What’s so G-R-E-A-T about the 5th Annual Natural Family Expo?!

The Natural Family Expo is a FREE community event on Sunday, March 12 2017 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Monona Terrace.

One of the ways the Natural Family Expo sets itself apart from other expos is how we choose our exhibitors.  All our exhibitors go through a selection process and demonstrate that their business or organization provides a value to the community from a health & wellness, community-building, or education perspective. Every year we hear from attendees how thrilled they were with the exhibitors – and how thankful they were to network with these amazing local businesses

Family FUN is a major focus of the Natural Family Expo. We know families can feel “cooped up” this time of year. So we bring in bouncy houses and an inflatable obstacle course to help get the wiggles out. Walking around the expo hall, kids (of all ages) will find: amazing animals from Zoozort’s Live Animal program; a toddler/preschool activity from Madison Children’s Museum; a natural world exhibit from Also Leopold Nature Center; spectacular face painting; henna tattoos; and art activities and demos (such as glass pendant creation at Fired Up Pottery and wood block printing).

As another fun activity and an incentive to visit as many stations as possible, the Natural Family Expo prepares a Scavenger Hunt for families. Pick up a Scavenger Hunt form at the entrance, and then collect a stamp from each of the participating exhibitors.  At the end, you’ll turn in your form with our Scavenger Hunt sponsor, Hulafrog.  Kids receive an on-the-spot treat; and families are entered to win one of the grand prizes!

The entertainment goes all day as the main stage has a fabulous performance itinerary – complete with musical performances; Bubble Wonders’ bubble show; dance and martial arts showcases; and a babywearing fashion show – where parents strut their stuff.  WORT 89.9 FM's Pachyderm Parade children's radio program will be recorded from the Natural Family Expo main stage. This year's Pachyderm Parade line-up includes favorite children's entertainer, David Landau (performing hits like"Icky Sticky Bubblegum," and six-year-old violinist Declan Killeen-Toomey (playing a collection of Irish tunes in honor of St. Patrick's Day). 

Community-building and the arts are an important part of the Natural Family Expo.  This year we are thrilled to have Jenie Gao with us. Jenie is the artist in residence for Bubbler through February 2017. Jenie will be making presentations throughout the day to talk about her upcoming project that will take over the ceiling of the Children's Library library at the downtown Madison Public Library. She is creating a project there that involves two of her passions migration and the importance of migration and consumerism. Migrating birds will be created made from fabric donated by the community. The birds and the pattern for the birds will be on display at the Natural Family Expo. Jenie will be there to answer any questions and to tell community members how they can get involved with the project.

Jenie will also be showcasing her series of wood cutting on migration and the importance of migration for the birds and other animals. Finally she will have a wood cutting display.

There’s an app for that! We're very excited to feature a great app at the 5th Annual Natural Family Expo – one we can really get behind! The app is called 1myVote and it is a non-partisan voter app that informs users about upcoming municipal, state, and federal elections.  For each race, the app lists the candidates, each candidate’s 3 top issues, and a link to the candidate’s website. App users can find it the information they need to make informed voting decisions at the polls. To give kids an opportunity to practice VOTING, the Natural Family Expo will be hosting a fun faux “election” prior to the event and another at the event!  Stay tuned to the Facebook Event for more information! Get the app now for Apple and Android: http://www.1myvote.com/

Downtown Madison is really a family-friendly hub on Sunday, March 12 with three separate events:

  1. The Natural Family Expo at the Monona Terrace (10 a.m to 4 p.m.);
  2. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Madison’s Capitol Square (at 1:30 p.m.); and
  3. Fairshare CSA Coalition’s annual open house (held in the Monona Terrace ballrooms above the Expo(12 noon – 4 p.m.)

Last year, many families came to all three events!  Keep in mind, if you need a rest or feel like sitting a spell – there is awesome entertainment ALL DAY LONG on the Natural Family Expo main stage. If you need a quiet activity, visit our coloring stations.  Local artist SoulMama, aka Carolynn Schwartz, creates coloring books for grown-ups and is creating special coloring pages just for this year's Natural Family Expo!

The Natural Family Expo is free and open to the community thanks to our generous title sponsors: Blue River Chiropractic, Willy Street Co-op, Wildwood Family Clinic, Integrative Dental Solutions, and American Family DreamBank.

Additional thanks to our play area, stage, and media sponsors: Full Circle Natural Medicine, Black Belt America, Keva Sports Center, Hulafrog and WORT 89.9 FM.