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Article updated: 2/5/2014 6:14 AM

Weekend picks: Monster Jam crushes the Allstate

The "Grave Digger" is featured again in The Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam coming to the Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

The "Grave Digger" is featured again in The Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam coming to the Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

 
Comedian and actor David Alan Grier is set to perform at the Improv Comedy Showcase in Schaumburg.

Comedian and actor David Alan Grier is set to perform at the Improv Comedy Showcase in Schaumburg.

 
Trumpeter Brandon Ridenour debuts his world premiere with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra this weekend.

Trumpeter Brandon Ridenour debuts his world premiere with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra this weekend.

 
Such Sweete Melodie performs music of the 17th century at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, at Byron Colby Barn in Grayslake.

Such Sweete Melodie performs music of the 17th century at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, at Byron Colby Barn in Grayslake.

 
The all-male, a cappella vocal group Chapter 6 headines in a concert at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire.

The all-male, a cappella vocal group Chapter 6 headines in a concert at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire.

 

Courtesy of Suzanne Plunkett

Ryan Chiaverini of ABC-7's "Windy City LIVE" hosts the Winter Frost Face-Off Classic Puck Off at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, at MB Financial Park in Rosemont.

Ryan Chiaverini of ABC-7's "Windy City LIVE" hosts the Winter Frost Face-Off Classic Puck Off at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, at MB Financial Park in Rosemont.

 
Comedian Sarah Colonna performs at Zanies locations in Rosemont and St. Charles.

Comedian Sarah Colonna performs at Zanies locations in Rosemont and St. Charles.

 
Learn how to mix and pull old-fashioned taffy at the Taffy Pulling Party at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago.

Learn how to mix and pull old-fashioned taffy at the Taffy Pulling Party at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago.

 

Courtesy of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage

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Big wheels: See oversized trucks in action like the Grave Digger, Madusa, El Toro Loco and more when Monster Jam returns this weekend to the Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim Road, Rosemont. $12-$57.50; $20 parking. (800) 745-3000 or allstatearena.com or monsterjam.com. 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 8 and 9

FRIDAY


Easy riders: Ogle the latest models, gear and more when the Progressive International Motorcycle Show returns this weekend to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Road, Rosemont. $17 one-day admission for adults; $6 one-day admission kids 6 to 11. (847) 692-2222 or motorcycleshows.com. 1 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9

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Hockey happening: ABC-7's Ryan Chiaverini is the host for the first match of the Winter Frost Face Off Classic hockey matchup featuring select alumni from the Chicago Blackhawks at MB Financial Park, 5501 Park Place, Rosemont. Free admission, but $10 donation for postgame meet-and-greet at nearby Five Roses Pub. (847) 349-5008 or mbparkatrosemont.com or 200x85.com. 4:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7

World War II at the movies: In conjunction with the release of the George Clooney film "The Monuments Men" on Friday, Feb. 7, costumed re-enactors from the WWII Historical Re-enactment Society of Illinois/Indiana will be on hand to interact with theater goers in the lobby of the Charlestowne 18 theater at 3740 E. Main St., St. Charles. Re-enactors will be dressed as civilians, U.S. soldiers and captured German soldiers. The lobby will be decorated with props and reproductions of art masterpieces -- a tie-in to "The Monuments Men" plot. Activities in lobby are free; those who stay on to see film screenings pay $5.50-$8. classiccinemas.com. 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, and 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8

Italian inspiration: Trumpeter Brandon Ridenour debuts his world premiere "Ridenour Fantasy Variations on a Theme by Paganini" with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra this weekend in the "Tour of Italy" concert led by conductor Tania Miller at two locations: the Batavia Fine Arts Centre, 1201 Main St., Batavia, and the Hemmens Cultural Center, 45 Symphony Way, Elgin. $25-$60. (847) 888-4000 or elginsymphony.org. 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, in Batavia and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, in Elgin

Colonna come 'Lately': Suburban fans of the E! series "Chelsea Lately," "After Lately" and the Diablo Cody film "Paradise" should check out comedian Sarah Colonna this weekend at two Zanies locations: Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles, (630) 584-6342, and MB Financial Park, 5437 Park Place, Rosemont, (847) 813-0484. $25 plus a two menu-item purchase. zanies.com. 8 and 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, in St. Charles and 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, in Rosemont

From 'Living Color': Comedian and Tony Award-nominated actor David Alan Grier ("In Living Color," "Porgy and Bess") performs at the Improv Comedy Showcase, 5 Woodfield Road, Schaumburg. $22 plus a two menu-item purchase. (847) 240-2001 or improv.com. 8 and 10:15 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7; 7 and 9:15 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8; and 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9

The Choir returns: The Damn Choir, an indie band with members from the Northwest suburbs, will celebrate its new album, "Creatures of Habit," with a show this weekend in Chicago. The band's music combines driving guitar and orchestral touches like cello and glockenspiel. This weekend's show will kick off a big national tour. The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, Chicago. $8. Go to hideoutchicago.com. 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7

SATURDAY


Tons of taffy: Learn how to make taffy as it was made in the 1800s at the Taffy-Pulling Party in the farmhouse at Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road, West Chicago. Participants will help prepare molasses candy and then stretch and pull the candy while it cools. Guests can tour the historic 1890s farmhouse. Program is for ages 6 and older; those under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult. $5 per person. Registration is required. Call (630) 876-5900. Programs at 9:30 and 10:45 a.m. and at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8

Sleek and shiny: North America's largest auto show is the Chicago Auto Show, which returns for its 106th edition this year starting this weekend at McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. $12; $6 seniors and kids 7 to 12; free for kids 6 and younger. (630) 495-2282 or chicagoautoshow.com. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 8 and 9

Snow way out: Navy Pier's annual winter party returns this year with snow-sculpting competitions among 15 professional teams from around the world and 12 local high school teams at Navy Pier's Gateway Park, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. Watch as cold carvers from India, Mexico, Ukraine, Argentina, Norway, the Czech Republic and other countries pare and mold snow into magical creations illuminated by a festive light display each night of Snow Days. Enjoy snow painting, an interactive snowboard experience, kids' activities, live entertainment and the Shedd Aquarium's Magellanic Penguins up-close and indoors. Free; navypier.com/snowdays. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9

Snow Days: Celebrate this chilly winter season at the Snow Days festival in Gateway Park, at Chicago's Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave. Highlights include a snow-sculpting competition with 15 teams of snow sculptors from around the world, snowboarding lessons, games and snow painting, plus appearances by the Shedd Aquarium's Magellanic penguins and more. Free admission. Visit navypier.com. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9

He blinded me with food science: Food has become theater, and "Alton Brown Live! The Edible Inevitable Tour" proves it. The show, staged at Chicago's Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St., is a mixture of comedy, culinary arts, mad science, multimedia lecture and music. The interactive element means you could find yourself onstage serving as Brown's assistant. Ticket prices vary; (800) 745-3000 or tinyurl.com/l7u47u9 for details and prices. 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8

Microbrew for you: Fifteen microbreweries like Half Acre, Rogue and more contribute to this Saturday's Craft Beer Tasting event at the Sullivan Community Center, 635 N. Aspen Drive, Vernon Hills. $35 (must be 21 or older). (847) 996-6800 or vhparkdistrict.org. 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8

'Romantic Night Hike': Couples can take a pre-Valentine's Day evening stroll as the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County hosts its Romantic Night Hike at the Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center, 3609 Spring Road, Oak Brook. Visitors can take a self-guided tour through the lantern-lit forest, then have a cup of hot chocolate and sit by a fire. Event is for adults only. $10 per couple. Advance registration is required. Call (630) 933-7200, or visit dupage.org. 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8

Chapter 6: The all-male, a cappella vocal ensemble Chapter 6 headlines in the performing arts center at Stevenson High School, One Stevenson Drive, Lincolnshire. The concert is sponsored by the Stevenson High School Foundation. $15. (847) 415-4121 or d125.org. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8

SUNDAY


FREEze Day: Brookfield Zoo hosts its annual FREEze Day, a day of free zoo admission, with activities for guests of all ages. Watch dog-sledding demonstrations by the Green Valley Dog Drivers and their canine teams in the zoo's west mall area. Learn about the zoo's animal residents -- including red-tailed hawks and African painted dogs -- with special animal trainer Zoo Chats. Brookfield Zoo is at First Avenue and 31st Street, Brookfield. Free general admission on FREEze Day. (708) 688-8000 or visit czs.org. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9

RA's critics: Play critic to the critics at RA Sushi's Foodies Show Heart charity sushi-making competition -- 310 Yorktown Center, Lombard -- Sunday. Judge away with a beer, wine or signature cocktail ranging $3 to $6 while food bloggers and editors -- including Daily Herald Food Editor Deborah Pankey -- create unique sushi rolls. The winning roll makes the menu throughout March. (630) 627-6800 or rasushi.com. 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9

Music by Maureen and Michael: Jazz/pop artists Maureen Christine and Michael Bazan headline with their "Embraceable You" concert in the Luecht Conference Center at McHenry County College, 8900 U.S. Hwy. 14, Crystal Lake. Vocalist Christine, and Bazan, on the flute, clarinet and saxophone, present American standards and other favorite tunes. Refreshments served following concert. Free. Call Michael Hillstrom at (815) 479-7814, or visit maureenchristine.com. 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9

Early music makers: Hear music by 17th century composers when early music specialists Such Sweete Melodie perform today in concert at the Byron Colby Barn, 1561 Jones Point Road, $18; free admission for kids ages 16 and under. (847) 543-1202 or prairiecrossing.com/bcbarn. 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9

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