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Having only been a parent for just over four years, it's weird to already feel nostalgic about something that happened just a few years ago - October 3, 2010. On that day, we'd taken Addie (then just over a year old) to her first "Pumpkin Patch" experience, at a small place in Lake Villa, Illinois, called Susanna Farms. For Day 13 of 31 Days of Halloween 2013, I'm featuring the family-owned farm in Chicago's Far Northern Suburbs through the eyes of a Dad who recently returned with both of his daughters... Addie (now 4), and Finn (1). While this wasn't Little Finley's first Pumpkin Patch (we did that last year), it was the first time that both girls were big enough to roam the fields together... and the first time that we went with Grandma.

Published in James' Journal

Halloween Specials have been a highlight of the Fall television season for as long as I can remember. I think this year has been light on that note, but the folks at DreamWorks Animation have two new titles out this Fall that feature some familiar characters with some new adventures. To celebrate the release of MONSTERS VS. ALIENS: CLONING AROUND and KUNG-FU PANDA: SCORPION STING, DreamWorks and The Rock Father are getting one lucky reader hooked up with DVDs of each, while sharing some thoughts on the Top DreamWorks characters for the season. 

Published in Movies, TV and More

BOXTOP JENKINS' 2012 album YOU'RE HAPPIER WHEN YOU'RE HAPPY is a fun album, but one of many that I just haven't gotten to properly feature here on The Rock Father, despite it being released just over a year ago. But here we are in October, and with Halloween approaching once more, I'm circling back around to 'Ol Boxtop to feature a pair of tracks from that album - a duo that he himself has deemed "Spooky Sights and Nervous Nights." "Rattlin' Rattlin' Bones" features SHAWN MULLINS as the Spooky Skeleton, and "Gettin Down on Halloween" is a perfect little ditty that pays homage to some past frights (THE MUNSTERS for sure), and both land at Day 10 on 31 Days of Halloween this year. Stream them below, and as an added bonus - grab a FREE DOWNLOAD of Boxtop's Spooky Handsaw Halloween Howls!

Published in Family Music

New York singer/songwriter STORY LAURIE knows a thing or two about gardening (she once sent me some rare corn to plant from the Woodstock region), and with October here, it's time for Pumpkin Picking. Her new song, "Picking Pumpkins in the Pumpkin Patch" was co-written by 1st graders (Mrs. Bailey's 2012-2013 class, South Kortright School, NY) who took part in one of Laurie's "Cultivating Connections" songwriting workshops. It's a fun sing-along for the little ones, and it lands at Day 9 in my 31 Days of Halloween here on The Rock Father this year. Listen or grab a FREE DOWNLOAD via the widget below...

Published in Family Music

When Fall arrives, one of the first things we always look forward to is new Halloween specials and video releases. While 2013 feels like a really light year on that note, one new collection that's a must-have for little ones is THE HALLOWEEN COLLECTION: Volume 2, from the excellent, and ever-expanding Scholastic Storybook Treasures line from Weston Woods/Cinedigm/New Kideo. This 3-Disc DVD Box set features 14 classic tales ripe for the halloween season, and manages to encourage learning along with bringing the not-so-scary frights.

Published in Movies, TV and More

Here we are, a week into 31 Days of Halloween here on The Rock Father, and today we've got something special... a pumpkin-y premiere from Chicago's finest purveyors of Kindie Punk Rock, THE BOOGERS. Streaming below is "I'm a Jack-O-Lantern," a brand-new Halloween anthem for 2013, that makes the perfect soundtrack for your pumpkin-carving this month. Ghosts... Ghouls... Witches... they'll run a mile when they see the Jack-O-Lantern's scary smile...

Published in Family Music
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