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I love to think that there was a time - a time not long ago, just over a century ago - when you could build something in America that was able to become such a success, that an entire town could be named in it's (and your) honor. That happened when Milton S. Hershey created a "company town" that became known as Hershey, Pennsylvania, or "The Sweetest Place on Earth" back in 1894. Now, in addition to boasting the birthplace and main manufacturing hub for the Hershey's brands of chocolate-based goodness, Hershey, PA also includes a ballpark, arena, a theme park, and the original HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE WORLD. As part of our first Great American Road Trip series, my wife and I took the girls the Chocolate World last month to experience it as a family.

Published in Food and Drink

As a parent, there's certain objects that become a part of your daily life - accessories that are always close at-hand to help nurture the creativity of your little ones. Things like crayons. And, when it comes to crayons, there is no brand more iconic than Crayola, who in 1903 launched what would become an Empire of fun with the release of their original box of eight wax crayons, then-sold for just 5 cents! In Easton, Pennsylvania stands the birthplace of Crayola - and in 2013 the former Crayola Factory was rebirthed as THE CRAYOLA EXPERIENCE - a 60,000 square-foot home of colorful adventure where kids of all ages can immerse themselves in a vibrant world of imaginative play. As part of our first Great American Road Trip series, my wife and I packed up the girls and headed for Pennsylvania, where THE CRAYOLA EXPERIENCE was a must-visit location...

Published in James' Journal

PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent)On Monday, August 18, DANIEL TIGER'S NEIGHBORHOOD will welcome a very special new resident - Daniel Tiger's new baby sister, Margaret! Launching with a one-hour "Meet the New Baby" special, more new episodes will roll out on the 19 & 20 as Daniel and his family adjust to the new addition. As part of my gig as a PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent), my girls and I checked out at advance screening of "The Tiger Family Grows/Daniel Learns About Being a Big Brother" and "The Baby is Here," and had a little baby shower right here at Rock Father HQ to celebrate. As I've said in the past (even prior to working with PBS), DANIEL TIGER is one of the best shows out there, filled with great music and an easy-going teaching style. Check out a preview below, along with some tips for parents to help their preschoolers welcome a new sibling into their home...

Published in Movies, TV and More

Gurnee MillsIn just a few weeks, we'll have a kindergartner here at Rock Father HQ, and that means that this Back-to-School season is pretty special for us. We're getting Addie ready for some new adventures, and as such we want her to be well-dressed and ready to Rock the Halls as she moves from Pre-K to "big girl" school this year. The big stop for our Back-to-School shopping is a familiar haunt - and this year, GURNEE MILLS and THE ROCK FATHER have teamed-up to showcase some of the great fashions and accessories available at the largest outlet and value shopping destination in Illinois. While I'll have some great features rolling out in the week ahead, Gurnee Mills and I want to kick-off the season in-style with something special for my local readers - a chance to win a $50 American Express Simon Gift Card in my #GurneeBTS Giveaway!

Published in Chicagoland

It's 4:26am as I type this - here, I sit in a Cleveland hotel room, thinking of my family and how I actually got here in the first place. I do what I do both for and because of my family. Little did I know that becoming a father would become a source of so much adventure (personal and professional), and that it would all make for the best gig in the world (being a Dad) - one filled with little side gigs like the one I'm on today. I'm in Ohio as a Brand Ambassador for Step2 - one of the biggest American toymakers there is - and it's all because of one special girl... and the two special girls that we created together. Fifteen years ago today... August 7, 1999, my wife and I were married. It was just two years prior that we'd gone on our first date - and a mere three months after that when we'd become engaged. Then, on August 7, 2009... our 10th Wedding Anniversary, I became "The Rock Father" when our first daughter, Adalyn, was born. Today, our first little girl turns five!

Published in James' Journal

This adventure is brought to you by Walmart. THE ROCK FATHER is a Socialstars 2014 #WalmartAuto Ambassador. The Armor All products featured in this story are all available at your local store or at Walmart.com.

Ten years ago, SCION made it's debut here in the U.S., and I - deeply embedded in the entertainment world at the time - found myself enamored by the Scion XB, aka "The Box" after seeing it on the streets of California, where it arrived early. I ordered one brand-new, completely loaded and set to be delivered in June of 2004. In fact, I'm told it was the first black version to be delivered and sold in the state of Wisconsin (and imported to Illinois), but I've never been able to confirm that. I had it decked out with red LEDs to capture that KNIGHT RIDER vibe I dig so much, along with racing pedals, additional performance features, and the top-of-the-line Pioneer sound system. Upon arrival, I bestowed upon it a red Autobot insignia, displayed proudly on it's rear window... a throwback to the TRANSFORMERS debut in 1984. The car and I were ready for adventure, and many adventures were had. Now, in 2014 - I still have the Autobot in my driveway, but things are different. The bazooka tube is out of the trunk (room for a stroller), and in the back are a pair of car seats. 160,000 miles later, my Scion is still rockin', and it's Daddy and Addie that keep it that way.

Published in Rock Father Rides
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