Emeralds on parades
Show off your Irish pride by attending a free green-packed St. Patrick's Day parade this weekend. Here are a few to consider: Naperville's parade is 10 a.m. Saturday, March 13, starting at Naperville North High School, 899 N. Mill St., Naperville, and continuing east along Jefferson Avenue, south on Main Street and west on Water Street. St. Charles' downtown parade starts at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 13, on Main Street from Sixth Street to Fourth Avenue. Lake Villa's parade is noon, Saturday, March 13, starting at Palombi Middle School, 133 McKinley Ave., Lake Villa. The parade then continues along many streets before ending at the train station. Chicago's official parade kicks off at noon Saturday, March 13, heading north from Balbo Drive along Columbus Street to Monroe Drive.
If your preschoolers love Nickelodeon TV cartoons like "Dora the Explorer," "The Wonder Pets!" or "Ni Hao, Kai-Lan," then they won't want to miss the live touring show "Storytime Live!" this weekend at the Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont. $15.50-$45. (800) 745-3000 or rosemonttheatre.com. 7 p.m. Friday, March 12; 11 a.m., 2 and 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 13 and 14
St. Patrick party
The Irish American Heritage Center celebrates St. Patrick's Day with major events starting this weekend at 4626 N. Knox Ave., Chicago. There's the "Irish Dance Chicago" show, a "St. Patrick's Festival," Munnelly in concert and more. Ticket prices vary from $10-$30. (773) 282-7035 or Irish-american.org. 7 p.m. Friday, March 12, through 7 p.m. Saturday, March 20.
See "The Original Monster Truck" Bigfoot and other car-crushing vehicles this weekend at the E3 Spark Plugs Monster Truck Nationals at the Sears Centre Arena, 5333 Prairie Stone Parkway, Hoffman Estates. $15-$23. $8-$13 kids. (800) 745-3000 or searscentre.com. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 12 and 13
'Cash Cab' comedian
Comedian Ben Bailey rose to TV fame on the hit game show "Cash Cab" and "Cash Cab: After Dark." Now catch him (sans taxi) this weekend at the Improv Comedy Showcase, 5 Woodfield Road, Schaumburg. $22. (847) 240-2001 or improv.com. 8 and 10:15 p.m. Friday, March 12; 7 and 9:15 p.m. Saturday, March 13; 7 p.m. Sunday, March 14
The Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra teams up with the Apollo Chorus of Chicago to perform Verdi's 1874 "Requiem" this weekend at two locations: University of Chicago's Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 5850 S. Woodlawn Ave., Chicago, then at Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church, 155 W. Brush Hill Road, Elmhurst. $31; $7 students. (630) 941-0202 or elmhurstsymphony.org. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 13 in Chicago; 3 p.m. Sunday, March 14 in Elmhurst
Celtic music clan
The music ensemble Danú originally hails from County Waterford, Ireland, but you can catch their mix of ancient and contemporary Celtic music this Sunday at the McAninch Arts Center, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn. $36; $34 seniors; $26 kids. (630) 942-4000 or atthemac.org. 7 p.m. Sunday, March 14
Best of ballet
See all the best bits of the ballets "The Sleeping Beauty," "Swan Lake" and "The Nutcracker" when the "Tchaikovsky Ballet Spectacular" performs twice on Thursday at the Paramount Theatre, 8 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. $25 matinee; $35.50-$55.50 evening show. (630) 896-6666 or paramountaurora.com. noon and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 18
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's 2010 Chicago spring season features the world premieres of Terence Marling's "At 'em (Atem) Adam" and Alejandro Cerrudo's "First Light," plus the company premiere of Jiri Kylian's "27'52"" and other returning repertory favorites. Performances begin Thursday at Millennium Park's Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph Drive, Chicago. $25-$90. (312) 850-9744 or hubbardstreetdance.com. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 18; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 19 and 20; 3 p.m. Sunday, March 21