National Fossil Day   Explore Nature
National Park Service
US Department of the Interior
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Kick off National Fossil Day by joining the fun on the National Mall. Photos by NPS.

National Fossil Day 2013

Celebration on the National Mall

Washington D.C.

Join the National Park Service, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and other National Fossil Day partners for a day of fossil fun on the National Mall!

Events celebrating National Fossil Day take place throughout the country, but the kick-off event is happening in Washington DC on the National Mall and at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History! This event will include presentations and activities from nearly a dozen different organizations, with something for every age group. The Smithsonian will also be unveiling their new Tyrannosaurus rex at the event. Activities will take place at the museum and on the National Mall between the Smithsonian Castle and the Museum of Natural History (10th and Constitution Aves, NW).

The event will run on October 16th from 10:00am to 2:00pm. For more information, email us at

National Mall Activities:

  • Discover the history of life preserved in 260 units of the National Park Service, with 11 different fossils featured
  • Learn how to become a Junior Paleontologist
  • Wash and screen sediments, hunting for fossils that you can take home. Smithsonian scientists will help you identify your finds
  • Bring fossils from your own collection for identification by scientists from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
  • Play the Fossil Bison Activity, and learn about the history of Bison in North America
  • Learn about the importance of fossils from National Fossil Day partners, including American Geosciences Institute, National Science Foundation, the Bureau of Land Management, Maryland Dinosaur Park, Calvert Marine Museum, United States Geological Survey, United States Forest Service, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Activities

  • Learn what a fossil is and all the things that can become fossilized
  • See how paleontologists clean and prepare fossils at the Museum's fossil laboratory
  • Find out what exciting things paleontologists are discovering about fossils today
  • Discover creatures that roamed Washington, D.C. before even your parents


The event is free and open to the public. For more information or to get your organization involved, please call 703-379-2480, x 249 or email

Special thanks to all of our partners and contributors, including:

  • American Geosciences Institute
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission's Dinosaur Park
  • National Park Service
  • National Park Foundation
  • National Park Trust's Buddy Bison Program
  • National Science Foundation
  • PotashCorp-Aurora has contributed much of the sediment that will used in the National Fossil Day National Mall event in Washington D.C.
  • Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Last updated: September 9, 2013