Family Picks

Family Picks: Dinosaur lovers get ready for Fossil Fair

CorrespondentNovember 14, 2013 

Dr. Lindsay Zanno, left, in her lab showing off a hadrosaur (duckbill dinosaur) skull at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences.


If you have a child who loves dinosaurs, this is your lucky weekend. Saturday is Fossil Fair at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh.

Kids can get up close and personal with scientists who dig up dinosaur skeletons, create dinosaur crafts and dig for their own fossils. There will be dozens of special exhibits and presentations.

Events are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and everything is free.

About a dozen scientists from across North Carolina and around the world will be there to talk about their finds, ranging from new species of dinosaurs to primitive parrots, penguins and primates.

Dr. Lindsay Zanno, director of the museum’s Paleontology and Geology Research Laboratory, will display finds from her “Dinosaur Death Pit,” a rare dinosaur burial ground in Utah where Zanno has discovered many fossils from the dinosaur age.

Also during the day, you can:

• Dig for fossils in a load of sediment from Aurora.

• Bring in your own fossils for identification.

• See living animals that date back to ancient times, such as a ball python, a uromastyx lizard and an alligator.

• Learn about fossil plants, sharks and shells with N.C. State scientists.

• Watch a demonstration of how scientists make molds and casts of dinosaur bones.

• Watch an artist create a painting of an Estemmenosuchus dinosaur.

For more information about Fossil Fair, go to

National Family Volunteer Day

For those who want to plan ahead a bit, National Family Volunteer Day is next Saturday, Nov. 23. If your family would like to participate in a kid-friendly service project organized by the local nonprofit Activate Good, you need to sign up now. You must register online at

The group has organized three projects – one each in Raleigh, Cary and Durham – that can give young children a taste of community volunteer work.

• In Raleigh, 25 volunteers are needed to sort and bag 400 pounds of rice and beans that will be donated to families served by Urban Ministries of Wake County. They also ask that families bring nonperishable food items to donate to a food drive.

The work will be 10 a.m. to noon at John Chavis Memorial Center.

• In Cary, kids ages 2-5 can help water wildflowers at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve. Kids will be provided with watering cans and shown how to water plants in native wildflower gardens. They’ll also get some bug juice for their efforts.

There are 20 slots available, and the event goes from 1 to 2 p.m.

• In Durham, children ages 5-12 can help out at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern N.C. They will receive a tour of the warehouse and help sort donated food into family-sized portions.

There are 15 slots available, and the work will be 10 a.m. to noon.

Remember to register if you want to be a part of this day.

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