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Parents & Kids

WATCH: Get a first look at Arctic Passage at Henry Vilas Zoo

Mary Jo Ola was at Henry Vilas Zoo Wednesday morning to share a preview of the new Arctic Passage that opens this weekend.

The Arctic Passage is the zoo's biggest renovation in its history. Crews broke ground on the project in March 2014. The passage spans nearly two acres of land and features environments for twin polar bears Sakari and Suri; and a pair of grizzly sisters known as the Grizzly Girls; and harbor seals. 

A restaurant in the addition offers diners a look at the polar bears, who can also watch you have your meal.

For more information about the opening weekend event, visit vilaszoo.org/arcticpassagegrandopening.

STAR Credit Union helps kids learn how to save

STAR Credit Union helps kids learn how to save

Kelsey Johnson earns money by babysitting her neighbor's two children; it is her main source of income. She also earns a little money at home by cleaning her room, “which I hate,” she said.

Johnson just entered the sixth grade, and has had a savings account for four years. She banks through STAR (Save to Achieve Results) Credit Union, the only kids-chartered credit union in the world.

New early childhood center hopes to take on education disparities

New early childhood center hopes to take on education disparities

The Playing Field, a unique childcare center seeking to bring kids ages 0-3 from different socioeconomic and racial backgrounds together in one classroom, will open next fall in the lower level of Bethany United Methodist Church.

The program's founder, Abbi Kruse, said she wants to know the effects of placing dissimilar children together at an early age, and hopes it will help close education disparities between white and minority students that have become a focus in Madison.

“It's my hope that at least if our children are playing together, that that's a start,” Kruse said. “And from there who knows what can happen?” Monica Host, the city of Madison's Child Care Program Coordinator, said she applauds Kruse's initiative to purposefully combine children from different backgrounds. “It's better for everyone. It's better for families, it's better for children,” she said.

Try powerful telescopes, see the stars at free star-gazing workshop

Try powerful telescopes, see the stars at free star-gazing workshop

A free event at an east Madison park next week will offer information on star gazing.

The city of Madison said a Learn to Star Gaze workshop will be held at Reindahl Park from 7-8 p.m. Monday.

The workshop will be led by a UW Space Place specialist and will give all participants the chance to search the skies using powerful telescopes.

 

Large consignment sale offers children's, maternity items

Bargain hunters will find a variety of used maternity and children's clothes for sale at a consignment event at the Alliant Energy Center this weekend.

The Just Between Friends sale, which opens at 9 a.m.,began Friday and will continue through Sunday.

Items including clothes, books, toys, strollers, puzzles, games, shoes, nursing pillows, Diaper Genies, maternity wear and more can be found at the JBF sale.

Find more information online at danecounty.jbfsale.com.

High school players tip off versus officers to 'Play it Forward' Saturday

High school players tip off versus officers to 'Play it Forward' Saturday

A special fundraising event Saturday will have Madison police officers and area high school basketball players face off at West High School, the police department said Wednesday. 

Madison police said the Play it Forward game will raise money for the upcoming Black Student Union spring break college tour to the Washington, D.C. area. Tip off is at 1 p.m. at the West High School basketball court. 

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and will be available at the door or online

Basketball players from Memorial, West and LaFollette varsity teams will play against the PD team of 15 officers. 

 

Moonlight Movie Series to premiere in late February with "Frozen"

The Madison Parks Moonlight Movie Series will start Feb. 27 with a showing of the movie "Frozen."

Residents are encouraged to bring their families and blankets to Tenney Park for the movie showing at 6 p.m.

The movie showings will continue with other family-friendly classics, like "Battleship" and "The Incredibles," in the coming months at various Madison parks.

Madison Parks, Madison Mallards, the Madison Parks Foundation present the event, which is sponsored by Zimbrick Honda.