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Mama Madison: Holiday pop-culture literacy
Teaching needs to go beyond naughty and nice to Rankin and Bass
Many of the pop-culture seasonal touchpoints of my youth are completely lost on my kids. You see, while I may have memorized every word to both the Snow Miser and the Heat Miser's songs from The Year Without a Santa Claus, I'm pretty sure the only Rankin-Bass stop-motion Christmas special my ... >More
Mama Madison: Teens that aren't hard to shop for
Shop for Good will gift older kids in need
I am so thrilled that the United Way is sponsoring a Teen Gift Drive this holiday season. Sure, teen "wants" often aren't as fun to shop for as precious baby dolls and sweet Lego sets. But middle and high school kids still "need" to feel valued and loved during this time of year. And helping a famil ... >More

Stuff to do with your kids, recommended by Isthmus

Friday, November 29

Downtown Holiday Open House:
Annual Madison Central Business Improvement District event, 9:30 am-4 pm, 11/29-30, at locations along State Street & the Capitol Square, with kids' a ...

Family Trailside Backpack:
Nature guides, activity sheets, equipment & games available for checkout, 8:30 am-4 pm Monday-Friday, Aldo Leopold Nature Center. $5/family rental. RS ...

NOTE CORRECTED DATES: Holiday Fantasy in Lights:
Drive-through display with animated light sculptures, dusk to dawn, 11/15-1/1, Olin-Turville Park. Donations appreciated upon exit. www.fantasyinlight ...

Hmong New Year Celebration:
Southern Wisconsin Hmong Association event, 8 am-4 pm (free) & 6-11:30 pm ($12), 11/29-30, Alliant Energy Center-Exhibition Hall, with speakers, trad ...

Leopold Interpretive Trail:
2 miles of hiking trails & free family activities, sunup to sundown daily, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Monona. 221-0404

Saturday, November 30

Downtown Holiday Open House:
Annual Madison Central Business Improvement District event, 9:30 am-4 pm, 11/29-30, at locations along State Street & the Capitol Square, with kids' a ...

Monsters University:
Free screening (2013)

Downtown Middleton Business Association Open House:
Refreshments, specials, 10 am-5 pm, 11/30, downtown Middleton, with horse-drawn wagon rides 11 am-1 pm; tree lighting 4:30 pm, City Hall. Bring canned ...

Kids in the Rotunda:
Daniel Barash, 9:30 & 11 am and 1 pm (sign-interpreted)

Hmong New Year Celebration:
Southern Wisconsin Hmong Association event, 8 am-4 pm (free) & 6-11:30 pm ($12), 11/29-30, Alliant Energy Center-Exhibition Hall, with speakers, trad ...

Sunday, December 1

Family Trailside Backpack:
Nature guides, activity sheets, equipment & games available for checkout, 8:30 am-4 pm Monday-Friday, Aldo Leopold Nature Center. $5/family rental. RS ...

NOTE CORRECTED DATES: Holiday Fantasy in Lights:
Drive-through display with animated light sculptures, dusk to dawn, 11/15-1/1, Olin-Turville Park. Donations appreciated upon exit. www.fantasyinlight ...

Drop-in Art Project:
With Bird Ross, 2-4 pm

Leopold Interpretive Trail:
2 miles of hiking trails & free family activities, sunup to sundown daily, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Monona. 221-0404

Monday, December 2

Little Learners:
Stories & play for ages 0-4, 10:45 am Mondays, 9/23-12/2, Central Library. 608-266-6350

Mad Scientists:
Hands-on experiments, 2:30 pm Mondays, 11/ 11-12/2, Central Library. 608-266-6350

Toddler Art:
Crafts, 10 or 10:45 am Mondays, 12/2-16, Sequoya Library. RSVP: 608-266-6385

Preschool Storytime:
Ages 3-5, 10:30 am Mondays, 9/16-12/9. 608-288-6160

LEGO Club:
All ages

Tuesday, December 3

Little Pioneers:
History-themed play for early learners, 2 pm Tuesdays, Madison Children's Museum. Free with $8 admission. 608-256-6445

Toddler Art:
9:30 or 10:30 am Thursdays, 12/3-17, Pinney Library. RSVP for series: 608-224-7100

African Children's Choir:

PlayTime Productions' "Ali Baba & a Few Thieves":

Sew It, Make It:
Skill projects for all ages, 3:30 pm Tuesdays, Madison Children's Museum. Free with $8 admission. 608-256-6445

Wednesday, December 4

PlayTime Productions' "Ali Baba & a Few Thieves":

Possible-opolis Printworks:
Ages 3 & up, 10 am Fridays & Wednesdays, Madison Children's Museum. Free with $8 admission. 608-256-6445

Gingerbread Cookie Fun:
Stories & games

Toddler Dance Party:
Ages 1-3

Art Adventures:
Drop-in, 2 pm Wednesdays, Madison Children's Museum. Free with $8 admission. 608-256-6445

Thursday, December 5

Picture Book Storytime:
Ages 2-5, 9:30 am Thursdays, through 12/12. RSVP (walk-ins if space): 222-6127

Fiber Arts:
Drop-in, 1 pm Thursdays, Madison Children's Museum. Free with $8 admission. 608-256-6445

Crafts from the Past:
2:30 pm, 12/5 & 12, Madison Children's Museum. Free with $8 admission. 608-256-6445

Nifty Thrifty Gifty:
Project for ages 6 & up

Friday, December 6

Lego Club Jr.:
Ages 3-5

Possible-opolis Printworks:
Ages 3 & up, 10 am Fridays & Wednesdays, Madison Children's Museum. Free with $8 admission. 608-256-6445

Preschool Storytime:
Ages 3-5, 9:30 am Fridays, 10/4-12/20. 608-266-6385

PlayTime Productions' "Ali Baba & a Few Thieves":

Blast into Space:
Stories & crafts