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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.

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...

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...

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...

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!

Oh yes... the Halloween Season here in Chicagoland just got a whole lot more rockin', as ROB ZOMBIE'S GREAT AMERICAN NIGHTMARE has announced the addition of a second location for 2014, taking place on select nights from September 26-November 1 at the Odeum Expo in Villa Park, IL. Better yet? ROB ZOMBIE will perform a special, one-night-only concert on opening night, September 26.

I know I've mentioned it before here on the site, but I know next to nothing about soccer - or the game most of the world calls "football" or "futbol." But, with the World Cup now wrapped, the folks at Major League Soccer sent me an email with a reminder that the 2014 MLS season is just at it's halfway mark, and with Mike Magee of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club it's reigning MVP, they put together a very Chicago-centric parody... of FERRIS BUELLER's DAY OFF. So, it's Chicago, and they asked nicely, so I'm sharing it with all of you. This is actually the second FERRIS parody I've shared this year, with the excellent BATDAD Bueller parody running back in January.

We're big fans of Chicago's Joffrey Ballet here at Rock Father HQ, and tonight comes news of their next big performance for our local friends and readers...

The Joffrey Ballet’s 2013-14 “Masters of Dance” season comes to a close this spring with the U.S. Premiere of Krzysztof Pastor’s Romeo & Juliet. Pastor, Director of the Polish National Ballet and Resident Choreographer of the Dutch National Ballet, originally created this new version of Romeo & Juliet in 2008 for the Scottish Ballet. His work has never before been seen in Chicago. Romeo & Juliet runs for 10 performances only at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 East Congress Parkway, April 30 – May 11.

Taste of Randolph StreetSome News into Rock Father HQ via Press Release:

Silver Wrapper & Star Events have announced the 16th Annual Taste of Randolph Street, taking place June 13-15, 2014 in Chicago, IL and featuring some of the top bands in indie rock today spanning three stages, all benefiting the West Loop Community Organization! This year’s artists include British indie rock band Kaiser Chiefs, who are set to release their latest album Education, Education, Education & War on March 31, 2014; Seattle based pop indie rock band Minus the Bear; California born rockers Delta Spirit, Philadelphia based indie rock band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and many more, plus a DJ Dance Stage hosted by The Mid!

It might still be cold outside, but it's never too early to start thinking about Spring and Summer activities for the little ones! If you're thinking about letting your kids explore acting (who knows, they could end up on television like THE ROCK FATHER has been known to), enrollment is now open for children ages 3 to 13 for Chicago Children's Theatre's Spring 2014 session of after school and weekend theatre arts training classes, held at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood. Youth classes at Chicago Children's Theatre help kids build confidence, boost creativity and ultimately gain a competitive edge by teaching them important life skills like how to think fast on their feet, solve problems, and be better team players. 

Disney Junior Live!For my local friends here in the Chicagoland area, the stars of some pretty popular preschool series' are headed for Rosemont. The folks at Feld Entertainment will bring Disney Junior Live On Tour! Pirate & Princess Adventure to the Rosemont Theatre from March 14-17, with characters from SOFIA THE FIRST and JAKE AND THE NEVER LAND PIRATES bound to rock the house for your little ones. Tickets are selling fast (they've already added additional performances), but I have a discount code for you, right here on THE ROCK FATHER...

Announcement provided via Press Release: Chicago Children's Theatre is excited to welcome Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia back to Chicago to introduce a whole new generation of young theater goers to the wonders of live theatre with the internationally acclaimed company's popular production of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites.

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