Childrens Activities at UW-Madison



(608) 263-2400- Campus and Visitors Relations (CAVR)

(608) 265-9500- Campus Visit Program (CVP)

Campus and Visitor Relations is able to schedule a visit to one or more of these fantastic destinations. Please submit a campus visit request online at

Many campus units like the Art Department, Dance Department, School of Music, and School of Human Ecology offer shows, performances, etc. throughout the academic year. Check their websites for more information. For additional Art on Campus information, see  For additional Science on campus information, see

Allen Centennial Gardens
Corner of Observatory Drive and Babcock Drive

Created on the 2.5-acre site of a historic Victorian home that once served as a residence for university deans, the Allen Centennial Gardens have been called UW-Madison’s largest outdoor classroom. The 22 magnificent gardens are maintained by UW faculty, staff and students, and represent gardening styles from around the world. Primarily used as a teaching tool in horticulture, botany, entomology and plant pathology, the gardens are also popular among visitors who stroll the grounds and gardeners who come to ooh and aah.

1207 Seminole Highway

Featuring the restored prairies, forests and wetlands of pre-settlement Wisconsin, this 1,290-acre arboretum also houses flowering tees, shrubs, and a world-famous lilac collection. Educational tours for groups and the general public and science and nature-based classes for all ages and abilities are available. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The visitor center is open 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 12:30 to 4 p.m. weekends (excluding holidays). Call  (608) 265-5872 to coordinate a tour specifically for a group or e-mail See for more information.

Babcock Hall Dairy Plant and Store
1605 Linden Drive

Ice cream treats, fresh milk and cheese are for sale 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays (10 a.m.-5 p.m. on home football Saturdays).

425 Henry Mall

Take a journey into the living sciences and increase your science savvy. The Biotechnology Center is a state-of-the-art research laboratory where kids can participate in hands-on workshops. Workshops are available by appointment and are limited to groups of 25 or fewer.

Chazen Museum of Art

800 University Avenue

One of the country's leading university art museums, the Chazen (formerly Elvehjem) houses a permanent collection of 16,000 works of art dating from 2300 BC to present day. Admission is free and the museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.  The museum is closed Mondays and state holidays. Guided tours are available with a reservation.  See  to find the current exhibitions on display. 

Dairy Cattle Center
1815 West Linden Drive
608-263-3308 (Department of Dairy Science)

Milk is an important product in Wisconsin. Many of the foods we enjoy every day originate from the dairy herds around the state. Watch and learn as cows are milked from 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. every day; no reservations required.

D.C. Smith Greenhouse
465 Babcock Drive

Open to public Mon-Fri 8am-4:30pm 

Completed in 1996 and run by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, D.C. Smith Greenhouse was designed to meet scientific needs while providing aesthetic pleasure. The conservatory is an example of the relatively new discipline of interiorscaping and has won several architectural awards. Visit during winter months to enjoy the ornamental plants and the tropical environment. Tours can be held during regular University hours, and guests should call the greenhouse manager at the number listed above. See for more information.

Geology Museum
1215 West Dayton Street

With its reconstructed dinosaurs, huge mastodon skeleton, colorful mineral samples, a six-foot diameter rotating globe and a walk-through model of a Wisconsin limestone cave, the Geology Museum has long been a favorite of both kids and adults. The museum is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. Admission is free. Group tours are available with a reservation, call 608-262-1412.

Insect Research Collection
346 Russell Labs
1630 Linden Drive

From enormous tropical African beetles to brilliant butterflies, the Insect Research Collection is a treasure trove for nature lovers. The collection contains about two million preserved insects, including huge cicadas from Africa and Malaysia. There are also live Madagascar hissing and death’s head cockroaches and a four-inch long Chilean rosehair tarantula. Tours are available by appointment for up to 10 people.

Kohl Center
West Dayton St.

The Kohl Center opened in 1998 and is one of the country's most highly regarded collegiate arenas. The $76 million facility is home to Badger basketball and hockey and is also a venue for state tournaments, concerts, family shows and university events. Visit public areas of the building from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, or make a reservation for a 1 hour guided tour available at 9:30 AM, 11 AM, 1:00 PM, or 2:30 PM Monday through Friday at the phone number above or through the Guest Services web site.

Primate Center
1220 Capitol Court

The Wisconsin National Primate Research Center welcomes visitors to its Marmoset Learning Lobby 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Please call to schedule a visit and learn about our research and animal care activities. Enter halfway down Capitol Court, three short blocks south of the new Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, two blocks south of Union South, and one block south of the Geology Museum.  More information can be found on the Primate Research Center website.

Physics Museum
2130 Chamberlin Hall
1150 University Ave.

The L.R. Ingersoll Physics Museum is a public, hands-on physics museum located in room 2130 Chamberlin Hall. Exhibits primarily focus on demonstrating basic physical concepts, from mechanics to atomics, and historical instruments are on display. The museum is open to visitors from 8 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Red Gym
716 Langdon St. (map)

Dedicated in 1894 by President Charles Adams as a structure “built to endure for all time,” the Red Gym was both a training facility for citizen militia and a student center for recreation, sports, and social and cultural events. In 1993, the building was named a National Historic Landmark. Today the carefully restored and historically preserved Red Gym serves a new, adaptive role as a student and visitor center. Stop by the Red Gym from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday though Friday, to visit public areas of the building on your own, or see more with a 30-minute guided tour, available by appointment.

Space Place
1605 South Park Street (off campus)

Learn about astronomy and space exploration! Space Place offers public lectures, guest speakers, Saturday children's workshops, and group workshops. Reservations are required.

Waisman Center Children's Theatre

1500 Highland Avenue
(608) 263-5837

The Waisman Center Children's Theatre (WCCT) enhances the arts for young children and families with engaging, diverse and educational live theatrical performances on the second Sunday of each month. Shows are at 1:00 p.m. in the Friends of the Waisman Center Auditorium. Free parking.

Washburn Observatory
1401 Observatory Drive

Atop Observatory hill sits the historic Washburn Observatory. Public observations are offered when skies are mostly clear on the first and third Wednesday evenings of the month. Sessions begin at 9 p.m. April through October and at 7:30 p.m. November through March.

Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery
330 N. Orchard St.

The Town Center welcomes campus and community members for events that celebrate science and creativity. Visitors will find ample opportunity for hands-on learning while exploring the discovery niches, embedded teaching labs and interactive displays. Three food venues feature regionally grown and freshly prepared foods.

Wisconsin Union Theater
Memorial Union at 800 Langdon

The Wisconsin Union Theater is a multipurpose performing arts facility offering a varied, quality program of professional dance, music, theater, film and cultural events. The Wisconsin Union Galleries produce a wide variety of exhibits by faculty and students as well as regional and national artists. The Union’s art collection consists of 1,300 pieces, most on public display throughout the Memorial Union and Union South. The students of the Wisconsin Union Directorate produce the Concert Series and Performance Series, Distinguished Lecture Series, music and entertainment programs, art exhibitions and several film series.  See their website at for information on upcoming events.

University Theater
821 University Ave

University Theatre serves as the practical laboratory for UW-Madison’s Department of Theatre and Drama and presents a variety of performances throughout the year. See their website at for more information on upcoming shows.

Owner:Information Services Specialist .Group:Campus and Visitor Relations
Created:2009-04-08 19:00 CDTUpdated:2020-01-23 20:13 CDT
Sites:Campus and Visitor Relations
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