10 museum exhibits for your fall 2012

'Maharaja: The Splendor of India's Royal Courts'

Procession of Ram Singh II of KotaOpaque watercolor on paper. (September 12, 2012)

Here are some shows and exhibits to watch for at Chicago's museums and zoos this fall, roughly in order of appearance:

"Kouzina": Annual celebration of Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 20 at the National Hellenic Museum, 333 S. Halsted St.; 312-655-1234 or nationalhellenicmuseum.org

"Sea Otter Awareness Week": The 10th anniversary of the celebration that hasn't quite caught up to Shark Week, featuring educational activities and free admission for some early birds. Sept. 23-29 at the Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive; 312-939-2438 or sheddaquarium.org

"The Wonderful Wizard of Oz": Human-size pop-up books amplify L. Frank Baum's 1900 book that became the classic movie. Opens Sept. 24 at the Kohl Children's Museum, 2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview; 847-832-6600 or kohlchildrensmuseum.org

Gidwitz Hall of Birds: The Field Museum's ornithological display area reopens after extensive and modernizing renovation. Opens Sept. 25 at the Field Museum of Natural History, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive; 312-992-9410 or fieldmuseum.org

"Maharaja: The Splendor of India's Royal Courts": Artifacts and history tracing royal rule in India from the 1700s to the 1940s. Oct. 17 to Feb. 3 at the Field Museum of Natural History, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive; 312-992-9410 or fieldmuseum.org

"Backyard Monsters": Oversize, robotic bug models, plus examples of the real things. Oct. 20 to Jan. 22 at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Drive; 773-755-5100 or naturemuseum.org

"Shalom Chicago": A history of the Jewish community in the city, dating back to the 1840s, with personal stories, artifacts and photographs. Opens Oct. 21 at the Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St.; 312-642-4600 or chicagohistory.org

"Charlie Brown and the Great Exhibit": The "Peanuts" artist Charles M. Schulz's personal history and his comic-strip art. Oct. 25 to Feb. 18 at the Museum of Science and Industry, 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive; 773-684-1414 or msichicago.org

Apollo 17 40th anniversary events: Includes a Nov. 14 visit from Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt. In November at the Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive; adlerplanetarium.org

"ZooLights" and "Holiday Magic": The annual, popular decoration of area zoos in lights. "ZooLights" from Nov. 23 through the holidays, selected nights only, at the Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 N. Cannon Drive; 312-742-2000 or lpzoo.org. "Holiday Magic" from Dec. 1, selected nights only, at the Brookfield Zoo, 8400 31st St., Brookfield; czs.org



Twitter @StevenKJohnson

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