Fossil Festival

December 29, 2013 - 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Cranbrook Institute of Science

Free with admission

Celebrate the Holidays with all things fossil! Dino face painting, fossil casting, and make your own dinosaur egg are just a few of the activities and experiences on the agenda. The Observatory also will be open, weather permitting, for special live daytime viewings of the sun! Daily planetarium and bat programs also will be available Dec. 23 and Dec. 26-30 at an additional charge.


Use your smartphone or iPod camera to take unique pictures of fossil amber specimens using our magnifying stands. These unbelievably and beautifully preserved specimens make for interesting and unique photos of ancient life. 
Scientists make replicas of their fossil discoveries and share them with other researchers. Many fossils on display in museums are actually casts.  Work like a scientist and use our air-dry clay to make an exact copy of one of the Institute’s unique fossil specimens and take it home with you. 
Paleontologists are sometimes unable to remove fossil footprints from the bedrock in which they are found. There are many sites like this in the U.S.  Instead of breaking up and destroying the sites scientists instead make casts or full size tracings and rubbings of the prints for study in the lab.   Make a fossil footprint rubbing to take home as a token of your visit to Cranbrook. 
Spend some time with our very own staff magician to experience the magic of fossils and cool illusions. 
Observatory Tour
Look at the sun safely in either Hydrogen-alpha (red) or once-ionized Calcium atoms (blue)!
Dinosaur Face Painting
Get your face painted like a dinosaur or other animal and roam the exhibits of the Institute!
Hatching the Past
Use our secret egg-making formula to create and take home a dinosaur egg.
Scavenger Hunt
Complete an Institute-specific scavenger hunt to reveal a special holiday message.
Dino Prep Lab (Saturday, December 28 ONLY)
Assist Institute Paleontologists as they curate real dinosaur fossils using real laboratory techniques and tools.
Discovery Center (11am - 4pm)
Cranbrook’s Discovery Center offers an exciting learning experience to feed the curiosity of intergenerational learners. Designed to inspire a love of science through adult/child interaction, the Center offers nearly two dozen discovery “module” boxes each containing unique information and activities focused on a specific subject.
Explore four unique activities: Mammoths vs. Mastodons which includes real bones and replicas of their teeth; Michigan Geology offering rock samples and a set of Cores for permeability tests; Michigan Fossils featuring fossils laid out across a map of Michigan illustrating where one may find fossils in the state; and Fossil Preservation, an experience that illustrates and simulates fossil preservation.

Dec. 26-28,30
One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure
Dec. 26-28,30
Dinosaurs at Dusk
Dec. 26-30
Let It Snow
Dec. 26-30
Michigan Sky Tonight featuring
Back to the Moon
Dec. 26-30
Mystery of the Christmas Star
Dec. 26-28,30
Michigan Sky Tonight
Ages 6 & Above Only
Dec. 27/28
Dinosaurs at Dusk
Dec. 27/28
Michigan Sky Tonight
Dec. 27/28
Secret Lives of Stars