Learn Through Play

Madison Children's Museum's blog: news and musings about the museum, issues in the field, and the American Girl Benefit Sale.

Spring closures will lead to bigger things

RooftopClosure-FacebookThe museum is working on two major improvements, which will require short-term and long-term closures.

Our Rooftop Ramble—which includes a sprawling rooftop flower and edibles garden, a combination chicken coop and homing pigeon cote, the acorn climber and “crow’s nest” lookout tower, and the indoor clubhouse which houses our education animals and science exploration activities—is one of the most iconic and beloved parts of Madison Children’s Museum. This spring we are kicking off a multi-stage project to refresh our rooftop spaces, bring in even more science and environmental education opportunities, and make visiting the roof more accessible for all our guests.


A view of Madison Children’s Museum’s rooftop ramble at the time the museum opened in 2010.

The whole rooftop floor is closed from April 1 through May 15, 2019. During that time, exhibits and facilities staff will complete Phase 1 of upgrades and additions. When the rooftop reopens there will be two new features installed. One is a windmill, which will engage wind power to lift water from a well below. The other is a large mechanical flower, whose movements will be powered by solar energy. You’ll also see changes to increase space inside the Clubhouse.


Our outdoor community spaces will be getting an upgrade to make them more accessible.

Phase 2 will be completed during our traditional closed weeks this fall, September 3 through 13. These changes will focus on making the rooftop more accessible for all users, including those with mobility devices.

Also, our Log Cabin will be closed until further notice. Though the Log Cabin itself is in fine shape, further erosion of the former parking structure out back, hastened by the extreme freeze/thaw cycles we experienced late this winter, necessitates closing down use of the back lot. This is not a surprise, as we were informed the back lot had an approximate ten-year lifespan when we acquired the building in 2005. And we are now well past that point. However, we know the Log Cabin is a beloved part of Madison Children’s Museum, and we are sorry to not be able to reopen it this spring, as we usually would.


The log cabin and garden, pictured here in 2013, will reopen in a few years.

So what’s next? The Log Cabin will be back within a few years. It will reopen as part of a major expansion project planned for the entirety of the back lot. This project is still in planning stages, so details are under wraps, but we can assure you that it will be worth the wait and that things are looking… Up.

We’re sorry for any inconvenience these closures cause. During the rooftop closure (through May 15), we are discounting regular admission to $7 for adults and children above the age of one and $6 for seniors.

Watch this space, follow our Facebook page, and subscribe to our email newsletter for upcoming news and project details.

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