National Fossil Day   Explore Nature
National Park Service
US Department of the Interior

National Fossil Day 2010 Events Archive

Ranger led fossil activity at Florissant Fossil Beds
Ranger led fossil education activity at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, Colorado. Photo by NPS.

Please note: All events listed below haved passed.

For a listing of events for the upcoming year, please view the events page.

2010 Events by State:

| AZ | CA | CT | CO | DE | DC | IL | IN | IA | LA | MA | MI | MN | MO | MT | NE | NV | NJ | NM | NY | NC | OH | OK | OR | PA | TN | TX | UT | VA | WA | WI | WY |

To view past years National Fossil Day events, please visit our event archive pages | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 |


bulletGlen Canyon National Recreation Area

Join in the celebration Saturday October 9! A special tour to Vermillion Cliffs National Monument (BLM) will be offered at 9:00 A.M October 9. Visitors must provide their own four-wheel drive vehicle to access this rugged location. Meet a ranger at the Carl Hayden Visitor Center for a guided caravan tour of approximately 2.5 hours. The hike is about one-mile roundtrip over sandy hills and rocky surfaces. Be sure to bring plenty of water, a snack, sunglasses, hat and wear sturdy shoes.

Visitors are also invited to join rangers at the Carl Hayden Visitor Center on Saturday, October 9 from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. There will several hands-on kid and adult dinosaur and fossil activities that will help you learn more about fossils. You will be able to make your own fossil, attend a short talk with a "paleoranger" and earn a Jr. Paleontologist badge, even become a track detective and figure out who made which track and who ate who.

Please call 928-628-6404 or visit for more information about Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. For additional information on the fossils at Glen Canyon NRA, please visit

bulletGrand Canyon National Park

Hermit Trail Fossil Hike
Saturday, October 16, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

A special ranger-guided hike on the Hermit Trail will stop at three fossil beds. View marine fossils in the Kaibab Limestone near the trailhead, vertebrate tracks in the Coconino Sandstone approximately 1 mile (and 1000 ft) down the trail, and fern fossils at 1.75 miles (and 1,400 ft) below the rim.

Participants can join the hike for one, two or all three fossil beds, and hike up on their own. Plan on one hour to view the Kaibab fossils, three hours roundtrip for the vertebrate tracks, and five hours for the entire hike.

Learn more about Grand Canyon Fossils.

The Hermit Trail is very steep. Each participant should wear hiking shoes, and bring water and food. Hiking poles are recommended. Meet at the Hermit Trailhead. To arrive on time for this program, board the free Hermits Rest shuttle bus by 8:00 a.m.

Special Ranger Programs
Sunday October 10 - Friday, October 15, 2010

Fossil Walk
10:00 a.m., daily
Explore marine fossils on the rim of the canyon. Meet at the Bright Angel Lodge patio. 1 hour.

Earth Science Week Exhibit
Park Headquarters and Grand Canyon Visitor Center, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., daily. Learn about Grand Canyon's fossils, Earth Science Week, and the new Trail of Time exhibit.

For more information, see the Grand Canyon's Earth Science Week webpage.

bulletPetrified Forest National Park

Celebrate National Fossil Day at Petrified Forest National Park on October 13, 2010.

The park's paleontology staff will be conducting tours of the paleontology laboratory as well as a guided walk into a fossil rich area of the park known as the "Dying Grounds." SThe laboratory tours will focus on how fossils are collected, cleaned, and entered into the park museum collection for preservation and future study. Participants will be able to view the fossil bones of a variety of ancient animals that lived in the area during the time of the dinosaurs. The guided hike will briefly discuss the local geological history, as well as visit areas where fossil wood and bones can still be found. Participants will learn about the Late Triassic landscape and its inhabitants, as well as experience how fossils are discovered and collected.

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Laboratory tours: 9:30-10:30am; 2 -3pm Hike: 11-1pm

*The hike is considered moderately strenuous with a total distance over two miles. This hike is not recommended for young children under the age of 7 or for persons with medical conditions that preclude walking long distances and climbing up and down rock hills. Closed toe shoes and water to drink are required and a sack lunch is recommended. Please remember that collection of fossils from the park without a valid research permit is not allowed by law.

For information call (928) 524-6228, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time or email the park Superintendent at

bullet Trail of Time Opening and Workshop

The opening of the Trail of Time, a major Geoscience Exhibition at Grand Canyon National Park, is scheduled on National Fossil Day. The opening of the 4.56 km (2.83 mile) long geologic timeline trail will be accompanied by a workshop on Geoscience Education in the National Park System October 13-15, 2010.
Learn more...

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bulletAnza-Borrego Desert State Park

Open House at the Stout Research Center Paleontology Laboratory and Collection Hall Anza-Borrego Desert State Park®, Colorado Desert District Stout Research Center, Paleontology Laboratory and Collection Hall, October 30, 2010, 1-4pm and October 31, 2010, 9-noon. The Paleontology Society Open House at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park® offers visitors the opportunity to be behind the scenes of a working paleontology preparation laboratory and in the Research Center's paleontology collection hall. This year, we will be telling the story of paleoclimates and environmental change in the Anza-Borrego Desert region, typifying each period with sedimentary rocks and fossils of the Park. Our story begins about 7 million years ago with the ancestral Gulf of California which is represented by marine deposits that yield fossil corals, molluscs, crustaceans and echinoderms, fish and sea turtles, and marine mammals. Later, and found as fossils in the region's extensive stream and river deposits, are giant tortoises and turtles, lizards, water birds and perching birds, giant ground sloths, small and large carnivores, camels and llamas, extinct horses, small mammals, and mammoths. These episodes of the distant past are represented by more than 550 types of fossil plants and animals from the Park. Join us to celebrate National Fossil Day and the natural prehistory of southeastern California. For more information about the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park® paleontology and geology visit our website. Co-sponsored by: Anza-Borrego Foundation.

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bulletThe Page Museum (La Brea Tar Pits)

Come celebrate National Fossil Day at the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits on Sunday October 23 from 10 am to 2 pm with a demonstration of diversity of fossils recovered from the La Brea Tar Pits.

bullet Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology

National Fossil Day at the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology
The Alf Museum will be celebrating National Fossil Day with a variety of activities for visitors. We will have a fossil "touch table", paleo scavenger hunt, a take-home "Paleo-Pack" for kids, and more! Our museum is open from 8 am to 4 pm, and closed over the noon hour. For directions and more information about the museum, visit our website at

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bullet Sneak Peak: Fossil Exhibits in the Hall of Geological Wonders

San Bernardino County Museum, October 13, 2010: 10 am and 3:30 pm
In celebration of National Fossil Day, Curator of Geology J. Chris Sagebiel will offer a sneak peak into the paleontology exhibits currently under construction in the San Bernardino County Museum's new Hall of Geological Wonders. Fossils from southern California's inland valleys tell the evolutionary history of mammals and the effects of climate change. Rocks now found in our California desert contain some of the earliest life from the Earth's oceans. Sagebiel will provide a chance to see these fossils from the Museum collections before they are exhibited and he will discuss their importance for understanding both geology and the history of life on Earth. Museum scientists and technicians are working hard to prepare specimens and information to complete these exhibits. Be among the first to see what we have planned for you. A tour of the hall will be preceded by a slide show lecture about the discovery and interpretation of fossils, complete with fossils, models and other 3-D objects.

bulletUniversity of California Museum of Paleontology

The University of California Museum of Paleontology (UCMP) is joining hundreds of others in support of National Fossil Day. On October 13th, we will launch a special online exhibit: Fossils in our parklands: Examples of UCMP service and stewardship, which will highlight some of the fossils in our collections that were recovered from park lands, both national and state. Many of the fossils were collected before the parks came into existence, and in many cases, such as the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in Oregon and the Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park in Nevada, UCMP was instrumental in the creation of those parks.

Also on that date, UCMP will be hosting a Fossil Reception for campus colleagues and the 2011 UCMP Fossil Treasures Calendar will be available. Each month will highlight a photograph one of our amazing fossils along with supplementary photographs and a short story of its significance. Though National Fossil Day is designated as a one-day event, UCMP will have the opportunity to extend the celebration to October 23rd as we participate in a campus-wide celebration - the Cal Science & Engineering Festival -a satellite event of the inaugural USA Science Engineering Festival taking place in Washington DC. UCMP will join other units on campus in a community celebration of science with a special exhibit on local fossils entitled: Before the Cal Bears there was WHAT???

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bulletBruce Museum

Wed, Oct. 13, 4-6 p.m. Family Fossil Fun Night! Join the Bruce Museum in the celebration of National Fossil Day in partnership with the National Park Service and the American Geological Institute. There will be an exploratory gallery hunt for fossils in the Museum's exhibitions, hands-on fossil casting in the Education Workshop, and special guest paleontologists on hand to talk about the work they do collecting, preserving and interpreting the fossils they find.  All activities are free with Museum admission and are suitable for people of all abilities ages 5 years and up.

Exhibition: June 19–October 17, 2010
Evolution of the Natural World: Highlights of the Bruce Museum Collection
Mineral, fossil and animal specimens from the Museum's own collection highlight the development of novelty and complexity in the evolution of the planet and its living things.

bullet Yale Peabody Muesum of Natural History

1st Annual National Fossil Day - Wednesday October 13th, 2010
This is Earth Science Week, and the National Park Service and the American Geological Institute are partnering to host the first National Fossil Day-on October 13, 2010-a celebration organized to promote public awareness and the stewardship of fossils, as well as to foster a greater appreciation of fossils' scientific and educational value. We'll have our superb fossil touch table out along with our interactive rocks and minerals cart, including rock and mineral giveaways. In the morning there will be activities geared towards pre-school age children, including a couple of Roxi Fox's famous puppet shows at 10:15 and 11:30 am, and in the afternoon we'll bring out a couple of rare Connecticut dinosaur specimens that have never been on display for the public! Sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation.
At the Yale Peabody Museum-170 Whitney Avenue New Haven, CT 06511
Learn more...

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bullet Dinosaur Discovery Day

Join the Friends of Dinosaur Ridge on October 16, 2010 from 10am to 3 pm for the free National Fossil Day celebration. Guides will be stationed at the world-famous track site and other fossil sites on the Dinosaur Ridge Trail. At the Visitor Center activities include free admission to Trek Through Time, a fossil identification table manned by paleontologists, the Allosaurus boulder, the life-size Iguanodon, a dinosaur dig for kids, sifting for microfossils, fossil prepping, and dinosaur track painting with a free track to take home. Several other activities and booths will be associated with Earth Science Week and International Astronomy Day.

For directions or more event information: or

bulletMuseum of Western Colorado and Colorado National Monument

To celebrate National Fossil Day the Museum of Western Colorado and Colorado National Monument will host 4th grade classes from local elementary schools. This fun-filled day will involve a field trip to the Monument for a hike and fossil activities at the Dinosaur Journey Museum. The unveiling of a set of rare Jurassic age turtle tracks will also take place at the Monument for the school groups.

From October 13 to Sunday, October 17 the public is invited to view the fossilized turtle tracks at Colorado National Monument's Visitor Center, from 9 am - 5 pm. Afterward they will go on display at Dinosaur Journey as the centerpiece of a new turtle display.

Dinosaur Journey will have special informative booths on October 13 from 2:30 - 4 pm. The public will have the opportunity to speak with our staff paleontologists, have their fossils and rocks identified and also learn more about our local fossils. This event is included in the admission fee. For more information on the activities at Dinosaur Journey, please call ReBecca Hunt-Foster at (970) 858-7282.

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bullet Delaware Museum of Natural History

To celebrate National Fossil Day, the Delaware Museum of Natural History will be displaying fossils that are not normally on view and taking questions for our resident dinosaur expert.

October 13th, 2010, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. For directions visit our website.

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Washington D.C.

bullet National Fossil Day Celebration on the National Mall

Join paleontologists and park rangers to kick off the first annual National Fossil Day in the Nation's capital. Join the National Park Service and Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History at 15th St. and Constitution Ave. and at the Museum at 10th St. and Constitution Ave. from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 13, 2010.

Activities include:

  • -Learn how to become a Junior Paleontologist
  • -Learn about the history of life preserved in over 228 units of the National Park Service
  • -Listen to Fossil Talks given py paleontologists
  • -Wash and screen through sediments, hunting for fossils that you can take home
  • -Bring your fossils from your collection for identification by scientists from the Smithsonian
  • -Search for fossils from National Parks during a Fossil Scavenger Hunt at the Museum
  • -Excavate fossils from blocks of sediment at the Museum
  • -Observe fossils being cleaned by preparators at the Museum's FossiLab

And much more!

The event is free and open to the public. For more information or to get your organization involved, please call 703-289-2555.

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bullet Super Saturday in A Place for Discovery
"Fabulous Fossils"

Did you know that Illinois is famous for its fabulous fossils? Learn what it takes to make a fossil, where fossils are found, and what scientists can learn from these clues to Earth's past. Join the Illinois State Museum on Saturday, October 9th for this free program (registration is not required). Activities are geared for children aged 4-8 and take 30-40 minutes to complete.

For more information call the Museum's Education Section at (217) 782-6044.

bullet National Fossil Day at the Illinois State Museum

Wednesday, October 13th
9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Free and open to the public

Come to the Illinois State Museum and help celebrate the Nation's first Fossil Day. Special programs will include hands-on children's activities in A Place for Discovery. Docents will be available in the Changes: Dynamic Illinois Environments exhibition to share touchable hands-on fossils including Illinois' State fossil, the Tully Monster. Visitors will also receive a commemorative bookmark.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Bazan at (217) 782-5993 or

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bulletWonderLab Museum of Science, Health & Technology

Celebrate National Fossil Day on Saturday October 16 by attending "Exploring Fossils." The science museum will offer Exploring Fossils, a workshop that combines science and art. Visitors may stop by anytime from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm to polish the plain surface of a 350 million year old stone and reveal the beautiful fossilized remains of a colonial coral. Participants may keep the stone and also receive an information sheet with science background on the stone and its origins.

WonderLab Museum of Science, Health & Technology 308 W. 4th St. Bloomington, Indiana. For more information check out or call 812-337-1337 ext. 25


bulletUpper Iowa University

Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa is celebrating National Fossil Day on October 13, 2010. We will be showing our new state geology map, displaying some Iowa rocks, minerals and fossils, and identifying materials that people bring to the event.


bullet Audubon Zoo

The Audubon Nature Institute Audubon Zoo will be celebrating National Fossil Day October 16-17, 2010 with special dinosaur themed shows at the Shell Wildlife Theater, chats at the Dinosaur Exhibit, and "make your own fossil" activities. Bring the family and learn how fossils have many practical uses in studies of climate change, mineral resources, geologic hazards, dating rock units and more!

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The Harvard Museum of Natural History announces a week of programs and exhibitions in celebration of Earth Science Week, beginning the week of October 10, 2010. In conjunction, the museum will offer two special programs for the public, and a special Teacher Professional Development program for educators.

bullet Fossil Day at Harvard Museum of Natural History

Wednesday, October 13, from 1:00 -5:00 pm, visitors will find many different hands on activities with real specimens, as we explore the amazing world of fossils, including dinosaurs, Ice Age mammals, and other prehistoric creatures. Discover how fossils form and investigate bones, teeth, claws, and fossilized footprints, looking for clues about prehistoric life. Fossil Day is offered as part of Earth Science Week, encouraging people everywhere to explore the natural world and learn about the geosciences. Free with museum admission.

bullet Family Program: From Trilobites to Extraterrestrials: Exploring Life on Earth and Beyond

Sunday, October 17 at 2:00 pm. Millions of years ago, long before the dinosaurs, many strange organisms roamed the earth and sea. Yet, all that's left are fossils. Join paleontologist Phoebe Cohen (Harvard Ph.D '10), Education and Outreach Coordinator for the MIT NASA Astrobiology Node, as we explore the questions paleontologists and astrobiologists face every day. How do we know if fossils were once living animals? What is life, when did it start, and how do we search for life on other planets such as Mars? Free with museum admission.

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bullet Exhibit Museum Fossil ID Day

Celebrate National Fossil Day with the University of Michigan's Exhibit Museum of Natural History ID Day on Sunday, October 3rd! From 12-5 pm, bring your own objects and collections in for identification by experts. Experts will be joining us from the fields of paleontology, anthropology, archaeology, botany, zoology, and geology. Please bring your: fossils; shells; rocks and minerals; arrowheads; pottery shards; bones; insects; fish; skulls; and seeds, leaves, and twigs! Sorry, no appraisals will be given.

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bulletDuluth Children's Museum

Come celebrate National Fossil Day on October 13th
Duluth Depot Great Hall, 5:30-8:00 pm

National Fossil Day is a celebration organized by the National Park Service to promote awareness and stewardship of fossils, as well as to foster a greater appreciation of their scientific and educational values.

Demonstrations Including:
-Making a Field Jacket
-Fossil Preparation
-Molding and Casting

Dinosaur Related Crafts
Digging for Dinosaurs
Coloring Contest
Bring Your Own Fossil!

FREE and Open to the Public! Visit our website for more information.

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bulletScience Museum of Minnesota

National Fossil Day at the Science Museum of Minnesota

Saturday, October 16, 2010
1-4 p.m.
Free with paid admission

Join us on October 16 as we celebrate Earth Science Week and FOSSILS at the Science Museum of Minnesota. We’ll have activities around the museum where museum visitors can learn about Twin Cities fossils, fossil prep, fossil research, trilobites and more.

Activities include
--Observe fossil fish from Green River, Wyoming being cleaned by preparators.
--Learn about fossil zooplankton and diatoms and what they tell scientists about ecosystems.
--Learn about Twin Cities fossils and where you can collect.
--See a world-class collection of trilobites.
--See Goniopholis, a Jurassic crocodile being prepared.
--Hear talks about Twin Cities fossils with Park Rangers at the Mississippi River National Park Visitor Center.
--See how a fossil mammoth skull is being prepared.  
--Learn about the molding and casting process for fossils.

 For directions or more event information:

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bulletMastodon State Historic Site

Mastodon State Historic Site will offer fossil related activities in the Musuem Annex on Saturday, October 9 and Saturday October 16, 2010 from 11 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Examine Paleozoic fossils through magnifiers, dig up replica bones and artifacts, document your find with scientific methods and earn a certificate. Admission fee of $2.00 for anyone 15 or older also gains admittance to the Mastodon State Historic Site museum. No fee for children under 15. For more information call 636-464-2976 or see


bullet The Museum of the Rockies

Are you itching to excavate?  Get your hands dirty as you learn how a fossil finds its way from the ground to a museum display. Play a role in preparing a real dinosaur bone. Wear clothes that can get dirty - this class is going to get messy!
Space is limited and pre-registration is required at 406.994.6618 or
$10 for members, $15 for non-members
Monday, October 11 and Wednesday, October 13
Redstart Classroom

TOURS FOR TOTS (Ages 3-5 years)
Continuing our efforts to introduce little ones ages 3-5 to the wonders of museum learning, this special series of tours examines a different area of the Museum each month. Each program offers a chance to ask questions and explore with a hands-on activity. Tour response has been so enthusiastic that we are offering the same program three times a month. Space is limited, but pre-registration is not required. For more information contact us at 406.994.6618. Tuesday and Thursday tours meet from 10 - 11 am, and Wednesday tours are from 2 - 3 pm; all in the Redstart Classroom. Tours are free for members and $5 for non-members.

Look closely at the fossils on display in the Siebel Dinosaur Complex, learn how dinosaur bones are preserved, and discover why we find so many dinosaurs in Montana. Young scientists will enjoy making their own fossil to take home after this exciting exploration.
Tuesday, October 12
Wednesday, October 13
Thursday, October 14

Explore dinosaur paleontology with MOR and ArtSplot through an interdisciplinary program series. Using curriculum from the National Science Teacher's Association, students will learn about fossils and fossil preparation, evolution, and Montana dinosaurs through engaging hands-on activities with the Museum's extensive paleontology resources.  Creative studio-based art lessons within the series will enhance museum-based science learning.
Students are required to attend all programs. Parents will receive detailed information on educational goals of this unit along with extensions for each lesson to continue learning at home. Class size is limited to 15 students. The cost of the program includes all materials and art supplies.  Pre-registration is required at 406.994.6618 or
Wednesdays, September 29, October 6, 13, 20, 27, November 3, 10, 17
1 - 3pm each session
Redstart Classroom, ArtSplot Studio
$150 for members $175 for non-members

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Agate Fossil Beds National Monument

Join us on Sunday October 10th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Paleontologists George Corner and Rob Skolnick will bring their "Fossil Kit" and expertise in fossil identification to Agate Fossil Beds National Monument spending the day in various activities for kids and adults in the Monument's Visitor Center. Although collecting rocks and fossils is not permitted at Agate Fossil Beds, the public is invited to bring in items from private collections that they would like assistance in identifying. For those interested in enjoying a beautiful fall hike along the fully accessible Fossil Hills Trail, Park Ranger Edward Raventon will be available to interpret the historic quarry sites from 10:00 A.M. until noon, and from 1:00 P.M. until 3:00 P.M.


bulletNevada Bureau of Mines and Geology

In Search of Tufa, Tuff, and Tough Rocks
2010 Earth Science Week Field Trip October 16 or 17, 2010

Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology welcomes you to participate in its thirteenth annual Earth Science Week field trip. You will travel in your own  personal vehicles, led by geologists, from Reno east on Interstate 80 to Fernley and north to Winnemucca Lake (now a dry lake bed) where we will explore several tufa formations left exposed around the lake's perimeter following diversion of part of the Truckee River's water for use in the Newlands Irrigation Project. From here we will continue traveling east to the Nightingale Mountains where we will visit the historic Nightingale mining district where tungsten and other minerals were mined in the early 1900s. We will return to Reno via one of two alternate routes, one of which will take us by the historic Bradys Hot Springs on Interstate 80, now used to power a geothermal energy plant, or the other route via Sutcliffe on Pyramid Lake and the Pyramid Highway. Along the way, we will visit several sites where we can examine and collect a wide variety of interesting rocks that help earth scientists unravel the geologic history of the area surrounding Reno and Pyramid Lake. 

We will make a few geologic stops on our way. There will be several geologists along on the trip to help answer your questions about geology and identify a variety of rocks. There will also be an opportunity to learn more about Geocaching and EarthCaching—a high-tech treasure hunting game using GPS devices. If you have a hand-held GPS unit, bring it, so you can find the Geocaches and EarthCaches located near some stops. 

Questions about the field trip? Call Monique at 784-6694 or D.D. at 682-8772.

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New Jersey

bullet The Rutgers Geology Museum

Fossil Field Trip: Saturday, October 9, 2010
Find your own fossils on this guided trip to Big Brook with Rutgers University geologists. We will explore a stream that cuts through sediments which were deposited during the Late Cretaceous. This locality is famous for its prolific fossils, especially the diverse and plentiful shark fauna. (Limited to 30 people)

Late Night at the Museum: Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Spend some time after hours at the Rutgers Geology Museum, exploring exhibits and engaging in hands-on discoveries. Rutgers geologists will be leading activities and available to answer questions. Museum will be open till 8pm.

Dinosaur Reconstruction Lecture: Thursday, October 14, 2010
Bruce J. Mohn trained as a scientist first, before concentrating on paleo life restoration sculpture. He specializes in reconstructed skeletal sculptures, measured carefully from the 2-dimensional preservation, then sculpted and mounted bone-by-bone. His work has appeared in museums around the world. 7:30 pm Winants Hall, Old Queens Campus. Reception to follow at the Geology Museum. Visit for more information and to RSVP.

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New Mexico

bullet Ghost Ranch Celebrating National Fossil Day

Saturday Oct. 16th

A Tour of the Ruth Hall Museum of Paleontology at Ghost Ranch including a visit to the Hayden Fossil Quarry beginning at 10 am and 2 pm led by Alex Downs, Curator of paleontology at Ghost Ranch.
Learn more...

bullet New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science

Fossil Identification Day --Celebrating National Fossil Day Saturday, October 16, 2010 1 - 3 p.m. Come celebrate fossils during Earth Science Week 2010! The National Park Service and the American Geological Institute are urging Americans to celebrate fossils this year by designating a National Fossil Day. The Museum invites you to bring in those old rocks you've been wondering about - are they fossils or not? Our experts will be here to inspect them and let you know. Or just stop by to check out our great fossils - we do have a Museum filled with fossils, but we will also pull out some interesting specimens for all to look at that afternoon. Join us for Fossil ID Day! Located at 1801 Mountain Rd NW -- Albuquerque, NM 87104

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New York

bullet National Fossil Day at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City

Bring your school group to the American Museum of Natural History to study fossils in one of the world's preeminent institutions of paleontology research. In celebration of National Fossil Day, we are hosting a variety of special drop-in activities for school groups at different locations around the museum. Please visit the Museum's web site for more about the event and how to register your school group to participate in the day's events on October 13th.
Learn more...

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North Carolina

bullet Fossil Fair 2010

Fossil Fair 2010 at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, the country's largest educational paleontology event, returns to the museum! Enjoy dozens of incredible exhibits, activities, and presentations about fossils from North Carolina and around the world. Saturday, November 6, 2010 from 9am-5pm.
Learn more...

bullet University of North Carolina-Wilmington

The Department of Geography and Geology at University of North Carolina Wilmington is pleased to host a National Fossil Day lecture. Dr. Joseph G. Carter, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, will present "Triassic Park: the life and death of the North Carolina rauisuchian" at 7pm in DeLoach Hall 114. The lecture is free and open to the public.

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bullet Kent State University

The Department of Geology Open House on October 9, 2010, in conjunction with Kent State University's Homecoming, 2010, will celebrate National Fossil Day.  The Department will be open from 12-3 pm, and activities will include:
• make your own fossil
• scavenger hunts in the department's fossil, rock, and mineral displays with prizes
• modeling of oil spills and ocean circulation in our newly renovated laboratory classrooms
• demonstrations with our river erosion simulator
• demonstrations of our NEW 3-D GeoWall
• bring your fossils, rocks, and minerals for identification by professors in the department

The event is free and open to the public.  Parking anywhere on campus is free during Homecoming. Event located at Kent State University Department of Geology (2nd and 3rd floors, McGilvrey Hall on the corner of Lincoln and Summit streets)
Learn more...

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bullet Tulsa Geoscience Center

The Tulsa Geoscience Center has partnered with University of Tulsa and will be hosting a National Fossil Day event on Wednesday October 13 6:00 - 9:00 PM, Keplinger Hall 600 S. College Avenue, Tulsa, OK. Open house event for K - 12 students, teachers, parents with fossil specimens, fossil hands on activties, teacher materials, followed by a lecture on "Meteorite impact craters" by University of Texas research scientist Gail Christeson, a geophysicist.
Learn more...

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bulletJohn Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Wednesday, October 13, 2010, 3pm - 6pm
KIMBERLY, OR.  - John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is excited to celebrate the first ever National Fossil Day with a special open house at the world-class Thomas Condon Paleontology Center! On Wednesday, October 13, as a part of Earth Science Week, the Center will be extending its hours until 6pm for this event. Additionally, between 3pm and 6pm there will be special activities for young and old alike to gain a greater appreciation of the fascinating fossils of the Age of Mammals.

By participating in these activities, which include painting fossil casts and making your own fossil molds, children will be able to earn their very own Junior Paleontologist badge! Special tours of the fossil gallery will be provided as well, and paleontologists will be on hand to answer your questions.

The Thomas Condon Paleontology Center, located 2 miles north of the intersection of Highways 19 and 26, will be hosting this free event.  Don'St forget your camera so you can take your picture with the Pogonodon.

Programs at John Day Fossil Beds are always free and open to the public. No reservations required. More information about National Fossil Day Events can be found at or call Ranger Michelle Ordway or Paleobotanist Liz Lovelock at 541-987-2333. Maps to the monument can be found at


bulletThe Carnegie Science Center

The Carnegie Science Center's Café Scientifique is hosting an informal evening with Owen Lovejoy, Scott Simpson and Bruce Latimer, paleoanthropologists who conduct research on the newly discovered hominid fossil Ardipithecus. This event is co-sponsored by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in celebration of the First National Fossil Day offers a chance to learn about the latest news and debates on the evolution of humans.

Event Title: Café Scientifique, Recent Discoveries Fuel the Debate: Who WERE Our Earliest Ancestors?
Venue: Carnegie Science Center, One Allegheny Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212 Date: Monday, Oct. 11, 2010
Time: Doors open at 6 pm, and the program is from 7–9. Science Center doors close at 7:45
Location: Carnegie Science Center's Works Theater (fourth floor)
Admission: FREE, but RSVP by Thursday, October 7, 2010 Parking: $5 Cash bar: Open until 8:30 pm.

For more information and to RSVP, see

bullet Paleontology Discovery Day, Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Family Workshops: 
Registration required; sign up for one or both dinosaur workshops.s
Fee  Members: $12 per adult/child pair, $10 each additional child 
Non-Members: $17 per adult/child pair, $15 each additional child 
Payment is due at time of registration. Contact Program Registration at 412.622.3288 or

Sauropods Around the World:  10:30-11:30 a.m.  
This hands-on workshop takes a close look at adaptations made by long-necked, long-tailed dinosaurs that lived all over the world during the Jurassic and Cretaceous time periods.

Color Adaptations in Dinosaurs: 12:30-1:30 p.m. 
Explore the reasons for color variations in the animal world in this hands-on workshop that asks the question: What color were dinosaurs?

Carnegie Dinosaurs 
Matthew C. Lamanna, PhD at 2 p.m. in Carnegie Lecture Hall; Free with museum admission

Matt Lamanna, one of the museum's dinosaur paleontologists, discusses the newest models in the Carnegie Collection toy series from Safari, LTD, and describes why these specimens were chosen to be immortalized as Carnegie toys. Lamanna will also explain why some models have been retired or changed. This is a family-friendly talk.

Lucy, Ardi, and the Evolution of Human Walking—New Perspectives from Old Evidence 
Owen C. Lovejoy, PhD at 7 p.m. in Carnegie Lecture Hall; Admission is free, seating is limited

How did humans begin to walk, and why? By studying the famous 3-million-year-old human ancestor "Lucy" (Austrolopithecus afarensis), and the 4.4-million-year-old hominid specimen "Ardi" (Ardipithecus ramidus), paleoanthropologists including Owen Lovejoy, University Professor of Biological Anthropology at Kent State University, have come to some surprising conclusions. In this one-hour, adult-oriented lecture, Lovejoy discusses his groundbreaking work on the evolution of human limbs and explains how this work has changed scientists' understanding of human locomotion. Co-sponsored by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.

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bullet National Fossil Day at the ETSU and General Shale Brick Natural History Museum and Visitor Center at the Gray Fossil Site

National Fossil Day at the ETSU and General Shale Brick Natural History Museum at the Gray Fossil Site will offer a variety of activities for all ages on October 13, 2010. All-Access Passes to the museum will be half-off for the day! Come join us to celebrate the natural history of our region and the new discoveries at the Gray Fossil Site!

Check out these events:

  • -Behind the Scenes Tours of the Preparation Lab at 11:00am, 2:00pm, and 5:00pm.
  • -Fossil Site Tours will be held from 9:00am-4:00pm. The tour will take you out to the fossil site, into our upstairs gallery area, and by the windows of the Prep Lab and Collections Range. The Fossil Site Tour is part of the All-Access Pass which is half-off for the day!
  • -Fossil ID Table: Museum staff will identify your finds from 4:00-6:00pm. Local and non-local specimens are welcome!
  • -Dr. Mick Whitelaw will present the fun talk, "What's in a fossil name? There really is a Hallucigenia!" at 6:00pm in the Eastman Credit Union Multi-Media Classroom.
  • -Create a Fossil Cast out of one of our dinosaur or Gray Fossil Site molds. Take it home and paint it with red and black sediments from the Gray Fossil Site for a realistic effect. Casts will be created at 4:00pm and take approximately 30 minutes to dry.
  • -Try your hand at picking through marine sediment from Aurora, NC and the sediments from the Gray Fossil Site. What can you find? Stations will be set up throughout the day!
  • -Have an up and coming young paleontologist in your family? Come play a round of Fossil Feud to test your knowledge with other kids ages 9-13 in the Eastman Credit Union Multi-Media Classroom from 4:30-5:30pm.

For more information about National Fossil Day at the ETSU & GSB Natural History Museum and Visitor Center at the Gray Fossil Site, please contact Sarah Mullersman: or 423-439-3655.

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bulletArlington Archosaur Site

Come celebrate National Fossil Day on October 16!

The "Lost World of the Metroplex." dig will be the next family tour day, scheduled to coordinate with the NPS National Fossil Day celebration. Come out to the AAS on Oct 16th, and help celebrate one of our nation's most valued natural resources, fossils. For more information contact Derek J. Main at the Scotese Museum of Paleontology on UTA campus.
e-mail for information...

bullet The Earth Rocks!!!

The Earth Rocks!!! is a science field day for children that includes activities by The University of Texas McDonald Observatory, Sul Ross State University, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Texas Master Naturalists, and the Chihuahuan Desert Gem and Mineral Club. The event takes place at the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center, October 14, 2010 (program fee charged, participant limit 300).
Learn more...

bullet National Fossil Day Celebration at Dinosaur Valley State Park

Come and join Dinosaur Valley State Park in celebrating the first annual National Fossil Day October 16, 2010 from 1 pm until 4 pm. The celebration will be filled with fun activities that will include:

  • "Dino Dig": search for dinosaur bones just like a paleontologist
  • "Dino Excavation Station": search for a dinosaur skeleton in an ancient rock
  • "Fossil ID": bring fossils from your collection to be identified by a scientist

Dinosaur Coloring Packs will be available to take home.
The event celebrating National Fossil Day is free.

bullet The Centennial Museum at the University of Texas-El Paso

Come join our party to celebrate National Fossil Day on October 13th. We will be showcasing our new ceiling mural in the Paleontology Gallery, painted by three women UTEP art students, shows a magnificent stormy sky, reminiscent of the violent storms in the wake of the Meteorite that struck the Yucatan Peninsula some 65 million years ago - and believed to have brought about the extinction of the dinosaurs.

bulletBig Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park is hosting Dr. Tom Lehman of Texas Tech University for a presentation of "Dinosaurs in the Desert". The event will be held Saturday, October 9th from 3:30-5:00 P.M. in the Park Visitors Center Community Room at Panther Junction headquarters. Dr. Lehman's specialty involves the Cretaceous vertebrate faunas of Big Bend as well as studies involving dinosaur endemism and extinction at the end of the Cretaceous. Cretaceous dinosaur fossils will also be on hand for the public to view and discuss. This is a free event to the general public.

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bulletCapitol Reef National Park

October 14 – 17, celebrate National Fossil Day and Utah Education Weekend at Capitol Reef NP!  The Ripple Rock Nature Center will be open each afternoon. Activities include making plaster fossil molds, creating a geologic timeline and a tableful of fossils.  We will also have Junior Paleontologist booklets available for children to work on and earn their badge.  The morning of Oct. 15 and Oct. 17 there will be ranger led hikes to a trackway of pre-dinosaurs in the park and the morning of Oct. 16 a "dig" will take place on the banks of Sulphur Creek behind the nature center!

bulletSt. George Dinosaur Discovery at Johnson Farm and Zion National Park

Come Celebrate National Fossil Day at St. George Dinosaur Discovery and Zion National Park on October 13, 2010.

There will be two volunteers from Dinosaur Discovery at Zion National Park to talk about local fossils. At the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Museum there will be fossil prep people working in the lab, which is visible to visitors and guides available for tours and discussions of the world-famous Early Jurassic tracksite at the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm. In addition to free admission and a free trilobite for children under 12 who are accompanied by a parent, there will also be additional fun activities like coloring pages, dino mazes, and word searches available.


bullet Science Museum of Virginia

October 13, 2010, 10 am - 5 pm

Learn how paleontologists think dinosaurs became extinct, make your own fossil, touch fossilized poop, and work on a real dinosaur fossil! Join us as we celebrate National Fossil Day with hands-on activities, demonstrations, and guest speakers at the Science Museum of Virginia.

For more information visit our website:

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bulletThe Virginia Museum of Natural History

The Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville is taking part in the first National Fossil Day on Wednesday, October 13, during Earth Science Week. In celebration of National Fossil Day, VMNH scientists will have several large limestone slabs on display near the museum's front entrance. Three days prior to the event VMNH scientists, in partnership with staff and students from Radford University, will travel to central Kentucky to bring back these specimens in preparation for a future special exhibit titled "Tropical Virginia: Life in the Ordovician", to be open at VMNH from February to August, 2012.

During the event visitors will have the opportunity to help with cleaning these limestone slabs to prepare them for next year's exhibit. The limestone slabs are approximately 460 million years old, and contain hundreds of fossils of corals, brachiopods, trilobites, and bryozoans, as well as other animals. Visitors to VMNH on National Fossil Day will be able to learn more about these touchable specimens by visiting with VMNH scientists, while also having the opportunity to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Vertebrate Paleontology Collections Storage Room beginning at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. (space is limited).

For more information about the Virginia Museum of Natural History, visit


bullet National Fossil Day at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture

October 13, 2010, 10 am - 5 pm

A day of hands-on learning at the Pacific Northwest's only home to real dinosaur fossils. The Burke's outstanding exhibit of fossils dates from long before the dinosaurs to the last Ice Age, and provides the perfect setting for learning about geological time, the formation of fossils, Washington State's rich geological history, and the work of paleontologists.

Fossil Discovery Tours for School Groups (15 or more)
Especially for students in grades 2-6

Paleontologists have exciting jobs, but what exactly do they do? Hands-on activities with real fossils led by museum educators, gallery exploration, and a chance to dig at our simulated indoor fossil dig site will make your day as a Junior Paleontologists complete. Please contact us for more information about fees and schedule and to register: Phone: 206.543.5591 Link: Email: Web:

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bullet Milwaukee Public Museum

The Milwaukee Public Museum will celebrate National Fossil Day October 13 with four interactive stops in it's Third Planet Exhibit. Stop and talk with an interpreter at the Torosaur exhibit, figure out which is the real fossil at "pick the fossil" spot, learn about ancient reefs at "When I was alive in the Silurian" and find out about "Lifestyle Accessories for the Cretaceous Crowd" near the Hell Creek exhibit. Remember to stop and see MPM's most famous local fossil The Heibor Mammoth.

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bullet Tate Geological Museum

Come celebrate National Fossil Day at the Tate Geological Museum at Casper College by participating in:

  • -A Fossil Roadshow (like the Antiques Roadshow on TV... bring us your rocks and fossils we'll tell ya what ya got).
  • -Molding and Casting demonstrations...including make cast of a fossil you can take home
  • -Coloring Contest for the kids
  • -Regularly scheduled tours for the public and school groups
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More to come...

Many actives are in the planning stage. Please check back soon.

To add your organization's National Fossil Day activity to this page, please contact us with information about your event.

Last Updated: January 03, 2017