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“Madison Children's Museum = Disappointing!”

Madison Children's Museum
Ranked #1 of 17 Fun & Games in Madison
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The Madison Children's Museum is an award-winning destination for fun family activities and hands-on learning! Visit our inventive city of Possible-opolis for ages 6 and up, and our four-season Rooftop Ramble, with animals and gardens. Kids under 5 have a place of their own in the Wildernest, a global village made with natural, local materials.There's always something new to do at Madison Children's Museum, where our mission is to connect children with their family, their community, and the world beyond through discovery learning and creative play.
Useful Information: Stairs / elevator, Stroller parking, Activities for young children, Wheelchair access, Activities for older children, Food available for purchase, Bathroom facilities, Lockers / storage
Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Madison Children's Museum = Disappointing!”
Reviewed October 17, 2012

I have two young boys - ages 5 and 3 and we spend about 2 hours there MAX! There is little to keep their attention. Everything is very conceptual, which is above them. And I get the whole "recycled or reused" idea, which is trendy now, but what relevance does that have to little kids and exploring their world?? Get over it! There is little "pretend play" - and what little there is, has several kiddos vying for its attention! Now maybe we would think this place is stellar if we had not visited every other museum in the area, such as Appleton, Milwaukee, Eau Claire, St. Paul, etc.! But in comparison to the others, Madison's Children's Museum just doesn't stack up. In fact, we purchase a membership every year just to get into the other museums for free! (We've visited the Appleton Children's museum six times this year, compared to the two times we've been to Madison.) HOWEVER, BUYER BEWARE... as of April 2013, your reciprocal pass will no longer get you into those other museums for free... just at a reduced rate! Madison Children's Museum just lost our membership business!

Visited October 2012
2 Thank Kris R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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243 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Janesville, Wisconsin, USA
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 5, 2012

While the museum may have a few things for older kids to engage themselves in, there wasn't much for younger kids. Several things that may have been of interest didn't seem to work. The arts and crafts area just seem like a huge mess. Other areas seemed like old toys we have at home.

The "pizza making" area seemed like it would be a hit with older kids (5-7). Frankly, this type of play/pretending area was more of what we were expecting throughout.

The best part of the museum was the bottom floor which was targeted to the younger kids. After being on the top floors and already being disappointed, the bottom level was a pleasant surprise. There were areas to roam as well as realistic little huts that transform you to a different time. If the rest of the museum was designed along similar lines, we would have given it a huge thumbs up.

Visited September 2012
Thank Denise M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Unique, original, whimsical children's museum.”
Reviewed September 28, 2012

Our family is visiting Madison for an extended weekend and while my husband was working I took our three children two boys and an infant girl to the Madison children's museum. We had lived in the city about 8 years ago, before we had kids. We had reciprocal membership with another children's museum that granted us Fred admission. The museum has free parking adjacent as well (not in a ramp).

This museum had some of the most unique exhibits I have ever seen. Giant tinker toys, a climbing structure made from what look like giant antique metal marine bouys, wire cages and ?a hot air balloon basket, and a cow hoist to name a few. We spent 3 hours and didn't spend time in half of it. My boys loved it.

The staff were great, cute snack bar and area to eat a picnic lunch.

It's located right on Capitol square so lots of great places for a snack or just to look around nearby.

The overall feel of the museum was so Madison! The second floor has what looks like reclaimed school gym wooden flooring as the floor. There are creative, unique areas all over that feel like the city.

Thank lindsey2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
59 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“great for young children”
Reviewed September 24, 2012

Not as big as the Childrens museums in the Chicago area but very well layed out for its size. Way too crowded on weekends though. Kids six and under seem to be the target age... not enough electronic gadgets for the over six age. Send the older kids to the historical museum while the younger kids play.

Visited May 2012
Thank hellofromme123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
39 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Fun for kids 5ish and older”
Reviewed September 13, 2012

We went here with a 2 yr. old and 1 1/2 yr. old. Their area for 0-5 year olds is neat, but there just isn't enough for them to do in there. They have a lot of empty open area, which is fun for running around, but when they're younger, I feel they'd rather have lot of hands on things to play with. There's an area for infants which is filled with a soft, pillowy floor and that's great. The other areas are a little hut with drums, and another with clothes I believe. The water area is fun, as well and the bridge to walk across, but I believe that's it. They really need more things to play with, because the rest of the museum is just a little too old for them.

Visited August 2012
Thank laugheytaffey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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