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Regardless of which side of the aisle you're on, election years always bring some interesting collectibles, and the 2016 Presidential race is no exception. We've all seen the often-mocking versions of Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump, but Ty Warner, Founder and Chairman of Illinois-based Ty Inc. (Beanie Babies and all) has simplified the whole thing with a pair of two limited-edition Political "Teeny Tys" this fall...

I've been attending the Wizard World Chicago Comic-Con since the late 90s, first as a fan, then as an exhibitor, and eventually as a listed guest and creator (2008's launch of the DEATH WALKS THE STREETS comics - complete with a Wizard Exclusive variant). After officially becoming "The Rock Father" in 2009, I've been more on the media side of things, and after taking The Rock Daughters™ to their first proper Wizard World last year (covered here), the time has come for another trip back to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois for the 2016 edition, running August 18-21. If you're coming to the show - or thinking about it - here's some highlights to look forward to...

Published in Chicagoland

This Back-to-School Fashion Showcase is presented in partnership with Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois.

Back-to-School season can be a double-edged sword for people - loving it on one hand, while dreading it on another. Personally, I always loved shopping for new clothes and supplies each year, but as parents, my wife and I feel that the season comes earlier than it did back when we were kids. The Rock Daughters™ get out of school in June, start summer academy right away (no break) and when that wraps at the end of the month, we're already at July and the Back-to-School ads are already showing up in the mailbox. By the end of August, school is back in session and the girls need to be ready to rock the halls... and they're doing it in-style with some new clothes that we discovered during a recent trip to Woodfield Mall - the largest and most-visited mall in Illinois, located just west of Chicago in suburban Schaumburg. Truth be told, I don't know how much attention (if any) my parents paid to fashion trends when we were little, and I know that by my own High School years I wasn't necessarily the most fashionable lad (I'm still not), but it's weird to think that we're now old enough that the trends from our High School years are back in vogue. In the 80s, it was always the 50s/60s that seemed nostalgic... the 70s in the 90s, the 80s in the 00s. Now that 20-year cycle has come into this decade, and #90sRedux is one of the hottest things going. Kids are going back-to-school this fall in what looks like the must-haves circa 1994 - the year that I graduated from High School! Factor in the #OffBeat music-inspired mix and the #ModernUtility trend, and you've got what's essentially my favorite fashion season ever, because what's old is new again (and I'm old?). If we're gonna go throwback, we're also gonna need a proper playlist, so I've curated one on Spotify.

Published in Fashion
Chicagoland Friends! Looking for something fun and free to do this weekend? Well, if you love video games, the 2016 Play Nintendo Summer Tour might be right up your alley. This weekend, August 5-7, Nintendo's classic characters and games are coming to life as part of the one-of-a-kind Play Nintendo Tour, making a stop at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg (10am-9pm Fri/Sat, 11am-6pm Sun). Enjoy a unique experience bursting with color and imagination that offers parents and their kids the chance to play some of Nintendo's best games on New Nintendo 3DS XL and Nintendo 2DS systems, participate in exciting contests, win awesome prizes and snap memorable photos.
Published in Chicagoland

Want to experience the awesomeness of space? Join the Adler Planetarium this summer as they bring their award-winning ‘Space is Freaking Awesome’ campaign to life all around Chicagoland. From July 23-31, keep your eye out for the lime green ‘Space is Freaking Awesome’ truck as it pops up in various locations around the city handing out astronaut ice cream and inviting the masses to experience some of the mind-blowing facts about our Universe. Activities are designed to appeal to the senses and give visitors a taste of what the Adler Planetarium has to offer.

Published in Chicagoland

It seems like summer's just getting started, but the reality is that kids will begin heading back to school next month. If you live in Chicagoland and would like to earn an A+ in preparedness, check out the Simon Kidgits Club’s “Back to School” event at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg THIS SATURDAY, July 23, 2016 from noon-2pm. As part of the end-of-summer celebration, young academics and their families will enjoy school-themed crafts, a school supply scavenger hunt, a festive photo booth, giveaways and much more. Plus, Simon Kidgits Club Members will receive an exclusive goodie bag filled with crafts and other offers, while supplies last. If your little ones aren't already Kidgits Members, you can visit Guest Services with them to sign-up for free!

Published in Chicagoland
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