Some Resources for Chicago-area Rock and Fossil Collecting Families

Chicago-area Rock and Fossil Clubs:

Earth Science Club of Northern Illinois (ESCONI): Meets at College of DuPage. To learn about our Juniors program, annual show, meetings, and field trips, go here:

Chicago Rocks & Minerals Society: Meets in Skokie, Illinois, and has an active Geo Juniors program:
Also check them out on Facebook (just search by the club’s name).

Chicagoland Gems & Minerals Association: Visit their rock and fossil show on Memorial Day weekend, with lots of kids’ activities:

This web page has information about all five Chicago-area rock, mineral, and fossil clubs (which joined together to form the Chicagoland Gems & Minerals Association):

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Collecting on Lake Michigan Beaches: Some of the easiest rock and fossil collecting spots in the Chicago area are on Lake Michigan beaches. But it helps to do a bit of research before you go beachcombing at the lake.

The Michigan Rockhounds seems like a good place to start:
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There are several Facebook groups devoted to collecting rocks on Lake Michigan beaches, including Great Lakes Rocks and Minerals, Great Lakes Rocks and Minerals Best Beaches, and Lake Michigan beach glass and rock collectors. (Search for their names on Facebook).
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Also, check out the Field Museum’s Beachgoer’s Guide to Lake Michigan Fossils and Rocks:  

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The rock shop featured in our STEMCON exhibit: Dave’s Down-to-Earth Rock Shop in Evanston, Illinois:

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Here’s an online community of amateur and professional paleontologists: Developed and moderated by the Florida Museum, but international in scope. Their website includes lots of ideas about places to see and collect fossils (including museums and fossil parks).

You can also check out these online fossil resources:

The Fossil Forum has online discussions about a huge range of topics related to fossils and paleontology:

The Fossil Guy has online guides to fossil-hunting localities, fossil identification information, and more. Here’s his website: And Fossil Guy is on Facebook:

Dry Dredgers specializes in fossil collecting in Cincinnati area. Here are their suggestions about places to hunt for fossils in that area:

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What if you love other kinds of nature more than rocks and fossils?

If you love birds, you might want to join the Illinois Young Birders club. Here’s their website:

If you love sea shells, then you should check out the Chicago Shell Club: