Madison Children's Museum

I've been hearing about the revamped Madison Children's Museum since it re-opened its doors over a year ago. But I finally got the chance to go there a couple of weeks ago, with our nine-year-old neighbor. Our neighbor is a wonderful boy, who has made me hand-made beaded necklaces and earrings; who has made drawings of Eddie Vedder (our cat) as a super cat, complete with cape and fish-decorated socks; and who is our best backyard frisbee partner.

The place is just beautiful--with all the exuberance of handmade objects and childhood fascination. It reminded me of my favorite indoor non-home location in the world: The St. Louis City Museum.

One of the decorative elements of the Madison Children's Museum that I loved was it's use of inspiring quotes throughout the space, beginning with every letter of the alphabet. Here are a selection:

But the reason I'm writing about the museum here on D&O is because of its heavy emphasis on  food and sustainability. I had read about its rooftop garden and other efforts at being sustainable, and so was excited to check it out.

We were in the middle of playing on the human-sized hamster wheel when there was an announcement over the intercom that said there'd be a cheese-making demo on the rooftop, and so we headed up there.

While on the roof, we spied the beautiful wooden compost container and solar oven: 

The colorful chicken coop and attendant chickens: 

And these vegetable-rific paintings on the walls of the rooftop building, which I totally wanted to steal for the walls of a children's room someday:

When we came downstairs, our neighbor friend wanted a juice box. When we saw the ingredients of the juice box (no artificial colors! sweet potato and purple carrot juice!), we were happy to buy it for him, even though the empty juice box was one of the few things that had to be thrown in the "garbage" container, rather than the awesome "compost" and "recycling" options. 

All in all, the Madison Children's Museum is a beautiful and exciting escape where you can not only run around and craft and play with blocks and climb and slide, but also learn about urban agriculture and traditional food preparation. And it's worth a visit for adults too! Come any time, or save up for one of their Adult Swim nights.

And Happy New Year! See you in 2012!