for any age children with parents. Enjoy our gym filled with trampolines, obstacle courses, bounce house, foam pit, ninja courses and more! 2 smaller gyms with equipment specificall...
Dec
14
Zoo Lights | Henry Vilas Zoo
Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with one of the most unique events in Madison! This one-of-a-kind festival of lights begins the day after Thanksgiving and runs Thursday-Sundays from 5:30...
Dec
14
A Christmas Carol | CTM
A Christmas Carol The spirit of the season is calling! Travel back to Victorian England as the ghosts of Scrooge’s past, present, and future remind us of the power of generosity and the joy of givin...
Dec
14
A Madison Symphony Christmas | Overture Center
This beloved annual tradition embraces the season with Christmas classics and enchanting new music featuring the orchestra, three choruses and opera stars. From caroling in the lobby, to the final sin...
Dec
15
Breakfast with Santa | Henry Vilas Zoo
Have breakfast with Santa at the Henry Vilas Zoo! Come and enjoy a hot breakfast buffet with Santa while you watch our resident polar bear, Nuniq, play! Enjoy breakfast in our festive Glacier Grille o...
Dec
15
Sunday Funday: Parents Play Free | Ultrazone Laser Tag
The best deal of the week: Parents play free! With one paying child, one parent can play for free! Take advantage of free laser tag and see what all the hype is about! Laser tag is definitely not just...
Dec
15
Olbrich’s Holiday Express | Olbrich Gardens
All aboard for Olbrich’s Holiday Express! Large-scale model trains wind through a holiday scene overflowing with hundreds of poinsettias, fresh evergreen! During the show, members of the Wisconsin G...
Dec
15
Good Day Market: Holiday Edition | Garver Feed Mill
Good Day Market is a highly curated shopping event feature well-made handmade home & lifestyle goods and the people that make them. This year we’re featuring 70+ midwest makers and a curated...
Dec
15
Cookie Decorating and Crafting
Join the Baking Realtor as she gears up for the Holidays with some cookie decorating and crafting fun! This event is geared towards kids over the age of 5. FREE TICKET is required for anyone decoratin...
Dec
15
Holiday Free Fun Day- Free Soccer Sessions
Join us for FREE Soccer Shots sessions this holiday season! Find out what Soccer Shots Madison is all about! Registration required! The sessions will include a warm-up, Soccer Shots games, introductio...
Dec
15
Madtown Twisters-Family Open Gym
Family Open Gym is for any age children with parents. Enjoy our gym filled with trampolines, obstacle courses, bounce house, foam pit, ninja courses and more! 2 smaller gyms with equipment specificall...
Dec
15
Open Play | Play N WI
Our all day, unlimited open gym play sessions allow children the benefits of fun-filled physical activity. Toddlers, tweens and even grandparents will enjoy our brightly decorated, 12,000+ square foot...
Dec
15
A Christmas Carol | CTM
A Christmas Carol The spirit of the season is calling! Travel back to Victorian England as the ghosts of Scrooge’s past, present, and future remind us of the power of generosity and the joy of givin...
Dec
15
A Mannerchor Christmas
Come join the Madison Männerchor in a celebration of Christmas carols and feasts! Food follows the concert as Sankt Nikolaus brings gifts for all the children in attendance. Tickets without meal: $10...
Dec
15
Zoo Lights | Henry Vilas Zoo
Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with one of the most unique events in Madison! This one-of-a-kind festival of lights begins the day after Thanksgiving and runs Thursday-Sundays from 5:30...
Dec
15
Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga Love
Designed for moms-to-be and new moms (once ready to leave baby at home). Whether you are a new or experienced yoga student, you will be gracefully guided through meditation, breathing, and movement sp...
Dec
16
Anytime Ticket
Monday’s 9am-3pm Any 3 hours for $25!
Dec
16
Open Play | Keva Sports Center
Don’t you wish you had as much energy as your kids? Well, fuel up with coffee from our concession area and you may have just enough to run around with them during our Open Play time. Open Play is ju...
Dec
16
Preschool Story Time | Fitchburg Public Library
Preschool storytime is a 30 minute program for those who are able to sit through longer stories and participate in more advanced activities. Featuring stories, songs and movement activities. Suggested...
Dec
16
Open Play | Play N WI
Our all day, unlimited open gym play sessions allow children the benefits of fun-filled physical activity. Toddlers, tweens and even grandparents will enjoy our brightly decorated, 12,000+ square foot...
Dec
16
Olbrich’s Holiday Express | Olbrich Gardens
All aboard for Olbrich’s Holiday Express! Large-scale model trains wind through a holiday scene overflowing with hundreds of poinsettias, fresh evergreen! During the show, members of the Wisconsin G...
Dec
16
Preschool Story Time | Fitchburg Public Library
Preschool storytime is a 30 minute program for those who are able to sit through longer stories and participate in more advanced activities. Featuring stories, songs and movement activities. Suggested...
Dec
16
Holiday Mug Art | Fitchburg Public Library
Design and personalize an awesome mug – for yourself, or to give as a holiday gift! We will provide all materials, including directions for “baking” your Sharpie design into your mug...
Dec
16
Monday Night Kid Music with David Landau
This is a popular kid music series that has been happening every Monday night for several years. You may not think it would be a good idea to have a kid show in an old-school Wisconsin neighborhood ta...
Dec
16
Monday Night Kid Music with David Landau
Fun for kids age 2-8. Totally tolerable for their grown-ups.
Dec
17
Open Play | Keva Sports Center
Don’t you wish you had as much energy as your kids? Well, fuel up with coffee from our concession area and you may have just enough to run around with them during our Open Play time. Open Play is ju...
Dec
17
Everybody Story Time | Verona Public Library
Stories, songs and crafts for children and their caregivers. 30 minutes. No registration. Ages 0 – 5. To request sign language interpretation or other accommodation for special needs, please con...
Dec
17
Little Sprouts Story and Stroll: Marvelous Peppermint
Join us for our December Delights Little Sprouts Story & Stroll classes! Attend one class or more as a series. Classes are nature and literature-based early childhood programs designed to meet the...
Dec
17
Open Play | Play N WI
Our all day, unlimited open gym play sessions allow children the benefits of fun-filled physical activity. Toddlers, tweens and even grandparents will enjoy our brightly decorated, 12,000+ square foot...
Dec
17
Playdough Party | Madison Children’s Museum
Join us in the Art Studio Classroom for a play clay party!  We’ll have all sorts of colorful dough, tools, and cookie cutters for some all-ages sensory playtime. This is a time to use your imaginat...
Dec
17
Olbrich’s Holiday Express | Olbrich Gardens
All aboard for Olbrich’s Holiday Express! Large-scale model trains wind through a holiday scene overflowing with hundreds of poinsettias, fresh evergreen! During the show, members of the Wisconsin G...
Dec
17
New Beginnings: Support Through the 4th Trimester
The weeks following birth are a critical period for both mothers and their infants. New Beginnings provides new mothers the opportunity to get together, make new friends, share their parenting experie...
Dec
17
Stories, Fingerplays and More | Barnes and Noble West Towne
Join in as our Barnes & Noble staff members share stories and songs with children, ages 2 to 6, and their families.
Dec
17
Lunch & Legos
Kids will help prepare their own food & enjoy a series of lego-themed challenges and craft options. Price includes lunch.
Dec
18
Little Kids Story Time | Middleton Public Library
In the downstairs Archer Room (through the lobby stairwell) (event is over) Little Kids Storytime (ages 2-3) Wednesdays @ 9:30am & 10:30am* Books, music, and movement activities followed by a craf...
Dec
18
Toddler Story Time | Verona Public Library
Stories, songs, dancing, & crafts for toddlers and their caregivers. 30 minutes. No registration. For ages 1 and 2. To request sign language interpretation or other accommodation for special need...
Dec
18
Open Play | Play N WI
Our all day, unlimited open gym play sessions allow children the benefits of fun-filled physical activity. Toddlers, tweens and even grandparents will enjoy our brightly decorated, 12,000+ square foot...
Dec
18
Stories and Sculpting | Alicia Ashman Library
Preschool Storytime plus sculpting! We’ll start with some books, songs, and an app of the week, then explore different methods of creating sculptures each week. Be sure to wear clothes that can ...
Dec
18
Olbrich’s Holiday Express | Olbrich Gardens
All aboard for Olbrich’s Holiday Express! Large-scale model trains wind through a holiday scene overflowing with hundreds of poinsettias, fresh evergreen! During the show, members of the Wisconsin G...
Dec
18
Little Kids Story Time | Middleton Public Library
In the downstairs Archer Room (through the lobby stairwell) (event is over) Little Kids Storytime (ages 2-3) Wednesdays @ 9:30am & 10:30am* Books, music, and movement activities followed by a craf...
Dec
18
Preschool Story Time | Verona Public Library
Verona Public Library Story Time Room Stories, songs and crafts. Child may attend independently or with an adult. 30 minutes. No registration. For ages 3-5. To request sign language interpretation or ...
Dec
18
Wiggle and Jump | Madison Children’s Museum
Join us in exploring active games geared for our youngest visitors! We will have lots of fun with movement: playing games that help evolve those important gross motor skills. This event will take plac...
Dec
18
Free Family Night | Madison Children’s Museum
On the first open Wednesday night of each month, MCM invites our entire community to enjoy the museum for free. Free Family Night is a great time for first-time visitors to enjoy the museum and is a p...
Dec
19
Open Play | Keva Sports Center
Don’t you wish you had as much energy as your kids? Well, fuel up with coffee from our concession area and you may have just enough to run around with them during our Open Play time. Open Play is ju...
Dec
19
Tiny Tots Story Time | Middleton Public Library
In the downstairs New Programming Room (through the lobby stairwell) Tiny Tots Storytime (ages 1-2) Thursdays @ 9:30 & 10:30am* Songs, rhymes, puppets, music, and short books. *No in-library story...
Dec
19
Open Play | Play N WI
Our all day, unlimited open gym play sessions allow children the benefits of fun-filled physical activity. Toddlers, tweens and even grandparents will enjoy our brightly decorated, 12,000+ square foot...
Dec
19
Olbrich’s Holiday Express | Olbrich Gardens
All aboard for Olbrich’s Holiday Express! Large-scale model trains wind through a holiday scene overflowing with hundreds of poinsettias, fresh evergreen! During the show, members of the Wisconsin G...
Dec
19
Tiny Tots Story Time | Middleton Public Library
In the downstairs New Programming Room (through the lobby stairwell) Tiny Tots Storytime (ages 1-2) Thursdays @ 9:30 & 10:30am* Songs, rhymes, puppets, music, and short books. *No in-library story...
Dec
19
Zoo Lights | Henry Vilas Zoo
Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with one of the most unique events in Madison! This one-of-a-kind festival of lights begins the day after Thanksgiving and runs Thursday-Sundays from 5:30...
Dec
19
Double Dare Live | The Orpheum
On your mark, get set, GO!  The messiest game show on TV is now the messiest game show on the road.  Double Dare Live is coming to your town and will bring all the action and excitement of Nickelo...
Dec
20
Baby Lapsit Story Time | Middleton Public Library
Baby Lapsit Storytime (pre-walkers) Fridays @ 9:30am* Songs, rhymes, and short, interactive books specifically designed for young babies. *No storytimes November 29.
Dec
20
Winter Magic Zumbini Session
For ages 0-4 with a caregiver, Zumbini combines music and dancing with learning for you and your little one. It’s a workout, brain builder, and a bonding experience all in one!
Dec
20
Little Sprouts Story and Stroll: Marvelous Peppermint
Join us for our December Delights Little Sprouts Story & Stroll classes! Attend one class or more as a series. Classes are nature and literature-based early childhood programs designed to meet the...
Dec
20
Open Play | Play N WI
Our all day, unlimited open gym play sessions allow children the benefits of fun-filled physical activity. Toddlers, tweens and even grandparents will enjoy our brightly decorated, 12,000+ square foot...
Dec
20
Olbrich’s Holiday Express | Olbrich Gardens
All aboard for Olbrich’s Holiday Express! Large-scale model trains wind through a holiday scene overflowing with hundreds of poinsettias, fresh evergreen! During the show, members of the Wisconsin G...
Dec
20
Frozen II Free Dance Day!
Bring your dancing feet to our Frozen II themed FREE Dance Class! Who: Students ages 2-5. No dance experience required! (*if your student is NOT in this age range but would like to try a free dance cl...
Dec
20
Madtown Twisters-Family Open Gym
Family open gym is for children of all ages with their parents. It is a great chance to explore all we have to offer! Trampolines, obstacle courses, bounce house, foam pit, ninja courses and more! We ...
Dec
20
Zoo Lights | Henry Vilas Zoo
Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with one of the most unique events in Madison! This one-of-a-kind festival of lights begins the day after Thanksgiving and runs Thursday-Sundays from 5:30...
Dec
20
UW Women’s Basketball | UW Madison
2019-2020 Schedule: October 30 at 7:00pm VS UW Whitewater November 5 at 7:00pm VS North Florida November 10 at 2:00pm VS Wofford November 17 at 6:00pm VS Milwaukee November 26 at 7:00pm VS Eastern Ill...
Dec
21
Date Nights (Evening Drop-in Childcare)
Date Nights are our themed evenings for children ages 3 – 7. Children enjoy crafts, games, free play, and fun with friends in the care of our licensed teachers. Parents enjoy 3 carefree hours! Date ...
Dec
21
Kids in the Rotunda | Overture Center
From award-winning folk singers and zany jugglers, to friendly furry animals and traditional Indian dancing, our popular Kids in the Rotunda series for families is sure to engage, educate and entertai...
Dec
21
Open Play | Play N WI
Our all day, unlimited open gym play sessions allow children the benefits of fun-filled physical activity. Toddlers, tweens and even grandparents will enjoy our brightly decorated, 12,000+ square foot...
Dec
21
Saturday Science Workshop | UW Space Place
Space Place family workshops are offered during the school year on Saturdays at 10 a.m. for children ages 6-10 and their families. The workshops are free and open to the public. No registration is req...
Dec
21
Olbrich’s Holiday Express | Olbrich Gardens
All aboard for Olbrich’s Holiday Express! Large-scale model trains wind through a holiday scene overflowing with hundreds of poinsettias, fresh evergreen! During the show, members of the Wisconsin G...
Dec
21
Yid Vicious Hanukkah Concert | MCM
Celebrate Hanukkah with Klezmer music Yid Vicious brings klezmer — Yiddish folk music — for all ages to the museum. Get ready to dance as we celebrate Hanukkah and all of the wonders of the winter...
Dec
21
Pictures with Santa & Holiday Crafting
Get in the holiday spirit and head to DreamBank with the family for free hot cocoa, a holiday crafting workshop and photos with Santa! Photos with Santa will be on a first-come first-serve basis
Dec
21
Kids in the Rotunda | Overture Center
From award-winning folk singers and zany jugglers, to friendly furry animals and traditional Indian dancing, our popular Kids in the Rotunda series for families is sure to engage, educate and entertai...
Dec
21
Kid Fun Music Parade
Common Ground – Middleton, 3rd Saturday Monthly 11-11:45am. Kid Fun Music Parade is a FUN-Loving duo making acoustic guitar, harmonica, and props come alive through song, movement, finger plays ...
Dec
21
Kids in the Rotunda | Overture Center
From award-winning folk singers and zany jugglers, to friendly furry animals and traditional Indian dancing, our popular Kids in the Rotunda series for families is sure to engage, educate and entertai...
Dec
21
Madtown Twisters-Family Open Gym
Family Open Gym is for any age children with parents. Enjoy our gym filled with trampolines, obstacle courses, bounce house, foam pit, ninja courses and more! 2 smaller gyms with equipment specificall...
Dec
21
Zoo Lights | Henry Vilas Zoo
Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with one of the most unique events in Madison! This one-of-a-kind festival of lights begins the day after Thanksgiving and runs Thursday-Sundays from 5:30...
Dec
21
A Christmas Carol | CTM
A Christmas Carol The spirit of the season is calling! Travel back to Victorian England as the ghosts of Scrooge’s past, present, and future remind us of the power of generosity and the joy of givin...
Dec
22
Sunday Funday: Parents Play Free | Ultrazone Laser Tag
The best deal of the week: Parents play free! With one paying child, one parent can play for free! Take advantage of free laser tag and see what all the hype is about! Laser tag is definitely not just...
Dec
22
Olbrich’s Holiday Express | Olbrich Gardens
All aboard for Olbrich’s Holiday Express! Large-scale model trains wind through a holiday scene overflowing with hundreds of poinsettias, fresh evergreen! During the show, members of the Wisconsin G...
Dec
22
Madtown Twisters-Family Open Gym
Family Open Gym is for any age children with parents. Enjoy our gym filled with trampolines, obstacle courses, bounce house, foam pit, ninja courses and more! 2 smaller gyms with equipment specificall...
Dec
22
Open Play | Play N WI
Our all day, unlimited open gym play sessions allow children the benefits of fun-filled physical activity. Toddlers, tweens and even grandparents will enjoy our brightly decorated, 12,000+ square foot...
Dec
22
Shaving Cream Colors | MCM
Come and make some fun prints using the hydrophobic properties of shaving cream! Even small children can begin to absorb fascinating scientific concepts.  This program teaches kids about various mol...
Dec
22
A Christmas Carol | CTM
A Christmas Carol The spirit of the season is calling! Travel back to Victorian England as the ghosts of Scrooge’s past, present, and future remind us of the power of generosity and the joy of givin...
Dec
22
Zoo Lights | Henry Vilas Zoo
Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with one of the most unique events in Madison! This one-of-a-kind festival of lights begins the day after Thanksgiving and runs Thursday-Sundays from 5:30...
Dec
22
Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga Love
Designed for moms-to-be and new moms (once ready to leave baby at home). Whether you are a new or experienced yoga student, you will be gracefully guided through meditation, breathing, and movement sp...
Dec
23
Anytime Ticket
Monday’s 9am-3pm Any 3 hours for $25!
Dec
23
Open Play | Keva Sports Center
Don’t you wish you had as much energy as your kids? Well, fuel up with coffee from our concession area and you may have just enough to run around with them during our Open Play time. Open Play is ju...
Dec
23
Preschool Story Time | Fitchburg Public Library
Preschool storytime is a 30 minute program for those who are able to sit through longer stories and participate in more advanced activities. Featuring stories, songs and movement activities. Suggested...
Dec
23
Open Play | Play N WI
Our all day, unlimited open gym play sessions allow children the benefits of fun-filled physical activity. Toddlers, tweens and even grandparents will enjoy our brightly decorated, 12,000+ square foot...


Ongoing Activities:

Monday Night Kid Music with David Landau – 5:30- 6:15 at the Harmony Bar and Grill | Fun for kids 2 to 8 and totally tolerable for parents of any age! Cover – $3.

$5 Tuesdays at The Movies – All first-run Marcus Theater locations. See the hottest blockbusters for just $5. If you’re a MMR member, the popcorn is on us!

$6 Early Bird Movies – Palace (Sun Prairie) and Point (Madison) Cinemas. Early risers can catch any film for just $6 before 11 a.m. at participating locations.

Craft Making – Daily at JNJ Craftworks. Just walk in any day, you will find a craft and supplies which you can make for $5 – $10. Examples include: scrabble tile desk stand, paper flower, small earring, etc.

Breastmilk Donation – Got extra breastmilk? Swing by the Mother’s Milk Alliance every Thursday from 10 am to 6 pm to donate. Call 608 251 0776 for more details.

little Om Big Om & To the Moon! Yoga for Kids -Yoga for kids and families.

MMoCAkids ArtPack – Families are encouraged to stop by the reception desk in the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art lobby and ask for the MMoCAkids ArtPack, the museum hands-on discovery kit for exploring art. These programs are designed for families with young children.

Car Seat Checks – Car seat checks are available throughout the Madison area, see website for dates and locations. Appointments are required for car seat checks. You can make an appointment by calling (608) 890-8999 or e-mail [email protected].

Tradition Children’s Market | 2019 Holiday Trends

Tradition Children’s Market is located in the heart of downtown Middleton (1823 Parmenter Street – Middleton, WI) and right next door to their brand new women’s store: Tradition Women’s Market!

With imagination, innovation and nostalgia at their core, Tradition features a curated assortment of apparel, accessories and toys for young children for any occasion (think holidays, birthday, family photos, school pictures, first day of school… and all the ordinary moments in between!). Tradition is locally owned and makes shopping for children such a fun and inviting experience.

We recently teamed up with Tradition Children’s Market & Poppy and Olive Photography to give you a look at holiday trends featured now at Tradition Children’s Market.

  1. Gwen: Widgeon plaid, cozy lined coat with knit swing dress.
    Rory: Super soft Mayoral dress pants with Fore Axel button front shirt.

2. Nora & Ava: Nutcracker coordinating dresses, washable Widgeon faux fur vest/jacket & coordinating headbands.

3. Isla: I love Plum velvet tutu dress with sparkle tulle skirt, plaid hair bow.

4. Grant: Mayoral plaid lined dress coat, Fore Axel knit polo, Hoonana pull on green pants, winter hat & Hunter boots (plus Jellycat Penguin).
Amelie: Winter scene knit dress and Miles Baby knit hat.

5. Clay: Fore Axel Holiday plaid jacket with Tiny Whales graphic tee. (+ Hoonana pants & Hunter boots).

6. Gwen & Rory: Waterproof, fleece lined Kuling coats and winter hats.

7. Nora & Ava: Skylar Luna coordinating holiday jammies (more holiday prints available in-store), headbands and tutu skirt.


If you have any questions about the items or trends, reach out to Tradition Children’s Market through Facebook, Instagram or email ([email protected]) – or better yet, visit them in person at 1823 Parmenter Street – Middleton.

Holiday Movie Guide: Old Favorites & New Picks at Marcus Theatres

This post is brought to you by Marcus Theatres - we love sharing about upcoming events and businesses relevant to our audience!

What better way to escape the cold than to head to the movies?! And this holiday season Marcus Theatres has a lot to look forward to. From exciting new releases to the Holiday Classics Retro Series – there is something that will excite everyone! Keep reading for our top movie picks, plus a special holiday gift card offer.

New Releases

Marcus Theatres recently polled 11,000+ moviegoers in 17 states to find out their top holiday blockbusters. The top picks for families include:

      • #1: “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” | December 19
      • #2: “Frozen 2” | Out Now
      • #3: “Jumanji: The Next Level” | December 12 (may be best for families with older children)

In addition to those three movies, there are several more great family films including “Playmobil: The Movie” being released on December 5 (all tickets, all the time, for both kids and adults to this movie are just $5!); and “Little Women” and “Spies in Disguise” set to be released on December 25.

We were fortunate to hit up “Frozen 2” on opening weekend and it did not disappoint. In fact it was so enjoyable that I am hoping to see it again in the theaters this winter! The plot was a little tricky for my kids to follow (ages 7 and 5), but they still remained captivated throughout.

Holiday Classics Retro Series

In addition to the new releases  – Marcus Theatres will also be bringing back a collection of holiday classics as part of the Holiday Classics Retro Series running from December 6-19 at both local theaters (Marcus Point Cinema in Madison and the Marcus Palace Cinema in Sun Prairie). Admission to these classics is just $6!

You can enjoy “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “White Christmas” and “Elf” from December 6-12. And “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “The Polar Express” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” will be on screen from December 13-19.

Value Days

Going to the movies as a family can add up, but please know Marcus Theatres offers so many great programs that make it very affordable for everyone. They have value programs such as $5 tickets on Tuesdays, $6 tickets for students and school faculty on Thursdays and $6 tickets every day of the week before 11 am.  Throughout the year they also host special free family parties. We have attended several of these (Toy Story, Lion King, Frozen 2 to name a few) and my kids always love doing crafts, the photo booth and complimentary treats. Along with all of these great options to finding lower price tickets you can also sign up for the free Magical Movie Rewards program where you earn points for every dollar you spend, plus FREE popcorn on $5 Tuesdays!

Bonus: Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve also fall on a $5 Movie Tuesday this year!

Insider Tip: My kids always get the kids snack pack pictured below. It’s a great deal and slightly smaller portions!

Holiday Gift Giving

With a Marcus Theatres gift card in hand, you can gift a complete dining and entertainment experience — whether for date night or a family outing! Now through January 5, receive $5 in FREE Snack Cash for every $25 gift card purchase in theatre or online. Visit the Online Marcus Gift Store for the latest deals!

While you’re checking friends and family off your list, Marcus Theatres is also giving you the opportunity to gift a Magical Movie Experience to local Make-A-Wish children battling critical illnesses. From gift cards to movie passes, gift the amount of your choosing and know that it will provide some much needed joy for local families! Visit MarcusTheatres.com/Wishes to start making some movie magic!

Intuitive Eating for Moms

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You know that feeling when the kids are all finally asleep, and you’ve done the essentials off the to do list (but your to do list is never actually done), and you can finally sit down and relax a little? You deserve something: a thank you, a treat, a celebration, a break. You worked so hard today!  

Imagine that it’s 9:30 pm and you find yourself with a pint of ice cream and spoon. You are really tired, it’s been a long day and you could hardly keep your eyes open during bedtime stories. It is easy to confuse our body’s signals of low energy — is it fatigue or hunger? Ask yourself, what do you really need? The answer might be sleep. Sometimes ice cream is the answer and that is totally okay.  

Or maybe it’s 9:30 pm and you’re rummaging through the pantry for some chips. You aren’t that tired but you’re hungry — dinner time was crazy and you hardly sat down to eat. Or perhaps you’ve been trying to lose weight or limit your intake of certain foods or food groups. Ask yourself, what do you really need? Hunger pangs are your body telling you that you haven’t eaten enough today. You might need more than just chips to satisfy you. Try to eat something with carbs, fat and protein. Sit down and enjoy some food.  

Or maybe it’s 9:30 pm and you find yourself scrolling your phone for some entertainment or engagement, but it’s not fulfilling. Ask yourself, what do you really need? Maybe you need some human connection with your significant other or a friend? No amount of snacks or Instagram will do that for you.

Intuitive eating can help you figure this out.  

Early in my career as a registered dietitian, I quickly learned that all of my nutrition knowledge does not translate to behavior change for my clients. A well-meaning, traditional dietitian might suggest you pick a “healthier” alternative to ice cream such as yogurt or a piece of fruit. We all know that it is not that simple.  

As a certified intuitive eating counselor, I have learned to be much more compassionate around food and eating behaviors. The concept of Intuitive Eating reminds us how to listen to our bodies. To understand hunger and fullness cues. To shut out the restrictive “food police” noise that is all around us all day, every day. To honor our emotions without using food. To move our bodies because it feels good and helps reduce stress, not to burn calories. To use basic nutrition knowledge to eat a way that helps us feel vibrant and healthy. To enjoy our food and mealtimes. It was a total game changer for me. This is the way I eat, and I found that these concepts are extremely relevant for my clients. Intuitive eating isn’t about weight loss, it’s about tuning in to ourselves to feel our best. 

Being a mom is a wonderful gift. It can also test your limits. It can test your time management skills, your patience, your ability to function on low sleep, your composure; but motherhood also strengthens your intuition. It would be easier to eat intuitively when you’re well rested, relaxed, and have lots of free time, but that’s why Moms need intuitive eating most of all. We need to listen to our own internal wisdom to show us how to take care of ourselves, so we can continue to take care of our families. We need to understand our emotions and decide how to best cope with them in our own unique situations.   

This summer, with a toddler and a newborn, the nighttime ice cream cravings were STRONG. Sometimes it was because I was actually hungry, sometimes it was because I needed a feel-good moment after a hard day, sometimes my sleep deprived brain was telling me to eat some sugar, and sometimes it was because it was a hot summer night and ice cream is delicious. Sometimes I ate it and sometimes I didn’t. It’s up to me and no one else to decide what I need.  

Intuitive eating teaches you to treat yourself in a way that is both enjoyable in the moment and has a neutral or positive impact on your future self. Self awareness is a powerful thing.

Just to be very clear: This is NOT me telling you not to eat ice cream or chips or scroll your phone. This is a call to all Moms to work to figure out what you REALLY need and then work on getting it.

Hearty Family Dinners for Busy Nights: You Say Potato, I Say, YES PLEASE

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dinnerStruggling with healthy family dinners for busy fall nights? Oh my goodness, friend, ME TOO.

I have 4 kids who all do different activities different nights of the week. This means we are often scrambling at dinner time to connect with each other, eat after 4pm but before 9:00, and avoid the takeout trap. I have been pinning the heck out of filling, fast, budget-friendly family dinners and using my own family as fat little guinea pigs so I could share the best ones with you.

So here you go: 10 family dinners you can either make ahead or assemble in a snap!

  1. Pioneer Woman macaroni and cheese with roasted broccoli on the side. My kids call this mac and trees, and it is a family favorite. You can make the mac and cheese ahead of the dinner hour and then just pop it in the oven. I like to set the time bake and let the casserole and the broccoli cook together while we’re gone. Pro tip: blanch the broccoli before you roast it.
  2. Build-your-own rice and bean bowls. If you cook the rice and beans whenever you have a second, these can be assembled and microwaved in minutes. I like red beans and brown rice, and our go-to toppings include roasted sweet potatoes (again, make these whenever you have time to peel, slice, slather with butter, and throw them in the oven—you can reheat later), chopped tomatoes, shredded cheese, green onions, salsa, and guacamole.
  3. Pasta casserole. Use or make your favorite red sauce; cook some spicy Italian sausage; boil and drain a box of your favorite noodles. Then, mix it all together in a casserole dish and bury it with cheese. You can also add zucchini and/or spinach if your kids don’t freak out about extra veggies. We eat this with a big green salad and take-and-bake French bread usually.
  4. Chicken tacos in the slow cooker. Throw some chicken breasts, a jar of your favorite salsa, a can of tomatoes and chili peppers, cumin, garlic, and cracked red pepper in your crockpot and cook it for around 6 hours. About 20 minutes before dinner, shred your chicken and stir in a block of cream cheese. Bam! Taco meat for literally days. Serve with your family’s favorite shells and toppings and a side of veggies and guac. I usually follow this meal up with a night of taco salads, or breakfast burritos, or even just MORE tacos.
  5. Halfway homemade chicken soup. In your slow cooker, dump a couple of boxes of chicken broth, your favorite soup seasoning, some sautéed onions, and a bag or two of frozen mixed veggies. Add shredded rotisserie chicken and let it cook until your dog is losing her mind from the delicious smell. About a half an hour before dinner, throw some wide egg noodles in there and let them cook. You can also cook the noodles separately on the stovetop and add them in as you go. This is what I do because I generally like my soup sans noodle. If you go this route, just buy an extra box of broth and cook your noodles in it instead of water for more flavor. We serve this with apples, French bread, and smoothies. I call it the poor man’s Panera.
  6. Make your own chicken salads. I am not going to lie to you: we have this like 3 days a week. All you have to do is grill a ton of chicken and make sure you are freshly stocked with salad greens and everyone’s favorite dressing. We like to eat salads with loaded baked potatoes, so you also need some bacon and sour cream in addition to the salad fixings.
  7. Turkey and sweet potato chili. I discovered this recipe while doing a round of Whole30, so there aren’t any beans, but I don’t miss them! Top it with guac, cheese, and maybe some tortilla chips for a non-Whole30 makeover.
  8. Aidells chicken apple sausages with basically anything. These sausages are so delicious you can eat them with peppers, pasta, and red sauce, in an egg and veggie scramble, or on their own with a side of veggies and roasted sweet potatoes. They have become a go-to quick dinner staple.
  9. Sheet pan tostadas. Like tacos only even easier because there is literally ONE DISH to wash.
  10. Pulled pork sliders. There are literally THOUSANDS of slow-cooker pulled pork recipes to choose from, but this one is my favorite. We have this on the regular with homemade coleslaw and veggies and dip.

There you have it—10 easy family dinners you can throw into your busy weeknight rotation. What are your own favorite meals for the family? Share them in the comments.

Mama, Make Yourself a Quiche

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spinach quiche can be self-care

These days, I almost always have a quiche in my fridge. It’s a simple way to ensure—amid hectic mornings—that I get to eat breakfast. It’s an act of self-care. Moms need breakfast, too!

My friend Emily started bringing me quiches after my second baby was born. The mornings were often a rough time for me. I’d be up early to feed the baby and before I could start heating water for coffee, I’d hear the pitter patter of my toddler’s feet. Once he was awake, making my own breakfast got displaced by making breakfast for him, packing his lunch, getting him ready and then out the door for school, and a million other little things that families do before they leave the house in the morning. 

Emily’s quiches made a real difference for me as I was negotiating my new life. I’d grab a slice from the fridge and eat it while pumping. If lunch snuck up on me, there was always quiche.

A simple thing—eating meals—had gotten complicated with a new baby. Quiche made it simple. I was nourished. Taking time to eat that quiche was a small, but powerful, act of self-care.

But Emily wasn’t just making me a quiche. Each time she baked, she made two quiches—one for me and one for herself. As a mom of two young kids, with a third on the way, she too would find it hard to get breakfast in. Her answer was quiche. She’d been doing this for a while—making a quiche on Sunday nights so she’d have easy meals for herself for the week. It was something she did as part of her own self-care.

After what seemed like dozens of Emily’s quiches, life started to feel normal again. When Emily had her baby a few months later, I made her some quiches (though not nearly enough to pay her back for all the ones she made me). And I started making myself quiche on a regular basis.

Quiche is really simple to make. The ingredients aren’t expensive. It keeps well and tastes great cold or warmed up. It’s rich, but wholesome, especially if you add spinach or other veggies. It’s flexible and forgiving. It’s a way of making sure I don’t start my days running on empty. 

For me, having a quiche in the fridge is a remarkably simple act of self-care.

So, Mama, make yourself a quiche. Future you will thank you. Keep it simple—a store bought crust and pre-shredded cheese work just fine. Need a recipe? I’ve shared Emily’s below. It’s simple and perfect—so creamy it melts in your mouth. Self-care couldn’t be more delicious.

(Not into quiche? Then find something else to make in advance to eat when life gets busy. Baked oatmeal, pumpkin bread, even oatmeal cookies loaded with nuts and dried fruit can help you stay fed. Point is, take care of yourself, Mama. You are worth it.)


Emily’s Quiche

Ingredients:
6 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Salt: 1 tsp. Diamond Kosher (1/2 tsp. if using iodized table salt)
Half of a 5 oz. package of baby spinach. No chopping needed!
Any other veggies you want to use up. I’ve had good success with throwing them in raw.
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese. Use any cheese and enough to cover the entire bottom. Exact quantity does not matter.
1 (9-inch) refrigerated pie crust, fitted to a 9-inch glass pie plate

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees with the rack on the lowest possible rung.
Roll out the pie crust and fit into un-greased pie pan.
Layer the shredded cheese first, then put the spinach on top.
Whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, and salt.
Pour the egg mixture on top. Use your spatula to push under any spinach that’s too floaty. (Otherwise, don’t worry about it being super even. It’ll even out as it bakes.)
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the egg mixture is set. I almost always need 45 minutes or more. The center should not jiggle when shook and the edges will be starting to brown.
Cool as needed and serve.

Four Reasons Why a Midwife May Be the Best Choice for You | Physicians for Women

During pregnancy, you have all kinds of decisions to make. Who should you tell first about the baby? Should you find out the gender or make it a surprise? Epidural, C-section or natural childbirth? Home birth, birthing center or hospital? What about the baby’s name?

One of the most important decisions you’ll make, though, is who to choose as your healthcare provider. Physicians for Women is proud to offer midwifery care at their partner clinic, The Madison Midwives, and excited to welcome Kate Metzger, Certified Nurse Midwife, to their team.

Kate Metzger has been working with women and newborns since 2015. Kate has worked with both low-risk and high-risk populations. She has a Masters degree from Marquette University and is certified by The American Midwifery Certification Board. She previously worked at Aurora Sinai Medical Center caring for very high risk patients, and in the future intends on becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.

Here are 4 reasons why a Midwife like Kate Metzger may be the best choice for you.

Midwife-assisted births are on the rise
When choosing the best care during your pregnancy, there are two major options: An obstetrician gynecologist or a midwife. Traditionally in the United States, OB/GYN-attended births are more common but, since 1989, more women have been choosing midwives. In 2013, more than eight percent of all births were attended by a midwife, according to the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

Midwives and OB/GYNs are more similar than one might think. For example, Christine Kern Steffen, a midwife with the Madison Midwives in Madison, Wisconsin, said she follows a standard model for prenatal care and sees patients in a clinical setting with access to laboratory and ultrasound equipment.

“My partner, Allison Scholl and I provide one-on-one labor support during the whole labor process,” Kern Steffen said. “I care for women through the whole delivery process, as well as postpartum care, both immediately in the hospital and in the weeks following the birth.”

What makes The Madison Midwives practice different from other midwife clinics is the collaborative relationship they have with their partner OB office, Physicians for Women.

You can have a gentle cesarean
Although women with high-risk pregnancies, especially those needing a cesarean section, generally opt for an OB/GYN who can monitor them closely and perform surgical deliveries, The Madison Midwives client Carrie Kilman wanted the additional emotional and physical support provided by a midwife.

“I knew there was a good chance I would need a C-section for medical reasons, and I knew that most midwives don’t work with C-section births,” Kilman said.

However, halfway through her pregnancy, she learned about “gentle cesarean,” also known as family-centered cesarean, which is a procedure growing in popularity in the United States and England. It allows the mother the opportunity to see their baby born via cesarean through a clear plastic sheet, and then experiences the immediate skin-to-skin contact normally absent from this type of delivery.

Kilman worked with Kern Steffen and Dr. Melius, OB/GYN to have the gentle delivery she wanted. She said her experience with a midwife was overwhelmingly positive.

“(Christine) took all the time to listen, she helped me feel empowered with evidence-based information, and she approached everything with such a serene and caring demeanor,” Kilman said. “She was at my side in the recovery room as my daughter learned to nurse, and she was readily available with thoughtful advice during the first few postpartum weeks as my husband and I transitioned into parenthood.”

Epidurals are still an option
Also, contrary to popular belief, you can still choose to have an epidural if you have a midwife.

“The fact is that many midwives can, will, and do use the medication Pitocin, they use epidurals for pain relief, they give antibiotics when indicated, and they recommend C-sections when necessary,” Dr. Jennifer Ashton, an OB, told ABC News.

A midwife may also be more open than an OB/GYN to allowing intermittent monitoring of the baby during labor and to trying a variety of other pain management techniques, such as massage, walking, and the use of an exercise ball.

Midwives offer personalized experiences
The biggest reason you should choose a midwife is the increased freedom you’ll have to personalize your birthing experience. Midwives tend to have more time to bond with their patients and are thus able to help women come up with birth plans that meet all their needs, mentally, emotionally and physically.

Kilman said the only thing she would do differently with another pregnancy would be to see a midwife from the beginning.

“Thanks to Christine, I would approach the experience with less anxiety and greater confidence,” Kilman said.

Visit themadisonmidwives.com to find out how having a midwife could improve your pregnancy and labor and delivery experience. For more information about Kate Metzger, CNM, visit https://mscwomenshealth.com/kate-metzger-cnm/.

This post was sponsored by our friends at Physicians for Women. We are proud of the relationships we have built with local businesses and only partner with brands we trust.

Join SSM Health at Madison Women’s Weekend: Spa Services, Fitness Classes, Crafts and More!

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This weekend, keep warm and cozy at the 21st annual Madison Women’s Weekend. This event is jam packed full of informative and fun activities for women. This year’s Madison Women’s Weekend will take place Saturday, November 23rd and Sunday, the 24th, at the Alliant Energy Center.

Join SSM Health as they celebrate and empower women!

Come and enjoy:

  • Spa services (hair styling, make-up applications, nail polish changes, eyebrow threading) at the Beauty Pavilion
  • FREE fitness classes on our Health & Fitness Stage
  • Fun craft classes and activities at the Craft Bar
  • Informative speakers on the Main Stage
  • Hundreds of businesses with products or services for you to try

SSM Health is proud to be the presenting sponsor for this amazing event in the Madison area community. SSM Health and SSM Health at Home will be at the event all weekend with information and giveaways. Additionally, they will be hosting three “meet and greets” with some of their amazing providers, giving attendees the opportunity to talk with an expert about any women’s health questions they might have.

Schedule of SSM Events below:

  • Saturday, November 23rd from 12:00-12:45pm | Mary Sue Walters, Pelvic Health Physical Therapist | Mary Sue is available to answer any questions you may have about incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, vaginal dryness and sexual health
  • Saturday, November 24th from 1:00-1:45pm | Dr. Michelle Mackay | Dr. Mackay is available to answer any questions you may have about women’s cancers; including genetic testing, breast cancer, uterine cancer and ovarian cancer
  • Sunday, November 24th from 12:00-12:45pm | Katherine Hovanec, Pelvic Health Physical Therapist | Katherine is available to answer any questions you may have about incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, vaginal dryness and sexual health

We hope you can join them for a weekend of fun-filled activities and informative speakers! Tickets are available in advance ($7) or at the door ($10). Children under 12 are free! For more information, visit https://madisonwomensexpo.com/. 

This post is sponsored by our friends at SSM Health. We are proud of the relationships we've built with local businesses and only partner with brands we trust.

Madison Hanukkah Events | 2019

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lightsAs most Americans know, Hanukkah is the winter holiday of Judaism. Because it typically falls around Christmastime, many people associate the two holidays with one another; however, it is worth noting that unlike Christmas, Hanukkah is not a deeply religiously significant holiday, unlike the fall holidays of Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah and the spring holiday of Passover. Instead, Hanukkah is the festival of lights, and this year, it falls on December 22 at sundown and lasts for eight nights, through December 30.

This year in our home, we’ll be keeping things simple. We’ll light the Menorah each night at sundown, give small gifts each night (4 kids. 8 nights of presents. The math is never in our favor), and eat various oil-related foods, which include latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiot (donuts). Due to the timing of Hanukkah this year, we’ll be celebrating Christmas Eve with my husband’s side of the family and Christmas as well, so things will be a bit different than usual. Read: EVEN MORE FULL OF GIFTS, lights, and the brightness of family holidays in a season of darkness.

If you’ll be in Madison to celebrate, here are some events that might be interesting to check out. If you happen to know of other events, please post them in the comments. Thanks and Happy Hanukkah!

Madison Hanukkah Events 2019

Sunday December 22- Monday December 31, 2019 | 2019 Happy Hanukkah 8K– Eight Crazy Nights Virtual Race 

Although this event is based out of Milwaukee, because it is a virtual race, you can run anywhere you’d like. The $20 ticket price helps to benefit the Human Rights Initiative, and the best part is you can run the race in increments– a little bit each night of Hanukah.  What could be a better way to burn off all those latkes? For more information, click HERE.

Sunday, December 22, 4:00pm-7:00pm | Hanukkah Extravaganza

Temple Beth El,  2702 Arbor Drive, Madison
This night of family fun starts with a carnival and celebration and also includes a sing-along, tacos and latkes for dinner, and an olive oil tasting.  For more information, click HERE.

Sunday, December 22, 6:00-7:00pm | Hanukkah Party

Beth Israel Center, 1406 Mound Street, Madison
For more information about this family friendly event, click HERE.

 

 

Hey Mama, Choose Happy

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Finding our groove in motherhood can be one of the biggest mama hurdles we have to jump. Mom culture is saturated in negative self talk. And while memes are fun (hello guilty pleasure!), at the end of the day, we become what we behold. 

And this mama grew real tired, real quick. All that ‘fun’ negativity ended up projecting onto my personal life. I realized I was headed down a really dangerous path. My mental health as a mother was at stake, as we’re my relationships. 

I simply wanted more happiness. 

So I chased it.

Over the last year, finding happiness in the daily rhythms of motherhood has changed not only my temperament as mama and wife, but also my ability to keep up with life’s chaos while simultaneously embracing it. 

But, how? How do we enjoy time at the dishwasher? How do we enjoy waking up early for the school rush? How do we enjoy our kids? Because I’m all about keeping it real, and sometimes even this can be a struggle. 

Here’s a few real, simple changes we can make in our pursuit of motherhood bliss that have a solid happiness payout.

Go Simple, Declutter A Space. I know, it’s a trendy concept right now, but for good reason. It’s been scientifically proven that clutter produces cortisol, and too much cortisol produces stress. So where to start? Start simple and small. Choose a space you frequent multiple times a day (try your bathroom). Empty the space. And return only what you need and use daily. Let the rest go. You’ll quickly see how going simple triggers a happier mood.

Free Printable :: Evening Rhythms for some more evening tips and tricks.

Solidify Evening Rhythms. I love referring to Micheal Scott (The Office fans, unite!) on this one. Que the episode where he burns his foot on a George Foreman Grill stepping out of bed one morning, all because he enjoys waking up to the smell of fresh bacon. A little extreme maybe, but the man has a point. Each night, I complete a few simple tasks for my ‘tomorrow morning self’ so I have slightly less work to wake up to. Program your coffee pot and hit start on the dishwasher before heading to bed. Waking up to fresh hot coffee and a clean dishwasher is an instant mood lifter!

Indulge In Simple Pleasures. Self care, just simpler. Try one of my favorites: a brown sugar + honey lip scrub. The ingredients are always pantry stocked, and a quick pamper session leaves me feeling refreshed, especially heading into this Wisconsin winter! Pair it with a coconut oil + sea salt hand scrub for a full out kitchen spa sesh.

Feed Your Soul. Reading, podcasts, music. They all have a positive impact on our mood. So enjoy more of them! Keep a simple book in your bag to skim during downtime. Book in hand means phone isn’t, which means less stress on the go! Some days it’s as simple as popping in earbuds and listening to a quick, motivating podcast for a boost. Or the next time you’re feeling the mama grumps creep in, play some music. A bad mood plus good music always boosts happiness.

Turn Ordinary Tasks Into Extraordinary Ones. Joy in a dishwasher? Here’s how: load the dishwasher intentionally. This is a real thing, hear me out! When we load our dishes, we group like items together. Not only is it really pretty to look at when I open to unload, it’s also much easier to put away. Everything is pre sorted, meaning I’m not spending unnecessary time organizing plates and cups and spoons and forks. I’m just swooping up each category and sticking it back in its cupboard. Less time at the dishwasher always means a happier mama!

Find Your “One Good Mom Thing.” Once I stopped trying to be the mom that does everything perfectly, and focused instead on being the mom that does one good thing, I started to find more happiness in my motherhood. Choose one or two things you personally enjoy and involve your kids! For me it’s coloring and reading. I put my phone away, grab a warm comfort beverage, and sit with my kids. Then the magic happens; they open up and we connect. It’s really as simple as that. Don’t worry about all the things you don’t like to do with your kids. Focus on the things you do like to do. And do them well. I promise it’ll leave you all feeling more connected. And much happier!

Here’s the deal. Times will still get tough, that’s life. And motherhood. You’ll still have days where you lock yourself in your pantry and eat Oreo’s. Bedtime will seem lightyears from now. And you’ll still feel flustered in the temporary chaos, and you’ll still have days where you cry. That’s okay, and normal! But choosing to find the happy in the mundane is going to make those bad mama moments few and far between. So on our average days, motherhood can be a place of joy and comfort.

Our goal as mom’s is to ultimately raise happy children into happy adults. If we can’t find happiness in daily life, how can we ever expect them to?


Amy is a facilitator of all sorts as she lives life with her husband and three daughters (plus baby number four on the way). She loves to chat all things simplifying, motherhood and life while embracing rhythms, rest and always putting family first. Her current passions include celebrating the chaos of everyday life with so many littles, as well as helping other mamas see the beauty in the ordinary through #unfilteredswipe posts and the #goingsimple challenge. Amy Eilers | @houseofeilers | www.houseofeilers.wordpress.com

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