Monday, August 13th – Saturday, August 18th
We will be CLOSED for the new three-story Climber exhibit Installation.

Saturday, August 25th – Archaeology Day
Be sure to stay tuned to our website and social media for more details coming soon!

Friday, August 31st – Climber Grand Opening!
Experience a one-of-a-kind paleontology-themed climber opening Labor Day weekend!  This three-story, enclosed, interactive climbing sculpture will allow children and adults to discover the fossils of species found at the Gray Fossil Site.  As you ascend each level and pass each corner you will see and touch actual 3D replicated models of the fossils being uncovered here at the site.  This unique structure will be the only of its kind in the United States.

Saturday, September 22nd – Red Panda Day
Be sure to stay tuned to our website and social media for more details coming soon!

Tuesday, September 25th, 4-6pm – Fossil & Artifact ID Night
You don’t have to be a paleontologist to find fossils. Identifying them is a different story.  Bring any kind of rock, fossil, artifact, or mineral to Fossil & Artifact ID Night, and scientists at the museum will provide space for the study of these finds. There will be an archaeologist, paleontologist, and geologist on site. The event is free and open to the public but does not include admission to exhibits.

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



Your donations will support STEM education. Donate today!



Let us come to you! If you’d like to have us give a presentation for your school, local civic club, church, or organization!



We offer the perfect venue for your unique corporate, community, or private event!