Madison Children’s Museum: Wonderground to open weekend of October 2 & 3

MADISON, Wis. ––  Madison Children’s Museum has announced October 2 & 3, 2021 as the public opening dates of the Wonderground, a new 10,000-square-foot space behind the museum for healthy outdoor, active play. Wonderground highlights include the Thicket climbing sculpture, the museum’s historic 1830s log cabin, a giant bucket turned on its side, and countless areas to explore and discover. The four-season exhibit will offer changing programming all year long. And the exhibit itself will continue to evolve and grow; the October opening will complete phase I of the project. Phase II will be completed in the spring, with an expansion of the Thicket climbing sculpture and more. Find out more about the Wonderground.
The campaign supporting the exhibit’s construction enters its last leg bolstered by a 3-to-1 match—up to $250,000—from an anonymous donor. “Our Future in Play: a promise to survive, thrive, and play outside” has raised funds over the last year to support the museum through a 15-month closed period, the costs of reopening, and the construction of the new Wonderground. 

Campaign leadership hopes to raise $5 million by September 26, 2021, when the campaign is scheduled to end. Our Future in Play recently passed the $4 million mark. 

Deb Gilpin, museum president and CEO, says “The Wonderground opening couldn’t come at a better time. Many families are understandably more comfortable playing outside given current conditions. And the Wonderground will provide a creative, inspiring space for outdoor, active play—even in winter. We’re thrilled that so many in our community have contributed to make it happen.” 

Visitors to the museum between now and September 26 can make a gift and create artwork that will be included in the opening of the exhibit. For any gift of $1 or more, museum-goers can get a ribbon from the front desk and decorate it with their name or a design. The ribbons will be included in a special display when the Wonderground opens in October. Gifts of $1,000 or more allow donors to add their names or the names of loved ones to the wall of supporters, which will be permanently displayed in the Wonderground.

Anyone wanting to make a gift online can do so here: Madison Children’s Museum is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization. All gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Our Future in Placampaign 
Chair: Jane Villa
Honorary Chairs: Diane Ballweg & The Honorable Paul B. Higginbotham (Ret.)
Museum Board Chair: Jennifer Johnson
Connects children with their families, their community and the world beyond through creative learning and discovery play. Strives to make all families feel welcome, valued, and included by living the ideals of Access, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Is a community hub for children and families from every corner of Madison, and serves more than 200,000 visitors per year. Is a community partner and gateway for families to access and participate in other cultural institutions and community programs. Founded in 1980, the museum’s hands-on exhibits and programs celebrate and encourage children’s imagination and the power of play as cornerstones of learning. The museum is a proud recipient of the 2011 National Medal for Museum Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. It is an independent, nonprofit organization. To learn more, visit, and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.