Saturday, November 10th, 10am-3pm – National Fossil Day
This event is part of our local celebration of National Fossil Day, an annual event that highlights the scientific and educational value of paleontology and the importance of preserving fossils for future generations. Activities and presentations for all ages will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. See fossils up close! Talk face-to-face with Gray Fossil Site paleontologists!. Learn how paleontologists use modern technology like 3D scanning to investigate ancient fossils. And become a “Time Detective” to find out the Who, What, and Why of a fossil mystery! This event will include fossil-related activities for kids and families. The Fossil Celebration is an annual event where paleontologists can share their scientific work directly with the public. For over a decade, the Gray Fossil Site & Museum has been a center for science and paleontology in the Tri-Cities. This year, we are excited to include the National Park Service, Hands On Discovery Center, and Appalachian State University as our partners in this event. Fossil Celebration activities and events are free to the public. All activities are also included with admission to the Hands On! Discovery Center: $10 for adults and children over 4.

Thursday, November 15th and Friday, November 16th – Night at the Museum Closings
We will be CLOSING EARLY at NOON on Thursday and will be CLOSED all day on Friday for the Night at the Museum fundraiser.

Ticket Information

Admission to the Gray Fossil Site is now included with admission to Hands On! Discovery Center.  Click here for ticket prices.

Plan Your Trip

Museum Hours

Gray Fossil Site exhibits are available during Hands On! Discovery Center hours:

Monday 9am-5pm (March, June, July, & August only)
Tuesday 9am-5pm
Wednesday 9am-5pm
Thursday 9am-5pm
Friday 9am-5pm (extended to 7pm during March, June, July & August)
Saturday 9am-5pm
Sunday 1pm-5pm

Hands On! Discovery Center closed the following holidays:
New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Other Closings:
Please check our Facebook and Twitter pages for snow schedule closings

Membership Information

One-year memberships are available.

Click HERE to for more information or to purchase on-line (add-ons may be added at the front desk on your next visit)



Group Visits

If you are coming with a group of 10 or more paying guests, you may qualify for a group discount. For more information please visit our Group Visits page.



Dwarf Tapir, Tapirus polkensis
One of many species of tapir found at the Gray Fossil Site


What is the Gray Fossil Site?

The Gray Fossil Site is a place where visitors can view and learn about an active Pliocene-era fossil dig site. Scientists believe the site was formed by an underground limestone cave that collapsed and created a sinkhole. This left a vast fossil deposit that dates back approximately 5 million years ago. Animals that have been unearthed so far include: saber tooth cat, alligator, tapir, rhinoceros, short-faced bear, and a mastodon as well as hundreds of plants and other animals.

Come by to learn more about this incredible discovery!

For More Info, visit the ETSU Center for Excellence in Paleontology.

12. volunteer crew in rhino pit

A volunteer crew excavating the Rhino Pit at the Gray Fossil Site Museum and Visitor Center


Party Tapir, Tapirus celebratius
A special species of tapir only found at the Gray Fossil Site

Birthday Parties

Looking for a truly unique and memorable venue? We are now offering Paleo-themed Birthday Parties!  Visit our Birthday Party page to learn more



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