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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

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. 

Published in Chicagoland

In a not-so-distant land called Schaumburg, nestled just minutes west of Chicago proper, there lies a grand castle - an 11th century relic that actually first appeared one foggy night in 1991. For nearly a quarter-century, visitors to this legendary kingdom have taken delight in a spectacle of sportsmanship that until this month, our family had not yet experienced - despite passing beneath the shadow of the castle tower on more than a few occasions. Last week, we answered the invitation of the King himself (or marketers working on his behalf) to attend Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament to witness the action first-hand, and for I to bring forth a tale of our family's experience in the realm of "steel and steed."

Published in Sports Entertainment

Just in-time for the official start of the Holiday rush ahead of Black Friday, the 2015 Nintendo Holiday Experience is coming to 16 Malls across the country, including one of our Chicagoland favorites - Simon's Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois. The Nintendo crew will be bringing photo ops, costumed characters (on select dates), and the opportunity for families to get a hands-on preview of some of this season's hottest games for the Wii U and 3DS. Catch the tour from November 23 - December 20, 2015.

Aquatic ExperienceYou might recall that this past November, I took the family to a new adventure here in the Chicago area, when the World Pet Association launched their first-ever AQUATIC EXPERIENCE: CHICAGO. I posted a full entry about the experience here on THE ROCK FATHER, and evidently it was a success, as it's back for it's second annual run, November 7-9, 2014 in Schaumburg. Also returning is the LIVE SHARK ENCOUNTER, which my kids loved. And the Betta we brought home from last year's show - the one that Addie named "Lula" after a character on DOC McSTUFFINS? She (technically a "he") is doing great and has a new tank!

Published in James' Journal

aqautic experienceYesterday afternoon, my wife and I took the girls out to Schaumburg for the Aquatic Experience - Chicago, a first-ever event assembled by the World Pet Association to bring "everything aquatic under one roof." Having previously introduced readers to the show through a ticket giveaway here on The Rock Father, we attended as Media guests, and the girls were excited - particularly Addie, who was amped-up about "seeing the fish" all week. After all, we've made special trips over to Bass Pro Shops just to visit their water-dwelling residents, and the kids love visiting "Nemo" when we head down to my Mom's house... where they have an in-wall aquarium.

Published in James' Journal
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