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THE ROCK FATHER: THE POP CULTURE MAGAZINE FOR FAMILIES THAT ROCK.

Rides: THE ROCK FATHER vs. The FERRARI F430 at The Xtreme Xperience

"When your friends ask you how fast you went, tell them 'I went as fast as I could.'" That was the final bit of advice given by Xtreme Xperience Chief Instructor Brad Pines at the close of an instructional session held in a classroom overlooking the pit area of the North Course of the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois on Saturday. It was there that I, along with a handful of other early morning drivers received some brief, but important lessons prior to taking to the track in some of the World's finest vehicles - Supercars. For me, it would be the Ferrari F430 - a 483 horsepower hand-crafted vehicle with a top speed of 196 mph... but it wouldn't be the first time that I'd take to the track in Joliet. For that, we have to spin things back to 1978...

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Video Premiere: DANI - "Beauty Land"

It was just about a year ago when BEAUTY LAND, the fairy tale-inspired debut album from DANI first hit my radar. It’s a little Disney, a little pop-rock, and a lot of fun - a record that mixes styles and is one of a rare few releases of late that successfully pulls off any form of narration. On the title track, the storytelling begins immediately, with Dani laying the somber groundwork for her tale, just before opening into a country-tinged anthem filled with "purple waterfalls and unicorns." Now comes a music video for the track, helmed by Phil Dornfeld (producer of SCARY MOVIE 3, 4, and 5). I'm pleased to debut it this morning, right here on THE ROCK FATHER...

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Rides: Xtreme Xperience Speeds Back to Chicago for more Supercar Action...

Real Supercars. Real Racetracks. Real Instruction. That's the mantra for the Xtreme Xperience, the premier touring supercar driving experience, which returns to the Chicago area this weekend for two days at the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet. There, car enthusiasts or budding racers can get behind the wheel of some of the world's finest vehicles, from a fleet that includes the Lamborghini LP560-4, Ferrari F430, Ferrari 458 Italia, Audi R8, Mercedes SLS AMG, Nissan GT-R, and McLaren MP4-12C, among others. Under the instruction and guidance of seasoned professionals, amateur drivers can learn racing fundamentals and safety procedures, all while having the the experience recorded through onboard cameras. While three-lap packages is where it began, this weekend, the action gets even bigger with the introduction of the half-day Supercar Academy, which compliments extended 10, 15, and 20-lap experiences.

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Fall Giveaway: Win MISS JAMIE FROM THE FARM's New Album on CD!

Miss Jamie from the FarmReady for a rootin' tootin', yet rockin' good time with your little ones? I'm teaming-up with my friend MISS JAMIE FROM THE FARM for a Fall Giveaway! We're going to get three (3) lucky readers set-up with copies of her debut album, MISS JAMIE'S FARM (available at AmazoniTunes & CD Baby) - a collection of "New Tunes and Farm Favorites" that are perfect for kids preschool to age 7.

Check out the details below, and enter to win your copy, right here on THE ROCK FATHER!

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Review: DISNEY ON ICE presents PRINCESSES and HEROES (United Center)

Over the past two years, my girls have been pretty lucky in that we've seen Disney On Ice four times. Each time the folks at Feld Entertainment bring the tour back through Chicago, it's a different show, and we've seen ROCKIN' EVER AFTER, 100 YEARS OF MAGIC, LET'S CELEBRATE! and now, PRINCESSES & HEROES. While LET'S CELEBRATE! is still holding it's ground as my favorite (the seasonality of it just hits my sweet spot), PRINCESSES & HEROES may well be the most traditional of the bunch in terms of Disney lore, really capturing the imaginations of the younger crowd by bringing to life some familiar scenes from the likes of ALADDIN, SNOW WHITE, BEAUTY & THE BEAST, THE LITTLE MERMAID, THE PRINCESS & THE FROG, SLEEPING BEAUTY, TANGLED and CINDERELLA in a big show. And it is a BIG show.

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Local: WTTW Readers are Leaders Tour returns to Gurnee Mills with MISS LORI and ARTHUR...

Gurnee MillsFor my local friends in Lake County, Illinois - mark your calendars, because the WTTW Readers are Leaders Tour is returning to Gurnee Mills. On Saturday, September 6, kids and grownups alike can spend the morning singing, dancing and enjoying story time with a live performance from Miss Lori's CAMPUS and a special appearance by ARTHUR. This FREE event starts at 10:30am at the Lake County Food Court in the Macy's full-priced wing. The first 200 children in attendance will receive a free children’s book.

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Back-to-School with RUUM American Kid's Wear #GurneeBTS #Ruum4Fall

Shop RUUM American Kid's WearWhen I last checked-in from our Back-to-School shopping adventure at Gurnee Mills, there was one store left that I wanted to hit - one that's been a staple of my seasonal fashion coverage for kids for over a year now, RUUM American Kid's Wear. What's become crystal clear over the past year is that we have one very fickle young fashionista in five-year-old Addie, who will quickly accept or reject an outfit or item (even ones that Daddy and Mommy really like), but 2-year-old Finley is a little more easy-going, at least for now. With new Fall collections (including Modern Rocker, Woodland and Back to School) in-stores and online at RUUM.com, the folks at RUUM invited us into their store to grab a few more outfits for the girls, and with $100 in Gift Cards and some additional cash from The Rock Father, here's what went down...

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Chicago: The Joffrey Ballet to hold Open Auditions for Children for THE NUTCRACKER...

Last year, my wife and I were invited to attend the opening night performance of THE NUTCRACKER by THE JOFFREY BALLET in Chicago. If I were to describe the show in one word, "magnificent" would be it, and for those wishing to let their children have a chance to be a part of this Chicago tradition, your chance has arrived. The folks at The Joffrey Ballet just sent over details on open auditions for this year's production...

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Back-to-School: Shopping for Fall Fashions at Gurnee Mills #GurneeBTS

Gurnee Mills: A Simon CenterI keep saying it, but I still can't believe we have a kindergartner here this year. Essentially, if you've been reading THE ROCK FATHER for awhile, you've seen Addie growing up, and while last year we were shopping for Pre-K, this year it's officially time for Back-to-School in preparation for "big girl" school - kindergarten. Gurnee Mills here in Lake County has always been a regular haunt for us, and this year we've teamed-up to show off some of the great fashions and supplies available at the largest value and outlet destination in Illinois (which is in the midst of a remodel and now boasts a fantastic "full-price" wing), by sharing our own Back-to-School shopping experience. This past week, my wife and I took the two girls (Little Finn is in on the action, too) to get decked out for Fall...

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Chicago: DISNEY ON ICE presents PRINCESSES and HEROES comes to United Center...

The Feld Entertainment productions of Disney On Ice have become quite a tradition for us (I saw my first show back in 1981, which I wrote about here), and now as a Feld Family Ambassador, I'm always happy to help spread the word when they come back through Chicago. Disney On Ice presents Princesses and Heroes skates into United Center (get tix), September 10-14, 2014, bringing to life 10 action-packed scenes that feature a whopping 52 Disney characters for one of the most exciting shows they've ever had! Check out the full details below...

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