What to See and Do at Play Fair in NYC + ticket giveaway

For the first time ever, kids will be heading to Javits Center in NYC for Play Fair on Saturday and Sunday, February 13-14. Presented by Nickelodeon and Lego, Play Fair will allow kids and families to experience the latest and greatest toys, as well as meet fun characters and YouTube personalities. 

Play Fair, hosted by Toy Industry Association and Leftfield Media, will be taking place alongside of the International Toy Fair, the annual trade show for industry professionals. Because it is a trade show, kids are not allowed to walk the showroom of Toy Fair. Play Fair, however, was designed for kids and families to experience new toys and then some. Hasbro, Mattel, Marvel, Cartoon Network, Crayola, Bandai, Toys R Us and Warner Bros will be onhand at Play Fair showcasing the coolest toys.

Play Fair logo Circle

My family will be onsite with me on Sunday to check out all the goodies! Though we get to check out cool new toys regularly, fun experiences like this excite my guys to no end. My 8 year old will likely be in amazement of his favorite YouTubers. While my 4 year old will most likely go nuts over the entire thing! As for me, I can’t wait to let loose and check out the fun. Toy Fair is work for me, so I’m taking videos, tons of photos and taking notes. Play Fair with kids and families will most certainly add a totally different perspective to Toy Fair itself!

IMG 7918

 

So, here’s what you’ll get to see and do at Play Fair:

•       Check out the new Batmobile from Warner Bros. Pictures’ Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, in theaters March 25, 2016

•       Slide down the exclusive PAW Patrol slide, snap photos with PAW Patrol costume characters Chase, Marshall, Skye and Rubble, and get an exclusive look at the newest PAW Patrol pup, Tracker, who will join the series this fall

•       Join Hasbro for the ultimate lightsaber training session! With the help of the Empire Saber Guild, get a hands-on learning experience about lightsaber forms and techniques

•        Build a LEGO car and race it down a ramp against other LEGO builders

•        Explore the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle tunnels and mimic their favorite Turtle moves with Magic Mirror technology

•        Gross out with an epic booger battle, experience the slimy, gross play of Booger Balls for the first time by picking and flicking them at Booger Ball targets

•       Enjoy the interactive Thomas & Friends experience by Mattel

•       Create their own toy review videos and have chances to win Toys“R”Us gift cards

•       Test out the latest from NERF in the NERF arena

•       Test out the newest Razor rides, like Jetts, the new sparking Heel Wheels, and other awesome Razor rides like the Power Core E90, Crazy Cart and RipSurf

•       Purchase exclusive collectible toys

•       And every attendee will receive a gift bag with toys and fun goodies from event sponsors

 

IMG 2074

 

Play Fair’s live performances and appearances include:

•       Meet and take photos with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Shimmer and Shine, SpongeBob SquarePants, the Miraculous Ladybug and Cat Noir, Chase and Marshall from PAW Patrol, Dora, Saban’s Power Rangers Dino Super Charge, Peppa Pig, PJ Masks, and more

•       The cast of Nickelodeon’s hit show Game Shakers – Cree Cicchino (Babe), Madisyn Shipman (Kenzie), Thomas Kuc (Hudson), Benjamin Flores Jr. (Triple G), and Kel Mitchell (Double G) – will host a panel on Saturday to debut their new app, Nasty Goats

•       Jon Scieszka, best-selling author behind The Stinky Cheese Man and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, will read from his Frank Einstein science book series

•       All-ages comic creators Art Baltazar, Franco Aureliani, Abby Denson, Dave Roman, Matt Loux, and Misako Rocks! will sketch and sign their books for fans

•       Meet Toys“R”Us mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe, enjoy story time and participate in fun birthday-themed activities

•       Take in episodes of Ultimate Spider-Man: Web-Warriors, We Bare Bears, and Teen Titans Go! on a massive movie screen

•       Take photos with Shopkins mascot characters, including Strawberry Kiss and Lippy Lips, and color your favorite Shopkins characters

IMG 9146  2

 

•       LEGO Master Builder Erik Varszegi presents insider tips on creating LEGO masterpieces 

•       The girls of Make it Pop will reveal their new fashion doll series on February 14. Join them on the Toys“R”Us stage at 11:30 a.m. for an exclusive interview, live performance and a chance to meet the cast

•       YouTube personalities including DisneyCarToys, Mommy and Gracie Show, and KittiesMama will meet with fans and host toy unboxings live on the Toys“R”Us stage

Buy Tickets

Tickets start at $30 and can be purchased at PlayFairNY.com/tickets Family packs with a small discount are available online as well. Morning sessions run from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and afternoon sessions are open from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 

 

Giveaway

And thanks to my friends at KidzVuz, I have a family four pack of tickets for Play Fair to giveaway! Make sure you visit my awesome friends at KidzVuz at booth #156 at Play Fair!

Enter below! Good luck! This giveaway will end on Friday night 2/12 so the winner can be notified.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to follow my coverage of Toy Fair from Saturday February 13 to Monday February 15! I’m @jenrab on Twitter, Periscope and Instagram. I’ll have photo and vids up on the Next Kid Thing Facebook page, and I will snap some Snapchat photos too! I’m jen_rab on Snapchat

 

Best Family Cruises for 2016

 

Many families are in the midst of planning their calendars for the year, including vacations. Since we’re all about families on NKT, I wanted to find out more about the best family cruises. A few weeks ago, along with several fellow bloggers, my friends Audrey and Vera invited me to attend the Cruise Lines International Association media event where I had the chance to meet with various cruise lines. 

According to CLIA, 24 million passengers are expected to sail on a cruise in 2016. Despite that staggering statistic, not every cruise line is the same. As with any vacation, some cruises are geared to the luxe category, some to the more moderate passengers and others appeal to budget passengers. Some ships are oversized, others are smaller vessels that offer a more intimate experience. And as you can imagine, some cruises are suitable for families while other cruises are more appropriate for mature passengers (i.e., not kid-friendly).

There are so many cruise lines worldwide, so based on accessibility, affordability and amenities, here’s what we think are among the best family cruises for 2016.

 

1.  Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival is known for being affordable and accessible with 24 ships operating 3 to 16-day cruises to exotic locales such as The Bahamas, Caribbean, Europe, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, New England, Bermuda, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. Carnival has a brand new ship, the Carnival Vista set to debut in May this year. The Carnival Vista boasts a long list of features, but these certainly caught my eye: the first-ever IMAX theatre at sea; the SkyCourse and SkyRide for sports fans is a sports mecca and zip bike course and Carnival Waterworks, a water park with fun features, including a raft slide for two.

 

Vista

 

2.  Disney Cruise Line

Disney touts their cruises as combining the magic of Disney with ocean travel. As a family who adores Disney and the idea of cruising, admittedly, a Disney Cruise has been on our must-do list for a few years now. This year, in fact, Disney Cruise Lines will be sailing out of NYC. 

Wny893406SMALL


The Disney Magic will feature sailings from New York to the Bahamas and will include a visit to Walt Disney World Resort, plus a Park Hopper ticket and round-trip transportation between the ship and the resort. All New York to Bahamas voyages also include a stop at Castaway Cay. From their theaters that feature live musicals to spas for the adults to the cool activities with Disney-centric stories, Disney Cruise Lines seems like an idyllic cruise vacation for families in mind.

 

3. Norwegian Cruise Line

Known for their Freestyle Cruising ships, NCL has a relaxed, yet chic vibe to their ships. Their newer ships feature water parks and amazing Nickelodeon themed kids’ clubs. I love the idea of their Splash Academy, which is a youth program geared to 3-12 year olds.


12164760936 f610c0ff6d

They even have a cool teen program called Entourage which is ideal for 13-17 year olds. The ships feature Group Sitting which is perfect when you’re hoping for adult time while in port or in the evenings. We were aboard the Getaway for a tour and press event just two years ago when it first arrived to NYC.

IMG 8647

 

We had a great taste of this fun ship, needless to say! NCL just makes it easy for families to have fun at sea.

 

4. Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean is another cruise that has been on our must-do list. With ships that feature activities such as 3-D screens, rock-climbing walls, ice skating rinks and surfing simulators, RCCL appeals to families who love adventure and fun activities at sea. Their Adventure Ocean Youth Program has activities for kids to 17.

 

Low 1444321264 RCI LB ren Splashaway Bay 1

Low LBspain0411 1717

Their Royal Babies and Tot Nurseries offers childcare and actives for the littles cruisers. RCCL goes to 230 destination through the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Hawaii, Bermuda, the Panama Canal, Asia, Australia and New Zealand and South America. The cruise line also has 2 private destinations: CocoCay, which is a private island in the Bahamas and Labadee, a beach locale on the coast of Haiti.

 

5. Princess Cruises

A well known cruise line and part of the Carnival Corporation, Princess Cruises has a fleet of 18 ships. People may know Princess Cruises from their starring role on The Love Boat in the 70s. In modern days, Princess Cruises focuses on innovation and high caliber entertainment and amenities aboard their ships. I recently had the chance to get a taste of some of their offerings at a media event last fall.IMG 8973 Princess Cruises and Discovery have teamed up to offer some really cool experiences. From Stargazing experiences to Animal Planet shore excursions to my favorite, Shark Week at Sea, Princess and Discovery are tapping into pop culture and educational avenues with their new partnership. 

 

IMG 8984  1

 

Having covered the cruise industry in my previous magazine editor life, cruises hold a special place in my heart. As a parent who appreciates adventure and practicality, I love the idea of cruising for families. I love the inclusiveness and not having to drive anywhere after you board the ship. I appreciate that on these floating cities there’s something for everyone. So, if you wanted to vacation with the grandparents, aunts and uncles, you could do so. From food to fashion to kids’ clubs to water parks, there’s truly something for everyone aboard a family cruise.

 

Dora and Diego—Let’s Explore at Liberty Science Center + giveaway

 Just before all the holiday chaos started, we were invited to explore the Dora and Diego exhibit at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ.

 

IMG 0500

There’s so much we love about LSC, but the educational and interactive exhibits rank pretty high up on our list.

At our most recent trip to LSC we had the chance to explore the Dora and Diego—Let’s Explore! exhibit. If there was ever an exhibit that adequately examines the curious nature of toddlers and preschoolers, Dora and Diego—Let’s Explore is it.  The exhibit features Nickelodeon favorites, Dora and Diego, along with their buddies, Boots, Map, Backpack, Isa, Tico and Swiper.

This exhibit was created by The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis in partnership with Nickelodeon and will be at LSC until January 24th.


IMG 0503

 

Like the popular Nickelodeon shows from which this exhibit is based, Dora and Diego—Let’s Explore is an exhibit that encourages adventure, curiosity and how to solve problems while engaging Spanish speaking skills for preschoolers.

Highlights from the exhibit include:

The Purple Planet – Kids can climb inside and slide down on the surface of the whimsical Purple Planet

 

IMG 0528

Rocket Ship – Dora and friends need a ride to the Purple Planet. At the Rocket Ship, kids can suit up, pilot the ship and play memory with planets. 

IMG 0526

 

IMG 0525

Constellations – Kids can learn about stars and identify the patterns made out of stars by inserting star shapes to light-up a constellation

IMG 0524

 

IMG 0523

Isa’s Flowery Garden – At the Flowery Garden, Dora’s friend Isa the Iguana helps kids learn the beauty of flowers, plants, and animals. At Isa’s Garden, kids can pick flowers, interact with bird, butterflie, and insect puppets

IMG 0530

 Tico’s Tree and Car – Tico the squirrel needs help picking nuts from the tree for a family picnic. Kids can play along with Swiper to swipe the nuts and watch as they shoot up and over to fill Tico’s basket. Kids can help Tico fill up his car with nuts so he can begin his journey.

IMG 0562

 

IMG 0547

 Pirate Ship – In the Pirate Ship, kids can band together with Pirate Piggies crew and dress like a pirate and sail the ship and share the treasure treasure. 

IMG 0520

Animal Rescue Center – Kids get a hands-on opportunity to care and help (stuffed) rainforest animals in Diego’s Animal Rescue Center. Kids can be an animal rescuer like Diego, as well as diagnose and help treat critters with the Scanner bed, First-Aid Station and fluff their fur at the Care Station. 

IMG 0541

 

IMG 0545

Rainforest Maze – At the rainforest, kids can locate rainforest animals and swing across the Bobo Brothers’ monkey bars, crawl through a fallen tree, climb across Jaguar Mountain, and jump or hop across the River Rocks.

IMG 0512

IMG 0510

Though the exhibit is geared to the younger set, both my preschooler and grade schooler enjoyed Dora and Diego—Let’s Explore. The many interactive features, games and activities kept my kids engaged for well over an hour and a half.

IMG 0581

 At the Rocket Ship, both kids loved role-playing and pretending to blast off. Tico’s Tree and Car was a fun activity for both kids, especially my preschooler who was excited to pick nuts and fuel up himself. At the Rainforest Maze, my 8 year old enjoyed climbing and helping his little brother jump and swing around. The Animal Rescue Center was another favorite for my boys, where they were able to partner up and play vet together. I loved listening to my older son read the little signs and share interesting information throughout this super fun experience.

 

IMG 0561


Dora and Diego—Let’s Explore is a fantastic interactive exhibit that’s ideal for toddlers and preschoolers, but engaging for the entire family. LSC has been one of my family’s absolute favorite museums in NJ since my older son was an infant. There’s always something for everyone in the family to enjoy. It does get crowded on the weekends and at peak times, but it’s always a lot of fun. And as winter limits family activities, what better way to spend a cold day with family than exploring at LSC.

 

IMG 0592

 

With that in mind, in conjunction with What’s Down in Town, we’re giving away a family 4-pack of tickets to the Liberty Science Center that includes admission to Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition gallery. This giveaway will end on Friday to give you a chance to enjoy LSC over the long weekend! Please enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

In order to facilitate this review, we received complimentary admission to LSC. Promotional tickets were provided for giveaway. As always, all opinions are my own.

 

 

TTPM Highlights Top Trends and Best in Play at Spring and Summer Showcase

It may feel like we were just unwrapping Christmas gifts, but thankfully, after the longest winter ever, we can finally focus on spring and summer.  And with a new season comes more new toys!

 

 Last week, TTPM highlighted the key top trends and best in play at their annual spring and summer showcase. Time to Play Mag, which has expanded and officially rebranded to TTPM, is the same juggernaut and resource for reviews on playthings and beyond.  

Untitled

 

The TTPM editors pinpointed three trends that will contribute to the popularity of toys this summer, including: bigger blockbuster movie lineup, innovative outdoor toys and breakout hits.  

Untitled Untitled Untitled

 

The movies that are expected amp up toy sales include Transformers: Age of Extinction, Disney Planes: Fire and Rescue, Godzilla, and The Amazing Spider- Man 2.  We’re hardcore Spider-Man fans, so our house alone may contribute to this increase in sales.  Untitled

Untitled

Innovative outdoor toys such as automated bubble blowers, our favorite: the bike bubbler and Grab n’ Go Chalk Games are just a few of the many toys that are sure to keep the kids entertained for hours.  There are so many fantastic breakout hits, but Paw Patrol, Lego Movie, The Happy’s and not surprisingly, Frozen take top honors in this category.

Untitled Untitled

 

 

There were quite a few standouts for spring and summer toys in the showcase.  Ride-on toys such as Razor’s Power Ride 360 and the Kawasaki TMNT 4-wheelers made it on to the hot list.  Personally, Hasbro’s Spider-Man toys and TMNT Combat-a-Bubbles are on our current list of must-haves.

Untitled

 

I have tons of photos to share from the event which I’ll include within this post.  I also did a gifting suite haul, something I had fun doing with my older son. 

Attending the TTPT showcases is always a highlight of the season for me, but getting to test out the toys via the gifting suite is a true highlight for the whole family.  So, many thanks to the companies who participate in the gifting suite. 

 

Power Rangers Super Megaforce Set to Save the World

In honor of the launch of Power Rangers Super Megaforce, Saban sent us a mega box filled with Power Rangers awesomeness.  

Unknown 4

On the new season, which launched on February 15 on Nickelodeon, the Power Rangers are tasked with defending the earth from the Prince Vekar who brought his alien Armada along.  The Rangers were given special Morphers with keys to allow them to morph into Super MegaForce Rangers.  The keys allow them to morph into any team of legendary Rangers from the past, and gain access to powers, weapons, Zords and Megazords.

 

PTRU1 16977637dt

This month has been a rocky month for our family, where we’ve spent way too many days and nights in the hospital and doctors’ offices.  BUT, lucky us, we had our Morpher in tow, which gave us the power to overcome such hurdles.  Littles absolutely love pushing the keys on the Morpher, while Bigs gets a kick out of activating it with the different keys.

image

Also included in the kit were emPower activity sheets which have been great in furthering our ongoing conversation on physical activity and healthy eating.  We totally loved the Power Ranger Valentines, which we gave to local friends.  But best of all? We are getting a kick out of the very cool Airwalkers mega balloon.

As if receiving this Power Rangers Super Megaforce-themed box wasn’t cool enough, I spotted the Rangers at Toy Fair just a few weeks ago!   Talk about legendary.

 

image

 You can catch Power Ramgers Super Megaforce on Nickelodeon on Saturdays at 12pm/11c and an encore over on Nicktoons at 8pm/7c.

Full disclosure:  As a Saban Brandbassador, I received samples for review.  As always all opinions are my own.

Saban Brand-Bassador Program with Digimon Fusion

It’s never a dull moment around here with sicknesses and other real life craziness happening all day, every day.  That said, I’m excited for 2014 and all the newness it brings with it.  Of the great things upon the horizon, I have a few new partnerships lined up.  One of the coolest ones, though, is this one right here:

 

 

Sabanbrandbassadorlogo

This year, I was invited to be a Saban Brand-Bassador.  What does that mean exactly?  Essentially, as a brand advocate, I will share the latest and greatest about Saban Brands, which includes awesome properties like Power Rangers, Julius Jr., Paul Frank, Vortexx and one that I’m particularly excited about: the Popples.  Popples, people!  I can’t wait to find what’s in the pipeline for these great brands.

 

This month, we received our first mailing.  It was a Digimon Fusion themed package that gave us a fun primer on this new property that debuted on Nickelodeon and Nicktoons last fall.  Here’s our unboxing:

 

 

 

 

In its sixth season, Digimon Fusion can now be seen on the Vortexx on the CW, airing every Saturday at 10:30 am. From what we’ve seen, this is an exciting and action-packed cartoon geared to older kids and one that I hope to add to our post karate show line up.

 

IMG 6502

In our fun Digimon Fusion box, we had a chance to preview the fun new toys from Bandai. We received Greymon, which is a ferocious dinosaur-looking character.  The figures give kids a chance to replicated the DigiFusions that Mikey creates in the series.  The DigiFusion Figures features a ball and socket construction system, where kids can create their own combinations and even fuse multiple figures together.  The DigiFusion character reminds me so much of those old school toddler pop shapes, but for bigger kids.  Though the figures are geared to bigger kids, I loved that the 2 year old could play along and help create a character.  My older boy is in the action figure stage, so the DigiFusion Figure is a perfect fit.  

 

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2821/12207944144_ea5df4503f.jpghttp://farm3.staticflickr.com/2830/12208166386_b754d0e102.jpg

A neat feature about the DigiFusion Figure is that it comes with a touch through technology card which will be placed on the Fusion Loader app and a sequence of numbers on the card in and an order that will activate the loader to call out the Digimon character on the card. These new toys will be available at major retailers starting in mid-February.

 

I’m super excited to be a part of the Saban Brand-Bassador program and can’t wait to divulge more information as we get it.  For now, be sure to check out Digimon Fusion on the Vortexx on Saturdays.  New episodes will return to Nicktoons on February 17.  Even better, there’s going to be an all day marathon with two new episodes at 9pm that day.

 

 

 

Full disclosure: I was not compensated though received promotional material to facilitate this review.  As always, all opinions on NKT are my own.

TV Tuesday: Updates from Disney Junior, Nickelodeon, PBS Kids and The Hub

As we start to get into the back to school groove, the tv industry has been busy gearing up for new seasons, sparkly new shows and the release of a whole new host of characters.
In addition to other weekly features, I’m hoping to start a quick update on Tuesdays with the latest info on new shows and updates surrounding the characters we all know and love.  Here’s a round up of what’s going on in the children’s tv:

Nickelodeon

Just in time for the dog days of summer, there’s a new show on Nickelodeon that focuses on a six pack of rescue pups. Nickelodeon’s new CG-animated preschool series Paw Patrol is where, “no job is too big, no pup is too small.”

The rescue pups, Chase, Marshall, Rocky, Rubble, Zuma and Skye, led by a tech-savvy boy named Ryder, features a curriculum of citizenship, social skills and problem-solving.  To underscore the show’s theme of responsibility and humane treatment of animals, and in conjunction with the Paw Patrol launch, Nickelodeon has partnered with the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).  Head to Nick Jr.’s site to watch the Paw Patrol trailer, print activity packs

Disney

Doc McStuffins has hit the road with a tricked out Airstream Trailer, dubbed the Doc Mobile.  The hit show emphasizes good health and compassion through stories of a young girl, who cares for her ailing stuffed animals and other toys.

The Doc Mobile features an area for kids to perform a “check-up” on their own toys plus other activities and age-appropriate health and wellness lessons including nutrition and physical development and fitness.  The Doc Mobile makes a stop in NYC tomorrow at the Disney Store in Times Square from 10 am- 4pm

To find out where the Doc Mobile is headed next, check out this link.

Doc McStuffins’ season two premieres on Friday, September 6, with upcoming stars including: Geena Davis, Jeffrey Tambor, Tony Hale, Molly Shannon, Sutton Foster, Amy Sedaris and Peter MacNicol.

PBS

Labor Day is “Neighbor Day” on PBS KIDS with the premiere of an all new episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood on Monday, September 2.  In honor of #Neighborday, PBS Kids is offering a free episode download on iTunes.  Be sure to snatch this up before the offer ends on September 3.
And speaking of Daniel Tiger awesomeness, it was recently announced that Daniel Tiger Toys will be at Toys R Us Exclusively next month. These highly anticipated toys are made by JAKKS Pacific, and include plush, playsets and collectible figures featuring the star of the animated TV series, Daniel Tiger, and his friends, Katerina Kittycat, Miss Elaina, Prince Wednesday and O the Owl.

In addition to the toys, other merchandise includes games and puzzles from University Games, books from Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing imprint Simon Spotlight and personalized t-shirts available on Toysrus.com and at Toys“R”Us Times Square through partner Ty’s Toy Box.  Among the initial lineup of toys announced, I’m particularly excited about Neighborhood Trolley with Daniel Tiger figure and Daniel Tiger and friends plush!  I’ll have a more in-depth feature on PBS soon, but I’m super excited about this DT news.

Hub

Over at The Hub, they’re looking beyond back to school and end of summer fun and highlighting Halloween.  The Hub announced that Martha Stewart will appear as the Halloween expert as part of the panel of celebrity judges scheduled to participate in the network’s nationwide costume competition on the “Hub Network’s First Annual Halloween Bash,” to be broadcast Saturday, October 26.

The channel is encouraging viewers to enlist their imagination and creativity for this unique costume contest.  Submissions began Friday, August 16 and 50 semi-finalists representing each state in America will win a trip to Los Angeles to be a part of the two-hour event. One lucky winner will take home $25,000 and will have a chance at a walk-on role on the Hub Network’s Daytime Emmy Award-winning series, “R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour: The Series.”
The competition is open to all ages, including individuals or a maximum of five people per group submission. Participants are encouraged to create eye-popping, hair-raising and spooky costumes within one of the following six categories:

·         Howl-arious – Shows the lighter side of Halloween with a take on a fun, funny or otherwise hilarious costume.

·         Spook-tacular – Get ready to frighten America by showcasing the most spine-chilling costume for all the ghosts and ghouls out there.

·         Mad Genius – Unique, original, innovative and never seen before. A knight in
armor fashioned from bottle caps, bat wings made from old umbrellas, or a
cardboard-box jetpack, the possibilities are endless. Display a costume unlike
any other — show your Mad Genius.

·         Blast from the Past – Take a stroll down memory lane with a timeless costume. Memories, nostalgia and yesteryear brought to life. Show your take on great figures from before the 20thcentury or a retro 50’s sock hop get up, 60’s flower child or other “period” inspired costumes.

·         Animal Kingdom – Transform into a living creature from the past or present. Be a roaring lion, a school of jellyfish, a firefly, or a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

·         Everyday Stuff – We’re looking for the coolest refrigerator/freezer, remote control, mailbox, block of Swiss cheese, telephone and more.  Be creative and transform the ordinary into the extra-ordinary.

For more information on the contest check out hubworld.com/Halloween to view a two-minute tutorial detailing complete details and entry information about the nationwide costume competition. The deadline to enter is Sunday, September 29.

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…

Giveaway

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!

Check it

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

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.

Bubble Guppies Debuts on Nick

Bubble Guppies, a colorful CGA preschool series that follows the adventures of an inquisitive school of fishtails, is set to debut on Nickelodeon. Created by the team who brought us the poignant show, Little Bill and the cheerful Backyardigans, Bubble Guppies, like most Nick Jr. shows geared to the preschool set, has an educational emphasis on kindergarten readiness specifically, math literacy, the arts, science and soci-emotional development.

The Bubble Guppies embrace kids’ curiosity and penchant for asking questions by following the Guppies’ everyday discoveries. Co-hosts of the show are Gil, described as an energetic and adventures boy, and Molly, who is described to be the bubbly one who is friends with everyone. Gil and Molly are joined by friends, Deema, Nonny, Oona, Goby, Mr. Grouper, Bubble Puppy and Little Fish.

In addition to teaching lessons from everyday discoveries, the Bubble Guppies’ adventures are complemented with a little song and dance.

Vibrant colors, cute characters and a relatable scope combine to make Bubble Guppies’ a fun addition to Nick Jr.’s preschool lineup, offering both musical and educational value.

In the pilot episode “Call a Clambulance,” we follow Oona’s fish friend Avi who falls off his tricycle and breaks a bone in his tail.

Read More