The first day of Spring – what more do you need to love the month of March? Read on to hear about a museum overnight, maple tapping and shows that’ll make March a month worthy of the memory books. Get out there to share giggles with the kiddos!

photo: MommyCon

(1) Get Revved for Monster Jam
Kids love trucks. Big trucks. Monster trucks. So take them to see the dirt fly as the world’s best monster trucks battle it out in the ultimate event of high-octane speed, racing and destruction! Monster Jam is a car-crushing explosion of demolition and stunts done by drivers who never let the energy lag.

When: Friday, March 2-Sunday, March 4
Hours: Fri., 7 p.m.; Sat., 1 p.m. & 7 p.m.; Sun., 1 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.; Mon., 7 p.m.; Gates open an hour before show
Where: Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim Rd., Rosemont
Cost: $25+
Online: monsterjam.com

(2) Last Chance . . . To Hunt for Gnomes
Gnomes are invading Morton Arboretum for a game of hide-and-seek in the Children’s Garden. Can you find them all? You have all month to give it a go . . . and then they’re gone ’til next year!

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When: Thru March 31
Hours: Daily, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; Gnome home building, Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: Morton Arboretum, 4100 IL Rte. 53, Lisle
Cost: Hunt is free with general admission; gnome home building, $7/members, $10/non-members
Online: mortonarb.org

(3) MommyCon Chicago
Join other modern families at MommyCon as the popular convention spends the weekend in Chicago. The three-day event features a fab assortment of speakers on topics such as birth, breastfeeding, babywearing, car seat safety and everything in between. The MommyCon experience comprises of educational panels and workshops plus a product showcase hall of more than 50 exhibitors.

When: Friday, March 2-Sunday, March 4
Hours: Fri.: Session Hours, noon-4 p,m., Exhibitor Hall Sip & Shop, 5 p.m.-7 p.m.; Sat. & Sun.: Session Hours, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Exhibitor Hall Hours, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5550 N. River Rd., Rosemont,
Cost: $25+
Online: mommycon.com

(4) Prismatica
Show your hearty Chicago side and brave the chill to experience Navy Pier’s temporary exhibit, Prismatica, a new immersive art installation comprised of 25 pivoting prisms more than 6-feet tall. The prisms, mounted on bases containing projectors, transmit and reflect every color in the visible spectrum, varying with the position of the light source and the observer. As guests wander among and manipulate the prisms, they will enjoy an infinite interplay of lights and colorful reflections, as well as a variable-intensity soundtrack comprised of bell sounds.

When: All month long
Hours: Mon.-Thurs., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Where: Polk Bros. Park, 600 E. Grand Ave., Navy Pier
Cost: Free
Online: navypier.org

(5) Last Chance to See Brick by Brick
MSI’s temporary exhibit, Brick by Brick, is a must a visit if you have engineer-wannabes or LEGO-lovers in your family. The exhibit features a collection of more than a dozen incredible LEGO-built structures, all constructed by LEGO Certified Professional and Chicago native, Adam Reed Tucker, and includes hands-on build challenges both kids and parents will enjoy.

When: All month long
Hours: Daily, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr. 
Cost: $33.95/adult, $21.95/ages 3-11; discounts available online
Online: msichicago.org

(6) Concert for Kids, Hosted by Wendy & DB
Wendy & DB love to get kids singing, wiggling, jumping, dancing and just having a great time! Their original songs encourage children to use their imaginations, teach musical basics like melody and rhythm, and show kids how to have fun with words.

When: Sunday, March 4
Hours: Doors open at 11 a.m., concert noon-1 p.m.
Where: Beat Kitchen, 2100 Belmont Ave., Roscoe Village
Cost: $6
Online: beatkitchen.com

(7) Global Connections: Holi
As part of their celebration of Global Connections, Navy Pier invites you for an all-ages celebration of music, food and arts of a Hindu spring festival celebrated in India and Nepal, also known as the “festival of colors” or the “festival of love.”

When: Sunday, March 4
Hours: 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Aon Grand Ballroom, 600 E. Grand Ave., Navy Pier
Cost: Free
Online: navypier.org

(8) Reel Science at Adler: Demolition Man
A police officer is brought out of suspended animation in prison to pursue an old ultra-violent nemesis who is loose in a nonviolent future society. The REEL Science Film Series combines cinematic favorites with science conversations about the film—providing a unique opportunity to discuss facts vs. creative liberties taken in Hollywood. On the screen tonight: Demolition Man.

When: Thursday, March 8
Hours: 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
Where: Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Dr., Museum Campus
Cost: $15/adults; $12/ages 11 & under
Online: adlerplanetarium.org

(9) Free Family Day at MCA: X-Ray Vision
Every second Saturday MCA hosts Family Day, a free monthly program where Chicago artists transform the museum and you can take part in workshops, open studio sessions, gallery tours and performances. This month, the focus in on X-Ray Vision, which encourages you to enhance your powers of sight and look at things from the inside out.

When: Saturday, March 10
Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 220 E. Chicago Ave., Streeterville
Cost: Free
Online: mcachicago.org

(10) Neighborhood Parents Network Development Differences Resource Fair
This fair is dedicated to providing Chicago families with school options, service providers and other resources that focus on serving families with children with developmental differences. Whether you have a diagnosis for your child and need comprehensive care or you are looking for services that can treat specific delays or behavioral issues, DDRF is your one-stop shop for solutions.

When: Sunday, March 11
Hours: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: DePaul College Prep, 3633 N. California Ave., Irving Park
Cost: Free
Online: npnparents.org

(11) Maple Fest
Watch a tree tapping demonstration and learn how people and animals, like woodpeckers, have tapped maple trees for sap through the ages. Purchase a maple-themed snack and enjoy it while taking in beautiful views of the Fox River.

When: Sunday, March 18
Hours: Tour Times: 9 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 12:30 p.m. & 1:30 p.m.
Where: Red Oak Nature Center, 2343 S. River St., Batavia
Cost: Free
Online: foxvalleyparkdistrict.org

(12) The Boogers Perform at Wonder Works
See The Boogers at Wonder Works Lights! Camera! Action! stage. The full band will be there, including Crusty, Greenie and Sticky on drums. The Boogers will be performing original and classic children’s music in their now famous rock ‘n’ roll style. The purchase of concert tickets gives private access to the museum from 3 p.m.-5 p.m., as well.

When: Sunday, March 18
Hours: Concert at 4 p.m.; private museum access from 3 p.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Wonder Works, 6445 W. North Ave., Oak Park
Cost: $11/non-members; $8/members
Online: wonder-works.org

Big plans for March? Shout about it in the Comments below!

—Maria Chambers

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