Rocks, fossils and room to run! What’s not to love about Petrified Forest National Park?
Petrified Forest National Park offers a variety of fun and educational activities for both young and “young at heart” visitors to enjoy.
- The Painted Desert Visitor Center has a touch table containing fossils, artifacts, modern animal bones and historical objects.
- The Rainbow Forest Museum contains fossil displays, murals of life in the Late Triassic and an area for kids “dig.”
- Kids can “Join the Team” by becoming Petrified Forest National Park Junior Rangers and National Park Service Junior Paleontologists. Booklets, badges and patches can be found at all three visitor centers and the programs are free!
- May through August Petrified Forest National Park offers “Junior Ranger Days.” Activities may include; Digging for fossils or artifacts, dinosaur origami, pottery making, painting the Painted Desert, making fossil casts and more. Kids earn a special badge and certificate for participating!
- Hiking trails within Petrified Forest National Park provide a great opportunity for kids to see petrified wood “”in the wild”, get the wiggles out after a long car ride, explore rocks laid down by ancient rivers, or discover the history of human life in the area.
- Petrified Forest National Park also welcomes school groups. Younger students (grades 2-5) learn about paleontology or archaeology by participating in a Ranger led “simulated excavation.” These “digs” offer kids a chance to feel the thrill of discovery as they look for fossils or artifacts and record their discoveries in field notebooks. Reservations are required.