Dig Up Dinosaurs at These Family-Friendly Paleontology Sites
Looking for a fun, educational summer activity the whole family can get in on? How about digging up actual dinosaur bones and other fossils! Here are a few of the best dig sites across the country that welcome newcomers who want to learn about paleontology.
You don’t need to go on an official dig with real dino pros to find fossils out in the world, but it’s better if you do. You’re able to learn more about what you’re digging up, and you do so in an ethical fashion so researchers can actually use what you find. Best of all, these types of expeditions are often fairly affordable, and they can be enjoyed kids and adults alike.
Tara Lepore, a field paleontologist and science educator, offers a few vertebrate paleontology dig recommendations over at Outbound Adventurer:
Museum of Western Colorado: Grand Junction, Colorado. For ages 5 and up (must be accompanied by an adult if 16 or younger), $55 to $175 per person.
The Wyoming Dinosaur Center: Thermopolis, Wyoming. Intended for ages 8 through 12 with parental supervision (interested adults may tag along as well), $20 or less per person.
Judith River Dinosaur Institute: Billings, Montana. For ages 12 and older, $1,695 for a one week dig.
Tate Geological Museum at Casper College: Casper, Wyoming. For ages 16 and older (16 and 17-year-olds must be accompanied by an adult), $800 for five days of field work and lodging.
The Mammoth Site: Hot Springs, South Dakota. For ages 4 and up (adult accompaniment required), $40 per person. Adult programs available through Earthwatch Institute.
Fossil Butte National Monument: Kemmerer, Wyoming. For all ages, free admission.
Dinosaur State Park: Rocky Hill, Connecticut. For all ages, $6 per person.
This isn’t all that’s out there, though—not even close! If you’ve got some money, time, and body that’s in decent shape, you can volunteer to participate in almost any paleontological dig. Do some research on your local colleges with paleontology programs, or contact your local natural history museum to see what they have planned. You can learn more about the digs listed above at the link below.
The Dig On Paleontology Digs In the United States | Outbound Adventurer