Dinosaur digs aren’t just for students or professionals. In fact, there are actually hands-on programs around the country where families can set out to hunt for ancient fossils.
U-Dig Fossils is a private quarry in Utah that’s a great place for beginners. No special tools are required. You use a standard hammer to chip the limestone shale and search for fossils.
For a real educational experience, look for a program that’s led by a pro. Two Medicine Dinosaur Center in Montana has everything from three-hour fossil-recognition courses to expert-led field collecting to fully immersive 10-day programs.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis runs family digs at the Ruth Mason Quarry in Faith, South Dakota, through their Dinosphere program. Fossils found on the surface can typically be brought home, but in some cases, what you find might might actually end up in the museum’s collection.
And if you prefer not to get your hands dirty but still want the educational experience, just follow the Montana Dinosaur trail. It connects 15 paleontology displays, museums and field digs across the state.
For more information on family activities, visit our Family/Kids Travel section.
Don’t miss more tips in our Travel Tips section.