Thursday, September 12, 2019


Holly Oaks
Come on out to the brand new Holly Oaks ORV vehicle on Saturday, October 14, 2019 for the DETROIT 4FEST offroad vehicle festival. Taking place from 10 am - 5pm this will be the first public event for this park which provides a designated space for people to enjoy having some 4x4 fun with their vehicles. Bring out your atv, suv or dirt bike (check here for official list of vehicles allowed) to be one of the first to traverse the courses at this Oakland County Park which doesn't officially open until next July in the summer of 2020. An all-day vehicle pass for DETROIT 4FEST is $50 with proceeds benefiting Ronald McDonald House charities.

Don't have your own vehicle to ride? Jeep has you covered! Come on out for FREE to take a ride with a professional driver around a designated route of Holly Oaks ORV Park in an all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator, the brand's off-road capable mid-size pickup or a 2019 Jeep Wrangler. Hey even if you bring your own vehicle to ride, you can take a test drive too in these Jeeps through Holly Oaks. Don't miss out on some Jeep 4x4 action at DETROIT 4FEST!

There will also be some Jeep concept vehicles on display as well as a Jeep Technology Trailer to check out. While there, enter to win the 2019 FCA US LLC National Giveaway that has a prize which provides $70,000 toward any eligible vehicle from the Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT, Jeep and Ram Truck brands. DETROIT 4FEST will also be featuring seminars teaching off road skills, equipment demos and off-road safety presentations. Plus there will be a vendor village catering to offroad enthusiasts.

Jeep Gladiator

Holly Oaks ORV park has been created from an old gravel mine located off Dixie Highway next to Mount Holly Ski & Snowboard Resort, across the street from Groveland Oaks Park & Campground and just down the road from the Michigan Renaissance Festival grounds. The park's official address is 13536 Dixie Highway Holly, MI 48442. For more information, head over to


rummage sale
Stop by the Michigan Military Technical & Historical Society's museum in the city of Eastpointe this Saturday and Sunday for a rummage sale.  You'll be able to sort through a large number of books that have been donated to support this non-profit organization's mission of preserving the wartime manufacturing history that earned Detroit the moniker of Arsenal of Democracy. You are sure to discover some nifty finds!

The book sale will be September 14 (10am - 5pm) & the 15th (Noon - 4pm) at 16600 Stephens Rd. Eastpointe, MI 48021. You may find some military themed materials that have been declined for adding to its permanent archival collection or other publications that have been donated for the purpose of being sold to support this 501(c)(3) organization. All proceeds from the rummage sale are contributed to the operating budget for the Michigan Military Technical & Historical Society.

book sale

If you stop by don't miss out on taking a stroll around the museum. It consists of 11,000 square feet of exhibit space showcasing actual equipment, weapons, uniforms and other military artifacts that have been utilized from World War I through the present. Learn interesting facts and trivia about how Michigan has been a vital hub of military manufacturing throughout the 20th Century supporting the U.S. Armed Forces through two World Wars along with numerous other conflicts through the decades leading into today's engagements in places like Afghanastan, Iraq, and Syria.

dad blogger

Attending the rummage sale is FREE except for whatever you spend on purchasing books. Admission to the museum is $7 for families (2 adults + children) or individual adults (16 years old and up) is $5 per person. $3 for Seniors (65+) and those with military or student ids. For more information, visit

Thursday, September 5, 2019


A Geek Daddy received the featured products for FREE from Sony Pictures & Budsies. This post includes Best Buy affiliate links that provide a small commission from any sales generated.
My daughter accepted a secret mission from MIB headquarters this summer to draw an alien that BUDSIES could transform into a unique plush creation that she could snuggle with during a family movie night that we were invited to have when MEN IN BLACK INTERNATIONAL became available to add to our home entertainment video library. MEN IN BLACK INTERNATIONAL arrived this week on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital and so did our special BUDSIES alien that along with the movie is getting a lot of love at our house full of sci-fi geeks.

My kids had a lot of fun awhile back imagining up ideas for BUDSIES to transform into real life plush creations that we shared here on BUDSIES is a service that takes drawings that are submitted to it and turns the artwork into BUDSIES custom made stuffed animals and dolls that will be mailed to your doorstep.  So my daughter was excited to have another experience creating a BUDSIES alien for the home entertainment release of MEN IN BLACK INTERNATIONAL.

custom plush creations

Creating an alien to watch MIB INTERNATIONAL with was such a great match for this movie which takes us on a new adventure with the clandestine agency that protects the Earth by policing visitors from outer space. We've encountered adorable, crazy and dastardly aliens in previous Men In Black movies and this new addition to the Sony Pictures sci-fi film franchise takes us on a globetrotting adventure as MIB agents go into action to prevent mysterious alien technology from causing an apocalyptic disaster.

This new MIB movie introduces audiences to new Men in Black agents from around the world with Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson joining together again following their Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Endgame appearances to lead this film's cast ensemble. They are joined by Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick), Rebecca Ferguson (Mission Impossible -- Fallout), Rafe Spall (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), international dance phenoms Les Twins (Laurent Bourgeois & Larry Bourgeois), Emma Thompson (Late Night) and Liam Neeson (Taken). MEN IN BLACK INTERNATIONAL, directed by F. Gary Gray (The Fate of the Furious) is now available to add to your home entertainment video library via Digital, 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD.

The Men in Black have always protected the Earth from the scum of the universe, but in this new chapter of their story, they also must deal with a terrestrial threat. There is a mole in the Men in Black organization. Will MIB be able to save the day again?! You'll have to watch MEN IN BLACK INTERNATIONAL to find out!

Want to dream up your own alien to watch MIB INTERNATIONAL with?  Head over to! They specialize in making unique, custom stuffed animals and dolls based upon people's own creativity. BUDSIES turns artwork into loveable plush toys. They also make Petsies, replica's of family pets, and selfie dolls that look like actual individuals.


While enjoying MEN IN BLACK INTERNATIONAL for a family movie night along with your Budsies alien, of course you have to spend some time viewing the bonus features included on home entertainment video releases. Make sure to check these out on the Blu-ray, DVD and Digital editions of MIB INTERNATIONAL:

Gag Reel -- Even top MIB agents forget their lines. Check out these bloopers!

New Recruits, Classic Suits -- A featurette introducing the newest agents of MIB.

Let's Do This! Inside the Action & Stunts! -- A behind the scenes look at how the fantastic action scenes and stunts featured in the movie are created.

Look Right Here: Gadgets, Weapons & Rides -- From the iconic Neuralyzer to a tricked out Jag, a look at the amazing arsenal of MIB gadgets, weapons and vehicles.

Frank & Pawny's Peanut Gallery -- Everyone's favorite pug and pawn join together to watch a few key scenes from MIB INTERNATIONAL and share their thoughts.

Les Twins Leave It on the Floor -- Dance sensations Les Twins show off their signature style and how that influenced their alien roles.

In Case You've Been Neuralyzed: Frank the Pug provides a recap of the Men in Black movie franchise.

The MIB Meet the NBA: This featurette shows the NBA stars who just may be aliens in disguise.

family movie night

Pick up the Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Combo Pack of MEN IN BLACK INTERNATIONAL from Best Buy for an out of this world family movie night. It is rated PG-13 for science fiction action, language and suggestive material. For more information about the movie go to 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019


book of gadgets and inventions
I love books that delve further into the places and things shown within sci-fi movies and television shows providing an expanded view of the settings depicted in these stories . Imagining how fantastic devices or vehicles might work in real life or what types of landscapes might exist on alien planets is fascinating to me. So I was geeked about flipping through the pages of RICK AND MORTY: BOOK OF GADGETS AND INVENTIONS.

In RICK AND MORTY: BOOK OF GADGETS AND INVENTIONS from Running Press, author Robb Pearlman relays to us humorous how-to instructions for the gadgets and gizmos that have been shown throughout the first three seasons of Cartoon Network's adult sci-fi themed animated sitcom RICK AND MORTY. The show revolves around Rick, a "mad scientist" who embarks on adventures with his 14-year old run of the mill grandson Morty. The two travel to far out places like alternate dimensions and planets light years away from Earth via Rick's madcap inventions as part of the Adult Swim lineup of late night mature audience programming on Cartoon Network.

Get an expanded look at Rick's Space Cruiser that whizzes the characters across outer space during their cartoon exploits. Built from items scavenged from Morty's parents garage don't take for granted that this spacecraft is a hunk of junk. Yes it has an interior paneled with old couch cushions but this flying saucer also is equipped with a microverse battery powered propulsion system and ray gun weapons array.

Book of Gadgets and Inventions
Rick and Morty Book of Gadgets
Rick and Morty

Learn about the ultimate man cave chair. It contains an Emotion Extraction Machine that allows users to witness sporting events without getting angry or upset by all the bad calls made by refs or horrible play by favorite teams. Detroit Lions fans would love this chair! Well that is until this machine extracted that emotion.

man cave
detroit lions

My daughter broke her leg awhile back during a soccer game. Wish we had some Broken Leg Serum. Just give someone a shot of this and damaged bones will heal right up.

science fiction
Rick and Morty

Find about these and other out of this world gadgets in this 144 page book that is full of colorful illustrations, tv show concept art, "Rick Facts" sidebars, cartoon episode references and hand-written notes from Rick and Morty describing their experiences using these inventions. RICK AND MORTY: BOOK OF GADGETS AND INVENTIONS will be available from retailers beginning October 1, 2019 providing plenty of time to read up on the workings of this sci-fi universe before Season 4 of RICK AND MORTY begins airing on Cartoon Network in November.

Flip the Pickle
collectible figure

You may need to be a fan of the show to appreciate this … Running Press is also making a Pickle Rick collectible figure available. A fan favorite character, bring home a talking toy version of Rick's pickle alter ego.

This 3-inch Pickle Rick says "I turned myself into a pickle Morty!" and "I'm a Pickle Riiick!" when you squeeze it. It comes with base to mount Pickle Rick up right on a desk or shelf making the figure easy to display and play around with. Pickle Rick also comes with a 48-page mini book featuring full-color illustrations from episodes of RICK AND MORTY.

Pickle Rick

Two fun items that any RICK AND MORTY fan are sure to appreciate. Sorry though, one thing RICK AND MORTY: BOOK OF GADGETS AND INVENTIONS doesn't include is the secret recipe for McDonald's Szechuan sauce. It is full of zany details of gadgets and gizmos constructed by a mad scientist who fuels his warped genius through unhealthy doses of alcohol. Looking at these technological marvels will have you wondering if they are pure brilliance or drunken accidents. Enjoy the science in science fiction with RICK AND MORTY: BOOK OF GADGETS AND INVENTIONS.

Monday, September 2, 2019


It is that time of year again when the Michigan Renaissance Festival rides into town for its annual appearance. Adventure awaits during weekends filled with jousts, sword fights, and mythical creatures. On Saturdays and Sundays from August 17 through September 27, the festival grounds in Holly, Michigan are transformed into a realm filled with royal courts and knightly heroes, bandits and pirates, as well as bards, jesters and Shakespearean actors.  Join in the merriment and festivities of the 2019 Michigan Renaissance Festival.

Your adventure begins with a walk through a wooded path leading from the parking lot to the gates of the Renaissance era village of Hollygrove. As you begin your trek to the Renaissance Fest it starts off as a leisurely nature hike with no sign of modern life around you and the sound of birds and the wind whistling through tree leaves drifting in the air. Eventually the woods begins to fill with the sounds of festivities taking place as you emerge from the forest and come upon the gates to a realm of entertainment and excitement. Let your adventure begin!

Take in shows that include sword battles with comedic flair, dancing and musical performances and acrobatic feats. They even have a Birds of Prey presentation that provides audiences close up views of these raptors as trainers have them fly through the crowd. Stages with a variety of activities taking place throughout the day are spread out across the Renaissance village so there is always something going on as you wander around.

Michigan Ren Fest

Discover mythical creatures with Pegasus, Mermaids, and Unicorns calling the Renaissance Festival home. We even came across some trolls that seemed friendly despite the menacing spiked teeth in their grins as they sang  ballads along side a path. Transform into a magical being yourself by having some wax ears affixed to your head turning you into an elf or fairy. If feeling a bit naughty you can choose to have horns placed on your forehead to show others that you are a little devil.

Michigan Renaissance Festival

The Renaissance Fest is a family-friendly experience with activities dedicated specifically to keeping young lords and ladies amused. There are pony rides and carnival games just for the kids. Plus medieval thrill rides like the Flying Dragon!

Kids Activities
pony rides
renaissance festival

My favorite part of the Michigan Renaissance Festival though are the live armored jousts. Knights in shiny suits of metal compete on horseback in games and jousting battles to be honored as the Queen's champion. The jousting tournaments are held three times per day at 1pm, 3pm and 5pm. Get into the spirit of the day by shouting out Huzzah! to rally the knight representing your seating section to victory.

michigan renaissance festival 2019

They didn't have the sweets and treats of modern civilization during medieval times, so being that the Renaissance Fest is meant to transport you back in history this dad blogger snacked on some delicious pickles during the jousting tournament that vendors were selling. They were really good! I highly recommend you stop by one of the carts selling these on your way to the jousts.

renaissance fair snacks

Stick around after the jousting concludes because the knights will approach the crowd for pictures and to allow their horses to be petted. The cast of knights is great at staying in character and their boisterous attitudes are invigorating at getting people into a festive attitude. Interacting with the festival's cast of characters allows visitors whether or not they dress in cos-play to really immerse themselves within the Renaissance Festival experience.


Get into the action yourself trying out the weapons of the time. Give archery a shot! Show off your inner Robin Hood with a bow and arrow on the Michigan Renaissance Festival archery range.

ren fair

Other options include throwing axes and spears at targets. While they weren't used in Europe during Renaissance times, you can also toss Ninja throwing stars there too. Be a weekend warrior shooting bows and arrows and throwing weapons at the Renaissance Festival.

Michigan Renaissance Faire

Or you can Pester a Jester! Throw tomatoes at some obnoxious jesters while they hurl insults back at you. If you are easily offended you either need to walk away or have great aim because they jesters are really mean though their intent is to provide fun and amusement through rude repertoire.


Please note that there is limited use of credit cards at the festival, primarily accessible for select food vendors. Cash is king at the Renaissance Festival! So come prepared to have some spending money for activities and vendors as well as to provide tips to performers.

Iron Throne

Oh yes! An adventure does await you at the Michigan Renaissance Festival. Huzzah! For more information, go to

Sunday, September 1, 2019


Visit Williamsburg
The author received complimentary admission to the attractions featured in this post
Who says you can’t travel back in time?! A road trip to Virginia’s historic triangle is like taking a time machine back in history to the era of colonial America. In what can be both an educational and entertaining trip, visitors can explore Jamestown (the first permanent American colony by the British established in 1607), Williamsburg (the colonial capital of Virginia from 1699 – 1780 during the peak and decline of English rule) and Yorktown (where a decisive battle in the Revolutionary War helped secure the independence of what would become the United States). History is fun when exploring the living history museums now situated at these historic spots.


family travel

Situated a short distance from the original colony’s site is a living history museum that has reproductions of the boats the first Jamestown settlers sailed over to Virginia in from England. You’ll also find the fort they built and a village where the local Native Americans would have lived. Informative docents dressed in period garb share tips about how to survive in the wilderness of 17th century Virginia. These tour guides on your trip back in time, combined with your surroundings, provide great context to what life would have been like when the first British colonists arrived in 1607.

Explore a Fort

history is fun

Walking around the inside the barricades of a reproduction of the Jamestown Settlement's original fort provides a lot of insight into what life was like for the British colonists at that time. Costumed historical interpreters help guide you through the place giving insight into the lives of the colony's residents. See living quarters, work spaces and defensive structures as you walk around. Take some time to talk with docents who provide demonstrations such as firing a musket or may encourage you to touch and hold items from the time period including furs that were sold back to England, European manufactured goods which were traded with the local Native Americans, Fools Gold which the colonist mistakenly thought would make them rich, and tobacco which turned out to be the saving grace for the settlement's prosperity.


Climb Aboard the Replica Sailing Ships 

family travel

How would you have liked spending months aboard one of these ships, traveling across the sea? Take a look at the James River from the deck. The river was deep enough for big masted ships to dock at the colony but the location was far enough away from the ocean to avoid the settlers catching the attention of the Spanish Navy, or pirates that may be making their way along the Virginia coast. These boats were the settlers lifeline to civilization as they established the Jamestown colony.

James River

Learn About Native American History 


Find out about the Native American way of life that Jamestown disrupted, through a recreation of Powhatan tribe reed-covered houses. Learn how they got around in canoes, cooked their meals, and made clothing. This provides a nice perspective of what life was like in Virginia for the people who were already living there before the Europeans arrived. Letting people step into the world like it was in the past makes living history museums great attractions to add on a family vacation to-do list.

native american village


living history museum

Immerse yourself in what life was like in the 18th century with a visit to the Colonial Williamsburg living history museum. When it was decided to move Virginia’s capital away from the malaria-filled swampland of Jamestown to a more pastural landscape a few miles away, Williamsburg became the first planned town in America to be mapped out before being built up. A mile-long main street ran east to west connecting the colony’s hub of learning, the College of William and Mary, to its seat of law, the Capitol, on the opposite side of town. The two were connected along this street by Market Square, the town’s center of commerce and the Church of England’s Bruton Parish Church. Branching off to the north was a grand promenade leading to the Governor’s Palace which was at one time considered the grandest residence in North America. The rest of Williamsburg was filled in with homes and farms around this master plan creating a place that was described during the heyday of British rule as “a very handsome city.”

Now you can take a stroll through the streets and buildings of Williamsburg preserved to appear as the colonial capital did in the mid-1700s when Virginia was considered the grandest of Great Britain’s colonies. Walk in the shadows of the likes of Alexander Hamilton, Patrick Henry, James Madison, James Monroe, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and George Wythe who were in this town for personal, professional and political purposes during their lives as you make your way around the grounds of Colonial Williamsburg. Non-conforming structures were removed from the 300 acre living history museum when the Colonial Williamsburg historic district was created in the 1920s. Original buildings such as George Wythe’s home where Thomas Jefferson was tutored as a boy and George Washington stayed as he planned the Battle of Yorktown have bee refurbished and replicas of buildings that had been destroyed such as the Capitol and Governor’s Palace have been replicated on the sites of their original archeologically discovered foundations.

history vacation

family vacation

A nice touch to these preservation efforts is that the foundation that operates Colonial Williamsburg purchased line of sight conservation easements along the roadways leading to the historic district so as you approach the place it is like taking a ride through the woods of 18th century Virginia. It is a very scenic ride to the visitor center where you can then take a short walk or brief bus ride from there to the living history museum. It really is like taking a time tunnel to go back in history.

Once you arrive in Colonial Williamsburg not only are you surrounded by historic buildings but reenactors dressed in period garb and staying in character put you in the spirit of the times. See a fife and drum band march through the streets to the parade grounds, witness cannon and musket firing demonstrations, and observe demonstrations on how people lived out their lives in British colonial America. There aren’t cars rolling down these streets since you’ve gone back in time to before the automobile was invented; but you can take a horse-drawn carriage or ox-pulled wagon ride around town. Stop by one of the four taverns to eat a meal like they would have had in 1750.


Unplug yourself from modern times and enjoy experiencing what life was like before the invention of many of the conveniences we now take for granted in the 21st century. It can be adventurous, romantic and even a bit scary thinking about living in a world without the medical, technological and transportation advancements we often take for granted. My kids discovered history is fun during this very fun family road trip.



Complete your trek through Virginia’s historic triangle with a visit to the American Revolutionary War Museum at Yorktown. This museum is filled with artifacts and antiques from the Revolutionary War period of American history. It is also full of artwork and informative displays that highlight various aspects of the Revolutionary War. This 22,000 square foot exhibit space also utilizes high tech touches like holograms and a 180-degree surround screen movie that utilized dramatic special effects to bring to life details of the Battle of Yorktown. Also don’t miss out on the living history museum aspect of this place which is outside the exhibit gallery space. There is a recreation of a Continental Army encampment and the type of farm that would have been prevalent around Yorktown during the American Revolution.

American Revolution Museum


Continental Army Encampment

Get a close up look at the tents soldiers would have slept in, the earthen kitchen their meals would have been cooked on, the laundry for their uniforms, and an armory where you can see artillery and flintlock rifle firing demonstrations. Discuss military drills, medical procedures and supplying the troops with historical interpreters. Could you have hacked it as a soldier in General Washington’s army?

history is fun
continental army encampment
george washington army

Revolutionary War Era Farm

Finish your visit with a walk through a 1780s era farmstead. It isn’t just a house and barn like you might imagine. This farm is made up of a number of different buildings including a kitchen, living quarters, workshops, storage spaces, and places to hold livestock. It really opens ones eyes to the rugged lifestyle of farming in 18th century Virginia.

history is fun

People fear the Bermuda Triangle mysteriously making people disappear to unknown places, but the Virginia Triangle really can transport you away from modern civilization to another time. Go back in time to visit Jamestown, Yorktown and Williamsburg in another era. Disconnect from TV, telephones and the Internet to spend some quality family time delving into the history that shaped the future of this country.

My kids initially griped when they discovered we were going to take a trip to Virginia’s historic triangle, but they had a great experience and really enjoyed themselves. They actually have asked since returning home if we can go back again. History really can be fun if you make an adventure out of learning.



Plus, as a bonus there is a Busch Gardens amusement park nearby these three historic sites to add some extra excitement to a family vacation. Adding that to your itinerary is surefire way to have kids not mind being taken to a bunch of museums!


For more information on planning your own trip to Virginia’s historic triangle, head over to