Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sand Mandala construction by Tibetan Monks - Memorial Union Madison

From September 16-20, Tibetan monks from The Mystical Arts of Tibet will be creating a sand mandala in UW-Madison's Memorial Union Great Lounge. This is a fantastic learning opportunity for your children.

From Wikipedia: The Sand Mandala is a Tibetan Buddhist tradition involving the creation and destruction of mandalas made from colored sand. A sand mandala is ritualistically destroyed once it has been completed and its accompanying ceremonies and viewing are finished to symbolize the Buddhist doctrinal belief in the transitory nature of material life.
Photo Credit: Mai Le, San Francisco, CA

The Mystical Arts of Tibet will also perform on Saturday evening, September 19th at the Wisconsin Union Theater. "Endorsed by the Dalai Lama as a means of promoting world peace and healing through sacred performing art, the monks of the Drepung Loseling monastery make their return to Madison. Known for their remarkable multiphonic singing and their elaborate sand mandala art, the Monks perform using traditional Tibetan instruments and in traditional garb . Says the San Francisco Chronicle, “The voice of serenity, the voice of survival and a hopeful message of peace.”

Watch and join the monks as they create a sand mandala at the Memorial Union’s Great Lounge:

Mandala Construction Schedule:

Wednesday, 9/16, 2009
Mandala Opening Ceremony: 4 pm

Thursday, 9/17-Friday, 9/18
Mandala construction: 11 am – 6 pm

Saturday, Sept. 19
Mandala construction: 11 am - 4 pm

Sunday, Sept. 20
Mandala Construction: 11 am - 1 pm
Mandala Closing Ceremony: 2 pm

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Tree Farm - Madison Area's Best Veggies

The Tree Farm

Apologies in advance: Today's blog is going to read like a commercial, or at least like a testimonial.

To our family, summer equals fresh vegetables. Fresh vegetables means trips to The Tree Farm to pick our own fresh vegetables.

Now, you can buy vegetables from your local farm market, but is it really fresh? Was it really grown locally? There's no question of harvest time or date at the Tree Farm. As their motto states, "When you pick it, you know it's fresh!"

The Tree Farm opened for the season on Saturday, June 27th. On that day, my daughter and I picked garden snap peas. Chris, the owner, encourages "quality control" while picking peas. Hannah sampled plenty and after inhaling several, pronounced them "delicious."

Prices are incredibly reasonable! Sugar snaps peas at Brennan's on the same date were $3.99/pound. Freshly picked at the Tree Farm were $1.95/pound.

For people in the know, picking vegetables at The Tree Farm is an annual tradition. Hard-working employee, Susan, told me that there weren't any garden peas left to pick that date, because they had all been picked already. It seems that a local family's tradition is to pick garden peas on opening day. Three generations join together for this bonding activity.

We are still awaiting the arrival of our favorite vegetable, which is kohlrabi. Chris sells human-head-sized kohlrabi for the incredibly low price of 49 cents EACH! Steamed kohlrabi tastes like a sweeter cauliflower.

In the fall, picking ears of blue, red, and calico popcorn is mandatory! Yummy stuff and you'll leave Orville Redenbacher's "packing peanut-like popcorn" behind!

When you arrive at the Tree Farm, stop at the top of the hill, and grab a map. This sheet will inform you as to what's ripe, pricing, and a map to each veggie's location. Have questions about anything at the Farm? Chris or Susan are more than happy to assist customers.

If you visit, check the website to see what's ready to be picked. It is updated daily.

Hours: Open Wed, Thurs, Fri 9-12 and 4-8 Sat and Sun 9-5

In Northwestern Dane County, Wisconsin, serving Madison and the surrounding area.
8454 Highway 19
Cross Plains, WI 53528


(From Waunakee, just past Indian Lake on the right hand side.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sharing Stories - Wisconsin Historical Museum

One of my fave kid singers, Stuart Stotts is making an appearance as an author!

Sharing Stories With Young Readers

Nothing is more rewarding in the history business than sharing with children the stories locked up in everyday people, places and things. This summer the Wisconsin Historical Museum will foster just that in its new Sharing Stories series. This summer children can bring their parents and/or grandparents to meet the authors of some of the Society's popular children's books. These renowned authors will tell the stories of real Wisconsin people and places while teaching children how to create and share their own stories.

Meet the Authors, Share Their Stories
Here's a complete lineup of the museum's Sharing Stories programs this summer:
If Trees Could Talk, Thursday, June 25, at 10 a.m. —

If trees could talk, what stories would they tell? Join If Trees Could Talk author R. Bruce Allison as he shares his answers to this fascinating question while introducing children and parents to noteworthy Wisconsin trees, both past and present.

Casper Jaggi: Master Swiss Cheese Maker, Thursday, July 16, at 2 p.m. — Did you ever wonder why Swiss cheese has holes in it? Find out through the story of Casper Jaggi, a cheesemaker who came to Wisconsin as a young man from Switzerland. Author Jerry Apps shares the story of this man who grew up in the cheese business.

Curly Lambeau and the Green Bay Packers, Thursday, July 30, at 10 a.m. — Author Stuart Stotts shares the story of the man responsible for keeping the Packers playing in Green Bay. Hear the fascinating details of the origins of the National Football League and, of course, the Packers themselves.

Ole Evinrude and His Outboard Motor, Thursday, August 13, at 2 p.m. — Find out how a love for boats and a girl turned into the creation of the outboard motor. Author Bob Jacobson will share the inspiring story of Wisconsin entrepreneur Ole Evinrude, who helped make Wisconsin the center of the outboard motor industry for decades.

All programs take place at the Wisconsin Historical Museum on Madison's Capitol Square. Your program donation of $2 helps us offer quality exhibits and programming.

Arboretum Happenings during Summer

The following events are especially designed for children and families. The events are free, thanks to support from Friends of the Arboretum.

Events are open to the public, and tours take place regardless of weather unless the naturalist decides it would be unsafe. Call 608-263-7888 if in doubt. Unless otherwise noted, tours begin at the Arboretum Visitor Center. Visit our Web site at uwarboretum.org

June 27 - Saturday, 1-3 p.m.

"If Trees Could Talk." Madison arborist and author R. Bruce Allison will talk about and sign copies of his latest book written especially for children, "If Trees Could Talk," featuring trees that have an important story to tell about survival, respect and celebration. The event concludes with a walking tour of Longenecker Gardens led by Allison.

June 28 - Sunday, 1-3 p.m.

"Moth Madness and Interesting Insects."
Learn fun ways to identify insects, while discovering how plants and animals depend on these six-legged creatures. Adopt a cecropia moth caterpillar to rear. Bring a clear 2 liter bottle to make a rearing cage and go home with cecropia eggs and information. Dress for the weather; outdoor and indoor activities are planned.

July 12 - Sunday, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
"Butterflies." Warm, sunny days in July are the best times for seeing lots of butterflies and other fascinating insects that visit flowers on the prairie.

July 26 - Sunday, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
"Nocturnal Animals." Hike with our naturalists and learn about our nocturnal animals. Activities using our senses will demonstrate some of the amazing things these animals can do. Dress for the weather; outdoor and indoor activities are planned.

August 9 - Sunday, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
"Pond Stuff." This walk introduces children to the fascinating world of pond life.

August 23 - Sunday, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Arboretum Earth Partnership for Families: "Remembering Laura Ingalls Wilder -- Prairie Fire." Awesome prairie fires surprised Laura’s family when the prairie was a boundless expanse. Experience these momentous events through Laura’s eyes and learn why fires are necessary and beneficial for the prairie. Take home a “flaming” windsock to remember this fun evening. Dress for the weather; indoor and outdoor activities planned.

Friday, June 5, 2009

FREE FISHING & National Trails Day & State Parks Open House Day

National Trails Day - June 6th - See events here:

State Parks Open House Day - June 7th - See events here:

FREE FISHING WEEKEND - June 6th - 7th - Info here:

Summer Science at Edgewood!

Some Fun Educational Camps at Edgewood!

Summer Science Camp for Kids
- June 22-26, 2009 - Grades 1-3 $125.00
- July 6-10, 2009 - Grades 4-5 $200.00

Bodies in Motion
Come to the Edgewood College Campus for a week of active science discovery. We will explore the physics of motion of everything from our own bodies to stellar bodies. The camp is led by an Edgewood Physics Professor and other seasoned teachers.

Strategy Game-athon
- August 3-7, 2009 - Grades 6-8
9:00am-12:00 noon daily $125.00

Strategy games help students to develop their sequential logic and problem solving skills. Unlike video games and computer simulations these games involve interpersonal interaction, negotiation, and hands-on components. The science department encourages engagement in these kinds of games as they help build the skills necessary for complex problem solving work.

If you are looking for a good late-summer way for your child to get geared up for school...without them realizing it...this is for you.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cows on the Concourse

Cows on the Concourse

30th Annual Cows on the Concourse

Saturday, June 6, 2009
8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Rain or Shine!

Event Admission


Capital Square, Madison, WI
Main Street & Martin Luther King Boulevard

Event Highlights:
- Visit three cow petting areas
- Ask our "Moo Experts" your bovine questions
- Tempt your taste buds with ice cold milk, grilled cheese sandwich, and cream puffs
- Stay for lunch, visit our grilled cheese stand
- Enjoy live entertainment
- Visit with special guests