Oct. 15-18: Fossil Week

Discover why fossils rock!

NEW: Check out our Cincinnati Under the Sea online exhibit!

Click on a date to see the schedule for that day:

Wednesday, Oct. 15  |  Thursday, Oct. 16  |  Saturday, Oct. 18

National Fossil Day
Wednesday, Oct. 15

To kick off Museum Center's celebration of fossils, stop by on National Fossil Day to watch museum staff and paleontologists clean our T-Rex skull and Allosaurus skeleton. Get a rare look behind the glass as our experts work to preserve and maintain these extraordinary fossils.

Insights Lecture
Wednesday, Oct. 15

Visit us on National Fossil Day for a free, fossil-themed Insights Lecture featuring Patricia H. Kelley, Paleontological Distinguished Lecturer and professor of Geology at the University of North Carolina. Learn more

Cocktails with Curators
Thursday, Oct. 16

SOLD OUT! Explore our free exhibit Cincinnati Under the Sea in our Ruthven Gallery. Then have a cocktail in the Duke Energy Children's Museum lobby with Brenda Hunda, our curator of invertebrate paleontology, as you discuss how Ordovician fossils contribute to our understanding of Cincinnati's natural history and Earth's evolution.

Fossil Fest
Saturday, Oct. 18

Every piece of land that we stand on has a rich and storied past. Cincinnati once lay beneath a vast ocean teeming with animals whose remains now provide us with the finest fossils found anywhere on Earth! This region has also been traversed by dinosaurs, was at the terminus of several great glaciers and home to mastodons, mammoths, giant bison and so much more. Discover these ancient worlds and take a glimpse into “deep time” as we travel through the geologic record, discovering what treasures lay beneath our feet, in our road cuts and streambeds, in celebration of our region’s world-famous natural heritage!

10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Cincinnati Fossil Fest Information Table


Dry Dredgers Information Table


Fossil Scavenger Hunt
Rock the museum and complete the scavenger hunt to earn points in Nature’s Trading Post. Museum of Natural History & Science


Ask the Geology and Paleontology Experts
Discover the best detailed and prized fossil collections throughout the museum when you meet and talk with local geology and paleontology experts to learn fascinating fossil information and help identify fossils found in our area. Museum of Natural History & Science


Who Wants to be a Paleontologist?
Young paleontologists will learn fun facts, examine fossils from the Ordovician Sea and match pictures of fossils with the real thing. Museum of Natural History & Science


Nature’s Trading Post Special!
Bring your favorite fossil to share with Nature’s Trading Post staff and receive an additional 300 points for your fossil information and trade. Museum of Natural History & Science


Fossils for Educators
Talk with Ohio University Department of Geological Sciences students about “Oceans of Ohio” curriculum and other fossil resources available for the classroom. Nature’s Trading Post porch, Museum of Natural History & Science


Identify Sheridan Pit Materials
Help our collections department sort through Sheridan Pit materials to identify microfossils such as voles, fish, and bird bits using laboratory microscopes in the LITE Lab. Chart identified microfossils on the smart board to tell the story of local fauna and the environment. Identified microfossils remain the property of Geier Collections & Research Center.
Museum of Natural History & Science


Spin the Wheel Fossil Game
Spin the wheel and see what fossil animal you land on. Every player wins a prize! Earth Stories, Museum of Natural History & Science


Fossil Treasures of Cincinnati Museum Center
Talk with Dr. David L. Meyer and Dr. Carlton E. Brett, University of Cincinnati, Geology Department, to see some of Museum Center’s best fossil slab collections. Earth Works, Museum of Natural History & Science


Fossils, Fossils Everywhere!
Immerse yourself in fossil games, fossil identification and fossil education. North Gallery, Museum of Natural History & Science


Digging for Dinosaurs!
You are the paleontologist discovering fossils, measuring dinosaur foot prints, trading dino cards and creating sound with wind tubes. North Gallery, Museum of Natural History & Science


Fossils at Your Feet
Junior paleontologists can explore dinosaur information using time lines, flip books, a diorama of Ordovician life and fossil specimens from Museum collections. North Gallery, Museum of Natural History & Science


Fossils, Rocks and Pets!
After examining fossils from Kentucky, create your own pet rock to take fossil hunting. North Gallery, Museum of Natural History & Science


Coloring Mural of Cincinnati Under the Sea
Add your artistic flair to the 4’ x 6’ rendering of Cincinnati Under the Sea, a painting by Ohio native John Agnew. The Cave, Museum of Natural History & Science


Paleontology Lab    
Ask our Paleo Lab Volunteers questions as they examine dinosaur fossils found on a Museum Center dig adventure. Paleo Lab, Museum of Natural History & Science


Back to the Ice Age
Travel back 19,000 years ago to learn more about the amazing giants of Big Bone Lick State Historic Site. Upper Ice Age Trail, Museum of Natural History & Science


Fossils of the Small Kind
Look through microscopes to explore the small world of fossils from Salem Limestone Microfossils. Glacial Geology Hall, Museum of Natural History & Science


Let’s Study Paleontology
Explore more fossils, rocks and maps and experience an introduction to the undergraduate dinosaur experience offered at Marietta College. Extinction Hall, Museum of Natural History & Science


Fossil Discoveries!
Discover Cincinnatian fossils from the Oxford, Ohio area and be the first to see fossil collections appearing in Miami University’s new geology museum in 2016. Extinction Hall, Museum of Natural History & Science    

10:30-11:15 a.m.

The Classic Cincinnatian: From Abundantly Common to Fascinating Rarities
Hear Jack Kallmeyer, President of the Dry Dredgers, discuss life at the bottom of ocean that once covered Cincinnati. Discover which animals you can expect to collect and which ones are rare to find. LITE Lab, Museum of Natural History & Science

11 a.m. & 1 p.m.

Guided tour of Cincinnati Under the Sea Exhibit
Want to know more about our local rocks and fossils, or have a question that only our paleontologist can answer? Talk with Dr. Brenda Hunda, Cincinnati Museum Center’s Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology and lead Curator for the Cincinnati Under the Sea exhibit. Ruthven Gallery

2-2:45 p.m.

Teeth, Jaws, and Claws
Hear Dr. Dale Gnidovec, Curator of the Orton Geological Museum, present on the carnivorous dinosaurs and why birds are dinosaurs. LITE Lab, Museum of Natural History & Science

3 p.m.

Young at Art: Paleo Painting
We’ll uncover dinosaur bones in an artistic way. Join us as we excavate with watercolors and paint brushes to reveal a prehistoric work of art! Duke Energy Children's Museum

4 p.m.

Dino Dance Party
Open the door, get on the floor, everybody walk the dinosaur! Join us as we boogie down to some dino songs! Duke Energy Children's Museum



Oceans of Ohio Teacher Workshop

Oct. 18, 2014
12:15-1:15 p.m.

Presented by Dr. Alycia Stigall, Associate Professor at Ohio University

Teachers will examine and identify local Cincinnatian fossils from fossil sets, utilize these fossil organisms to reconstruct the ocean environment of Cincinnati 450 million years ago and explore how the Cincinnatian ocean of the past differs from ocean environments today. This hands-on workshop will take place in the Museum of Natural History & Science STEM Discovery Lab. There is no charge for this workshop and space is limited. To register, contact Regina Hall, Director of the Museum of Natural History & Science, at RHall@cincymuseum.org.


Fossil Field Trips

On Sunday, Oct. 19, join paleontologists at some of the best fossil sites in the Cincinnati region and collect your own fossils. Professional and amateur paleontologists will share tips on collecting and identifying fossils, and provide a guided tour of the scientific and historical relevance of these significant fossil localities. For site locations, directions and times, pick up a map at the Fossil Fest Information Booth in the Rotunda.


Thank you to the following organizations for supporting National Fossil Day 2014 at Cincinnati Museum Center:

Cincinnati Museum Center, Duke Energy Children’s Museum
Cincinnati Museum Center, Museum of Natural History & Science
Cincinnati Museum Center, Geier Collections & Research Center
Cincinnati Museum Center, Paleontology Laboratory
Cincinnati Museum Center, Programs on Wheels
Dry Dredgers
Behringer-Crawford Museum
Cincinnati Mineral Society
Friends of Big Bone Lick State Historic Site
Indiana State Museum & Historic Sites
Miami University, Karl E. Limper Geology Museum
Kentucky Paleontological Society
Marietta College Geology Program
Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Geological Survey
Ohio University, Department of Geological Sciences
Orton Geological Museum
University of Cincinnati, Department of Geology
University of Kentucky, Geology Club