Self-Guided Science

This fall, Penn Dixie offers self-guided science activities for students of all ages and their families. Parents, guide your child with questions to promote their exploration and deepen their understanding of the world around us.

September 16, 23, 30
October 7, 14

Self-Guided Science will take place on Wednesdays from September 16 through October 14. Drop in anytime during the program — no reservation needed. Select a different self-guided ‘Ed-dventure’ each week to learn about different aspects of our region. Penn Dixie staff and volunteers will be on site to answer questions and encourage parents to foster their child’s curiosity through guided inquiry.

Choose from the following Ed-ventures:

  • Flora & Fauna – On the Trails
  • Ocean Environments
  • Bugs: Past & Present
  • Penn Dixie Habitats
  • Animal Clues: Tracks & Scat

Tuition: $7 for one child; $10 for 2 or more children – parent/guardian included with student admission. FREE for Penn Dixie members. Pay on site with credit card or cash. Registration is not required.

Time: Programs are from 10 am to 2 pm and are open only to K-12 students and their parents/guardians. Guests arriving after 1 pm may not complete all activities.

Contact: Director of Education Dr. Holly Schreiber at holly@penndixie.org or 716-627-4560 for more information.

2020 Homeschool Classes

Learn about earth science with hands-on science programs at Penn Dixie! Our interactive classes are led by trained educators and designed for homeschool students. There are multiple options to choose from with each class consisting of multiple activities. All classes follow New York State science standards.


Space Day (October 6):

Join Penn Dixie educators to learn about all things space during World Space Week! During this 3-hour interactive lesson, students will learn about the Sun, Moon, the planets in our solar system, and much more. Students can register for this stand-alone class by itself or in conjunction with the 4-week series. Rain Date: October 8.

Registration is $25 per student for this class. Additional registrants from the same household are $20. Registration fee covers Space Day programming and associated materials and supplies.

Session times:

9 am – 12 pm (ages 5-7)

1 pm- 4 pm (ages 8 and up)

Children must be accompanied by an adult for the duration of the class. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only one adult per student is permitted. We cannot accommodate younger siblings at this time. Masks are required and social distancing will be maintained.

Please contact Dr. Holly Schreiber at holly@penndixie.org or 716-627-4560 to reserve a space. Payment is due at the time of registration.


Dinosaurs! (October 13):

October is International Dinosaur Month! In celebration of dinosaurs, Penn Dixie is offering a stand-alone 3-hour class on all things dino. Students will learn about dinosaurs and other animals that lived during the Mesozoic Era and why they’re not around anymore, using hands-on activities. Students can register for this class by itself or in conjunction with the 4-week series. Rain Date: October 15.

Registration is $25 per student for this class. Additional registrants from the same household are $20. Registration fee covers Dinosaurs programming and associated materials and supplies.

Session times:

9 am – 12 pm (ages 5-7)

1 pm – 4 pm (ages 8 and up)

Children must be accompanied by an adult for the duration of the class. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only one adult per student is permitted. We cannot accommodate younger siblings at this time. Masks are required and social distancing will be maintained.

Please contact Dr. Holly Schreiber at holly@penndixie.org or 716-627-4560 to reserve a space. Payment is due at the time of registration.


Refund policy:

In the event of light rain, the program will take place as scheduled. Guests are advised to wear boots and rain gear. If there is heavy rain or lightning, that week’s class will take place on the rain date. We will make this announcement via email if the weekly session is moved to the rain date. If both programs are canceled by Penn Dixie due to weather, all guests will receive a refund for that week’s class. Otherwise, our usual cancellation policy applies.

Penn Dixie Day

On Saturday October 3 we celebrate 25 years of Hamburg love with free admission for Hamburg residents! Join us for a complimentary tour of our 54-acre park that was made possible by support from the town that friendship built — Hamburg, NY.

  • Reservations required; tickets limited
  • Rain or shine, all ages welcome
  • Basic fossil collecting tools provided
  • Bring a bag, box, or bucket to store your fossils
  • Tours depart regularly
  • Final tour at 2:45 pm
  • Park is wheelchair accessible

Hamburg Natural History Society/Penn Dixie thanks our neighbors in Hamburg and Blasdell, The Hamburg Town Board — current and previous editions — and The Hamburg Town Supervisor’s office for over two decades of support. We also acknowledge The Hamburg Chamber of CommerceHighway Department, and The Town of Hamburg Department of Youth, Recreation, and Senior Services for their longstanding collaborations.


How to Book: Follow this link and select the Hamburg Resident ticket option for any tour time on October 3. Non-residents are welcome to join at our usual admission rates.

What to Bring: Proof of residency in Hamburg such as driver’s license, passport, or utility statement. Proof is required for one adult in each household group.

Prehistoric Policies: Children must be accompanied at all times. Stone-throwing and running are expressly prohibited. Please do not disturb the plant and animal life. Guests who do not follow our rules will be asked to leave. Outside food and beverage are welcome; no alcohol, please. No pets allowed. Official service animals are welcome. Penn Dixie is a no-smoking facility. Firearms, knives, and weapons are prohibited.

We thank the Town of Hamburg and Erie County for major support.

Hamburg seal        Erie-County-Seal

Devonian: The Age of Fish

Wednesday October 14, 7 pm EST

As part of Earth Science Week, join PaleoJoe Kchodl for a special virtual presentation as he describes some of the many fish that once swam the ancient Devonian Seas. PaleoJoe will talk about the implacable placoderms, the armor plated fish that were dominant in the Devonian. He will also show examples from his collection of armor plates, the ostederms that once covered the head and trunk of these unique creatures.

PaleoJoe goes fishing with a hammer and chisel.

Register Here and you will receive a Zoom link for the talk by 10/13. If you don’t see the email, please check your spam folder.

Got a question for PaleoJoe? Email it before 5 pm on 10/14 to phil@penndixie.org.

There is no charge for this program but Zoom registration is limited to 100 participants. The talk will also be streamed to our Facebook page and PaleoJoe’s Facebook page.

Full Moon Walk

Saturday September 5, 7 pm

As the sun falls and the moon takes over the sky, Marv Jacobs will lead us around the trails of Penn Dixie. Our special guide will highlight the many uses of local plants and also explain how nature and the night sky are represented in Native American culture.

This is a FREE event and open to the public. Registration is required and space is limited. Dress for the weather. Bring flashlights, water, and bug spray. The program begins at 7 pm and ends at 9 pm; we may not be able to accommodate late arrivals so please be punctual. Guests will be notified via email if the program is cancelled due to weather. Face coverings are optional so long as social distancing — 6 feet or more between groups — is followed at all times.

=> Register Here

Hamburg seal       No Background

Thanks to the generous support of the Town of Hamburg and Southtowns Regional Chamber of Commerce, there is no charge for our evening astronomy programs.