Fossil Night Art

Children and students interested in archaeology are invited to attend University of Nebraska State Museum’s Fossil Night for trick-or-treating, fossil-themed activities and the chance to talk to University of Nebraska State Museum fossil researchers. 

Fossil Night will take place on Thursday in Morrill Hall from 5 to 8 p.m. Event admission is the price of general admission, which can be found on the University of Nebraska State Museum website.

Participants can expect fossil-themed activities on the second and fourth floors of Morrill Hall, including fake dig stations, trick-or-treat bag decorating and fossil rubbing, according to Caroline Clements, University of Nebraska State Museum public relations and membership manager. She said the event will also feature a planetarium show, a station where participants can learn how to determine what is a fossil and storytime through a partnership with Lincoln City Libraries.

“We wanted to make sure we have something for every member of the family,” she said.  

Emily Brown, education supervisor at the University of Nebraska State Museum, said the event will have researchers from the State Museum and staff from Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park. Brown said the researchers will be in charge of running the stations and providing an educational perspective on the activities. 

“The researchers are key,” Brown said. “It’s really neat to have that one-on-one opportunity with the people who are actually doing work with fossils.”

Clements said participants are encouraged to arrive in costume for trick-or-treating. There will be various trick-or-treating stations throughout the museum, with candy and non-food options, she said.

“This is an opportunity for anyone looking to have fun, or if they’ve never been to the museum, this is a chance to experience some of the best of it,” Clements said. 

Clements said Fossil Night is an annual event created to display the museum’s fossil collection, and a Halloween theme seemed fitting. She said the museum has one of the largest collections of vertebrate fossils in the world. 

 “One of the only institutions that has more than us is the Smithsonian,” she said. “I don’t think people really realize how much of a historical database our state is from a fossil standpoint.”

Brown said the chance to talk to researchers and learn about fossils provides a unique opportunity to discover a new interest. 

“You never know what might spark an interest,” she said. ”Talking to a researcher who actually goes out into the field or studies the fossils could inspire somebody for a future career.”