Click here for Summer Camp information and a registration form!

Tuesday, January 17th – Sunday, February 19th – Be Miocene!
Our love of fossils will never go extinct, and we hope yours won’t either!  Join us and discover why we love the fossil specimens found right here in our “backyard” and why they have a special place in our hearts.  Programs announced periodically throughout each day.

Saturday, February 11th, 10am-4pm – Darwin Day
Darwin Day will be celebrated with talks and activities for all ages including a scavenger hunt and lessons on topics such as human evolution, dog domestication, how natural selection works, and understanding geologic time from fossils.

  • 11am – “Human Evolution and Homo naledi: Redefining our Family Tree and Science Outreach” will be presented by Dr. Zach Throckmorton, an assistant professor of anatomy at Lincoln Memorial University, Tennessee
  • 2pm – “Evolution and Creationism: Defining Science, Creating Controversy” will be presented by Dr. David Harker, an associate professor of philosophy at ETSU

Tuesday, February 21st – Sunday, March 5th – Without a Trace?
Not all fossils are created equal.  Discover the four main types of fossils:  trace, mold, cast, and true form.  Then try out our footprint tracks and mold fossil impressions activities to see some key differences. Programs announced periodically throughout each day.

Open on Mondays in March, 9am – 5pm.

Tuesday, March 7th – Sunday, March 26th –Mastodon Madness
Learn about some of our favorite Proboscideans:  mastodons, mammoths, and elephants.  Discover fun facts about their past and what makes these animals similar and different.  Programs announced periodically throughout each day.

Summer Camps Coming in June & July
June 12-16, June 26-30, July 10-14, and July 24-28!
Download the registration packet for more information or to register!

Ticket Information

Museum Exhibits
Adults & children (ages 3+) $5.00
Children (2 & younger) FREE
Members receive FREE admission

Dig Site Tours (with Museum admission)
Adults & children (ages 3+) $3.00
Children (2 & Younger) FREE
Members receive one free tour per year

Plan Your Trip

Museum Hours

Tuesday-Friday 9:00 am-5:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am-5:00pm
Sunday 1:00 pm-5:00pm
Monday 9:00 am-5:00 pm (June, July, & August only)

The Museum is 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

• FREE admission to the Gray Fossil Site & Museum exhibits
• One FREE dig site tour per year
• Subscription to the Museum’s e-newsletter
• 10% Discount in the Museum Gift Shop

Individual Membership $20
Valid for one named adult at Gray Fossil Site & Museum

Family Membership $40
Valid for two named parents and children under 18 living in the household at Gray Fossil Site & Museum



Group Visits

You can make a reservation by phone or by submitting your information through e-mail at gfsm@handsonmuseum.org and someone will be in touch with you. We recommend you make reservations at least three weeks in advance. A reservation is required for all groups of 10 or more. Groups of 25 or more are required to visit the museum in a structured tour format, smaller groups may be self-guided, if desired. Reservations must be made in order to receive a group discount.

Make Your Reservation!


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 and Museum is a place where visitors can get up close and personal with an active Miocene-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 4.5 – 7 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 the Museum to learn more about this incredible discovery and even take a tour of the dig site itself!

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? Book your party at the Gray Fossil Site & Museum today, for a birthday you’ll never forget! For special events, group reservations, event rentals, or other questions, please call (423) 439-3659, or email us!

Birthday Parties are $225 for non-members and $200 for members. A 50% deposit is required to make your reservation.

Party times are: Saturdays 10:30, 12:30, & 2:30, Sundays at 1:30 & 3:00. Times fill up quickly so we suggest that reservations be made at least one month in advance.

A party includes: 45 minutes in the part room, customized cake with the child’s name on it (rectangular quarter sheet cake), ice cream, punch, party plates & cups in your choice of colors, a program in the museum, and admission to the museum for the entire day for up to 20 guests (children 2 & younger are free), extra guests are $5 per person.

Make Your Reservation!



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!



The museum offers the perfect venue for your unique corporate, community, or private event!