The sky's not the limit
Families staying in town for spring break can travel to the outer reaches when visiting the Adler Planetarium. The museum offers extended hours for spring breakers to experience the state-of-the-art Grainger Sky Theater. There are also shows and exhibits geared to younger space adventurers as well as teens and adults. During Charter One Family Weeks, you can explore the wonders of the sun with family workshops, scavenger hunts and hands-on exhibition activities as part of the Adler's Sun-Days of spring celebration. Daily activities allow families to create sun prints, build and race solar-powered boats and learn how to tell time with sundials.
9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 15 to April 7. Charter One Family Weeks runs March 23 to April 7 at 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. Universe Pass includes general admission, two shows and the Atwood Experience for $28 for adults and $22 for ages 3-11. General admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $8 for ages 3-11. (312) 922-7827 or www.alderplanetarium.org.
What do kids covet more than toys? Pets! Head to the 21st Annual Chicagoland Family Pet Expo at Arlington Park for entertainment, demonstrations, presentations, and the latest products and services for pets. There also will be pets on hand to meet and touch. Peruse more than 300 exhibits of pet-related products and services including food, clothing, toys and cleaning supplies plus information about veterinary services. pet boarding, sitting and training, breed clubs and animal rescue organizations.
1 to 9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 15-17, at 2200 W. Euclid Ave., Arlington Heights. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for kids ages 3-12. www.petchicago.com.
The pipes are calling
A perfect way to celebrate St. Patrick's takes place during the Sunday Salon series at the Chicago Cultural Center. Brendan McKinney, an Irish and Highland piper, flute player and All Ireland Piping Champion, will perform.
3 p.m. Sunday, March 17, at Preston Bradley Hall, 78 E. Washington St., Chicago. (312) 744-6630 or tinyurl.com/alvcn3n.
Long and winding green road
The nation's only interstate St. Patrick's Day Parade snakes through the Quad Cities during Grand Parade XXVIII. Beginning in downtown Rock Island, Ill., winding to the Centennial Bridge and crossing the bridge over the Mississippi River, the parade then marches into downtown Davenport, Iowa. Crowds line the streets to watch bands, Irish dancers, floats and family clans. Immediately following the parade, there will be Irish music and food at the Post Parade Bash.
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 16. Grand Parade begins at 23rd Street and 4th Avenue in Rock Island. Post Parade Bash will be from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at River Center, 136 E. Third St., Davenport, Iowa. (309) 788-2341 or www.stpatsqc.com.
View beautiful and rare Art Nouveau objects by Czech artist Alphonse Mucha, considered the father of Art Nouveau, at the Lake County Discovery Museum. The exhibition features an exclusive look at objects from the Curt Teich Postcard Archive's John High Collection, one of the world's leading collections of Mucha postcards. The exhibition showcases 70 works of art that show the range of Mucha's work through magazine covers, decorative tins, folio plates, jewelry, currency, book illustrations and other objects.
10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday through Aug. 25 at 27277 N. Forest Preserve Road, Wauconda. Admission is $6, $3 for students (18-25) and seniors, $2.50 ages 4-17. (847) 968-3400 or www.lcfpd.org/discovery_museum.
Have you ever wanted to try out snow tubing? TimberLee Hills in Traverse City, Mich., offers the largest tubing hill in the state with a 700-foot slope. The park features a state-of-the-art handle tow system and tandem tubes.
4 to 9 p.m. Fridays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays at 10484 S. Timberlee Drive, Traverse City, Mich. A one-hour pass is $12 per person and a two-hour split ticket is $18 per person. (231) 941-4142 or timberleehills.com.