See & Do at Lakeside

Once Upon a Porch

'Once Upon a Porch'

For 28 summers, Lakeside’s own minstrel, Chip Richter, has been leading kids (and grownups) to Bradley Temple for “more fun than a kid should be allowed to have.”

Now, Chip is expanding God Squad, Lakeside’s beloved children’s ministry program, through a new online streaming show for the whole family. The show is called “Once Upon a Porch.” The vision is to create the same safe, nurturing environment families experience at God Squad and Lakeside and deliver it to you year-round from the comfort of your home. 

The program is led by Richter, an award-winning children’s singer-songwriter, and combines music (both original songs and familiar classics), dancing, puppets, and meaningful, age-appropriate conversations about God to help teach children (ages 4-8) about faith and values.

Give a donation to support Once Upon a Porch in honor or memory of a loved one! 

Stream Episodes Online 

The Once Upon a Porch project, 13 years in the making, is part of Chip’s dream to expand God Squad and the Lakeside experience to a wider, year-round audience. 

However, Once Upon a Porch is not Chip’s first foray into streaming content. During the pandemic, he launched “Lunch with Mr. Chip,” a weekly live-streamed show for kids on his YouTube channel. Chip was surprised by how well the show was received and how meaningful it was to families to make that connection.

Episodes for Once Upon a Porch will be released one by one starting Saturday, Jan. 13. The first six episodes will focus on fear, patience, toothpaste, achoo!, celebrate reading and gardens. Children will love meeting characters, including Hank the Monster, Quackers the Duck, Bucky Beaver and Granny Waggles.

Access the episodes on a regular basis by visiting lakesideohio.com/stream. To have episodes emailed to you when they become available, register for Lakeside Online at lakesideohio.com/lakesideonline.    

Experience Once Upon a Porch LIVE at Avon United Methodist Church on Jan. 13

You and your family are invited for an evening of singing and dancing on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at Avon United Methodist Church (37711 Detroit Rd., Avon, Ohio 44011). Join Chip Richter and the Once Upon a Porch crew for “Jammin’ in Your Jammies,” a LIVE version of Once Upon a Porch the celebrates the launch of the program. All are encouraged to wear their favorite pajamas. Read more.  

Setting the Stage

Once Upon a Porch takes place in the familiar space of Bradley Temple, but the inside has been refreshed. Families are now greeted by a brand-new set, modeled after a large front porch like you see around Lakeside. In addition to the new set, families experience brand-new seating, carpet, lighting and fresh paint.

The plan is to release a total of 6-10 episodes starting in January 2024. It’s Lakeside’s goal to provide the same fun, educational and inspirational experience kids have during the summer at God Squad all year long. To receive episodes directly to your email, register at lakesideohio.com/lakesideonline. To stream directly, visit lakesideohio.com/stream

“I am super inspired by Mr. Rogers,” Chip said. “One thing I have always appreciated about Fred Rogers was the person you saw on TV was the same person you met in real life. It’s always been in my heart to present myself just as I am. And so far, it’s worked! However, there will be a lot of fun characters out of my imagination that will be joining me in the fun.”

Families are also greeted by familiar friends like Wesley the Cat and Ellie the Dog and will have the opportunity to meet brand-new characters.

What about God Squad?

Once Upon a Porch will not be a substitute for God Squad, but rather the beloved family program will remain “the heart and center of it all,” said Chip. The new show “will be adding to what has already been planted, built and nurtured all these years.” Families can expect to see Chip and God Squad return for many years to come.

Special Thanks

Thanks to the Grindley family and friends, in memory of Ted Grindley, a new theatre set and stage has been constructed in Bradley Temple. It has state-of-the-art cameras and sound equipment for the Once Upon a Porch experience. Additional improvements include window and door repairs, new seats, carpet and fresh paint.

Ted strongly believed that two of Lakeside’s greatest treasures were Chip Richter and God Squad. These gifts will allow Once Upon a Porch to be experienced all year long, a dream come true for Chip and his fans. 

Give a donation to support Once Upon a Porch in honor or memory of a loved one! 

Bring Once Upon a Porch to Your Hometown

In addition to streaming Once Upon a Porch episodes, Lakeside and Chip are partnering to bring a LIVE experience to your hometown. If you’ve been to a Chip Richter family concert before, you know they’re interactive, entertaining and inspiring for kids, parents and even grandparents. It truly is an “all age” event designed to be something children and adults enjoy together.

In the middle of the long, cold, dark days of winter, what could be more welcoming than a cozy night of music for the whole family? That’s what you can expect when you sponsor a Once Upon a Porch LIVE Concert. All venue sizes are welcome…

– Churches
– Schools
– Libraries
– Performing Art Centers

For more information about bringing Once Upon a Porch to your hometown, contact (419) 798-4461, ext. 246.

Ready for adventure?

Book your stay and purchase passes today!