Thursday, October 8, 2015

Nickelodeon Conjures Up A Halloween Celebration

Nickelodeon is getting into the Halloween spirit with a month-long celebration throughout October including holiday-themed premieres and specials from its live-action, animation and preschool series. Beginning Saturday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m. (ET/PT), Nick treats viewers to a fang-tastical TV movie, Liar, Liar, Vampire, starring Brec Bassinger (Bella and the Bulldogs) and Rahart Adams (Every Witch Way), followed by weekly Halloween-themed premieres throughout the month. Nickelodeon also invites viewers to the Halloween Ultimate Costume Party, a 60 minute special debuting Sunday, Oct. 18, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT). Hosted by the cast of Game Shakers, the fest features live music, a costume contest, DIY Halloween tips and tutorials, along with special appearances by the cast of Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn, Talia in the Kitchen and the WITS Academy.

Throughout October, Nickelodeon’s hit mobile apps get into the spirit with bone-chilling updates including new characters, collectable items and Halloween designs. SpongeBob Moves In will introduce a new character, Lord Poltergeist, new costumes and a Spooky Bikini Bottom skin. Sky Whale, the recently launched app from the new live-action series, Game Shakers, will feature ten new Halloween-themed collectible objects. Preschoolers will also be treated to new updates on the Nick Jr App and Noggin with themed home screens and video hubs, and Halloween-themed episodes of hit preschool series.

Fans can also visit to access two new Halloween-themed games and a ghoulish update to fan-favorite, Nick Dance Machine. Nickelodeon Trendsetters debuts on Oct. 12, followed by Nickelodeon: OMG, Zombies! on Oct. 19.

Below is a rundown of Nickelodeon’s Halloween-themed premieres: NICKELODEON (all times ET/PT):


7:00 p.m. – Liar, Liar, Vampire *Original Nickelodeon Movie* (simulcast on TeenNick and Nicktoons) When introverted 17-year old Davis Pell (Rahart Adams/Every Witch Way) switches schools, mega popular Caitlyn Crisp mistakes him for a vampire. His new neighbor Vi (Brec Bassinger/Bella and the Bulldogs) helps him dial up the ruse and his supernatural persona helps Davis rule the school. As word spreads, the truth becomes harder to hide.


12:00 p.m. - Power Rangers “The Ghostest with the Mostest” Bat Monster kidnaps a costumed Ranger teen from a Halloween Party and extracts memories that will allow her to impersonate them. Kendall must ask the teens test questions to identify the imposter before all of the Energems are stolen.


 8:00 p.m. - Halloween Ultimate Costume Party (simulcast on TeenNick and Nicktoons) Hosted by the cast of Game Shakers, the 60 minute spooktacular show features live music, a costume contest, DIY Halloween tips and tutorials for kids and families, along with special appearances by the Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn, Talia in the Kitchen and WITS Academy casts.


12:00 p.m. - Blaze and the Monster Machines “Truck or Treat” It’s Halloween in Axle City, and Blaze, AJ and all of their friends are excited to “Truck or Treat.” When Crusher tries to steal all of their candy, his plan goes awry and he sends their treats far away from Axle City. Blaze and his friends must race Crusher to get to their candy first.

12:30 p.m. - Wallykazam! “Dawn of the Zucchini” While helping Gina Giant harvest vegetables from her garden, Wally and Norville meet a garden gnome. His name is Zach, but he doesn’t like his name because he thinks that ‘z’ isn’t a very fun letter. Wally decides to show Zach just how many fun words ‘z’ can make. It’s all going great until Bobgoblin convinces Wally to make a zillion zombie zucchinis who take off with Gina’s vegetables.

 1:00 p.m. - Shimmer and Shine “A Very Genie Halloweenie” It’s Halloween and Leah invites her genies over to join the fun. Since everyone is in costume, no one will know they’re real genies!. Zac is competing in a haunted house competition, but he accidentally ruins his own decorations. Leah makes a wish to make Zac’s house look haunted and the genies turn it into a real haunted house, complete with a real live Frankenstein! It’s a spooktacular adventure as the girls try to stop Frankenstein from smashing every Jack-O’-Lantern in Leah’s neighborhood.

 1:30 p.m. - Dora and Friends “Trick or Treat” When Emma accidentally scares off Abuela's cat Lucky on Halloween, Dora and her friends must travel to a real monster mash to save the kitty from a jealous witch.

 8:00 p.m. - Harvey Beaks “Le Corn Maze…OF DOOM!”/ “Harvey Isn’t Scary” In “Le Corn Maze…OF DOOM!,” After the kids claim that last year’s Halloween maze wasn’t all scary, the Squirrels swear to make this year’s maze the scariest ever. Everyone enters the maze but will anyone ever exit? Then in “Harvey Isn’t Scary,” a Littlebark Halloween tradition involves telling scary stories to keep the boogeyman away, but Harvey can’t seem to scare anyone. If he doesn’t step up his game, they’re all going to be in trouble.


8:30 p.m. - Game Shakers “Scared Tripless” Double G has scared Triple G every Halloween since he was a baby. This year, Double G asks Babe and Kenzie to help, but they double-cross him by telling Triple G his elaborate plan.

 9:00 p.m. - 100 Things to do Before High School “Have the Best Halloween Ever Thing!” CJ is determined to fix Principal Hader’s Halloween-hate in time to rescue the school’s cancelled Halloween festivities. Meanwhile, Crispo and Fenwick deal with costume-related crises.


7:30 p.m. – The Thundermans “Patch Me If You Can” Phoebe babysits her boyfriend's shy brother, but the mild-mannered boy discovers his evil side when he gets his hands on one of Max's inventions.

8:00 p.m. - Bella and the Bulldogs “Sha-Boo! Ya” During Halloween, Troy and Sawyer try to scare the girls at the annual football and cheerleader campout and an urban legend about the school’s old groundskeeper becomes all too real.

Also here's a run-down of Halloween specials on NICK JR:


6:00 p.m. - Fresh Beat Band of Spies “Ghost of Rock” To save a haunted music theater, the Fresh Beat Band of Spies must help Spooky Spooks, a friendly and energetic ghost who just wants to rock.


6:00 p.m. - Little Charmers “Spooky Pumpkin Moon Night” On Spooky Pumpkin Moon Night, Hazel and the Charmers go to the pumpkin patch to find the best pumpkins to win the contest.


 6:00 p.m. - Tickety Toc “Trick or Treat Time/Spooky Time” In “Trick or Treat Time,” after the twins go trick or treating, they help prepare toffee treats for the Halloween party. In the process, they unleash a giant toffee monster that puts a scare into Tickety Town. Then in “Spooky Time,” while preparing for the Spooky Party, Pufferty is scared by his own reflection and races off into the Spooky Woods. The twins go after him, but they must conquer their own fears to bring him back in time for Chime Time.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Free Online Star Wars Comic Strip Available On

The digital comic service has launched a new bi-weekly comic strip series that fans of SciFi are definitely going to want to check out.  Every Thursday and Sunday the web site will be publishing a new Star Wars comic strip that people can read for FREE!  This new digital comic series will center on the original Star Wars trilogy digging into the story from a new perspective -- from the point-of-view of a young Luke Skywalker.  This is the first time this comic series which has been an overseas sensation has been made available within the United States.

Star Wars is authored by Hong Jacga, a renowned Korean comic artist who has received huge accolades for such work as Hwa Ja, Dorothy Band, and The Cat Funeral -- the latter two works having been adapted into musical and movie form respectively. To effectively deliver the original Star Wars story, Hong Jacga not only reconstructs events from the films but also includes main characters, backgrounds and locations consistent with the Star Wars universe while adding his uniquely realistic and exquisite art style. As a fan of Star Wars himself, Hong Jacga's passion for the original material really shines through in the series and there will be much to look forward to with new interesting content available exclusively through the Star Wars digital comic.

 “Our fans in the United States are in for something special as they now have a chance to dive into the epic Star Wars story in a totally new way, only on Webtoon,” said JunKoo Kim, Founder and Head of Webtoon in a press release to A Geek Daddy. “This immersive digital comic experience offers a brand new experience for Star Wars fans and perfectly showcases the appeal of our digital storytelling format.”

To read Star Wars fans can visit – or download the Webtoon app through the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Colonel Sanders Featured In Free Comic Book From Kentucky Fried Chicken

Demonstrating that geek is the new chic, Kentucky Fried Chicken has partnered with DC Comics to promote their restaurant chain at this week's 2015 New York Comic Con event by distributing a special one shot collectible comic book featuring Colonel Sanders.  In "The Colonel of Two Worlds" which is a parody of a classic FLASH story, the Colonel Sanders of our planet faces off against an evil Colonel Sanders from an alternate dimension.  When the evil doppelganger dressed in black attempts to both set up a criminal empire and market inferior fried chicken to KFC's, Colonel Sanders enlists the help of superheroes The Green Lantern and The Flash to help save the day and restore his tarnished image.  It's a comic book face off between a good and evil Colonel Sanders!  Who will prevail?  You'll have to read the comic book to find out!

Kentucky Fried Chicken will be distributing print editions of "The Colonel of Two Worlds" for free to attendees at New York Comic Con from October 8 through the 11th.  Can't make it to New York City?  Beginning October 8th, you can also view a free digital version of the comic book on the KFC website or download it via Comixology.

Yes this comic book is going to be cheesy but you have to give KFC some credit for being original and creative in marketing themselves to fans of the comic book culture.  Take a few moments to not take life too seriously and enjoy the geeky side of life by flipping through the pages of "The Colonel of Two Worlds."  I'm sure it will probably put a smile on your face.  Hmmm....I wonder if this comic book will be finger lickin good?!

Monday, October 5, 2015

A Friend for Lakota: The Incredible True Story of a Wolf Who Braved Bullying

In support of October being Bullying Prevention Month and today being Bullying Awareness Day, A Geek Daddy is highlighting National Geographic Kids' A Friend for Lakota: The Incredible True Story of a Wolf Who Braved Bullying and giving away a copy of the book to one of our blog readers. Jim and Jamie Dutcher lived in a tented camp in Idaho's Sawtooth Mountains for six years among a pack of wolves, observing and documenting rarely seen social behaviors.  The Dutchers produced three documentary films from the experience which won three Emmy Awards and also published with National Geographic Kids the children's book A Friend for Lakota based upon one of the emotionally touching experiences during their observation of the wolf pack.

Lakota is a shy pup and as the wolves grow up the other members of the pack take advantage of his being timid.  The other wolves begin to bully the gentle-natured Lakota growling and snapping at him forcing the young wolf to be submissive to them as what the Dutchers term the "omega" of the group which is the bottom of the wolf pack. Eventually though, Matsi, the Beta which is the second wolf in the hierarchy of the pack, befriends Lakota defending him from the bullying.  Matsi's friendship neutralizes the bullying and builds up Lakota's confidence helping him to eventually become an equal member of the pack.

After reading this story with my children, I had a chance to chat one-on-one with Jim and Jamie Dutcher about their experiences with Lakota, Matsi and the rest of the Sawtooth wolf pack.  They explained to me that they had been visiting elementary schools around the country to discuss their experience living with the wolves and the story of Lakota always overwhelmingly resonated with the children they were talking with.  So the couple decided to team up with National Geographic Kids to share the story of the wolf who braved bullying.

"You would see these kids who from their demeanor probably were being bullied themselves raise their hands in the crowd of students and ask if Lakota was ok and everything turned out alright for him," said Jim Dutcher during our interview.  "These kids faces would brighten up so much when I explained that he eventually overcame the bullying and lived a very long healthy and happy life with the wolf pack.  It seemed to provide some reassurance that things would be alright for them too."

"Another important point to be taken from this story is just say no to bullying like Matsi did," added Jamie Dutcher.  "We are hoping that children who witness bullying will step in like Matsi did to stop that behavior and befriend the victim.  This story really shows how being a friend to someone else can make a huge positive impact on another life."

"We emphasize that the other wolves never were trying to kill or seriously hurt Lakota but rather the bullying was meant to put him in his place as an inferior "omega" member of the pack," Jim noted.  "Lakota was actually the biggest animal in the pack and was the best howler.  Often times bullying would begin after he out shined other members of the pack while howling and the other wolves wanted to make themselves feel better about themselves by picking on poor Lakota.  This really relates to human bullying and shows a similarity between wolves and people."

Jim and Jamie also mentioned that they hope this book will provide a better understanding of wolves with children that will help with future conservation efforts for the species.  "People think of wolves as these dangerous, fierce creatures, but if you ran into a wolf in the wild it would probably be scared of you and run away," Jim noted.  "Wolves are an endangered species because of humans hunting them and causing habitat loss," added Jamie. "Hopefully this book and Lakota's story will help change perceptions and help protect wolves in the wild."

During their study of the wolves Jim and Jamie camped out right in the woods with the wolves so that the pack eventually became accustomed to the humans being around them.  This allowed the Dutchers to observe and document experiences with the wolves that humans rarely see.  One example referred to by Jim during our discussion was how Jamie was allowed to climb into an underground den to see new born puppies and if the couple hadn't been adopted by the pack the wolves would have been protective against allowing that to happen.  This relationship allowed the Dutchers to take some remarkable photographs of Lakota and the wolf pack that are included in this book.

Jim and Jamie's experience with the Sawtooth wolf pack also led them to start a non-profit conservation organization called Living with Wolves. This non-profit group is dedicated to raising broad public awareness of the truth about wolves, their social nature, their importance to healthy ecosystems and the threats to their survival hoping to build acceptance that can lead to coexistence between people and wolves sharing the same land.  This group has sponsored a free online activity guide about grey wolves with National Geographic for children 4 to 10 years old plus provides a free downloadable coloring book to educate children about these animals.

Now to the giveaway! For a chance to win A Friend for Lakota you  must be a U.S. or Canadian resident over 18 years old and submit the following entry method prior to 11:59 pm EST on Sunday October 11, 2015.  All valid entries will be assigned a number in the order they are received and one number will be  selected to determine the winner using  E-mails will only be used to contact the winner and deleted following the selection of a winner.

E-mail thegeekdaddy [at] yahoo [dot] com your name and mailing address.   Email subject line should be LAKOTA. 

A Friend for Lakota: The Incredible True Story of a Wolf Who Braved Bullying is a 32 page hardcover book meant for children 4 to 8 years old.  The book retails for $16.99 on the National Geographic online store.

DISCLAIMER:  A Geek Daddy Blog will be responsible for selecting the winner of this contest, but National Geographic is responsible for fulfillment and delivery of the prize.  By participating in this contest you waive any liability towards A Geek Daddy Blog or its publisher that may arise from your involvement with this promotion.  If you win this prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Prize will be delivered by UPS or FedEx so no P.O. Boxes are allowed as mailing addresses. A Geek Daddy Blog did not receive any financial compensation but did receive a free featured product for the blog to review and the prize that is being awarded to one of our readers for this contest.  A Geek Daddy Blog is hosting this contest as a benefit to our readers. Any opinions in this post are my own.  #NGKINSIDER

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Toledo Zoo named BEST ZOO in the United States

We always make a special effort a few times per year to take a road trip with our kids to visit the TOLEDO ZOO because it really is a great park and a nice change of pace with different exhibits and animals on display to enjoy from our own local Detroit Zoo which with our annual membership itself is a pretty frequent destination for our family.  So it really wasn't that much of a surprise when we heard that this Midwestern factory town's zoo was named by USA TODAY as the "Best Zoo in the USA" and "one of the top 10 zoos in the U.S." by Family Fun Magazine. The Toledo Zoo is home to more than 9,000 animals representing over 800 species.  It also just completed a new 178,000 gallon aquarium so that a visit to the zoo not only lets you observe land animals but also takes you under the sea.

Because the Detroit Zoo is just a few minute drive from our house we've become pretty accustomed to that place so making a trip to the Toledo Zoo is always a special treat to check out new things.  My kids favorite three features of the Toledo Zoo ( the hippoquarium, elephant exhibit & salt water aquarium)  aren't available to see at our local zoo making the experience out of the ordinary and extra special for them.  These exhibits really provide a close up views of these creatures allowing for some extraordinary experiences.

The Hippoquarium

Visitors to this exhibit are treated to a view of the underwater world of Nile hippopotamus.  This 360,000 gallon pool has a filter system that cleans 8,000 gallons of water every 90 minutes to help provide a clear closeup view of the hippos as they lounge and wander about underwater.  My kids always are thrilled when they have an up close encounter with these humongous creatures.

Elephants of the Savanna

Speaking of larger creatures, right next door to the hippoquarium is the elephant enclosure.  Whenever my daughter brings up a trip to the Toledo Zoo the first thing she references is wanting to go see the elephants.  The Toledo Zoo enlarged and renovated this exhibit in 2012 providing for expanded viewing areas for people and more stimuli for the African elephants that call it home including elevated feeders, enrichment walls and trees that creating a dynamic space for the animals.

The Hippoquarium and Elephants of the Savanna exhibits are part of a larger themed African Safari themed display area called the Tembo Trail.  As you venture along the Tembo Trail in addition to elephants and hippos, you'll also encounter lions, white rhinoceros, spotted-necked otters, slender-snouted crocodiles, naked mole rats and meerkats.


After a two and half year closure for a $25 million dollar expansion and renovations just re-opened in the Spring of 2015.  This exhibit has transformed a 46,000 gallon aquarium that had mostly displayed local freshwater varieties of fish into a 178,000 immersive underwater experience where people can view more than 3,000 creatures from a variety of ecosystems around the world.

We took a road trip this summer to the Toledo Zoo just to check out the new aquarium facility and I have to say it really is fin-tastic!  CLICK HERE to check out A Geek Daddy's review of the Toledo Zoo's aquarium "Sea-ing the Toledo Zoo Aquarium is Fin-tastic!"


It just figures though that my kids enjoy playing at the Toledo Zoo almost as much as venturing around observing all the wonderful animals.  The zoo has a nice area called Nature's Neighborhood that has a playscape area featuring a kids only tree house to explore, rock walls to climb and a stream to wade in.  There is also the Jumpin Junction indoor workshop area that has projects to do and presentations to see throughout the day all year long.  At Jumpin Junction kids can see themselves on a large TV screen with backgrounds from the natural world behind them or they can play around with animal costumes and puppets for a fun experience.

During the warmer months there also are daily performances at 2 pm each day featuring Toledo Zoo animals at the outdoor Fisher-Price Discover Stage for families to enjoy or you can pet African pygmy goats in Nature Neighborhood's Goat Yard.

As part of the aquarium renovation, the Toledo Zoo also just installed a great aquatic splash pad play area directly behind that facility that also includes oceanic themed play structures like a giant crab holding a tire swing in its pinchers.

A few other highlights of trip to the Toledo Zoo include taking a train ride around Africa! which circles a field filled with zebras, giraffe, wilderbeest, ostrich, and wild dogs; trekking through the Arctic Encounter to view polar bears and seals; meandering through the Primate Forest filled with lemurs, monkeys, and red pandas; and a walk through the reptile house which features a giant saltwater croc. CLICK HERE for a map with a full layout of the zoo.

Of course we can't head home for the day until we've taken a ride on the old fashion carousel situated by the park's main entrance.

If you happen to be visiting the area the Toledo Zoo has a nice Out-of-town Visitor Guide on its website to help with planning a trip to the zoo.  If you can make it to Toledo, A Geek Daddy recommends that a visit to their zoo is well worth it.  You'll always discover something that will put a smile on your at the Toledo Zoo!

Family Game Night: CHRONO BOMB!

** A Geek Daddy received a complimentary Chrono Bomb! game courtesy of Patch Products for this review **

Now that school's back in session for our kids, we're getting back into the routine of making Friday's a FAMILY FUN NIGHT where we either spend the evening playing games or watching a movie together.  It's a time devoted to chilling out from the stresses of the week and to enjoy some bonding time together. For our first Family Fun Night of the school year, we had a fun secret agent themed time playing the game Chrono Bomb! from Patch Products and watched the movie Spy Kids for a good time.

Chrono Bomb! is a game where you have to make your way through a "laser field" to defuse a bomb before its timer ticks down to zero and goes boom!  You create the laser field using 27.5-feet of string weaving it through clamps to create an obstacle course to crawl and hurdle through to get to the bomb.  In addition to the timer clicking down, if you bump against the string once or twice it knocks off more time from the clock and a third time sets off the bomb - kaboom!   Race through the maze without setting off the bomb to see who can defuse it the quickest.

For some extra challenge to the game you can mix in some playing cards to the course.  Picking up the cards spread throughout the laser field before you are allowed to defuse the bomb can add another level of difficulty to the game.  There is also a free app that can be used with playing the game to provide some interesting twists to the action.

While the game may look a bit tricky to put together it really was easy to assemble.  Place the included clamps around your designated play space, roll out the string through an easy to use spinner device, which makes it easy for both laying out your laser field maze and putting it away, and throw three AAA batteries in the bomb to activate the timer and you are ready to go.   The sensor that connects the string to the bomb's timer worked really well for us and my kids were frequently frustrated when they brushed up against a string and the timer sped up or the bomb blew up...which is a big part of the fun of the game!  Knowing that touching the string would really impact the game really added to the thrill level of Chrono Bomb! and kept the kids honest about how they approached going through the maze.

Chrono Bomb! brought out our inner 007 in this secret agent themed game.   It was a nice change of pace to spend the evening playing something different from a board game or video game during our Family Fun Night.  It was pretty funny to see some of the positions and moves players have to distort themselves in to get through the maze.  Plus it got to be pretty competitive going head to head racing to get the best times.  I have to say my kid's size was an advantage in crawling through and slipping around the "laser beams" and my daughter ended up the Chrono Bomb! champion for the night.

This game gets A Geek Daddy nod of approval because it has players both engage in aerobic feats and focus on thinking about how they are going to accomplish a task.  It is something unique to play that can easily be set up inside and entertains kids while keeping them active.  Chrono Bomb! is perfect for keeping kids amused on a rainy day, having their friends over on a winter afternoon or enjoying time together on a family fun night.  Play over and over again by constantly building new courses to challenge players to achieve the best time.

Chrono Bomb! is recommend for ages 7+.  For more information, visit

Friday, October 2, 2015


Just because for many of us the weather begins to get brisk during the Fall season doesn't mean your family can't be outside enjoying itself.  From apple orchard trips to themed 5k runs to visits to haunted houses there are more fun things to do in the Fall than I can try to count.  That being said, I joined with my friends from the Social Fabric Blogger Network to try and list as many fall family friendly activities as we could all come up with taking place across the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom.  Enjoy checking out all these great blog posts and if you have a favorite Fall activity or event not mentioned below, feel free to plug it in this post's comment section so we can all learn about it!


  • Boston - Feathers and Stripes
  • Omaha - Mom on the Side
New Hampshire
New York
North Carolina
Rhode Island
South Carolina

London, Ontario - Creative Cynchronicity

Toronto, Ontario - Teddy Out-Ready


Yorkshire - JuggleMum