It will be straight-up automotive mayhem when the USHRA Monster Trucks tear up the dirt at Monster Jam 2012. We may be an advanced civilization, but it never gets old watching ginormous tricked-out trucks flip over, crush smaller cars and belch flame. Also, celebrate Grave Digger's 30th birthday. Feb. 17-19. Consol Energy Center, Downtown. 800-745-3000 or www.consolenergycenter.com
Motor enthusiasts used to flock to the biggest, loudest, fastest and shiniest cars at the Pittsburgh International Auto Show. They still do, but these days, the high-tech "green" rides get plenty of looks, too. Stop by to find your dream ride. Feb. 17-20. David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown. www.pittautoshow.com
The 23rd annual Steel City Con is your one-stop for comic, toys, action figures and other childhood treasures your mom threw away. This year's personal appearances include: Susan Olsen (Brady Bunch's "Cindy"), Butch Patrick (Munsters' "Eddie"), Ian Ziering from 90210, and Johnny Whitaker from Sigmund and the Sea Monster. March 2-4. Monroeville Convention Center. www.steelcitycon.com
Is this the year you spring for marble countertops in your kitchen? Or a whirlpool tub in the back yard? Perhaps you'd just like tips on how to make your house more energy-efficient. Investigate these possibilities and many more at the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show. March 2-11. David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown. www.pghhome.com
March is a great month for film enthusiasts, with two programs chockfull of lesser-seen and foreign selections. The 19th annual Pittsburgh Jewish Israeli Film Festival runs March 15, through April 1 (www.jfilmpgh.org), with the Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival returning for its sixth year later that week. March 17-April 10. www.cmu.edu
Foodies anxiously await the start of growing season — and the annual Farm to Table conference, which focuses on local and sustainable food production. Attend lectures, see demonstrations, talk to farmers and nibble on samples. March 23 and 24. David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown. www.farmtotablepa.com
You love Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman on their Discovery Channel show, where the duo debunks tall tales, urban legends and just plain bad science. Now fans can see the Mythbusters live for an evening of on-stage experiments (with audience participation!), behind-the-scenes tales and video entertainment. Dress to be amazed. March 27. Heinz Hall, Downtown. 412-392-4900 or www.trustarts.org
Before Batman-mania hits this summer, a smaller film will feature Pittsburgh up on the big screen. Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis star in a drama about two mothers who join forces to improve an inner-city school. Won't Back Down is set to open March 30.