Did you know that right here in NJ is one of the world's richest zinc ore deposits? 10% of all known minerals in the world can be found right here in New Jersey.  From museums to rock and mineral shows, there are so many ways to explore the dazzling displays of rocks and minerals found underground.  

The Franklin Mineral Museum and Nature Center has a wide range of geological, mineralogical, archaeological, and historical themes to offer its visitors. With over 4,000 mineral specimens on display, the museum's fluorescent display has a dazzling array of the world's most brilliant and colorful fluorescent minerals.  The museum also has a life size mine replica that shows the visitor examples of mining methods used in the Franklin mines.  32 Evans Street, Franklin

Most everything man made has something to do with mining. At the Sterling Hill Mine and Museum they will show you just how it's done. From drilling and blasting to the processing of the ore, they have got it all.  Take a ¼ mile underground walking educational adventure into the 4th oldest mine in the country and the last working underground mine in NJ. Along the way you will see a mining equipment history display, a drilling and blasting demonstration and the world famous and unforgettable fluorescent “Rainbow Tunnel” where everybody gets to take home a fluorescent mineral specimen.  30 Plant Street, Ogdensburg

Celebrating 17 years, Dinosaur Rock brings the museum to you with giant, large-scale museum-quality exhibits, interactive shows, birthday party programs, field trips, and after-school programs with hands-on activities like Fossil Digs & Gemstone Mining where the kids take home genuine fossils, minerals and seashells.

Head out to the Mineral, Gem and Jewelry Show at the Trailside Nature & Science Center on Nov 5 & 6.  Over 20 vendors selling minerals, rocks, gems, jewelry and fossils from around the world. Demonstrations of gemstone cutting & polishing. Bring your collectibles from home to have a geologist identify your minerals, rocks and fossils. Educational rock and mineral displays.  Children’s activities fossil rubbings, puzzles, touch table.  452 New Providence Rd, Mountainside

Enjoy a rockin’ weekend at the Rock and Mineral Weekend at Morris Museum Nov 25, 26, & 27. Visit the mineral, gem, and fossil displays throughout the Museum. Members of the Morris Museum Mineralogical Society will be on hand to identify your mystery rocks and minerals. Families will be able to examine fossils, learn about fluorescent minerals, listen to engaging presentations, and watch videos on various topics about geology and the Earth. Other activities include a mineral magic show. Everyone will get a free fossil or mineral specimen to take home!  Free with Museum Admission 6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown

The Stone Museum is a museum of minerals and fossils with a host of indoor and outdoor displays that are “hands on”, enabling visitors of all ages to actually touch specimens from 80 countries. One of their most popular exhibits is the Fluorescent Room, where visitors witness a display of hundreds of rocks (most from the Garden State) that glow in a vibrant array of colors. Recently they have acquired a dinosaur egg from China as well as a leg bone from one of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs—the African Spinosaurus. Kids also love their “recycled dinosaur”, Dino, a giant twenty-foot-tall reptile replica who roars with real ferocity. Free Admission.   608 Spotswood-Englishtown Road, Monroe

Start your own collection at The Poricy Brook Fossil Beds which are well known to fossil collectors in the Northeast.  Located in Middletown, you can find fossils from 145 to 65 million years ago.  You are able to wade in the stream bed to find fossils of many animals, most are of shellfish.  They ask that you limit your find to 5 fossils so there are enough to go around.  The Poricy Park Fossil Beds are located on Middletown-Lincroft Road in Middletown across from Crawford Road.  345 Oak Hill Road, Middletown