Please join Burpee Museum as we celebrate our 26th annual PaleoFest event on March 2-3, 2024.

Over the last 25 years, PaleoFest has become the premier paleontology event that brings the general public together to mingle and listen to talks by world renowned paleontologists from across the globe!

Paleofest '24 Countdown!

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Coming March 1-3, 2024!

From dinosaurs to mammoths to fish to microfossils and neuro paleontology and everything in between, PaleoFest has something for all ages and all paleontology interests including daytime talks, family workshops, Paleo Passport stations, Art of the Earth classes and exploring the exhibit halls of the museum. Join us for a weekend where the center of the paleontology world is right here in Rockford, Illinois, home of Jane the juvenile T. rex and Homer the juvenile Triceratops! More information will be coming soon, so please visit often for speaker updates, classes, PaleoFest workshops and more!

Not Just for Professional Scientists

Students, interested community members, and aspiring scientists are encouraged to join the experts as they share stories, research, and experiences. It is an excellent opportunity to make connections and become inspired!

Not ready for the lectures? Families can still enjoy hands-on workshops, lectures for children, and activities for families throughout our museum…paleo science is presented in a fun, big way.

Family Fun

Bring your best dino roar and paleo costume, and jump into so many fun ways to experience the museum. Learn about prehistoric animals and explore the halls of Burpee!

Note: An adult must accompany children ages 4-12.

Preregistration:

Is Now LIVE! Scroll down to see a complete listing of opportunities, activities, and packages!

Additional parking will be available at the Goodwill located at 850 N Church St, Rockford, IL 61103

Doors open at 8 a.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. on opportunitiesSunday. Breakfast and lunch will be available for purchase.

FossilDay CTA
HOTEL AVAILABILITY
Need to reserve a hotel room?

Burpee Museum has partnered with Riverview Inn & Suites, to reserve hotel rooms for this special event! The room rate is $99 per night, and registration will close one month before PaleoFest. 

Location:

Riverview Inn & Suites, Ascend Hotel Collection
700 W. Riverside Blvd., Rockford, IL, 61103, US
+1 (815) 282-3033

SPEAKER SCHEDULE
Click a date to see schedules:
Friday, March 1st, 2024

March 3/1/2024- Members Only Event

  • 5:30 pm – Main Museum
    Doors Open, Appetizers & Drinks
  • 7:00 pm – Lecture with Josh Mathews
  • 8:00pm – Museum Closes
Saturday, March 2nd, 2024

3:00-3:30 pmSaturday 3/2/2024

8:00 am Doors Open Main Museum
9:15 am Opening Remarks Riverview Room  
9:30- 10 am Dr. Daniel Vidal, University of Chicago Riverview Room
10- 10:30 am Dr. Victoria McCoy, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
“Biomolecules in amber: a window into a unique mode of fossilization”
Riverview Room
10- 11 am AoE- Cryolophosaurus- How We Fill In the Blanks Mahlburg Auditorium  
10:30-11 am Lecture Break  
11:00-11:30 am Abdullah Gohar, PhD Student, Oklahoma State University
“Egyptian Eocene cetaceans revealing insights into whale evolution”
Riverview Room
11:30-12 pm  Dr. Julia Clarke
“A Dinosaur’s Roar”
Riverview Room
11:45 am-12:45 pm Age 3-6 Workshop “Small but Mighty: Microverts” CL 2  
11:45 am-12:45 pm Age 7-11 Workshop “Small but Mighty: Microverts” CL 3  
12:00-1 pm Lecture Lunch Mahlburg Auditorium  
1:00-1:30 pm Burpee Rocks Reading WtW  
1:15-2:15 pm Age 3-6 Workshop “Small but Mighty: Microverts” CL 2  
1:15-2:15 pm Age 7-11 Workshop “Small but Mighty: Microverts” CL 3  
1:30-2 pm Lecture 5  Riverview Room
2:00-2:30 pm Dr. Andy Heckert, Appalachia State University
“Tiny Triassic fossils that address big evolutionary topics: Microvertebrates from the Lower Triassic of South Africa”
Riverview Room
2:30-3:00 pm Lecture Break Main Museum  
2:30-3:30 pm AoE- Cryolophosaurus- How We Fill In the Blanks Mahlburg Auditorium  
3:00-3:30 pm Maria Vallejo-Pareja, PhD Candidate, University of Florida
“Frogs in time: new perspectives on the evolution of anurans in North America”
Riverview Room
4:00-4:30 pm Dr. Matthew Carranno, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Riverview Room
3:45-4:45 pm Family Lecture Mahlburg Auditorium
5:00 pm Museum Closes Main Museum

 

Saturday Evening, March 2nd, 2024 SOLD OUT

Saturday 3/2/2024 at Riverview Inn and Suites

5:00 pm Mixer Begins    
6:30 pm Dinner Served    
7:30 pm Dr. Nathan Smith, Natural History Museum of LA County will be the keynote speaker.
“Early Dinosaur Evolution: from the Paleo-Equator to the Pole”
   

 

Sunday, March 3rd, 2024

Sunday 3/3/2024

9:00 am Doors Open Main Museum  
9:45 am Opening Remarks Riverview Room  
10:00-10:30 am Dr. Anthony Fiorillo, New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science
“The Dinosaurian World of Aniakchak National Monument, southwestern Alaska: a fossil resource of global importance”
Riverview Room
10:00- 11:00 am AoE- Little Red Dinosaurs- Science and Art in Countershading Mahlburg Auditorium  
10:30-11 am Katherine Jordan, University of Nebraska
“Climate change effects on reptiles over time, science through stories, and why everyone should learn about fossils”
Riverview Room
11-11:30 am Lecture Break Main Museum  
11:30 am-12:00 pm Dr. Paige Wilson Deibel, University of Washington
“Plants that Outlived Dinosaurs: Impact of the Cretaceous-Paleogene Mass Extinction on Plant Communities”
Riverview Room
11:45 am-12:45 pm Ages 3-6 Workshop- Bones to Stones: The Science of Fossilization CL 2  
11:45 am-12:45 pm Age 7-11 Workshop- Bones to Stones: The Science of Fossilization CL 3  
12:00-12:30 pm Katie Tremaine, Montana State University Riverview Room
12:30-2:00 pm Lecture Lunch Mahlburg Auditorium  
1:15-2:15 pm Ages 3-6 Workshop- Bones to Stones: The Science of Fossilization CL 2  
1:15-2:15 pm Age 7-11 Workshop- Bones to Stones: The Science of Fossilization CL 3  
2:00-2:30 pm Dalton Meyer, PhD Candidate, Yale University
“The Not-So-Terrible Lizards: Using Jurassic Fossils to Explore the Origins and Evolutions of Modern Squamates”
Riverview Room
2:30-3:00 pm Kathleen Rust, PhD Candidate, University of Kansas
“Reading the Fossil Record: how fossils from China reveal the origin and evolutionary history of the last nonhuman primate in North America before the arrival of humans”
Riverview Room
2:30-3:30 pm AoE- Little Red Dinosaurs- Science and Art in Countershading Mahlburg Auditorium  
3:00-3:30 pm Lecture Break Main Museum  
3:30-4:00 pm Lecture 15 Riverview Room
3:45-4:45 pm Family Talk Mahlburg Auditorium
4:00-4:30 pm Dr. Thomas Holtz, University of Maryland
“From Tots to Titans: How Dinosaur Ontogeny Affects Ecosystem Structure and Diversity, and Why Dinosaurs Are Not Mammal-Analogues”
Riverview Room
5:00 pm Museum Closes Main Museum

 

TICKETS

TICKET OPTIONS:

Science Talks & Lectures
Check out our lecture passes! There will be different speakers on Saturday and Sunday with a full slate of awesome research. You can purchase a one-day pass or a full weekend day pass. All lecture passes include general admission to the full museum.  A special paleo celebration dinner and research talk feature our keynote presenter. The keynote is not included in the day lecture pass. Best Deal = PaleoPackage. This gets you all the daytime speakers plus the keynote and dinner.

Just Stopping By
With a general admission-only ticket, you will enjoy a museum full of awesome exhibits, several special PaleoFest-only stations, and temporary interactive exhibits.

Enhance your Family Visit
Walking through the museum on PaleoFest is very special, but upgrade your fun with a hands-on workshop!  Geared at paleo-loving youth, these workshops feature science experimentation, activities, small group learning, art training, and even a family-friendly research lecture from one of our visiting scientists. Don’t miss the variety of these special add-ons.

Click to open member or non-member schedules to purchase tickets
MEMBERS

Friday, March 1st, 2024

Saturday, March 2nd, 2024

Saturday Evening, March 2nd, 2024 SOLD OUT

Sunday, March 3rd, 2024

NON-MEMBERS
About Burpee Museum’s PaleoFest

Since 1999, PaleoFest has become an internationally recognized and respected program that celebrates the science of Paleontology. PaleoFest is an exemplary program to excite, educate, and inspire all people in science. This 3-day event includes many educational programs and activities for all levels of interest in paleontology. Each year, PaleoFest attracts nearly 2,000 visitors and some of the biggest names in the field.