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Free or Budget-Friendly MDN Events in May 2019

by Cash Store Staff

Free Family-Friendly Events

 Street Market

  • 05/02 - 4th Annual Madison Police Department Appreciation Event - Madison
    Share an unforgettable afternoon with Madison police officers and members of the community! There will be grilled brats, a buffet lunch, dessert, and beverages, all made possible through the generosity of area business donors. Police dogs and horses will also be on-site to meet and greet. This is an open house-style event; stay for as little or as long as you’d like.

  • 05/04 - 4th Annual Kentucky Derby Party - Madison
    This outdoor event will feature Madison favorite, The Big Payback, and our video wall with a live broadcast of the 145th Kentucky Derby. Put on your Derby best and snap a few party pics on our red-carpet step-and-repeat. Sip on Mint Juleps, Basil Bourbon Lemonades, Kentucky Mules, beer samples and nosh on great derby-inspired fare. Derby attire is not required, but certainly encouraged. No reservations are required, and this event is free and open to the public.

  • 5/4-5/5 - Wiscopex 2019 - Madison
    Family fun! Collector cornucopia! Wiscopex is an annual convention and exhibition of the Wisconsin Federation of Stamp Clubs hosted by the Badger Stamp Club. The show features judged philatelic exhibits, 16 dealers, a silent auction, a U.S. Postal Service station, educational seminars, door prizes, free stamp collection appraisals, free stamps at the beginner’s booth for youth and adults, and a special show cover and pictorial postmark. Free admission and parking.

  • 05/05 - Carry the Load Madison - Madison
    Carry The Load was co-founded by two Navy SEAL veterans who wanted to restore the true meaning of Memorial Day. Our mission has since broadened to include more than just our military heroes and veterans, but also first responders and their families. As a lead-up to our 20-hour Memorial Day walk in Dallas, Carry the Load has three routes followed by walkers and cyclists across the country, handing off the American flag every five miles. Our Midwest relay team will be in Madison on May 5th for a pretty awesome walk from fire station to fire station. It's a great way to show appreciation for military, vets and first responders! No ticket is necessary. Register at CarryTheLoad.org/Register and invite/share with friends and family. We encourage participants to bring a memento that symbolizes the load you carry, such as a rucksack, photo or name badge.

  • 05/09 - Madison Night Market - Madison
    The Madison Night Market is a celebration of Madison's unique and inspiring creative culture. Vendors showcase handmade products, local art, artisan gifts, prepackaged foods and fresh produce. The event includes live music, artists, special visiting food carts and pop-up restaurant experiences.

  • 05/11 - Mother's Day: My Mom & Me - Verona
    Celebrate Mother's Day early! Design your own essential-oil-diffuser bracelet for you and for your mom, decorate a cookie and enjoying eating it, enjoy watching jewelry artist Julie make copper jewelry with fire and other tools, and Purple Door Photography will be on-site for mini photo sessions. Sessions are $20 and sign-up is required. Bring your mama and/or little ones (ages 5 and up). We have limited space, so get your ticket today to save your spot. It's a free event, but we need a count, so everyone must have a ticket.

  • 05/11 - Kids Building Wisconsin - Fitchburg
    Kids Building Wisconsin is a fun, free event with a focus on getting kids interested in the numerous exciting careers available in the construction industry. Sprinkled across beautiful McKee Farms Park in Fitchburg will be over a dozen exhibits/stations run by local trades and other event participants with fun interactive exhibits of all kinds. Some of the events & activities we will have are Build A Brick Wall, Cement Hand Prints, Home Depot Kids Workshop, Chalk City, Cool Construction Equipment, Tree Hoist and MORE! Come join us for a fun day in the park! The event is free and open to the public. You can register in advance to get into the park faster!

  • 05/18 - Art Walk Middleton - Middleton
    Hosted by the City of Middleton Arts Committee, this free, one-day event features the works of fine artists in a variety of media. Painting, photography, ceramics, and more will be out for show and sale. There will be art demonstrations and music in the vibrant downtown Middleton, which features locally-owned restaurants and boutique retailers. A map will be provided at select sites in May. Artists will be paired with local businesses and offices to exhibit their art.

  • 05/19 - Madtown Artisans Second Spring Event - Madison
    The Madtown Artisans are back again and kicking off the spring art and maker season with their second spring art event! The event will feature 15+ local artists and makers who will be displaying and selling their work. Come out and show your support for local goods while enjoying a "Sunday Funday" drink at High Noon Saloon!

  • 05/30 - The Bodega: May Edition - Madison
    The Bodega is unlike any market you will find in Madison. Our spacious field provides ample room for our vendors, food carts, an interactive children’s area, beer and wine sales, live music, and plenty of yard games for some friendly competition. The Bodega was created with community in mind. We want to see small local businesses thrive and provide our community a space to shop, relax, and have a good time with friends and family. Most vendors accept cash or card, and an ATM will be on site. Food and beverage (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) will be available for sale, so no carry-ins, please. No dogs, please. Strollers are welcome. The event is very family friendly!

  • 5/30-6/2 - Verona Hometown Days - Verona
    It's time again for Verona Hometown Days! Since 1968, The Verona Community has celebrated the start of summer together. There will be carnival rides, fireworks, live music, delicious food and more. Don't forget the parade! Verona knows how to have a great time! This year they're celebrating those aspects that make the Verona Hometown Days a time you can't miss. Come join the party!

Budget-Friendly Events

 Mother's Day Flowers

  • 05/03 - Mini Piñata Making Party - Madison - $20
    Every Cinco de Mayo celebration needs a mini piñata (or three), don’t you agree? Join us for the ultimate pre-Cinco de Mayo party and enjoy an evening of food, fun, and DIY! First up, order a festive cocktail at the bar and munch on complimentary snacks. Next? Time to #DrinkandDIY! We’ll have templates available for a few popular piñata shapes, or you can create your own. We’ll have instructions and staff available to teach you the technique for assembling and covering the mini beauties, then you’ll have the rest of the evening to create a colorful, smile-inducing masterpiece and even fill it with confetti, if desired. We promise these minis will be too cute to hit – you might just want to keep them on your shelf or desk year-round! Oh – and for a little extra fun? One lucky guest will go home with a limited-edition wooden Adirondack chair from Sauza Tequila. Perfect for sipping margaritas on the patio!

  • 05/04 - UW Russian Folk Orchestra Annual Spring Concert - Madison - $20
    The UW Russian Folk Orchestra in its 22nd year will perform Russian and other East-European music on authentic Russian instruments, such as balalaikas, domras, and bayans. There will also be vocal and instrumental solos.

  • 05/09 - Graduation Cap Decorating Night - Madison - $10
    Get ready to cross that stage in style with our third annual graduation cap decorating event! We’ll have inspirational photos and an assortment of fun supplies on hand – all you have to do is bring your cap and be ready to paint/bedazzle/glitter it up! Feel free to bring your own supplies, too! On Wisconsin, you #UWgrad! (Grads from other schools are also welcome, of course!) 

  • 05/10 - Warner Park Family Fun Night - Madison - $5
    Some of our activities include a bouncy house, sports, fun games, family fitness classes, movies, drop-in art and pottery projects, pool, ping pong, Foosball, air hockey, and more! We will have lots of activities, and it's only $5 per family! Kids age 11 and under must be accompanied by an adult. There will also be a child care room available to drop off young kids for playtime.  

  • 05/12 - Mother's Day Floral Soiree - Madison - $30
    Whether you start Mother’s Day with breakfast in bed or a decadent restaurant brunch, you are going to want to stop at Revel afterwards for an afternoon of floral-inspired DIYs, sips, sweets, and more! The Floral Soiree will be a relaxed and inviting event filled with fun activities and treats. Moms, daughters, moms-to-be, dog moms, and fabulous ladies in general are welcome! We will have a DIY station, sweet treats from the mom/daughter team from Love You More Toffee, an Artist Showcase, and Lavender Caramel cold brew from Johnson Public House. Choose whether to order a mocktail…or add booze and make it a cocktail! More details and surprises will be revealed as the date gets closer! Ticket price includes DIY project and sweet treats. Drinks available for a la carte purchase.

  • 5/14-5/19 - A Bronx Tale - Madison - $35-$125
    Broadway’s hit crowd-pleaser takes you to the stoops of the Bronx in the 1960s, where a young man is caught between the father he loves and the mob boss he’d love to be. Bursting with high-energy dance numbers and original doo-wop tunes, A Bronx Tale is an unforgettable story of loyalty and family. There’s more! Come early for a special interactive pre-show event on Thursday, May 16. Also stay after the show on Thursday, May 16 for a brief, informal Q&A session in the theater with the artists. Free and open to all ticket holders, as well as the general public. Events take place in the performance venue immediately following the show.

  • 5/17-5/19 - Syttende Mai Festival - Stoughton - $5
    Stoughton's Syttende Mai Festival is a weekend-long celebration of Norwegian heritage featuring fun activities and cultural experiences for the whole family. The city-wide festival takes place every year on the weekend closest to Norway’s May 17th Constitution Day, also known as Syttende Mai. From the late 1800s to the early 1900s, Stoughton enjoyed an influx of Norwegians, and at one time, as many as 75 percent of its residents spoke Norwegian. These immigrants celebrated Syttende Mai unofficially, but it became an annual, city-wide tradition in the 1950s. Come join us for three days of parades, amazing food and drink, arts and music, athletic competitions, and kids’ activities steeped in centuries of Norwegian culture! 

  • 05/18 - Badger Explorations: Urban Adventures - Madison - $2-$10
    There’s so much to explore in Wisconsin! Join us each month to dig into a different part of Wisconsin’s story. Each workshop includes a tour or scavenger hunt, a hands-on group activity, and a craft project to take home. This is perfect for families who are looking for something fun and new, as well as Scout or youth groups looking for an exciting, educational group outing. Workshops run approximately ninety minutes and are appropriate for kids in grades 2 – 5. All youth must be accompanied by an adult chaperone, and there is a maximum of 5 kids per adult chaperone.

  • 05/31 - Experimental Improv Lab - Madison - $10
    What can you expect to see at MBI’s Experimental Improv Lab? How about a fresh, novel improv show that’s unlike anything we’ve put on before? Sounds amazing, right? At Experimental Improv Labs, our cast members get a chance to test out wild premises and new games in front of a live audience. Sometimes these experiments turn out to be a one-time thing, and other times these performances are so overwhelmingly great that they become regularly featured shows, such as Yes Ma’am, The Merge, Impromp2, and The Music Department. Grab your tickets today and be there in person to potentially see the very first performance of possibly the next greatest thing in improv history. No matter what happens, you’re guaranteed a night of fun and laughter.

  • 5/31-6/2 - Festa Italia 2019 - Fitchburg - $3
    Come experience Festa Italia at McKee Farms Park in Fitchburg! Hosted by the Italian Workmen’s Club, this annual event is a three-day celebration of family, food, culture and fun that features a variety of Italian foods and desserts, cultural exhibits, traditional and popular live music, Italian folk dancing, cooking demonstrations, a youth soccer exhibition, a comedy juggler, a magic show, a face painter, children’s games and much more! Admission is $3 per day (no pets allowed). Children under 12 are FREE!

Sips & Snacks

 A Toast with Beer and Wine

  • Tuesdays - Adult Board Game Night - Madison - Free admission
    Board games. Mead. Good peeps. What else do you need? It's always a good time in the mead hall when board game night is happening. Play the games provided or bring some of your own! All types of games are welcome! The Roman Candle Pizzeria will be dropping off pizzas around 6 pm (available for sale by the slice), and we also offer some snacks. Feel free to bring any non-alcoholic beverages or other food needs you may have. Doors open at 5 pm. Come and go as you please. There is street parking and a parking lot in the back of the building. Cheers!

  • 05/04 - May the Fourth be with You - Madison - Free admission
    Join us Saturday, May the Fourth for a Craft Beer Week event from another galaxy. Along with the great line-up of beers that Pearl Street is bringing, The Rigby will have on-site screen printing of t-shirts, themed prize giveaways, and far out food. Dress as your favorite character! We will be!

  • 05/04 - Maifest Spring Festival - Madison - Free
    The Essen Haus and Dane County Humane Society (DCHS) are teaming up for Maifest (Oktoberfest's spring counterpart). This family-friendly, spring festival is filled with live music, goodies from the grill, beer from Revolution Brewing and a TON of activities. Be sure to fill up those plates and beer steins, because 15% of event proceeds will be donated to The Dane County Humane Society.

  • 05/05 - Cinco de Mayo at Pedro's - Madison - Free admission
    Come celebrate Mexico's history, culture, and heritage with the Pedro's Family!!! Enjoy one of Madison's favorite cocktails, our margaritas, while we commemorate the Mexican Army's victory at the Battle of Puebla! We will have food and drink specials, as well as Modelo Especial, Modelo Negra, Dos Equis Lager, and Dos Equis Ambar on tap!

  • 05/05 - Cinco de Mayo at Gigi's Cupcakes - Madison - Free admission
    It's Cinco De Mayo! Our famous Merry Margarita and Strawberry Margarita Cupcakes will be available all day, while supplies last! Thirsty? Well we have frosting shots available to take the edge off! Make sure you don't miss out on Cinco De Mayo at Gigi's!

  • 05/11 - 80s Night - Verona - Free admission
    Join us for an 80s Dance Party in our Backyard! The fun begins at 7 pm, when DJs Todd and Scottie play hits from the decade that brought us big hair, cell phones, and the original Nintendo! 80s attire is encouraged, but not required.

  • 05/18 - Isthmus Uncorked - Madison - $50
    Sip. Sample. Pair. Isthmus is excited to introduce Isthmus Uncorked, Madison's first annual wine and food cart festival. On May 18, we're bringing 30 local and national wineries to McPike Park (formerly Central Park). This fest replaces Isthmus Food Cart Fest. Tickets include a custom sampling glass for unlimited 2-ounce pours of whites, reds and more from any of the wineries present. But will there be food? Of course. Some of Madison's best food carts will be there with delicious dishes available for purchase. What about tunes? For sure. Also, Merchant and other restaurants yet to be announced are doing pairing classes including 3 sample courses every 30 minutes during the fest. Purchase your pairing class tickets for an additional $15 at checkout.

  • 05/21 - Bitters Boot Camp - Madison - $25-$35
    Wisconsin is the world headquarters for Old Fashioned cocktails and supper clubs. Avenue Club's Bitters Boot Camp will get you trained up on the ins and outs of this classic cocktail, while also teaching you the traditions behind the iconic “up north” dining experience. You’ll get to enjoy cocktails, traditional supper club snacks, and hands-on lessons about bitters. Your Bitters Boot Camp experience will include a Brandy Old Fashioned, an Old Fashioned tasting flight, traditional Supper Club snacks, and a Go Bag to take home!

  • 5/24-5/26 - Brat Fest - Madison - Free
    Everyone will enjoy this event! Brat Fest is a great place for the whole family with lots of food, fun, & music. A record-breaking amount of brats sold is on the agenda, so come on out and help shatter the old record.

Volunteer Opportunities

 Volunteers working outside

  • 5/3-5/5 - Dairyland Games - Middleton
    The Dairyland Games are the first and only regional event in Wisconsin allowing athletes with physical and visual disabilities to qualify for the Adaptive Sports USA Junior Nationals. Current events include swimming, archery and track and field. There will also be scheduled exhibitions throughout the weekend that will be announced soon. Past sport demonstrations have included wheelchair basketball and taekwondo!

  • 05/04 - PurpleStride Madison 2019 - Madison
    Our continued growth and success is not possible without the dedication of our incredible volunteers. Your actions move mountains for every person affected by pancreatic cancer, and there are many ways to get involved! Interested in PurpleStride? You can help our planning committee leading up to the event or volunteer on event day to get your toes wet! If you’re interested in joining this movement outside of PurpleStride, you can volunteer with your local affiliate and work year-round to transform the face of this disease.

  • 05/05 - PuppyUp Walk - Madison
    Funds raised are used in the vital research being done to fight cancer in our companions, friends and loved ones, and your participation is critical to making sure we provide a truly wonderful experience for all of our two- and four-legged participants. The early shift will run from 6:30 am to 10:30 am, and the late shift is from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm. There are numerous volunteer opportunities we’re looking to fill that day including registration, silent auction and sponsorship to name a few. Strong, young people are needed to move tables and chairs during both shifts! After all volunteer registrations have been received, the volunteer committee will send out an email confirmation a month before the walk and will follow-up several weeks before the walk with all assignment information and details about the day.

  • 05/05 - Night to Remember - Madison
    We need over 750 volunteers for Night to Remember! We cannot do what we do at Night to Remember without volunteers. There are various roles before, during and after the event to get involved. Night to Remember is a prom-like experience designed to celebrate kids, teens and adults with special needs. Participation is completely free of charge, and includes dresses, tuxedos, make-up, hairstyling, jewelry, corsages and boutonnières, limo rides, a walk down the carpet with a cheering crowd, photography, a gift bag, snacks and a night of dancing! It truly is a night to remember!

  • 05/18 - Bubble Run - Madison
    Do you want to be part of the magic? Do you want to receive $25 worth of Bubble Run Merchandise when you have completed your ENTIRE shift? Do you want to be a part of the Bubble Run experience while also making it better for participants? Do you want to give your time and help give back to local charities and the CoolEvents movement? Did you answer 'yes' to any of these questions? We thought so. We want you to volunteer for the Bubble Run! Bubble Run welcomes volunteers ages 16 and older. If the volunteers are below the age of 18, they MUST have an adult supervisor (parent, teacher, guardian, or club director). Thank you so much for signing up to volunteer! Please note that we will try to keep you in your preferred volunteer position. However, we may need to move you into a new position to cover areas that have the greatest need.

  • 05/18 - Syttende Mai Festival - Stoughton
    The Syttende Mai festival needs hundreds of volunteers to help the event run smoothly. Volunteers are needed for parades, vendor move-in/move-out, the 2019 Syttende Mai Classic Run/Walk, Viking Games, the Arts & Crafts Fair, the Craft Beer Tent, and more! We welcome all those willing to work a shift of several hours to an entire day. There are lots of shifts for individuals, and opportunities for groups to volunteer together. Each event within the festival has different shift requirements.

  • 5/24-5/26 - Brat Fest - Madison
    Volunteers and their supporting organizations are the most integral part of the World’s Largest Brat Fest! They grill, they cashier, they count attendees, they drive shuttles, they stock condiments, they make sure the event grounds are clean. You get it – they pretty much do it all! Each year, Brat Fest depends on nearly 5,000 volunteers of all ages (14 & up) with over 16,446 volunteer hours to play a special part in our continued success and our quest for the WORLD RECORD, all in the spirit of community giving! Without them, Brat Fest would not be the same.

  • 05/25 - Brat Fest Bun Run - Madison
    The Brat Fest 5K & 10K Bun Run and 5K Hot Dog Jog are two great events that take many great people to make it a success. If you are one of those people, we would love to have you on our team. All our volunteers will be treated to complimentary snacks and soda while volunteering and a free Event Staff shirt. You will also have the satisfaction of knowing that you were a part of something big that helps many people in our community.


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