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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...

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.

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.

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!

Brought to you by Woodfield Mall - A Simon Mall

Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago during the 1980s, there were certain malls that became legendary. Shopping in those pre-internet days was a different type of thing, but visiting those malls wasn't just about shopping... it was about family, and a lot of memories were made within the halls of fashion, toys and commerce during special trips. While the Circus World/K-B Toys, Marshall Field's, and Sam Goody stores of my youth have been swapped for the LEGO Store, Macy's and F.Y.E., one of those legendary malls is bigger and stronger-than-ever, the mighty Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois - just minutes west of Chicago.  With the official arrival of Spring comes the arrival of The Easter Bunny, and his presence at Woodfield Mall makes for another of those special trips that families will remember forever. 

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