Weekend picks: Elton John jams at Allstate Arena
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See why composer/pop star Elton John has awards from Grammy, Oscar and Tony when he performs Saturday at the Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim Road, Rosemont. $29-$149. (800) 745-3000 or allstatearena.com. 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30
Children can step into the world of seven classic children's books at the Storyland exhibit at the Kohl Children's Museum, 2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview. Guests can pick vegetables in the garden of Mr. McGregor from Beatrix Potter's "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" or play with giant letters from "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault. Other books featured include "The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats, "Abuela" by Arthur Dorros and more. Admission is $8.50-$9.50. Free for children under 1. (847) 832-6600 or kohlchildrensmuseum.org. 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 29 and Dec. 1, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2
The Wonderland Express miniature train and Chicago-area landmark display is back for the holiday season at the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake-Cook Road, Glencoe. $12; $10 seniors and kids ages 3-12. (847) 835-5440 or chicagobotanic.org. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Sunday, Jan. 5
'The Polar Express'
See a screening of the 2004 computer-animated family film "The Polar Express" at the Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles. The film, based on the children's book by Chris Van Allsburg, is rated G. Free. Visit oshows.com. 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 30
'The Velveteen Rabbit'
Mundelein's Kirk Players present an adaptation of the Margery Williams story "The Velveteen Rabbit" at Loyola's Cuneo Museum and Gardens, 1350 N. Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills. The story focuses on a youngster's stuffed velveteen rabbit and the bunny's quest to become a living creature. Audience participation is encouraged. Tickets are $7-$9. (847) 521-6192 or kirkplayers.org. 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, and Sunday, Dec. 1
Chefs of all ages are invited to learn how to make their own colorful hard candies for the holidays at the Holiday Sweets program at Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road, West Chicago. Participants will also get recipes to take home. Free. (630) 876-5900 or dupageforest.org. 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, and Sunday, Dec. 1
State Street Dance Studio performs its 10th annual production of "The Nutcracker" in a new venue this weekend at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre, 1201 Main St., Batavia. $25-$40. (630) 937-8930 or statestreetdancestudio.com. 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1
Fortune in Rosemont
"Chelsea Lately" regular Fortune Feimster headlines shows this weekend at Zanies, 5437 Park Place, Rosemont. A former Hollywood columnist, Feimster was a semifinalist last year on "Last Comic Standing" and performs regularly with The Groundlings, a famed Los Angeles improv company. $25, plus a two-item food or beverage minimum. (847) 813-0484 or zanies.com. 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30
On the twangy side
Justin Moore brings his popular country pop to the Northwest suburbs when he performs this weekend in Rosemont in support of his latest album, "Off the Beaten Path." Randy Houser and Josh Thompson are also on the bill at the Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont. Tickets start at $29.75 Go to ticketmaster.com. 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30
ARIA Vocal Group, Jovie Calma, Cherry Pineda, Bless Castro Peterson and more are involved in aPhilippines Disaster Relief Concert this Saturday at the 40tude Bistro & Bar, 1318 N. Roselle Road, Schaumburg. $10; 20 percent of restaurant sales will be donated. youcaring.com/40tudePhilippinesDisasterRelief2013. 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30
He's got talent
Taylor Williamson wowed the judges on NBC's "America's Got Talent" and came in second. See him live this weekend at The Improv Comedy Showcase, 5 Woodfield Road, Schaumburg. $22 plus a two menu-item purchase. (847) 240-2001 or improv.com. 7 and 9:15 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30; and 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1
Broken Hope, the death-metal band led by North Barrington resident Jeremy Wagner, will headline a hometown show this weekend in the city. Broken Hope has delivered intense, punishing rock 'n' roll with a slasher-flick sensibility since the late 1980s. The band's recent album, "Omen of Disease," is its first full-length release in more than a decade, and it's getting some of the strongest reviews the group has ever received. Wagner, an accomplished writer of horror fiction, is the band's guitarist and primary songwriter. Here's a chance to see a suburban original at one of the city's best rock clubs. Weekend Nachos, Krieg, Harms Way and Young & the Dead are also slated to perform at Metro, 3730 N. Clark Street, Chicago. $15. Go to metrochicago.com. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30
On Air, onstage
Get into the holiday spirit while also reliving what it was like in the heyday of live radio broadcasting when Williams Street Repertory presents "It's A Wonderful Life: A Radio Play" starting this week at the Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake. $25. (815) 356-9212 or rauecenter.org. 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30; 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1
The offbeat Americana band Ha Ha Tonka has been blurring the lines between roots and indie rock throughout its career, and it is touring now behind its stellar new album, "Lessons," released on the local Bloodshot label. The band, named after a state park in its home state of Missouri, offers gorgeous vocal harmonies, thought-provoking lyrics and music that blends country, punk and classic 1970s FM-radio pop. Making Movies and Dirt Simple are also on the bill. Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln, Chicago; $15; lincolnhallchicago.com. 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30
Claddagh's karaoke night
Sing your heart out at Claddagh Irish Pub's karaoke night at 1702 Geneva Commons Drive, Geneva. Saturday drink specials include $4 margaritas, $4 Long Islands and $4 Red Bull bombs. No cover. (630) 208-0337 or claddaghirishpubs.com. 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30
Anyone who loves to dance is invited to join the professionals from Ballet Chicago, who will dance to the music of Tchaikovsky's classic, "The Nutcracker," at the annual Dance-Along Nutcracker event in Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., Chicago. One hour before each performance, the Art Reaching Children of Chicago Ballet group will teach some basic ballet movements and positions to participants in the center's fifth floor Washington Room. Free admission. Visit chicagoculturalcenter.org. Noon and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1
If your family has a Slavic heritage, then they won't want to miss "Polish Carols, Song & Dance" performed by The Lira Singers, Lira Dancers & Lira Symphony on Sunday, Dec. 1, at Dominican University's Performing Arts Center Lund Auditorium, 7900 W. Division St., River Forest. $48-$58. (773) 508-7040 or liraensemble.org. 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1
A cultish Christmas
Die-hard fans of the film director behind such cult classics as "Pink Flamingos" and "Hairspray" won't want to miss "A John Waters Christmas" this Sunday at City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph St., Chicago. $65-$85. (312) 733-9463 or citywinery.com. 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1
Power ballad pal
Ladies, start your swooning. Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Michael Bolton performs Sunday at the Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles. $69-$125. (630) 962-7000 or oshows.com. 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1
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