Put a Record On

I think my success as a parent has already peaked. My toddler now thinks ALL music comes from vinyl records. Being vinyl enthusiasts prior to meeting, my husband and I had a small record collection before having our kids. Over the years, we’ve continued to grow our vinyl library. More recently, we’ve added many Disney soundtracks into the mix–which I absolutely don’t object to. When we have a free day, and some extra cash sitting around, we hunt for vinyl. Record shops and thrift stores are a common destination for family outings now!

Our eldest with treasures from RSD 2016.

Record Store Day. Regular days can be exciting for record shopping, but there’s one day a year that’s like Christmas for vinyl enthusiasts: Record Store Day. Conveniently for us, it falls near our son Jasper’s birthday each year which makes it more exciting for him. There are new and special releases, as well as limited editions of albums that we spend probably way too much money on…but hey, it wouldn’t be a hobby if it was cheap!

Shopping State by State. Buying records is a hobby that carries over into traveling easily. My family travels often, and we are able to indulge in buying records while on the road. Whether it’s Third Man Records in Nashville, Amoeba Music in San Francisco, Music Millennium in Portland, Revival Records in Eau Claire, or Sugar Shack Records right here in Madison, we know there will be a hidden gem for each of us to discover at the shop.

Third Man Records in Nashville.

The Gift of Rad Tunes. One of my favorite things about collecting vinyl as a family is being able to buy records as gifts. Records are now given for every occasion. Flat, square packages are found at birthdays, Christmas, and “just because” celebrations. It’s something we can share with each other, but also enjoy individually. For our kids’ birthday and Christmas gifts, my husband and I have enjoyed finding vintage records that have read-along books with them. The best gift, however, is knowing these albums can be passed on to our two kids once they’re adults. Songs can spark vivid memories, and having something physical from their childhood will be special.

Vinyl for Sanity. In an attempt to regain some sanity as a stay-at-home mom, I’ve been turning off the TV. I make it a goal every day to listen to music for as long as possible before binging a kid’s TV show. My relationship with my kids is better due to family dance parties and sing-along sessions. Starting my day with a dance party wakes me up faster than a few cups of coffee! Whether it’s The Fugees, Fleetwood Mac, the Moana soundtrack, or The Mamas & the Papas, there is always a tune to begin the day.

Collecting records may not be your cup of tea, but for my family, it’s been amazing. Find your hobby, collection, obsession…and dive right in!

“Vinyl is the real deal. I’ve always felt like, until you buy the vinyl record, you don’t really own the album. And it’s not just me or a little pet thing or some kind of retro romantic thing from the past. It is still alive.” –Jack White


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