The Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford, Illinois, is thrilled to announce the 25th annual PaleoFest, taking place on March 4th and 5th, 2023. This internationally attended festival is a must-attend for dino-lovers, rock collectors, and fossil diggers alike.

Exciting Lineup of Guest Speakers and Researchers

The festival boasts an impressive lineup of guest speakers and researchers, hands-on workshops, lectures for children, paleoart workshops, and activities for families. Visitors will have the opportunity to attend science lectures given by professional scientists, who will focus on their cutting-edge research and amazing new finds.

Google Street View
Google Street View

Special Guest Speakers

Burpee is excited to announce Saturday night’s dinner keynote speaker, Dr. Lindsay Zanno. Dr. Zanno is a leading authority on the evolution of theropod dinosaurs and modern birds. Her lecture will highlight new data on the geologic age of prehistoric ecosystems and the impact of a climate crisis that mirrors our own.

Friday's kick-off event will feature Dr. Steve Brusatte, who worked as the paleontology consultant on the 2022 summer blockbuster, Jurassic World: Dominion. Dr. Brusatte will share how he worked with directors, writers, and artists to bring the new dinosaurs to the big screen–including the first proper feathered dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park franchise!

Family-Friendly Workshops and Activities

For the younger crowd, Burpee is excited to announce new workshops and classes, including a PaleoArt Family Workshop led by Burpee’s amazing PaleoArtist, Ryan Dewey. Participants will learn how to recreate dactyls and prehistoric birds. In the “Amber” workshop, participants will make their own amber fossil soap, and in “A Guide To Paleontology”, participants will have the chance to hone their skills as a budding paleontologist by creating casts, mapping dig sites, and touring the newly renovated paleolab.

Burpee Museum of Natural History via Facebook
Burpee Museum of Natural History via Facebook

Fun for the Whole Family

PaleoFest is a unique event that brings world-renowned researchers to Rockford and makes learning about their current projects accessible to the public. Anne Weerda, Executive Director of the Burpee Museum, said, “This event is special for us because it brings world-renowned researchers to Rockford and makes learning about their current projects accessible to the public. We share ongoing paleontology work through research talks by the scientists themselves, family-friendly activities, workshops for kids, and even chances for families and children to hear from the visiting scientists!"

The doors to PaleoFest will open at 8:00 am on March 4th and 5th. Breakfast and lunch will be available for purchase from Mary’s Market. For more information and the full schedule of events, please visit This is truly an event not to be missed by anyone interested in paleontology, science, and fun for the whole family.

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