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Image of singer Taylor Swift in concert.

Join Taylor Swift, Ryan Seacrest, Usher, One Direction and more in Las Vegas this September.

The MGM Grand is the 2014 home for the iHeartRadio Music Festival.  All the tickets sold out at prices ranging from $161 to $528 for the September 19th and 20th, 2014 dates.  Ryan Seacrest once again hosts this event with top music entertainers from around the world taking part in the two day event.

Biggest Names in Music Play iHeartRadio Music Festival

Image of Coldplay on stage at music concert.

Coldplay in Concert. photo www.flickr.com [alex bikfalui]

Friday iHeartRadio Headliners:

Taylor Swift is a true country music star who most regard as one of our biggest pop and rock stars.  Coldplay is a British rock band with members Chris Martin, Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, and Will Champion.  Their style is alternate rock.  Nicki Minaj is known to many as a judge on American Idol with Ryan Seacrest.  She is one of the hottest rap music singers and songwriters in the industry.

The Zac Brown Band is a folk band with members Zac Brown, Jimmy De Martini, John Driskell Hopkins, Chris Fryar, Coy Bowles, Clay Cook, and Daniel de los Reyes.  They have taken 10 singles to the top of Billboards country charts.  Usher is an American singer and songwriter who has sold more than 70 million records.  He crosses between R&B, pop, dance, and hip hop.

Image of singer Nicki Minaj in concert.

Nicki Minaj in Concert. photo www.flickr.com [dyllan]

Motley Crue are true heavy metal and hard rock music royalty.  One of the top ten best selling artists of all time their memebers are Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Mick Mars, and Vince Neil.  Ariana Grande from Nickelodeon fame has made stardom as an R&B and pop singer.  Steve Aoki adds electric house, drum, and bass music to the nights acts.

The opening Friday act is Macy’s Rising Star group Before You Exit.

Saturday iHeartRadio Headliners

Image of music group One Direction in concert.

One Direction Sings at Music Concert. photo www.flickr.com [Fiona McKinley]

One Direction from London England is the headline group for the night.  The popular pop rock boy band is one of 2014′s hottest music acts.  Lorde from New Zealand continues with rock concerts around the world.  Iggy Azalea brings hip hop, rap,  and EDM to the nights stage.

Calvin Harris is best know for electro house and dance pop type music.  The Scottish entertainer is also the highest paid DJ in the world for his music mixes.  Eric Church gets us back to country music and Ed Sheeran brings folk music to the night.  The groups Train and Paramore also play Saturday night.

There are some other ways to hear the festivals music.  The iHeartRadio stations across the country will broadcast the event live.  The CW TV stations will also carry the night concerts live.  There is also an app available that allows you to hear the music all year long.

Tickets are still available for the iHeartRadio Music Festival Village.

Performing live September 20th on Saturday afternoon shows in the festival village are Iggy Azalea, Neon Trees, Kacy Musgraves, Childish Gambino, Magic, The Pretty Reckless, Nico & Vinz, and Lil Jon.

Win iHeartRadio Music Festival Tickets:

A number of partners and sponsors of iHeartRadio are having contests for tickets.  Check out the iHeartRadio page for information.

As a veteran of Las Vegas visits I can tell you that various casinos always find tickets for their high roller customers.  If you have a casino host you should contact your host immediately.  As they are arranging your September visit it would be a good time to have them get you these hard to get tickets.  Just my suggestion.

The entire event takes place at the MGM Garden Arena located at 3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas.  The mammoth arena seats 16,000 people plus the arena floor.  It is best known for professional boxing matches with Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather, Oscar De La Hoya and many more.  It also has hosted WCW wrestling, Ultimate Fighting Championships, and the Billboard Music Awards show.

Here at Funtober we continue to bring you events and fun things to do as we countdown to Halloween.  We are at Day 96 of our countdown.  Check out our blog at Funtober.


Image of Chipotle restaurant logo.

Cultivate Dallas-Ft. Worth comes to Texas on October 18th in nearby Irving.  Chipotle Mexican Grill has partnered with Lakewood Brewing Company to feature celebrity chefs and an assortment of music concerts in a one day extravaganza.

Chipotle is running a number of Cultivate events this summer and fall in San Francisco, Denver, and Minneapolis.

The Cultivate Dallas-Ft. Worth event features celebrity chefs Matt McCallister, Omar Flores, Kent Rathbun, Paul Qui, Sean Brock, and Amanda Freitag.  The music performers include Amos Lee, O.A.R., Sylvan Essso, and MS MR.  All the celebrity chefs run famous restaurants around the country including FT33, Casa Rubia, Abacus, Jasper’s, Qui, East Side King, Husk, McGrady’s, and Empire Diner.

Admission Is Free to Cultivate Dallas-Ft. Worth

The festival will have live cooking demonstrations, live music, wine tasting, a special regional beer, a Kid’s Zone with games, and of course a special Chipotle event menu.

Chipotle opened their first Texas restaurant some 15 year ago.  Today they have over 1600 restaurants across the country.

Lakewood Brewing will bring a special brew made from Bravo hops, moderately sweet malts, and Cascade and Citra hops.  They call it a “Cultivate Farmhouse Ale”.

All the activities take place at Lake Carolyn located at 909 Lake Carolyn Parkway, Irving, Texas.

Funtober has information on lots of festivals taking place in Texas this fall.  Our blog features fun things to do such as Cultivate.

Image of Rob Zombie in live concert.

Chicago plays host to a second horror attraction by famed horror filmmaker, rock legend, and entertainment genius Rob Zombie.  Last month Funtober reported the opening of Rob Zombie’s haunted house in Phoenix on September 19th.  Rob Zombie and partners Steve Kopelman and Andy Gould are opening a second haunted house this year in Villa Park, Illinois,  a Chicago suburb.

Rob Zombie will perform live on September 26, 2014 at the opening of his Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare – Chicago.  The venue is the Odeum Expo located at 1033 North Villa Avenue in Villa Park, IL.  Expect to see spectacular light theatrics, animatronic robots, huge LED screens, a collection of psychotronic film clips, pyrotechnics, and amazing guitar performances.

Chicago Dates Open in 2014:
September 26, 27
October 3, 4, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25, 26, 30, 31
November 1

Image of Rob Zombie in horror concert.

Rock Star and Horror Legend Rob Zombie plays in Chicago. photo www.flickr.com [Anthony Jarvis]

Friday and Saturday the haunt runs from 7:00 pm to 12:00 am.  All other nights until 10:00 pm.  Tickets for the Chicago event are $25.  Opening night features Rob Zombie’s performance so tickets and haunt attraction are $45.

Three terrific haunted houses named The Lord of Salem in Total Black Out, Haunt of 1,000 Corpses, and The Haunted World of El Superbeasto are all takeoffs from his wildly successful horror films.  You just have to love a guy that really gets into his work.  He brings a sick, disturbing, bloody, three-dimensional horror that includes a sick demented laughter to his projects.

Rob Zombie has sold over 15 million albums and performs concerts all over the world.  He also has written and directed six horror feature Hollywood films.  He has worked with Andy Gould for over 20 years.  Gould produces most of Rob’s music, film, and entertainment ventures.  He has worked with other entertainment acts such as White Zombie, Linkin Park, and Guns N’ Roses.  Steve Kopelman has produced some of the largest haunted houses in the country.  He has produced more and bigger attractions than anyone all across the country.  A true legend in the haunted house industry.

We are starting to get close to Halloween.  Today is Day 97 on our Fun Things To Do As We Countdown To Halloween blog series.  Lots more festivals, Oktoberfest, and haunted house articles to come before Halloween so keep checking back.  We also are starting a series of articles on food recipes for this fall.  We have invited some great guest bloggers in the food world to write for us.

Image of music group Phantom Playboys. photo www.flickr.com [teresaphillips1965]

The Halloween party and concert Zombie Fest 2014 returns to Wilmington, North Carolina on Halloween Night.   The 5th year of Zombie Fest sees the return of the popular local group the Phantom Playboys and headliners Southern Culture on the Skids.

The concert takes place at Space 13 at 1827 Burnett Blvd., Wilmington, NC.  Doors open at 6 pm with the music group Deadly Lo taking the stage at 8 pm.  The Phantom Playboys appear at 9 pm.  South Culture on the Skids headlines at 10 pm.  Do not miss this party on Friday, October 31st, 2014.

Wear your Halloween costume and enter the costume contest for cool prizes.  The door cover charge is $10.

Image of Rocky steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Does it rain near you?  Of course, it rains in the fall which makes going to a fall festival, a corn maze, or pumpkin patch in October a little questionable on rainy days.  Even sitting in a pouring rain in September at Ohio Stadium watching my beloved OSU Buckeyes is not my favorite fall activity.  So here is a suggestion to expand your cultural interests.  Visit a free art museum in your area.  Now do not get me wrong, I am talking about visiting some of the best art museums in the world which just happen to have “free admission” days or “pay what you want” days.

Now I am not someone who knows about the art of the European masters.  I can barely recognize Andy Warhol’s works.  But I have visited a number of museums in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Detroit and found works of art that I never knew existed.  It isn’t just art, but national treasures, ancient history, and works passed down through the ages that make art so rare, expensive, and inspiring.

Image of front steps at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

NYC’s The Metropolitan Museum of Art. photo www.flickr.com [shinya Suzuki]

Popular Artists

Here are a few artists that you should get to know:  Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Salvador Dali, Thomas Eakins, Diego Rivera, Botticelli, Raphael, Cezanne, Bauguin, Rubens, Rodin, Verbeeck, Edgar Degas, Francisco Goya, Dale Chihuly, Renoir, Manet, Andy Warhol, Henri Matisse. Alexander Calder, Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Pablo Picasso.

Image of paint by Monet, Water Lillies.

Water Lillies by Monet. photo at www.flickr.com [frank Kovakchek]

Free Corporate and Community Sponsored Museum Admissions

A number of companies have programs that offer free or pay what you can general admission programs to popular art museums.

Bank of America has a “Museums on Us” program on these dates this fall.  Cardholders can get general admission entry for free on these dates.  Check their website for complete details and participating museums.

August 2-3. 2014
September 6-7, 2014
October 4-5, 2014
November 1-2, 2014

Target Corporation has both free and reduced price museum admission events.  The dates and detail vary by museums so visit their website for details.  Just because they had a little problem with their credit card security last fall does not mean they are not trying to support their local communities.  My brother worked for Target for 25 years.

National Endowment for the Arts offers free admission to 2000 participating Blue Star Museums across America.  Blue Star Museums offer free admission to active duty military service personnel and their families up through Labor Day.  The family can visit free even if the actual active member is not with them.  See the details at the website.

Community Sponsored Free Museums

A few popular museums that are always free to residents.

Detroit, MI – Detroit Institute of Arts (show local library card)
Los Angeles, CA – J. Paul Getty Museum
Washington, DC – National Gallery of Art
Washington, DC – Freer Gallery of Art

A Few Examples of Popular Museums That Participate in Free Programs such “Museums on Us”

Atlanta, GA – High Museum of Art
Baltimore, MD – The American Visionary Art Museum
Boston, MA – Museum of Fine Arts
Chicago, IL – Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago, IL – Museum of Contemporary Art
Miami, FL – Museum of Contemporary Art
New York, NY – Whitney Museum of American Art
New York, NY – The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Orlando, FL – Orlando Museum of Art
Palm Springs, CA – Palm Springs Art Museum
Philadelphia, PA - Philadelphia Museum of Art
Phoenix, AZ - Phoenix Art Museum
Pittsburgh, PA – Carnegie Museum of Art
Sacramento, CA – Crocker Art Museum
Sacramento, CA – The California Museum
St. Louis, MO – Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis
San Diego – The San Diego Museum of Art
Seattle, WA – Seattle Art Museum
Tampa, FL – Tampa Museum of Art
Tucson, AZ – Tuscon Museum of Art and Historic Block
Wilmington, DE – Delaware Art Museum

More popular museums with limited days free admission:

Chicago, IL – Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago, IL – Museum of Contemporary Art
Los Angeles, CA – Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Los Angeles, CA – USC Fisher Museum of Art
Philadelphia, PA – The Barnes Foundation

We continue at Funtober on our countdown to Halloween.  This is day 100.  Find more events such as these as we continue our search for more fun things to do this fall.  Do not miss any of our posts on the Funtober blog.

Image of Pharrell Williams in concert.

Apple recently announced their 8th annual ITunes Festival will be held at the legendary Roundhouse in London, UK from September 1st through September 30th, 2014.  They will feature over 60 artists typically pairing an up and coming star each night with a legendary performer.

While a great live concert the real news is it is streamed live to apple devices around the world so millions can purchase online and watch live.  Here on the east coast of the United States the concerts will be broadcast with the opening acts around 2:45 pm EST with the headline artists taking the stage at approximately 4:00 pm.  It will end each night around 5:30 pm.  (Note the live performances on London time are 7:45 pm to 10:30 pm.)

Image of Adam Levine and Maroon 5 in concert.

Adam Levine and Maroon 5 perform live. Photo at www.flickr.com [lunchbox lp]

Clearly Apple is going to make millions off ITunes for this event.  I did not see the exact ticket cost details.

What did catch my eye was that the young boy group 5 Seconds of Summer is scheduled to perform live on Thursday, September 4, 2014.  I just watched them this morning as they appeared on the NBC Today show with Matt Lauer before a packed plaza audience.

Fans of the Today show can remember some of the memorable live performance on the small plaza stage.  No one has appeared who created the type of fan buzz as this 5 Seconds of Summer group.  You heard it here.  Justin Bieber and One Direction move over as a new group is winning the hearts of the 14 year old girl crowd.  Never have I seen so many teenage girls all screaming at one time.

Now I am old enough to remember the Beatles US landing back in the 60′s, the Rolling Stones, and lots of groups since then.  Never have I see a crowd react as they did today.

So anyway, ITunes announced a lineup with headliners Adam Levine and Maroon 5, Pharrell Williams, Blondie, Kylie, Robert Plant and more.

Here is the line up and dates announced so far.

Beck performs on Tuesday, September 2nd.
David Guetta performs on Wednesday, September 3rd.
5 Seconds of Summer takes the stage on September 4th.
Kasabian performs Friday, September 5th.
Galvin Harris takes the stage on Sunday, September 7th.
Robert Plant performs on Monday, September 8th.
Sam Smith sings on Tuesday, September 9th.
Pharrell Williams with Jungle performs September 10th.
Maroon 5 headlines the night of September 11th.
Blondie & Chrissie Hynde performs on September 16th.
Kylie announced for September 27th.

I have not seen details or announcements for other nights or performers.  Check out this video from the 2013 concert with Lady Gaga.

The Roundhouse was built in 1847 and used as a massive railroad repair shed.  It has undergone many transformations including an arts center in the 1960′s, a punk rock and pornography venue in the 1970′s and in complete disrepair for 20 years from the 1980′s.  However since the early 2000′s it has been remodeled as one of London’s best live event and fanciest theaters.

We continue at Funtober on our countdown to Halloween.  This is day 101.  Find more events such as this as we continue our search for more fun things to do this fall.  Do not miss any of our posts on the Funtober blog.

Image of clipboard of ideas for writing a blog post.

We encourage qualified bloggers to write for us.  Guest posts are welcome at Funtober.  Please comply with our Guest Post Guidelines.  If you have a question email Wayne Melton at wayne [at] funtober [dot] com.

Funtober is about fall fun and includes information on fall activities including Halloween, seasonal food and deserts, Oktoberfest, fall festivals, haunted houses, concerts, farm agritainment, theme parks, and lifestyle.  In the last 12 months we had nearly one million visitors to Funober.  Over 50% of those readers visited during September and October.

Guest post topics might be related to the following:

  • Fun Things To Do (mid August through Thanksgiving)
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  • Oktoberfest Recipes
  • Halloween Deserts
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Image of roller coasters at HersheyPark in Hershey PA.

Hershey, Pennsylvania is a bustling little community of 14,000 people near the state capital of Harrisburg.  It is self described as “The Sweetest Place on Earth” in part because it is the headquarters town for the Hershey Chocolate Factory.  Hershey is just 14 miles from Harrisburg and 100 miles from Philadelphia.  The Hershey company makes 43% of all the chocolate sold in the USA.  If your looking for something to do this fall then this just might be the place for you.

I’ve visited Hershey a couple of times and it is a fascinating place.  The street lights resemble Hershey “Kisses” candy.  There are two exits for Hershey off the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Each exit is about 10 miles from the attractions.  During Christmas they have one of the best and longest outdoor drive through lighted displays you will find anywhere in the country.

The area is absolutely amazing and worth the visit.  For such a small town it brings in world class entertainment year around especially in the fall.

Hershey Theme Park Attraction Remains Open This Fall

Image of HersheyPark from a distance.

Hershey Theme Park in Hershey, PA. photo www.flickr.com [Michael gray]

HersheyPark is a full amusement park with lots of rides, shows, and food for the whole family.  It features over 60 rides with about 12 roller coasters, over 25 kiddie rides, a water park and much more.  In the fall for Halloween they feature “The Dark” with roller ghosters, spooktacular attractions, and the Hershey Trick or Treat Adventure.  Friday nights in October are open from 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm.  Saturday’s they are open from 10:00 am until 10:00 pm.  Sunday’s they are open from 12:00 pm until 9:00 pm.   The fun begins at the Hershey Chocolate World factory store.  Not just a store but a complete attraction on its own.

Dates the Park is Open in the Fall:
August 1-31 everyday from 10 am until at least 8 pm.
September 1, 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28
October 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 31
November 1

Hershey Chocolate World Opens Everyday in the Fall

Image of entrance to Hershey Chocolate World in Hershey PA

Hershey Chocolate World in Hershey, PA. photo www.flickr.com [jim the photographer]

This factory store is really an attraction built to entertain.  Even their Times Square store in New York City can not compare to this place.  It features a ride through attraction called the Hershey’s Great American Chocolate Tour complete with animation and movie.  There is a create your own candy bar area, a trolley works for the grounds, a dessert creation station, a tasting adventure, and a 4D Chocolate Mystery attraction.

There are places to eat real food and of course a Hershey’s Bake Shoppe with more chocolate cookies, cupcakes, brownies, and cakes than just about anyplace in the country.  The store itself has all the Hershey candy sizes including mammoth candy bars.  We spent 5 hours in Chocolate World alone and still missed some things to do.

Chocolate World opens at 9:00 pm most mornings and closes at 11:00 pm most nights through August.  It closes at 6:00 pm most weekdays in September and October and 11:00 pm most weekends.  Check their calendar for exact hours and dates.

Concerts at The Star Pavilion at HersheyPark

Fall Concerts at The Star Pavilion outdoor concert venue include:

Jimmy Buffett on August 30th, 2014
Zac Brown Band on August 31st, 2014

Shows at The Giant Center

Disney on Ice presents Frozen nightly October 15-20, 2014 (9 shows)
Demi Lovato on October 24th, 2014
Cirque du Soleil presents Varekai: October 29, 30, 31 and November 1, 2

Fall Events at Historic Hershey Theatre

Image of fountain in front of Hershey Theatre in Hershey, PA.

Historic Hershey Theatre in Hershey, PA. photo www.flickr.com [matt chan]

Hershey Gospel Music Festival:  September 5-7, 2014
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat:  September 23-28, 2014
Kevin James:  October 9 and 26, 2014
Disney Live! Mickey’s Musical Festival:  November 1, 2014
Alton Brown:  November 11, 2014

Creatures of the Night at ZooAmerica

Visit ZooAmerica for live interaction with more than 200 animals and reptiles on this 11 acre wildlife park during their nighttime walk through attraction.  This is meant to be educational and not scary.  However it takes place during Halloween times and is adjacent to The Dark at HerseyPark.  Don’t be afraid of snakes and reptiles at night.  Yeah right!

We hope you enjoy reading about the many fun things to do as we countdown to Halloween.  Today is day 103 on our countdown journey.

Image of Hershey's worlds largest chocalate bar.

Large chocolate manufacturers like Hershey and Nestle have announced as much as 10% price increases on wholesale prices this fall.  Lots of small players are in the process of raising prices to retailers.  It seems rising gas prices, wages, and unfavorable exchange rates are some factors causing the need for rising prices.

Perhaps the biggest reason is the sharp jump in commodity prices on cocoa.  El Nino, a reoccurring weather condition,  it seems might effect the West African crop causing severe shortages at a time of rising consumer demand.  Therefore it just might cause Hershey and others to pay more for the raw ingredients.  All this is speculation of course but prices probably will not jump sharply for this Halloween.

Halloween Candy Prices Probably Not Affected For 2014

Hershey is allowing current distributors and wholesale customers to buy product at the old prices until August 12th.  This will likely get us consumers through Halloween.  Most large retailers already have their Halloween and Christmas candy orders in at the old prices.

In 2015, all bets are off as to how much your favorite chocolate candy bar might rise in price.  Price increases will at some point be passed on to the consumer.

Hershey which has 43 percent of the domestic chocolate market announced sales increases of 9%.  I am glad Hershey is doing so well.  Reeces Peanut Butter Cup is my favorite followed closely by those little Hershey Kisses.  Along with Nestle and Mars it might be said that these three companies “control” the chocolate market in the United States.  Prices at the three tend to go up together.

Demand has continued to rise for chocolate products as all three major companies are moving fast into new markets such as China.

Image of the front of Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles.

Do you have your invitation to the October 25, 2014 Halloween party at the famed Playboy Mansion?  It only takes a little bit of money and the right connections with a VIP host like Kathy Brown.

Visiting Los Angeles this fall might be a little more exciting with some advance reservations from a VIP host.  You might just be able to attend one of the Halloween parties at the Playboy Mansion such as on October 25th.  Prices start at just $1500 for a once in a lifetime opportunity.  They go quickly and can jump to as much as $15,000 for premium seating or cabanas.  Only $25,000 begins your company’s sponsor opportunities with the Playboy brand.

This is a private party by invitation only.  The mansion has 5 acres decorated for Halloween with 2 graveyard attractions, 80 scary actors, immersive lighting and sounds, music, celebrities, and more.  Of course expect to mingle with some beautiful people.

Contact Kathy Brown, one of the VIP hosts, who for the right price just might be able to get you into this scary event.  Contact Kathy at [email protected] or call (310)-922-4642.

Hugh Hefner moved his primary residence from his original Chicago Mansion in 1974.  He originally paid about $1 million for the property that is now worth about $50 million.  Of course he has expanded and added the game room and mini mansion to the grounds.  Total improvement have been around $20 million to his 22 room mansion property.  You have seen the house in Entourage and The Girls Next Door TV shows and lots of movies including Lethal Weapon 2.  The mansion is located at 10236 Charing Cross Rd., Los Angeles, California.

Unless you are Eddie Murphy do not just stop by as you won’t be able to crash the gate.

Here at Funtober our blog: Fun Things To Do As We Countdown To Halloween, brings you more fall fun.  We are now down to day 104 on our countdown.