Yo Gabba Gabba Live Hits NYC and NJ + Giveaway

DJ Lance, Muno, Brobee, Foofa, Toodee, Plex and their friends are at it again!  The crew from the wildly popular Nickelodeon Show, Yo Gabba Gabba are on the road once again, this time hitting 50 stops across the U.S. for their Yo Gabba Gabba Live Show.

If you’ve been following NKT for the past few years, then you already know that our whole family are big time YGG fans.  From entire family Halloween costumes to interviewing Christian Jacobs, one of the creators of the show, who is also the lead singer of the Aquabats, Yo Gabba Gabba is near and dear to our hearts.  And judging from the show’s ongoing popularity, many of you probably feel the same!

We reference “There’s a Party in My Tummy” more times than we can count, not to mention, the music featured on the show has found its way onto our playlist.  So, needless to say, we’re beyond thrilled that Yo Gabba Gabba will be in NYC/NJ within the next few weeks!  On their first tour, we absolutely enjoyed seeing them at Beacon Theatre in NYC, where quite a few super cool celebs made cameos at the live NYC show!  I can’t wait to see who will be visiting the Gabba Friends’ live tour when they make their stops at NYC and NJ.  And speaking of the Garden State…


And since the Yo Gabba Gabba Live show is making a stop in NJ, my homestate, I’m thrilled to announce a giveaway for a family 4-pack of tickets to the Wednesday, October 12th show at noon in New Brunswick, NJ!

To enter to win, please comment below and let me know who is your kid’s favorite Yo Gabba Gabba character!

For additional entries:

  • Become a fan of The Next Kid Thing on Facebook
  • Tweet about this giveaway and be sure to @jenrab
  • Share on any social networking site
  • Comment below for each entry.

This giveaway ends on Monday, October 10 2pm!  Good luck!

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Yo Gabba Gabba Live: There’s a Party in My City will be stopping at the following cities:

Friday, October 7 Philadelphia Tower Theatre
Saturday, October 8 Pittsburgh Petersen Events Center
Sunday, October 9 Hershey Hershey Theatre
Tuesday, October 11 New Brunswick State Theatre
Wednesday, October 12 New Brunswick State Theatre
Friday, October 14 New York Beacon Theatre
Saturday, October 15 New York Beacon Theatre
Sunday, October 16 New York Beacon Theatre
Tuesday, October 18 Scranton, PA Scranton Cultural Center
Wednesday, October 19 Norfolk Chrysler Hall
Friday, October 21 Charleston, WV Municipal Auditorium
Saturday, October 22 Richmond Landmark Theater
Sunday, October 23 Greensboro War Memorial Auditorium
Tuesday, October 25 North Charleston, SC North Charleston Performing Arts Center
Wednesday, October 26 Columbia, SC Township Auditorium
Friday, October 28 Charlotte Ovens Auditorium
Saturday, October 29 Charlotte Ovens Auditorium
Sunday, October 30 Atlanta Fox Theatre
Tuesday, November 1 Raleigh Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts
Wednesday, November 2 Knoxville Tennessee Theatre
Friday, November 4 Memphis Orpheum Theatre
Saturday, November 5 Tulsa BOK Center
Sunday, November 6 Kansas City Music Hall
Tuesday, November 8 Denver 1st Bank Center
Wednesday, November 9 Salt Lake City Kingsbury Hall
Friday, November 11 Vancouver Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Saturday, November 12 Seattle Paramount Theatre
Sunday, November 13 Seattle Paramount Theatre
Tuesday, November 15 Sacramento Memorial Auditorium
Wednesday, November 16 Reno Reno Events Center
Friday, November 18 Fresno Save Mart Center
Saturday, November 19 San Jose San Jose Civic Auditorium
Sunday, November 20 San Diego San Diego Civic Theatre
Tuesday, November 22 Bakersfield Rabobank Theater
Friday, November 25 Los Angeles Nokia Theatre
Saturday, November 26 Los Angeles Nokia Theatre
Sunday, November 27 Las Vegas Orleans Arena
Tuesday, November 29 El Paso Abraham Chavez Theatre
Wednesday, November 30 San Antonio Lila Cockrell Theatre
Friday, December 2 Houston Verizon Wireless Theatre
Saturday, December 3 Dallas Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie
Sunday, December 4 Austin Cedar Park Center
Tuesday, December 6 New Orleans Mahalia Jackson Theatre
Wednesday, December 7 Tallahassee Tallahassee Leon County Civic Center
Friday, December 9 St. Petersburg, FL Mahaffey Theater
Saturday, December 10 Fort Lauderdale Broward Center
Sunday, December 11 Fort Lauderdale Broward Center

Little Fan: Beastie Boys Five Boroughs Tee

One of the many wonderful things about being a parent is introducing the things you love to your kid. On that list of things we love, so far, we’ve shared travel spots, baseball, great books, delicious foods, and of course, good music.

I’m currently loving the latest release from The Beastie Boys, so as a longtime fan with my very own budding fan, I absolutely love this boy’s Beasties Tee spotted over at Axl’s Closet. The light blue Chaser Beastie Boys Five Boroughs tee is a nod to the beloved trio’s homage to their hometown. Currently available in 2t, 4t and 6, the Chaser Beastie Boys Five Boroughs tee is $24.

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Lego Encourages Kids to Rock Out with Duplo Jams

LEGO aptly describes their construction play sets as catalysts for ideas, and I couldn’t agree more. Like many of you, we’ve sat for hours playing LEGOs, building architectural masterpieces, crazy vehicles and pretend food, among other whatchamacalits… The possibilities are endless, but one thing’s for sure: creative play and LEGO go hand in hand.

At Toy Fair, LEGO once again invited bloggers to their booth for an after-hours party where we had the chance to check out all of the upcoming sets and more. Aside from their beloved bricks, LEGO gave us a peek at their latest foray into the creative play space: Duplo Jams.

LEGO launched Duplo Jams as a new dimension to encourage and inspire creative play for toddlers and preschoolers. The three songs that are currently available are all written and performed by a preschool dad that everyone listen to for free. Duplo Jams has a dedicated iTunes channel and Facebook Page where the free songs can be accessed and are also hubs for future anticipated releases. To encourage further creativity, LEGO says they plan to release a new song every month.

We found the British Pop inspired-songs, “Sort Out the Blues,” “Build with Letters,” and “Stick Together,” to be catchy and cool, and a funky musical backdrop while we play in the playroom. As more parents are realizing the importance of limiting screentime, musical outlets such as Duplo Jams are a fun way to shift the kids’ eyeballs to hands-on play and complement with good kid tunes, where copious sing-a-longs and dance parities are expected.

Many families already engage their kids in kiddie music classes, so I think Duplo Jams is such a great way to reinforce many kids’ natural love of music. We’re a musical family, so we can usually be found jamming out one way or another, and it goes without saying, Duplo Jams is perfect complement to our eclectic playlist.

Be sure to check out Duplo Jams’ latest releases on their iTunes channel—for free!

New Duplo Sets

And speaking of Duplo, have you seen the latest playsets? Here are just a few:

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David Weinstone Celebrates New Release with NYC Show

The best kind of children’s music is the kind that resonates, not only for the kid, but for the parents as well.  And David Weinstone and The Music for Aardvarks Band does just that for our family.  Having spent our baby days as city dwellers (and still dreaming of returning every day), Weinstone’s songs are so relatable since they transcend the usual cutesy topics, and instead, celebrates things like, taxis and the joys of Avenue A.  As a baby, the kid routinely fell asleep to the sounds of garbage trucks, cabs whizzing by and sirens wailing outside our window, so, like most urban families, we can totally relate to the fun songs from Weinstone and The Music for Aardvarks Band.

With alternative influences, clever guitar melodies and cheery percussion, Weinstone’s music strikes a chord for all families who appreciate good music.  We love classics like Birdie, Runaround Kid and Move Your Feet as seen on Jack’s Big Music Show on Nick Jr. (Get UP…get down!)

Besides catching him on Nick, perhaps you might know Weinstone from his classes that are said to be frequented by famous families here in the NYC and NJ area; Weinstone is also the creator of Music for Aardvarks classes, which has classes all across the country now.  So, not only do city families have the good fortune to rocking out to such fun music, but so can everyone else.

This weekend in NYC, David Weinstone and The Music for Ardvarks Band is celebrating their new cd, “All I Want!” with a concert at the Highline Ballroom on April 30th.

The theme of our new CD, All I Want!, is that what kids need most is quality time with caring adults. We hope the way we interact with kids at our shows reflects this.”

“All I Want!”, released March 8th, features all new songs and is David Weinstone’s sixteenth Music for Aardvarks recording.  This latest release is described as bringing together pop/folk/rock/blues styles to communicate a singular message:  “All I want is me and you!”

As fans of Weinstone, this is yet another one we’ll be sure to add to our playlist!

Check it

In town this coming weekend?  Here are the details for their CD Release Party!

WHAT:                David Weinstone & The Music for Aardvarks Band
WHERE:             Highline Ballroom, 431 W. 16th St., NYC
WHEN:               Saturday, April 30.   12:00 noon.
TICKETS:           $12 in advance. $15 day of show. $40 Family 4-Pack.  Phone 212.414.5994.  www.highlineballroom.com.

David Weinstone’s discs are available online at musicforaardvarks.com, amazon.com, cdbaby.com, all major digital download sites and retail stores nationwide.

“Love Me For Who I Am” Embraces Sweet and Special

For today’s Music Monday post, “Love Me For Who I Am” from Brady Rymer is a celebration, as much as it is an appreciation for all things sweet and special. As you may already know, April is Autism Awareness month, and  Brady Rymer is underscoring this important message with his fun and infectious new release Love Me for Who I Am.

Debuting tomorrow, April 12, Rymer’s 10-track cd, Love Me for Who I Am, embraces kids of all sizes and more importantly, celebrates kids of all abilities. Hints of folk, rock, pop and reggae aid the colorful flavor of this cd, that’s full of inspiring lyrics and gives a nod to adventures and experiences that make childhood so piquant.

With funny and relatable reasoning that “food should never rub elbows and flavors should never move,” for those of you with kids with discerning palates, “Picky Eaters” is their anthem!  And track eight is one that can’t be missed where perennial preschool favorite, Laurie Berkner lends her melodic vocals to “Soft Things” a song that praises the tactile joy and sweet smells of all things soft. And in the spirit of “celebrating and invigorating,” the upbeat and effervescent title track says it all, “please don’t try to fix me, love me for who I am.”

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Pat Bells Put Music at Kids’ Fingertips

Colorful, beautiful and eye-catching, Pat Bells from PlayMe aren’t toys, but unique musical instruments that can be played with a slight tap of a wooden knob.  Each handbell in the 8-piece set is a different color of the spectrum, making it easy for kids to make their own music or follow song cards that feature notes with the corresponding bells’ colors.

Designed for kids ages 3 and up, the Pat Bells have been used in a variety of music education settings, including kids with special needs.  As opposed to traditional handbells, there are no handles to hold or mallets needed to strike, so Pat Bells are described as being “easy to play” for younger kids or who have low muscle tone or delayed motor skill development.

When I spotted these gorgeous bells at Toy Fair, I was immediately drawn in by the colors and striking design.  At $150, the bells may not find their way into personal music collections, but I’d love to see these in preschools, music classes and especially in the hands of music lovers of all ages.

Want to see the bells in action? I found a really great video on YouTube that gives a great demo.

Putumayo Kids Unplugs with Acoustic Dreamland

Melodic and sweet, Putumayo Kids’ latest release, “Acoustic Dreamland,” is the fifth release in the Dreamland series, which continues to celebrate the label’s penchant for exposing world music and culture to children.  If you’re not a lullaby singer like me, “Acoustic Dreamland’s” calming lineup of lullabies is another thoughtfully curated compilation of music from Putumayo Kids that does the singing for you.

Complemented by the strums of acoustic guitars, strings, piano and sleepy time lyrics, “Acoustic Dreamland” boasts a diverse collection of classic and contemporary songs that both kids and parents can count sheep to.

Title track, “Dreamland,” by Lucy Kaplansky begins the 11-song cd with a lullaby that has an Irish medley feel and embraces an uplifting harmony.  Elizabeth Mitchell’s cover of the Allman Brother’s “Blue Sky” reminds me of my happy childhood and sunny days back home in Va Beach.  Recorded especially for this cd, Frances England’s “Here with Me,” which slightly channels one of my all-time favorite songs, “Circle,” has turned us on to a new favorite children’s musican.  With a million things running through our minds after having grandpa visit for the weekend, the tv is off, electronics are stashed and Rosie Thomas’ lullaby and love song, “Tomorrow,” is currently on repeat.

Birds fly above you
Love is around you
I would like to be too
Forever, forever and ever
With you

Perfect for ending the day on a high note and a gentle way to decompress and unplug, Putumayo Kids’ “Acoustic Dreamland” is a great collection of music suitable for baby to big kids’ bedtime routine.

Putumayo Kids “Acoustic Dreamland” can be found online and at retailers such as Barnes and Noble.  Be sure to listen to a sampling of the CD on Putumayo’s site.

TOTY: Best Toys and Games Honored at TF11

Toy Fair may IMG_9099wtmkhave been a grand stage to unveil the latest and greatest toys, but it was also the perfect backdrop to honor the best innovations from the previous year.

To kick off Toy Fair, the Toy Industry Association held their annual Toy of The Year Awards Celebration at a gala at Lincoln Center.  I may not have attended the event, but I “watched” from a distance on Twitter.  Among the best in show included many NKT faves such as LeapFrog, Crayola, Squinkies and Hexbug, with Mattel’s Sing-a-ma-jigs nabbing the Toy of the Year title.

Here’s the list of this year’s TOTY winners:

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iCarly Star Surprises 7-Year-Old Cancer Patient

When 7-year-old cancer patient Carrie Janik was asked what she wanted more than anything in the world, she revealed that she wanted to meet iCarly star, Miranda Cosgrove.  Janik’s mom contacted the show’s producers about her daughter’s wish, and in turn, was invited to Cosgrove’s concert in Chigago.   Because the young fan couldn’t leave the hospital to attend the concert, Cosgrove brought a mini concert to Janik last week.  The coverage from the NBC affiliate in Chicago was so touching.

Cosgrove, who is currently on her Dancing Crazy Tour, tweeted about the mini concert last week and emphasized exactly why I think this teen star shines so brightly.

Making even more waves in the music realm, it was just reported that Cosgrove recently recorded a duet with Weezer frontman, Rivers Cuomo. The duo recorded the song “High Maintenance,” which will be featured on her forthcoming EP due in stores on March 15.

Cosgrove’s Dancing Crazy Tour is currently underway, so be sure to check her out if she makes a stop in your area.  iCarly, currently in its fourth season, can be seen on Nickelodeon, with the newest episode, iHire an Idiot, airing on February 12.

Gabbing with Gabba

Slowly but surely, I’m owning up to the freelance writer part of my bio—at least I’m trying.  Besides NKT, I’ve been writing, interviewing and pitching stories every chance I get.  If we’re friends on Facebook or Twitter, you may have seen my work appearing in a few places, with New York Family as a recent example.  I’m super excited about an upcoming article that’s slated to appear in a few weeks on a major parenting website.

Much of my work on NKT has provided for a myriad of cool opportunities, which includes interviewing kid-centric personalities and celebrities.  My latest interview was with Christian Jacobs, the co-creator of Yo Gabba Gabba and frontman of The Aquabats.  Jacobs dished about his favorite NYC spots and quelled my curiosity about Foofa’s inspiration.  (Do any of you guys remember The Barbapapas?)

As originally seen on NewYorkFamily.com:

Gabbing With Gabba

Christian Jacobs, co-creator of the wildly popular and music-centric kid’s show, Yo Gabba Gabba, is also one of the guys behind the masked rock band, The Aquabats. The Aquabats recently released the three-song digital EP, Radio Down! which features guest vocals from hip hop legend Biz Markie. Comprised of MC Bat Commander (vocals), Crash McLarson (bass), Jimmy The Robot (keyboards / saxophone), Ricky Fitness (drums), Eagle “Bones” Falconhawk (guitar), The Aquabats have been entertaining audiences—young and old—for 16 years with their witty and eclectic sets.

Christian Jacobs aka MC Bat Commander dishes about their costumes, “Pool Party,” and his favorite NYC spots to bring the kids.

Click after the jump for the complete Q&A.

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