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National Fossil Day 2019: Events Updated!

Last Update: September 27, 2019

PLOS Paleontology Community is happy to highlight upcoming events associated with National Fossil Day (October 16, 2019). Many of these events are hosted by U.S. museums, institutions, and schools in order to highlight and celebrate fossils and fossil resources in the United States.

Below is a list of several of the events that we know about so far, and will continue to announce events list as we hear about them. The events are arranged by location, and not all of these events are happening on October 16, so be sure to check the date and institution’s individual websites for hours, admission, and location. Info for the events below will be updated as necessary. Find a local event near you and celebrate the United States’ fossil heritage with fun activities and volunteer opportunities!

In recognition of our 10 year anniversary, PS International and the National Fossil Day partnership would like to invite you to participate in a short online survey to share your experiences regarding National Fossil Day.  We would like to hear about how you have celebrated National Fossil Day in these amazing 10 years and seek your input on how we can expand our outreach in the future. If you are celebrating National Fossil Day for the first time, we would like to know how you plan to participate or what you think you might experience.


Your feedback will help the National Fossil Day partnership to develop new programming and expand our educational opportunities for communities to celebrate our national fossil heritage and public science outreach. Here is the link to the survey:   www.surveymonkey.com/r/nfd2019

Thank you for your participation and we look forward to hearing from you!



  • Alabama Museum of Natural History
    • Join us in a celebration of all things fossil during this National Parks Service established day of fossil appreciation and stewardship. Free and fun for all ages.
    • Wednesday, October 16th 2019
    • 5:00 pm-7:00 pm
    • Smith Hall Grand Gallery, Alabama Museum of Natural History, 427 6th Avenue, Tuscaloosa, AL 35478
    • https://almnh.museums.ua.edu
  • University of West Alabama, Black Belt Museum
    • Fossils of the Black Belt 20 – A Hands-On Field Workshop
    • Sponsoring Organizations: Geological Survey of Alabama, University of West Alabama, Black Belt Museum, Discovering Alabama, Birmingham Paleontological Society, Alabama Geological Society
    • A field workshop in paleontology for K-12 teachers and other educators.
    • Date(s) of Event: October 15, 2019
    • Time: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
    • Location: Harrell Station, a paleontological research site near Selma Alabama.
    • Website: https://www.gsa.state.al.us/


  • Grand Canyon National Park
    • Official National Fossil Day Celebration hosted by the National Park Service and NFD partners (Paleontological Society, American Geoscience Institute, and others)
    • Date: September 28th.
    • Time: 10 am – 3 pm
    • Cost: Free fee day to the public, so no entrance fee to Grand Canyon National Park
    • This NFD event will not only highlight the paleontological research history and the fossil resources of the Grand Canyon, but will also be part of the 100-year celebration of the establishment of the Grand Canyon National Park.
    • Saturday, September 28th
      • 9:00 – 10:00 am
        • Fossil WalkBright Angel TrailheadLearn about Grand Canyon’s ancient life through its fossil history. This easy walk along the Rim Trail explores the marine fossils of an ancient Permian sea.
      • 10:00 am – 3:00 pm All Day Events
        • Grand Canyon Visitor Center and Yavapai Geology Museum
        • Meet with partner organizations such as American Geosciences Institute, Museum of Northern Arizona, Southwestern Paleontological Society, and more!
      • 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Fun with Fossils!
        • Yavapai Geology Museum 
        • Discover why fossils are important. Fun fossil games and activities for kids of all ages! Meet some of Grand Canyon’s scientists and ask your questions!
      • 10:00 – 11 :00 am Ask A Scientist!
        • Yavapai Geology Museum
        • How do fossils form? What is a trace fossil? Meet some of the Grand Canyon’s scientists and ask your questions! (Live event)
      • 1:00 – 2:00 pm Welcome Ceremony
        • Mather Point Amphitheater
        • Join Park Rangers for a welcome ceremony, event proclamation, and remarks by Grand Canyon Superintendent and visiting paleontologists.
      • 4:30 – 5:30 pm Facebook Live!
        • Can’t be at Grand Canyon today? No worries! You can join us live for your personal tour of the Fossil Beds via Facebook Live!
      • 7:30 – 8:30 pm Paleontology Evening Program
        • McKee Amphitheater
        • Join NPS Paleontology Program Coordinator, Vincent Santucci, for a special evening program about the rich paleontology resources found at Grand Canyon.


  • Amazeum
    • Fossil Day Scott Family Amazeum Dig
    • Amazeum and the University of Arkansas Museum
    • Dig in for a day of fossil fun during National Fossil Day at the Scott Family Amazeum. Become a paleontologist as you excavate, create, and get a closer look at trace fossils and replica dinosaur bones with interactive and hands-on activities. Don’t forget to stop by our Community Spotlight with the University of Arkansas Museum from 5pm–7pm to further explore with students who love fossils as much as you do!
    • Wednesday, October 16, 2019 10am–7pm
    • The Scott Family Amazeum, 1009 Museum Way, Bentonville, Arkansas 72712
    • https://www.amazeum.org/


  • San Diego Museum of Natural History
    • Fossil Day Celebration
    • Join The Nat’s paleontologists for a celebration of all things prehistoric. National Fossil Day is Wednesday, October 17, but we’re celebrating one week early with some show-and-tell and mini-tours. Touch fossils from our ancient past and meet the creatures that thrived here 100 million years ago, when our region was underwater. At 11:30, 12:30, or 1:30, jump on a 30-minute, behind-the-scenes tour of the Paleontology Lab, where museum scientists and volunteers prepare fossils for study. The paleontology staff will introduce you to the tools they use to uncover prehistoric life. Or join a docent tour of Fossil Mysteries, a walk through time in San Diego based on the fossil evidence.
    • October 16th, 2019
    • 11 AM- 2 PM
    • San Diego Museum of Natural History; 1788 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
    • https://www.sdnhm.org/
  • Western Science Center
    • The Science of Fossils
    • Celebrate National Fossil Day at the Western Science Center! Activities to announced soon. Activities for Science Saturdays are free! There is an additional fee to enter the museum. Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult.
    • Saturday, October 5th, 2019
    • 10:30 am- 1: 00 pm
    • Western Science Center, 2345 Searl Parkway, Building 2, Hemet, California 92543
    • https://www.westernsciencecenter.org/


  • The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature
    • National Fossil Day Celebration
    • Join us to celebrate National Fossil Day at the Bishop and practice your paleontology skills.  Learn about Florida’s fossil history and more with activities for all ages!
    • Date(s) of Event: Saturday, October 19th, 2019
    • Time: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
    • Location: The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, 201 10th Street West, Bradenton, FL 34206
    • Website: www.bishopscience.org


  • Cosley Zoo
    • Celebrate National Fossil Day
    • Lauer Foundation for Paleontology, Science and Education  and the Cosley Zoo
    • Join The Lauer Foundation and Cosley Zoo on Saturday October 19, 2019 to Celebrate National Fossil Day.
    • See first hand some of Illinois’ famous Mazon Creek fossils, including the state fossil the Tully Monster.  Also see Megalodon shark teeth and dinosaur teeth and bones. Learn about fossils and geology. Have a chance to touch real fossils and take home a free fossil.  All free with admission to Cosley Zoo. We will be open from 10-4.
    • Date(s) of Event: Saturday October 19, 2019
    • Time: 10:00 Am to 4:00 PM
    • Location:  Cosley Zoo   1356 N. Gary Ave  Wheaton, IL
    • Website:  Lauerfoundationpse.org, Cosleyzoo.org


  • Holiday Park
    • Fossil Day at Holiday Park
    • Indy Parks and Recreation
    • It’s national fossil day! Explore Indiana fossils with Indiana State Museum presenters. Discover what fossils are and how they are made. Enjoy crafts and a fossil display in the nature center lobby. Take home your very own fossil and resources for exploring at home!
    • Sunday, Oct. 13
    • 1-5 pm: Fossil crafts & display in lobby
    • 2-3 pm: Indiana State Museum Fossil Presentation
    • Free! No registration required.
    • Holiday Park, 6363 Spring Mill Rd, Indianapolis, Indiana 46260
    • hollidaypark.org


  • El Quartelejo Museum 
    • National Fossil Day
    • El Quartelejo Museum in Scott City, Kansas will be celebrating National Fossil Day with a week of inspiring activities for all ages.  Homeschoolers can join Stephanie Fisher, Program Director, on Wednesday, October 16th at 1:30 PM to explore and learn about local fossil finds.  The museum will be hosting at Pop Up Museum several times throughout the school week for local students and teachers to engage with Fossils of Kansas.  They will also have special hands on activities available along with amateur fossil enthusiast each afternoon. Saturday, October 19th is the end of the week celebration open to all ages for learning about the local fossil history with many of the activities from the week incorporated into a family friendly event.  Come explore with us!
    • 902 W. 5th, Scott City, Kansas 67871
    • www.elquartelejomuseum.org 


  • Chesapeake Children’s Museum
    • Dinosaur Day
    • Dinosaur facts and fun for all ages.  Go on a bone hunt.  Measure out the size of ancient creatures. Chip away to find fossilized rocks. Make your own 15-minute fossil!  $5 per person, ages 1 and up, includes museum admission.
    • Date: Sunday, October 13
      • Time: 2-4 pm
    • Date: Monday, October 17
      • Time: 10:30 am
    • Location: 25 Silopanna Road, Annapolis MD  21403
    • Website: www.theccm.org


  • Harvard Museum of Natural History
    • National Fossil Day
    • Celebrate National Fossil Day with ancient trilobites, sea scorpions, saber-toothed cats, giant ground sloths, and more. Meet Harvard paleontologists and learn about the amazing prehistoric animals on exhibit. Bring your curiosity and questions to this event for all ages!
    • Wednesday, October 16th, 2019
    • All day!
    • Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford Street
    • https://hmnh.harvard.edu/


  • Michigan State University Museum
    • The MSU Museum celebrates National Fossil Day on Sunday, October 6, 2019, 1-4 p.m.
    • Family Fossil Fun – FREE Public Event
      • Michigan fossil dig & sift
      • Junior Paleontologist hunt
      • Fossil molds to make and take
      • Behind-the-Scenes Tours
      • Guided tours of the Hall of Evolution
      • “Ask the Expert”: a paleontologist will be on hand to answer your fossil questions and to identify specimens
      • Fossil Poetry Station
      • And much more!
    • Join us for MSUFCU Dinosaur Dash from 10:00 a.m. – noon before the National Fossil Day celebration!
      • The fast, flat 5K road race is a fall-time favorite!
      • The competitive 5K run/walk begins and ends near the MSU Museum. Dashers compete in several different divisions and dinosaur trophies are awarded to overall male and female winners in both the running and walking categories.
    • https://www.museum.msu.edu/


  • Las Vegas Natural History Museum
    • National Fossil Day Art Contest Awards and Display for Clark County Students
    • Protectors of Tule Springs
    • Event Description: Our National Fossil Day Art Contest is in its 5th year. The theme this year is Flora, Fauna, and Fossils of Southern Nevada. The Clark County School District Students are asked to submit artwork in 5 different categories; K-2, 3-5th, Middle School, High School and Digital Art. Our sponsors donate prize money for the winning teachers and students and free admission to the Las Vegas Natural History Museum (where the awards are presented). All students participating have their artwork displayed at the Museum until November 1st. Partners from the Las Vegas Science Festival, the National Park Service, Clark County School District, and NV Energy will be on hand to pass out the prizes.
    • Date(s) of Event:  Saturday October 12th
    • Time: 10-1
    • Location: Las Vegas Natural History Museum 900 N. Las Vegas Blvd. Las Vegas NV.
    • Website: www.protectorsoftulesprings.org

New Jersey

  • Big Brook Preserve
    • This is an interactive fossil hunt for all ages. We will wade the shallow waters of Big Brook and sift through the substrate while looking for fossils that include shark teeth! The shark teeth are quite plentiful. We will learn fossil identification. Please wear water shoes or old sneakers to wade in. Also bring a small garden shovel and colander. There are also plans online to make your own fossil sifters. The fee is $10 per child. No charge for adults. 20 people max allowed on this trip including chaperones per my permit.Please send payment as a friend though paypal to jjpbroad@comcast,net Please include your email and phone number in case of cancellations.
    • https://www.crazydiymom.com/sifter.html
    • Wednesday, October 16th, 2019
    • 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
    • Big Brook Preserve, Hillsdale Rd, Colts Neck, New Jersey 07722
  • Rutgers Geology Museum
    • Dinosaurs and Fossils Late Night at the Museum
    • Rutgers Geology Museum
    • Take a step back in time to discover the different types of dinosaurs and other creatures that inhabited Earth during the Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic Eras! Demonstrations, arts and crafts and educational activities will be set up around the museum and people are welcome to come and go as they please. The event is free and open to visitors of all ages.
    • Wednesday, October 2, 2019
    • 4:00 to 8:00 pm
    • Rutgers Geology Museum, 85 Somerset St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
    • https://geologymuseum.rutgers.edu/museum-events/late-nights

New Mexico

  • Las Cruces Museum of Nature and Science
    • National Fossil Day
      Las Cruces Museum of Nature and Science, Bureau of Land Management, New Mexico State University
    • Celebrate National Fossil Day with the Museum of Nature & Science, Bureau of Land Management, and New Mexico State University. Unearth fossil facts with hands-on activities and view real fossils from Las Cruces and beyond. 
    • Saturday, October 12, 2019
    • 9am – 12pm 
    • Las Cruces Museum of Nature & Science411 N. Main StreetLas Cruces, New Mexico 88001
    • (575) 522-3120
    • www.museums.las-cruces.org 
  • Mesalands Community College Dinosaur Museum
    • National Fossil Day Festival
    • Free Admission and Exhibit Hall tours to the public as well as Tent Stores in the parking lot with Dinosaur Books, Minerals, Tee Shirts and Toys for early Christmas shopping. Food Trucks and Snow Cones available from 11:00am to 2:00pm. Fossil prep demonstrations ongoing throughout the day. October 19, 2019 11am to 4pm
    • Mesalands Community College’s Dinosaur Museum 222 E. Laughlin Ave., Tucumcari, NM 88401
    •  www.mesalands.edu/community/dinosaur-museum
  • New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science
    • October 6th, 9am-4pm
    • http://www.nmnaturalhistory.org/
    • The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science1801 Mountain Road NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87104
      • Hands-on activities exploring fossils and prehistoric life
      • Enjoy Smithsonian developed activities with fossils to understand how “we know about the past.”
      • Meet a paleontologist!
      • Virtual reality experience!

North Carolina

  • Aurora Fossil Museum
    • National Fossil Day Celebration!
    • Join us for a variety of free activities focusing on fossils!
    • Date(s) of Event: Saturday, October 19, 2019
    • Time: 10 am to 4 pm
    • Location: Aurora Fossil Museum 400 Main Street Aurora, NC 27806
    • Website: aurorafossilmuseum.org

North Dakota

  • Dakota Science Center & Grand Forks Public Library
    • Geosciences Day
    • Experience hands-on STEM activities for families!
    • Date(s) of Event: not set yet but a Sunday in Oct
    • Time:  2-3 pm
    • Location:  Grand Forks Public Library; 2110 Library Cir, Grand Forks, ND 58201
    • Website: www.dakota-science.org & http://gflibrary.com/


  • Cincinnati Museum Center
    • Fossil Fest: In Celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Museum of Natural History and Science
    • Did you know Cincinnati Museum of Natural History and Science is celebrating a birthday this year? It’s a big one too! 2019 will mark the 200th anniversary of the museum. You know what else is big? And small? Fossils! So what better way to celebrate such a monumental birthday! Join CMC on Saturday October 19th for a festive day of fossils.
    • Saturday October 19th, 2019
    • 10am to 4pm
    • Cincinnati Museum Center (1301 Western Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45203)
    • https://www.cincymuseum.org/


  • University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History
    • What better way to celebrate National Fossil Day than by digging into Oregon’s amazing fossil record? Join us for a fossil-focused Walk & Talk through our Explore Oregon exhibit. Talks begin at noon, 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00 p.m. and are included with regular admission.
    • Wednesday, October 16th, 2019
    • 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
    • https://mnch.uoregon.edu/


  • The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
    • National Fossil Day Celebration
    • This event will have fossil-themed shows, carts, and staff interactives in the Dinosaur Hall.
    • Wednesday, October 6th, 2019
    • 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
    • The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19103
    • contact information: Mary Bailey, mvb45@drexel.edu
    • website address: ansp.org


  • Alex’s Rock Shop
    • National Fossil Day
    • The Shops at Main & McGrew and Alex’s Rock Shop
    • Our 3rd Annual National Fossil Day Celebration will be taking place on Saturday, October 12th, 2019. This year will be bigger and better than ever! This is a celebration of education and an opportunity to discover and learn all about fossils, rocks, and more.
    • Be sure to check back for more information and for the full schedule of events for the day.
    • Saturday, October 12th, 2019 1:00 pm- 6:00 pm
    • Alex’s Rock Shop, 100 S Main St, Shelbyville, Tennessee 37160
    • http://www.alexsrockshop.com/
  • The University of Tennessee McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture
    • Archaeologist, paleontologist, and geologist from the University of Tennessee will present on display about their projects across the world and talk with visitors about their work. Visitors can also bring artifacts, rocks, and fossils for identification. The event will also offer activities for children, including games and take home crafts. This program is free and open to the public.
    • October 6th, 2019
    • 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm
    • 1327 Circle Park Drive, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-3200
    • https://mcclungmuseum.utk.edu/


  • Texas Memorial Museum
    • Join Texas Memorial Museum in this nationwide event promoting awareness of fossils and the science of paleontology.
    • Free activities with paid admission:
      • Fossil Identifications 9 am to 12 pm & 1:30 pm to 4:45 pm
      • Meet a paleontologist to learn about your personal fossil finds and the fabulous fossil record of Texas. (1st floor, Paleo Lab)
    • Other activities TBA
    • If you need any accommodation to participate in the event, please contact TMM Education at least five days before the event.
    • Wednesday October 16th, 2019
    • 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
    • Texas Memorial Museum, 2400 Trinity Street, Austin, Texas 78712-1621
    • https://tmm.utexas.edu
  • Dallas Paleontological Society
    • https://www.dallaspaleo.org/
    • Multiple events and localities:
      • October 12th, 2019
        • Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
        • National Fossil Day Celebration
        • Come explore the exciting world of fossils with members of the Dallas Paleontological Society. Learn about ancient Texas, see casts of Ice Age animals, and become a member of the “PIT” Crew (Paleontologists in Training). You can even bring in your own fossils and have them identified. Get a fossil to take home (while supplies last). This event is included in general admission and free for Heard Museum members.
        • Time: 1:30-4 p.m.
        • Address:Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary, 1 Nature Pl, McKinney, TX 75069
        • https://www.heardmuseum.org/
      • October 19th, 2019
        • Ladonia Fossil Park
        • National Fossil Day Celebration & Ladonia TX Science Week
        • Ladonia Fossil Park is located two miles north of Ladonia on Highway 34. Ladonia is located about 75 miles northeast of Dallas, midway between Greenville and Paris and is accessible by highway 34 and highway 50. For more information on the event or directions, call 903-456-2687
        • http://www.cocladonia.org/ladonia-fossil-park.html
        • Ladonia Fossil Park
        • Event Description: Fannindel High School, Ladonia, Texas: NSR Fossil Show, subject matter expert speakers to include Nathan Van Vranken on “Cretaceous Coastline of Texas”. Exploration of North Sulphur River Fossil beds.
        • Time: Registration 8:00-10am Fossil Show: 8:30 am – 12 noon 10 am: Vertebrate Paleontologist Nathan Van Vranken, Dallas & Tarrant County Community Colleges; Mick Tune, member of Dallas Paleontological Society; P K Kirkpatrick and Doug Franklin, members of Bois d’ Arc Chapter of Texas Master Naturalist. 12 noon: arrive at Ladonia Fossil Park for NSR Exploration.
  • Ladonia Fossil Park
    • National Fossil Day Celebration & Ladonia TX Science Week 
      Ladonia Fossil Park is located two miles north of Ladonia on Highway 34. Ladonia is located about 75 miles northeast of Dallas, midway between Greenville and Paris and is accessible by highway 34 and highway 50. For more information on the event or directions, call 903-456-2687
    • http://www.cocladonia.org/ladonia-fossil-park.html
    • National Fossil Day at North Sulphur River
    • Event Description: Fannindel High School, Ladonia, Texas: NSR Fossil Show, subject matter expert speakers to include Nathan Van Vranken on “Cretaceous Coastline of Texas”. Exploration of North Sulphur River Fossil beds.
    • Date of Event: Saturday, October 19, 2019
    • Time: Registration 8:00-10am Fossil Show: 8:30 am – 12 noon 10 am: Vertebrate Paleontologist Nathan Van Vranken, Dallas & Tarrant County Community Colleges; Mick Tune, member of Dallas Paleontological Society; P K Kirkpatrick and Doug Franklin, members of Bois d’ Arc Chapter of Texas Master Naturalist. 12 noon: arrive at Ladonia Fossil Park for NSR Exploration.
    • For More Information Call 903-456-2687 Website:
    • http://www.cocladonia.org/ladonia-fossil-park.html
  • Mineral Wells Fossil Park 
    • The Mineral Wells Chamber of Commerce has announced their Crazy Fossil Dig for this year.  It will be Saturday, October 19, at the Mineral Wells Fossil Park. No registration is required and it is open to the public.
    • The park address is 2375 Indian Creek Road, Mineral Wells, Texas.
    • Fossil Park is located northwest of Mineral Wells, Texas. From Mineral Wells, head west on Highway 180. Turn north on Indian Creek Road and drive approximately 2 miles to the Mineral Wells Fossil Park entrance.
    • https://www.mineralwellsfossilpark.com/news.html


  • Great Basin Museum
    • The Fossils of Millard County
    • Come join us to learn about the interesting Fossils of the West Central Utah region. During the day we will host school children and present learning activities. We will show and explain our collection of fossils and the associated natural history of our region. We will give directions to local invertebrate fossil collection areas in our west desert area.
    • October 16, 2019
    • 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
    • Great Basin Museum, 45 West Main Street, Delta, Utah
    • Website – www.greatbasinmuseum.com


  • Tate Geological Museum at Casper College
    • National Fossil Day Open House
    • Family oriented open house with tours, treats, games, crafts, and free fossil fish bits for the first 75 children.
    • October 12th, 2019
    • 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
    • Tate Geological Museum at Casper College, 125 College Dr, Casper, WY 82601
    • Website: https://www.caspercollege.edu/tate-geological-museum

Featured Image: Grand Canyon, where National Fossil Day nationwide event will be held. (Moyan Baker/Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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