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“350,000,000 years of history right in Hamburg” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Penn Dixie Paleontological and Outdoor Education Center

Penn Dixie Paleontological and Outdoor Education Center
4050 North Street, Blasdell, NY
(716) 627-4560
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Ranked #1 of 6 Attractions in Blasdell
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Outdoors
Attraction details
Buffalo, New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“350,000,000 years of history right in Hamburg”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2014

Don't let the looks of parking lot and a flat dirt plain deceive you. After a brief introduction to the Penn Dixie Site and examples of the types of fossils you are looking for, you are off and hammering into shale and limestone for some family fun. I went on a hot day and it is recommended to bring water, sunscreen and even a little snack. Also, you will need at least one hammer and a chisel or a miner's hammer to break into the rocks. They do rent them for $5 a bucket if you want...first come first serve though.

Within minutes of working on rocks or scavenging on the ground, you will find coral, seaweed, various shells and the beloved, Trilobite. Penn Dixie is well know for its clusters of trilobites that looks like the relative of the potato bug. Within a short a mount of time adults and families can have a bag of fossils that where when WNY was still part of an ocean.

I took a class on this visit, but could have easily been children and families of any ages that6 don't mind getting dirty.

Visited June 2014
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6 reviews from our community

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English first
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Best Science Camp Ever, Travel Back in Time Millions of Years”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2014

When we first visited Penn Dixie, we didn't think much. It looked like an abandoned parking lot. We started digging to see what we could find. Almost immediately we started to find fossils. The volunteers around were very helpful helping us identify our finds and showing us special spots to dig. It was dizzying and so exciting to discover the fossils. My daughter announced then that she was going to be a geologist. We immediately became members and make sure to visit Penn Dixie whenever we are in the area.

Last year my daughter participated in their science camp for a week and declared it the BEST SCIENCE CAMP EVER. It was a great experience for her. She got to wield a gnarly geological hammer, shoot off rockets, build a volcano, find frogs and many other things. The staff were really friendly, patient and knowledgeable and she learned a ton. She ended every day exhausted, elated and filthy.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Tonawanda, New York
Top Contributor
395 reviews 395 reviews
191 attraction reviews
Reviews in 89 cities Reviews in 89 cities
201 helpful votes 201 helpful votes
“Fossils and More!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2014

Warm weather is coming. As soon as the snow is off the ground we head for Penn Dixie and every year there are more improvements. Because it's easy to find the fossils, you just seem to want to keep looking. It's hard to decide how many you want to keep since you are allowed to keep whatever you find. We also enjoy the special events that are offered throughout the year, especially astrology activities, and rocketry, and snowshoeing, and......well, you get the picture. You should bring your own digging tools and containers for collecting and carrying your fossils home. There is just too much to tell about Penn Dixie so if you are interested just go to www.penndixie.org. (Johhny-on-the-Spot)

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jekyll Island, Georgia
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Souvenirs included”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

I had seen pieces in the local newspaper about the quarry. There were never a lot of details, just lists of programs that they have. Our grandchildren, boy 5 and girl 7, were visiting. I knew Jerry Bastedo from a long time ago and thought I get to say hello. A lot of pleasant surprises. Jerry is a professional geologist. He loves the quarry and likes to talk about it. He seems to know everything. We ask about finding fossils and he literally just bent down, picked up a rock and showed us a fossil. They are all over the place and you can take them home with you. My 5-year-old loved it and do did my wife. We spent a little over an hour there and would have stayed longer but had to meet someone for lunch. Both kids and my wife kept saying “just one more.” Two hours there goes by pretty quickly.

I would dress for the weather. It’s open and could be exposed to the wind off the Lake or the sun. There are only a small shelter and a Johnny-on-the-spot toilet. We had a couple of garden tools. I would suggest that you bring a hammer, small crowbar, gloves, eye protection and a pail to carry your finds. We were there on a warm day in July. Pop (soda if you’re not from western New York) would have been nice. Hot chocolate in the winter. Shoes or boots, not sandals. Jeans, little boys and so little will get a little dirty (It’s a quarry) or maybe wet. Have a good time.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orchard Park, New York
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“Where else can you spend the day digging trillobites?”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

This is a great place for families or fossil fanatics. Plenty of trilobites and other aquatic critters from that era to dig up. Difficult to find a full one, but entirely possible. I suggest you bring some tools (maybe a little garden digging tool and a hammer if you're truly determined...but bring goggles if you're going to hammer hard rock....really not necessary as there is plenty of loose shale). This place also has special events such as evening sky watches with people bringing out their telescopes to share. There is shade, and educational spot to help you identify what you dig up and plenty of space for "digging" (really, you only need look). Last time I was there, they still only had porta potties, but they were always replaced regularly. Better check on the hours before going...at one time, they were only open weekends from spring to fall...I think they may have expanded hours now, but I'm not sure.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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