Trade places with the kids at Adult Swim.
I'm a lucky girl, and envy has never been my style. But if there's one swath of humanity I envy the most, one whole mass of people I'd trade spots with in an instant, it's children.
From naptime to triangle-cut PB&Js, kids have it better than they know. But perhaps most envy-inducing of all is the children's museum. Arts and crafts, twisty slides, a giant human hamster wheel -- name me one bar that has a giant human hamster wheel. I rest my case.
Madison Children's Museum (100 N. Hamilton St.) comes to the rescue with Adult Swim, a grownups-only event for the kid in all of us. For one night, the museum trades in chocolate milk for Chardonnay, closing its doors to guests under 21 and transforming its rooftop into a dance floor.
We arrived at 8 and the place was hopping. IDs were flashed, hands stamped, drink tickets procured. Traveling to the lower level, we opted for the slide in lieu of stairs. I'm convinced we could end human suffering if we replaced all stairs with super-slides.
We grabbed wine and beer from the makeshift bar and played with every toy we could get our hands on. We crossed the Bone Bridge and climbed the Hodgepodge Mahal; we played with repurposed retro gadgets in the Wayback Machine. The event sold out by 9, but the next Adult Swim is already scheduled for Sept. 16.
A freight elevator carried guests to the rooftop and back. The doors slid open to reveal an upright piano and a crowd of revelers singing "Hey Ya!" We boarded, laughing and singing along, and rode to the roof where local disco group VO5 was rocking out to some serious Abba. The crowd burst into a dance party under the stars with all of Madison twinkling below. If this is what it's like to be an adult, maybe it's not so bad after all.