Friday, December 14, 2018


My daughter was all smiles as we took in a performance of Disney's ALADDIN THE MUSICAL at the Detroit Opera House. This stage show based upon the 1992 animated movie by Walt Disney Studios originally opened on Broadway where it became a blockbuster theatrical hit. Now the show is traveling across the country stopping in Detroit for performances from December 12, 2018 through January 13, 2019.

Ironically, ALADDIN has moved from the Big Apple's New Amsterdam Theatre on Broadway to the Michigan Opera Theatre's home on Broadway Street in Detroit. This 1920's era theater is a great location for Broadway style plays as it was specifically designed to provide splendid acoustics in an environment filled with grand looking Italian Renaissance style architecture. The Detroit Opera House is filled with lavish crystal chandeliers, frescoes, brass fixtures, and marble stairways providing a luxurious setting for enjoying a show. With the place decked out in holiday decorations it was an extra special time to visit the place.

Attractive sets and glamorous costumes combined with acrobatic dance routines and energetic musical numbers thoroughly amused my nine year old daughter. She was clapping, laughing, and singing along throughout the show.  The comedic moments, choreographed sword fights, and on-stage fireworks and laser light special effects in ALADDIN where what really entertained me. From a magic carpet that takes the audience along on a ride through the sky to watching the evil villain being vanquished as he disappears in an explosion of smoke this show is sure to delight. It made for a great daddy-daughter night out!

While this musical stage show is based off of the classic Disney animated movie, this incarnation of ALADDIN also has its own unique elements. While it includes five cherished songs from the movie's Academy Award-winning soundtrack there are even more included in ALADDIN THE MUSICAL that were written especially for this show. Also Aladdin's monkey pal in the movie is replaced with a trio of misfit street rat friends who support the story's hero and provide a lot of comedic moments that had the audience during our show cracking up from their jests and high jinx. You'll need to go see the show yourself to discover all the tweaks and twists from the movie in this version of ALADDIN crafted by Disney Theatrical Productions.

I have to say the talent level of all the performers was really impressive and Clinton Greenspan (Aladdin) and Michael James Scott (Genie) were simply outstanding. The show's talented ensemble wasn't just performing on stage though. Behind the scenes, this production of ALADDIN was supported with costumes, props, and stage layouts designed by seven-time Tony-winning scenic designer Bob Crowley, six-time Tony-winning lightning designer Natasha Katz, and two-time Tony winning costume designer Gregg Barnes. Under the direction of Thomas Schumacher, the show also features music by Tony Award and eight-time Oscar® winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Sister Act), lyrics by two-time Oscar winner Howard Ashman (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid), three-time Tony Award and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice (Evita, Aida) and four-time Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer), and is choreographed by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon).

ALADDIN is a show that will entertain all ages. So whether you want to take the whole family on an outing to the Detroit Opera House, enjoy a daddy-daughter excursion like I did, or leave the kids at home for a date night with your significant other, you will be glad you want to go see ALADDIN while it is in town. Being that my daughter was beaming from cheek to cheek during the show and she couldn't wait to go to school the next day to tell all her friends about it, you know we had a wonderful time at ALADDIN THE MUSICAL.

Tickets for this limited engagement at the Detroit Opera House are still available and start at $25. You can purchase tickets online at or, and by phone at 800-982-2787. You can also stop by the Fisher Theatre and Detroit Opera House box offices to buy tickets to ALADDIN.

A Geek Daddy received complimentary tickets from Broadway in Detroit to see this show. Opinions expressed are my own. My daughter and I honestly really enjoyed the show!

Thursday, December 13, 2018


For awhile it looked like traditional over the air television was dying out the same way things such as cassette tapes and landline telephones have gone extinct due to advances in technology. Despite satellite transmissions, cable networks, and Internet streaming, broadcasting television signals through the airwaves is making a comeback! There are more channels to watch on your television that can be pulled from the air with the use of a digital antenna and viewed for FREE than ever before in U.S. history.  Driven by demand from cable TV cord cutters, new channels like COMET TV which broadcasts programing with science fiction and horror genre themes, are growing in popularity.

COMET TV wants to give people some sci-fi spirit during the holiday season. During the month of December, COMET TV will be highlighting showings of the original Terminator movie (1984) and the Blair Witch Project (1999) along with hosting a Christmas Day Babylon 5 Marathon. Plus every weekday at 10pm ET/PT throughout the month you can tune into their AREA 10 timeslot which will be showing each night a different cult classic film The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai to Haunted Honeymoon.

Babylon 5 (Christmas Marathon)

This Christmas, after you sip your egg nog and trim the tree, turn on COMET TV for a spacey Christmas Marathon! Starting at 10am ET/PT on Christmas Day you can catch up on this classic sci-fi series!

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

There’s something sinister lurking in Black Hills Forest and missing girl’s disappearance is linked to the legend of The Blair Witch! A group heads into the woods to find out what happened and the footage found after will send a chill down your spine. Don’t turn your back because you don’t know what’s lurking behind you.

Saturday, December 15 at 5pm ET/PT
Monday, December 17 at 1pm 
Thursday, December 20 at MIDNIGHT
Monday, December 24 at 2am
Saturday, December 29 at 12:30am

The Terminator (1984)

The original classic that started the franchise is airing on Comet TV! Catch Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton in their classic roles trying to defeat Skynet from launching total human extinction. Relive the first time you heard, “Come with me if you want to live.”

Friday, December 14 at 3pm ET/PT
Wednesday, December 19 at 10pm
 Wednesday, December 26 at 1pm

Area 10

The best in cult classic films are airing all month long on Comet TV! If you’re in the mood for laughs check out Haunted Honeymoon, if you fancy a trip book your ticket to Futureworld, join Ah-Nuld for The Terminator and who doesn’t have those Jeepers Creepers!

Enjoy some COMET TV cheer this month by watching their December lineup of shows and movies along with entering our giveaway of some sci-fi swag from the television station. For a chance to win just complete the rafflecopter entries below by 11:59 pm ET on December 19, 2018. Must be a United States resident over 18 years old to participate. One lucky winner will be selected from all eligible entries. If you've won the same prize in this promotion from another website, COMET TV reserves the right to have us select an alternate winner as you will already be receiving this swag pack from them. COMET TV will be responsible for delivery of the prize. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The Comet TV December Prize Pack includes:

 1 – Limited Edition Terminator Muscle Shirt – Show off those guns! Figuratively and literally in this awesome Terminator Tee! Do some flexing and share your pics on the gram! #CometTV

 1 – Exclusive Blair Witch Holiday Ornament – Deck the halls and ring in the new year with the Blair Witch! This hand-crafted ornament will bring holiday scares to you and those you love!

1 – Terminator Dog Tag – John Connor is the leader of the resistance and this promo dog tag set will get you ready to battle the cyborgs of the future!

1 – Babylon 5 and Space: 1999 Custom Snack Box – This is the perfect treat to celebrate any trip to space. It might require some popping, but this custom box will satisfy any spacey craving!

COMET TV is broadcast on Channel 50-2 in the Detroit area. Visit for more information about finding the channel it is being broadcast on near you and additional scheduling details of movies and TV shows it is airing.

DISCLAIMER: A Geek Daddy did not receive any financial compensation for hosting this giveaway, but did receive a prize pack similar to the one being given away for personal use.

Monday, December 10, 2018


Congratulations to musical artist Tim Kubart! His newest collection of songs titled BUILDING BLOCKS received a 2018 GRAMMY Award Nomination for "Best Children's Album"! To share his excitement about this incredible recognition of his artistry, Tim has shared with some codes to giveaway for downloadable digital copies of BUILDING BLOCKS.

"BUILDING BLOCKS is an album about he we grow," Kubart communicated to me. " It's about learning to care for yourself and realizing that there is so much more to nurture and care for. It's a big pop album about childhood milestones, from first days to new pets to big steps."

BUILDING BLOCKS is one of five albums, out of hundreds released this year, to receive the honor of being nominated for a GRAMMY Award. The 61st GRAMMY Awards celebrations will be hosted by the Recording Academy in Los Angeles, California on Sunday, February 10, 2019.

Kubart's career is on a hot streak! He won the GRAMMY Award for "Best Children's Album" in 2016 for his album HOME. In addition to that and this year's GRAMMY Award nomination, Tim is also a songwriter for Sesame Street, hosts a popular YouTube series called "Postmodern Juicebox," co-hosts the “Highlights Hangout,” a podcast for Highlights magazine, has authored a children's picture book Oopsie-do! published by HarperCollins earlier this year, and received acclaim for his work as .as host, producer, and writer for the Emmy Award-nominated LIVE show for preschoolers, “Sunny Side Up” on NBC-Universal's Sprout Channel.

Tim Kubart's children's music albums have an arena rock, also known as dad rock, musical style to them providing a stadium concert vibe to his songs that captivates kids as he edutains them. Kubart's BUILDING BLOCKS is a kindie rock celebration all about growing: growing wiser, growing bolder, and, above all, growing our circle of caring for family, friends, and those around us. The album features 12 original songs and culminates with an anthem of inclusivity in its title song “Block Party.”

A Geek Daddy has a few digital editions of BUILDING BLOCKS to giveaway.  For a chance to win, just complete the entries in the rafflecopter form below before 11:59 pm on December 16, 2018. Must be a United States resident over 18 years old to be eligible to win. Winners will be randomly selected from all eligible entries. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 9, 2018


I had the chance to take a stroll down nostalgia lane this weekend while watching an advance screener of a new show called DISCONTINUED that The CW Network sent me to check out. Directed by Brian Volk-Weiss, the creator of the popular Netflix docuseries "The Toys That Made Us," DISCONTINUED highlights fallen pop culture titans ranging from the Speak & Spell educational toy featured in the Steven Spielberg movie E.T. to the Sears Catalog which served as the Wish Book for generations of kids making out their lists of gift ideas for Santa Claus.

DISCONTINUED will be a special presentation aired by The CW Network on Sunday, December 16, 2018 at 9:30 pm ET/PT.  Have to say I found myself chuckling throughout the show. In addition to products and publications, the show also touches on topics like brand mascots such as the Taco Bell Chihuahua (did you know the dog's name was Gidget) and the Chiquita Banana Lady along with businesses that have gone bye bye like Blockbuster Video and more recently Toys R Us.

The part of the show I really enjoyed was that it interviews a number of comedians about all these  discontinued things that at one time or another were really popular. They include King Hassan, Anthony Desamito, Helen Hong and Carlos Alazraqui (the voice of the Taco Bell dog) among others. Their segments are filled with hilarious wise cracks that I could personally relate to and had me laughing a lot while watching DISCONTINUED. Volk-Weiss did an excellent job putting together this comedic commentary.

The show is hosted by YouTube influencer Andre Meadows and unfortunately that was the one downside of DISCONTINUED for me. This is an example of how growing a following on social media doesn't necessarily transfer over to actually being entertaining. He seems like a nice guy, but whenever Andre was on the screen I couldn't wait for his bits to be discontinued. Sorry Andre!

To make up for ripping on Andre here is a plug for his YouTube channel by showing a promo of him talking about DISCONTINUED with Brian Volk-Weiss:

Overall, I enjoyed the majority of what I saw during my sneak peek of DISCONTINUED. So I'll give it A GEEK DADDY nod of approval and encourage you to check it out on December 16 over at The CW Network. Remember to tune in at 9:30 pm either East or West Coast time.

Oh and I made a discovery about something hadn't realized was discontinued while watching the show. Planters Cheez Balls had been discontinued! When did that happen? Come to speak of it don't recall the last time I saw a tin of them. Though during my childhood, I can't count the number of Planters Cheez Balls tins my family went through … it was a lot! So cheesy!

Friday, December 7, 2018


I added some holiday cheer while packing my kids' lunch boxes for school today by including some Welch's Fruit Snacks Christmas Pouches. My son and daughter enjoy these fruit snacks because they are sweet to eat and as a parent I appreciate these treats are made with real fruit preservative free. Welch's Fruit Snacks also are fat free and low on sodium as well as sugar containing 0% of the daily recommended limits for your diet in these categories per serving. Plus these fruit snacks are a good source of Vitamins A, C & E for the kids.

A box of these holiday themed Welch's Fruit Snacks contains 28 Christmas pouches that are decorated with Santa Claus surrounded by a border of evergreen garland and gift wrapped packages. Each pouch contains seven gummy fruit snacks with a Christmas shape. These include Santa Claus, Christmas trees, ornaments, snowflakes and a snowman. Share some Christmas spirit with your children by including these holiday edition Welch's Fruit Snacks as part of their lunch. They are a fun and health snack that my own kids always enjoy.

Heading out the door to drop the kids off to school and then get to work myself, I tossed a Munk Pack Oatmeal Fruit Squeeze into my briefcase to eat later for a mid-morning snack.  My doctor has urged me to add more Omega 3 into my diet and these tasty snacks provide me a nice dose of these good fatty acids that help keep bad cholesterol in check. Plus they are full of 100% grain and fruit so you are snacking on healthy ingredients instead of junk food.

Picky eater kids may roll their eyes about eating the flavors Munk Pack Oatmeal Fruit Squeezes comes in but I think they are really delicious.  Choose from Apple Quinoa Oatmeal, Blueberry Acai Flax, Maple Pear Quinoa, Peach Chai Vanilla, and Raspberry Coconut. These Munk Pack Oatmeal Fruit Squeezes are a nice way to fuel up and sustain your energy in the middle of the morning when you may feel hungry but your lunchtime is still a ways off.

As the father of children with peanut and tree nut allergies, I do need to note that while these Oatmeal Fruit Squeezes don't contain those allergens they are made in a Munk Pack manufacturing facility that processes peanuts and tree nuts in other products. The company does seem to be very responsible in addressing this noting on their website that: "Good Manufacturing Practices are in place to properly segregate, store and handle allergens, and production lines are fully cleaned in between productions. We conduct allergen swabbing to test for trace allergens before using shared equipment."

Those with food allergies though will need to determine on their own how comfortable they are with the contamination risk of these foods. I know my family is more on the strict side regarding avoiding foods processed in facility with peanuts/tree nuts though not containing the allergens as ingredients. We segregate Oak Munk Oatmeal Fruit Squeezes to prevent  my own children eating these snacks but I do eat them myself when the kids aren't around me.

Thursday, December 6, 2018


Like riding a bike, swimming is one of those skills that once someone gets a grasp on doing it normally you are able to continuously do it throughout your life. It is an ability that after being learned tends not to be forgone even if it is not used very often. Unfortunately, many people just never learn even the basics of swimming which has contributed to drowning being a leading cause of accidental deaths for both children and adults.

Give a special child in your life a gift that will last a lifetime by providing them swimming lessons. My friends at Goldfish Swim School have special holiday packages available now that provide both lessons and something to physically wrap up to give to a child. Goldfish Swim School caters to kids ranging in age from toddlers to tweens and assists children and lessons vary from teaching basic water safety skills to mastering competitive swimming strokes.

How many of their Christmas presents are most kids even going to remember just a few months after the holiday has passed by? a year has gone by? a decade? Not many!

With swimming lessons at Goldfish Swim School you are providing an experience that will be remembered for a long time. My family has had a wonderful experience at Goldfish Swim School with my daughter evolving from being timid about going into the water to becoming a member of the Swim Force club that teaches kids about swimming as a competitive athletic endeavor. Provide a child with the skills and confidence to be safe and have fun around the water by enrolling him or her in Goldfish Swim School as a holiday gift.

For more information on holiday gift packages and to find a location near you, please visit Plus check out the Top 5 reasons to give the gift of swimming lessons over at their blog.

A Geek Daddy is a brand ambassador for Gold Fish Swim Schools receiving complimentary lessons and services for his children in exchange for promotional consideration. Opinions expressed are honest and my own.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

ReadySetz Urban 18 Playset

Awhile back had a chance to take a look at the prototype of the Space Base playset from ReadySetz.  This 1:12 scale [28” (h) X 38” (w) X 21” (d)] three dimensional fold-out playset provides a great backdrop for kids to immerse action figures ranging from the standard 3.75" sized ones to the 6" to 7" inch toys that have grown in popularity lately in imaginative adventures. Parents will appreciate ReadySetz playsets because there is no assembly required, they can be easily folded up and stored away, were built durable enough to endure rough play, and are environmentally-friendly containing 0% plastic and being made with recyclable materials. Kids will love them because they are imprinted with vibrant imagery and have lots of interactive features to spark their creativity and imagination while they play.

Now ReadySetz has sent us a prototype sample of a smaller 1:18 scale three dimensional playset [18” (h) X 12” (w) X 6” (d)] that is ideal for using with 1.5" mini-figures like those that come with LEGO and Mega Construx toys or diecast cars like Hot Wheels, Johnny Lightning, Matchbox, Maisto, and M2 Machines. We were sent a design that was showcased at this year's Las Vegas Toy Con exhibition to check out. In addition to being a reduced size from the Space Base previously reviewed this playset differs from the sci-fi theme with a cityscape layout.

While the ReadySetz Urban 18 Playset has a different size and theme than the model we previously played around with, it shares the same qualities that earned A Geek Daddy nod of approval for the Space Base. This urban themed playset is full of artwork that sets the stage for children to have fun pretending to have adventures in the big city. Graphics of brick walls, pipes, steel beams and street signs provide a great environment for toy soldier battles, superhero missions, drag racing car high jinks, or wacky fun with LEGO Friends characters or Calico Critters.

In addition to its impressive appearance, this ReadySetz Urban playset has a number of features to stimulate imaginative play.  There are sewer tunnels to explore and ramps for toy cars to soar down. Stair cases to climb and a manhole cover to pop in and out of. A garage door can be opened up as well as a number of windows spread out across the buildings. Watch out! There is a skylight that kids can pretend to have toys fall through too.

ReadySetz Urban 18 does a nice job of providing a sense of depth to the play area with rooms underneath the main level and behind the front faƧades of the buildings. Yet is also provides plenty of space for kids to get their hands in those areas providing the illusion of closed off spaces that are actually very accessible. This provides a great deal of functionality allowing kids to view how they want to play with it from a variety of perspectives.

ReadySetz Urban 18, as well as a 1:18 version of the Space Base, are now available to purchase through There are a few tweaks that have been made from the model shown in this post that have improved upon the sample we were provided. Also the Space Base we reviewed earlier and a similar 1:12 scale version of this Urban playset are also available to buy now to.

My kids and I have really enjoyed the ReadySetz playsets. In the past, I've purchased a number of bulky plastic ones my children have asked for that took hours for me to put together, were easily broken, and took up a lot of space to store.  With ReadySetz you just fold it out to play with and fold it down to put it away. Fits great in a closet, on a shelf or under a child's bed.  From a parent's perspective that is great, but most importantly my kids have a great time playing which is probably the most important litmus test for getting A Geek Daddy nod of approval.

Head over to and check out these impressive playsets! They also show some wonderful toyography highlighting their playsets on the ReadySetz Instagram and Twitter accounts. I've given them a number of likes for great pics they've posted on social media.