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Don't Miss July 2011

Family-friendly movies and games everyone's talking about.

Donald McDermott

The Final Chapter
Harry, Ron and Hermione prepare for their final battle with Lord Voldemort when Warner Bros. Pictures presents Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. The long-awaited final adventure in the Harry Potter film series is a race to find Voldemort’s last Horcrux and destroy the powerful dark wizard before he destroys Harry once and for all. Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, the flick flies into theaters on July 15.

A Lucky Break
Don’t let broken bones ruin your summer fun. Enter the Dry Pro Summer Photo Contest and turn your child’s bad limb into a chance to win a Nintendo 3DS and a Watertight Dry Pro Cast Cover. Entering the contest couldn’t be more simple. First find Dry Pro on Facebook at www.facebook.com/drypro. Then hit “like,” post a cute picture of your child in a cast and wait to see if you have won. Entries are accepted through July 30. Find out more at www.drycorp.com or by calling (888)3DRY-PRO.

Start Your Engines
Cars 2: The Video Game from Disney Interactive Studios brings players of all ages right inside the international training center CHROME. Based on the hit animated film, the game allows players to choose from more than 20 different characters and train to become world class spies. As part of their international training, players participate in simulated hazardous missions using high-tech gadgets to evade and slow down adversaries. Rated E for Everyone, the game is available for the Xbox 360, Wii and Nintendo DS game systems.

Let’s Party
The summer party officially starts on July 26, when the Laurie Berkner Band’s first DVD of new videos in over five years is released to the public. Party Day is the title of the new music collection from the popular children’s music band that’s a regular on the Nick Jr. cable channel. The set includes 12 original videos of new songs and fan favorites from the band’s bestselling CDs, as well as a five-track bonus CD that offers an acoustic version of the song “My Family.” Find it in stores or online.

Cabin Fever
TV and film veteran Lea Thompson is a divorced mom named Lily MacDougal who is drawn by fate to a divorced dad named Conor MacDougal in the Hallmark Movie Channel premiere of The Cabin. When each parent brings their kids to Scotland for a national Clan-style competition called the Meeting of the Macs, a clueless travel agent books both broods into the same small cabin. Now the families are forced to enter the competition as a single team. If they can’t figure out a way to get along, they can kiss first place goodbye. Check your local listings to watch The Cabin on July 30.

The Big Blue Apple
A beloved cartoon series leaps to the big screen in The Smurfs on July 29. When the evil wizard Gargamel chases the Smurfs out of their village, the blue folks are forced through a portal out of their world and into ours, landing in the middle of New York’s Central Park. The combination live action and animated family comedy stars Neil Patrick Harris, George Lopez and Hank Azaria. Enjoy it in theaters.

Ready to Rock
New York City vocal coach and former Star Search champion Lisa Damiani unleashes a debut compilation CD that appeals to the whole family. Star Rock for Kids offers cherished hits performed by children ages 5-17. Families will sing and dance for hours to everything from “I Will Survive” to the Madonna classic “Holiday.” Purchase a copy at www.starrockforkids.com.

Go Wild
Travel the world and discover rare animals galore with The Wild Thornberrys: Season One on DVD. The Nickelodeon series that ran from 1998 to 2004 follows the cartoon Thornberry family across the globe as they encounter wildlife in all of its natural glory. Every episode in this adventure-packed DVD features youngest child Eliza as she comes face-to-face with an assortment of animals, continents and danger. Find the title in stores or online.

Dollars and Sense
Super seasonal savings are just a few clicks away as Fundex Games and Tyson Deli present the Summertime Sweepstakes. Coupon books offering amazing discounts are being distributed at approximately 4,000 grocery stores nationwide. Fundex is also offering a $500 Family Fun prize pack in Tyson’s online sweepstakes element of the promotion. Find details about the sweepstakes, coupons and products at www.delianytime.com and www.fundexgames.com.

Monster Ball
Kids join Cookie Monster, Elmo and other Sesame Street characters for an interactive experience in Once Upon a Monster. The video game leads players through a living storybook where they can make zany new monster friends, share adventures, solve problems and get actively involved in the fun. Perfect for all ages, the game is available in stores and online exclusively for the Xbox 360.

This column appeared in the July 2011 issue.