Fossil Hunting for Beginners

New to fossil hunting?

Learn the tricks of the trade from Director of Education & Paleontologist, Dr. Holly Schreiber and/or Director of Science, Catherine Konieczny, M.S. Tour the site and learn all the best spots to hunt for fossils. During this two hour tour we’ll teach you how to find, dig, and preserve all the fossil treasures you find. Bring your own tools or borrow from our limited supply.

No experience necessary. All ages welcome — this program will run rain or shine, dress for the weather.

Dates and times:
Saturdays throughout the season starting at 10 am and lasting until 12 pm.

  • May 15th, 10 am-12  pm
  • June 5th, 10 am-12 pm
  • June 19th, 10 am-12 pm
  • July 3rd, 10 am-12 pm
  • July 17th, 10 am-12 pm
  • August 7th, 10 am-12 pm
  • August 21st, 10 am-12 pm
  • September 4th, 10 am-12 pm
  • October 9th, 10 am-12 pm

Included with admission or FREE for Penn Dixie members.
Select “Fossil Hunting for Beginners” tour-time option when registering online, for no additional charge.

Member Appreciation

Penn Dixie members: Join us from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday April 24 to kick off the season! Our staff will be on-site to show you what we’ve been up during the offseason. Remember to bring your membership card and ID to show upon check in.

  • Unlimited fossil collecting for all members
  • 1 free (non-member) guest is allowed per cardholder as a thank you for your support
  • Free tool rentals while supplies last
  • Free take home container for your fossils
  • Individually wrapped snacks and light refreshments
  • Complimentary educational tours are available upon request
  • No reservations needed

RSVP Here

Additional non-member guests may pay our normal rate of admission upon arrival with credit card. Guests must be accompanied by a card holding member at all times.

If you would like to stay past 1 pm, please visit out Member Guide at https://penndixie.org/member-guide/

Opening Day Fossil Hunting

Saturday May 1, 2021, 9 am to 4:30 pm

This program has reached capacity and no additional tickets will be sold.

It’s a new season for Penn Dixie and there’s hope in the air! Join us for an Opening Day like no other as we celebrate Erie County’s Bicentennial with discounted fossil hunting for ALL Erie County residents.

For just $2 per person, you and your family will enjoy a short tour followed by unlimited fossil hunting at our 54-acre, outdoor science and nature park. You’ll bring home plenty of brachiopods with complimentary rental tools (bucket and trowel) as well as a biodegradable container that you can take with you.

The first tour departs at 9:15 am; subsequent tours are held every 15 minutes. The final tour is 2:45 pm and the park closes at 4:30 pm. Make reservations here. If you do not have a credit or debit card to complete your booking, please Contact Us. Penn Dixie members: there is no charge for admission — Contact Us for a code that you can use to register.

Reservations are required and walk-in guests will not be admitted. Due to capacity limits, we expect tickets to sell out in advance. Adult Erie County residents must present a valid form of ID or proof of residency on arrival. Non-residents are welcome at our usual rates. Mask wearing is required in some areas and while interacting with staff. All guests are expected to abide by our enhanced safety measures.

Penn Dixie Fossil Park & Nature Reserve is generously supported by Erie County and the Town of Hamburg.

This program has reached capacity and no additional tickets will be sold.

Paleo Pals

Join Ms. Catherine and your other friends, once a month, as we read an earth science story together. Will there be singing? Crafts? Show-and-tell? Yes, yes, yes, and more! Can’t wait to see you there. Storybook titles and authors, as well as weekly topics, can be found below if you wish to check them out from the library or order them yourself to follow along more closely at home. Sign Up Here!

Saturday, April 10th @ 10 am – Here We Go Digging for Dinosaur Bones by Susan Lendroth
A call back to our 1st month’s paleontological feature but this time with song — and hand motions! Join us as we learn and sing a little song to help us remember all of the important steps used in dino bone finding, collecting, and prepping. Wear your gear to collect dino bones – hats and vests encouraged!

Sign Up Here! We’ll contact you with a Zoom link prior to each program.

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.