I may be 22, but parts of my brain never quite progressed past the age of five. I’m still obsessed with dinosaurs, every time I go to McDonald’s it is the new best day of my life and my little sister and I often speak in gibberish to convey our feelings.

So when I found out that the Madison Children’s Museum hosts events every other month where adults are invited to roam around the museum to play AND drink alcohol, I knew there weren’t too many events around town I would rather attend.


The theme of last Friday’s Adult Swim event coincided with this weekend’s Wisconsin Film Festival, and attendees were encouraged to wear their finest, red carpet-worthy apparel. So, I dusted my junior prom dress off and stumbled in heels to the museum in style, where I met my lovely-dressed friends Kayla and Beth.

Upon entering the museum, I was immediately overstimulated. There were African drums to play, crafts to make, jungle gyms to climb and adult beverages to drink. I didn’t even know where to begin. (Beer was the victor.)

Kayla and I began exploring a playground area that we were clearly two feet too tall to fully enjoy, but we made it work. After I made a few childish observations, Kayla looked concerned and made a surprisingly false accusation. “Did you pregame for this or something”? We then assumed our roles for the evening – I was the obnoxious five-year-old at heart that I am already; she played the part of a suburban mom who drinks wine at breakfast.

Together we decorated pizzas, piloted a helicopter, painted animals (I made a T. rex, obviously), played with cars and wandered aimlessly. A few other friends got a flipbook made of their antics – something we were too shy to try.

We later came across a piece of every kid’s heaven: a jungle gym. We quickly discovered that the choice of wearing heels and dresses wasn’t the most conducive to taking the “advanced climbers only” path. I lost my footing for a second on the climb, silently apologizing for the view I was unintentionally giving fellow climbers below and for the fact that I would probably kill them if my foot refused to cooperate. But my inner-dinosaur strength kicked in, and we all survived.

While taking a well-deserved break with a stroll on the museum’s rooftop that provided a beautiful Capitol view and a place to rest our aching feet, we agreed to return for the next installment of Adult Swim; one night of unrepressed acting like a kid is not enough.

The next event will be May 18, 6 to 10 p.m. for those 21 and older. Tickets sell fast, so check out information at madisonchildrensmuseum.org.

Time is running out – what’s left on your bucket list? Share your stories and ideas with Katie at [email protected] or tweet @kforanmchale.