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January Schedule and Q/A with Special Guests!

Updated: Jan 21

The New Year is here! And with it we have new offerings and collaborations coming your way! We're also bringing back some of our favorites, and we hope you can join us!

Here is a glimpse of our January and early February schedule with Playful Acorns Pop-Up Play Cafe offeringscollaborative music class, and more! Keep reading to the bottom of the post for new updates for 2024 (including an early bird registration discount code)!

All events are geared toward caregivers and their kids (ages 0-5) unless otherwise noted. Please note that some event registration is through our partner websites (linked in the descriptions), and prices generally include 1 adult + 1 child (a portion of proceeds go to local nonprofits -- this month we are extending December's spotlight on CEDAR Center). Hope to see you and your kids soon!

And a sincere thank you to all of you and our collaborative partners from programs in December (learn more about them here).

Upcoming Pop-Up Play Cafe Events


  • January 11 (9-11 a.m. Thursday) and February 9 (9-11 a.m. Friday): Lil' Explorer Pop-Up Play Cafe - Madison (featuring a "Winter Fun" theme, StoryWalk®, and sledding if there is snow), Lussier Family Heritage Center ($10, RSVP)


Upcoming Collaborations - Music and Yoga Return!

  • January 26 (9:30-10:30 a.m. Friday): Music with Julie Mazer Class and Storytime, Orchard Ridge UCC in West Madison ($16, RSVP). Enjoy coffee and connections with caregivers while your kids participate in a cozy winter music class and storytime. When you register in advance for this class, you'll be automatically entered to win a free play pass to our Pop-Up Play Cafe events!

  • February/March & April/May (sessions 9-10 a.m. Thursdays*): Mini & Me Yoga and Stories, Lakeview Park Heated Shelter, Middleton (each 4-week session starts at $60 for residents, $80 for non-residents, Register by Jan. 25). Ease into your mornings with playful movement and nature-themed stories! Connect with other caregivers and kids during this series of indoor yoga and mindfulness classes with little om BIG OM followed by storytime and outdoor play.

Q/A with our Special Guests

During our upcoming Pop-Up Play Cafe events (see schedule above), we will be joined by special guests Mary Frost of Frost Organizing, who will share some organizing tips to help you go from cluttered to clean, and Aaron Seligman of Macaroni KID, who will share some of his family’s favorite events to attend! We asked them a few questions to get to know them better! We'd love to hear your answers, too! Contact us here!

1. Favorite local coffee shop and your go-to order?

AARON: "Java Cat - dark roast coffee and their cream-filled donut." 

MARY: "Sunn Cafe in Mt. Horeb Order: Breakfast sandwich with bacon and pesto on gluten free bread and the best pumpkin spice latte you will ever have."

2. Favorite local park and what you like to do there?

AARON: "Lake Farm Park. I love the different trails, water, and how it feels hidden even though it's close to everything." 

MARY: "Yahara, Olin, or James Madison to walk by the lake."

3. Favorite kid-friendly song/artist and why? 

AARON: "David Landau - he can move a crowd! The kids get into his set and he's got a mix of sing-along and participation." 

MARY: "The Lion Guard soundtrack because I have good memories associated with it. Bonus points that it doesn’t annoy me if on repeat."

4. Favorite activity/game to play with kids in your life? 

AARON: "Anything where I can try to be like Bandit Heeler (from Bluey). I also like finding recipes where the kids can help with some part of it."

MARY: "There are too many! Love to be outside, read, bake, color, or play made up games like “magic statue.”

5. Favorite book from childhood or that you like to read to the kids in your life?

AARON: "Everything by Julia Donaldson. 'The Gruffalo' is my favorite, but they all have great rhymes and stories." 

MARY: "'Dragons Love Tacos' and 'The Day the Crayons Quit.'"

Community Collaborations: December Thank Yous

I'd be remiss if I didn't thank the incredible small business owners who collaborated with Playful Acorns for some amazing programs and free community events in December:

  • Kelley Sinclair who invited us to the opening of Lioness Fitness in Fitchburg;

  • Mary Frost of Frost Organizing who shared tips during our Cross Plains Play Cafe and created this awesome reel of Katy Ripp's sweet space at The Creekside Scoop;

  • Angie Richter of The Wonder Studio who generously offered to donate her portion of our wonderful Kindermusik class collab to CEDAR Center; Elizabeth Seeliger who read her book "Big Feelings" during that class and set up a nearby StoryWalk®; and Jessica Jackson who let us use her Icki Sticki space in Mount Horeb free of charge;

  • Gretchen Becker of Sweet Hive Bakery who led our tasty Cozy Winter Cookie decorating class and Z's Auntie Julie for her help (check out the video)!

  • Christie Moser of Naturing in Madison for organizing the Welcoming Winter free gathering at Hoyt Park and setting up Playful Acorns materials in our absence;

  • And all of you for your patience and understanding as we had to cancel and reschedule some of our recent events due to illness. THANK YOU!

New Updates for 2024

If you have any feedback about these updates or what you'd like to see us offer, please let us know!

  • We've added a calendar view of our programs on our website so you can easily see our schedule at a glance and register.

  • We want to encourage early registration to ensure a minimum number of attendees at each event to cover the costs of room rentals/instructor fees/coffee/etc. Doing so also helps us tailor the books, toys, and other play materials toward certain age ranges. Plus, it's more fun when there are more people to play with! Events with registration through Playful Acorns now have a 10% early bird discount when you book more than 48 hours before the program start time. Use promo code EARLYBIRD10 at checkout.

  • We understand that plans change and people get sick. Events with registration through Playful Acorns now have a modified cancellation policy: Playful Acorns will honor cancellations for a full refund up to 48 hours before the program start time. In the event that you and/or your child(ren) are unable to attend the program for any reason beyond that time period, your registration fee will be earmarked for our "Play It Forward" Fund, which is available for those who would like to try our activities but are unable to for financial reasons. In the event that a program is canceled by Playful Acorns or one of its host sites due to low registration, severe weather, illness, or other emergency, you will be notified and refunded in full.

  • We are hoping to add more free community events and weekend offerings in the future, so stay tuned!

  • We are in the process of meeting with more small business owners and nonprofit leaders to offer some really amazing collaborations this year. Tell your friends to join our mailing list and follow us on Facebook and Instagram so they stay updated!

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