If your family is looking for some fun this summer, then Fossil Rim in Glen Rose is the place to be!
The fun begins on Saturday, June 22, from 5-7:30 p.m. with “Beautiful, Tall Strawberry Blondes.”
Guests will be able to visit with an animal care specialist and learn about giraffes, as well as return to the Overlook for a dinner of steak, potatoes, vegetables, dessert and Fossil Rim wine within Fossil Rim’s glass-walled café perched above their main pasture.
“This is essentially the first year we’ve done something like this,” said Tye Chandler, marketing consultant at Fossil Rim. “Our director of tourism, Donna Steakley, wanted to start a series of animal-related events. For a long time, we’ve done dinner and tour events through the lodging department, where guests have dinner at the safari camp within the park and then they go take a tour. She kind of started her own version of that where the dinner is at the Overlook Café and then she coordinates an animal tour.
"The animal care specialist taking care of the giraffes that day is going to talk about giraffes and conservation. It will pretty much be in a tour vehicle surrounded by giraffes, so maybe a little closer encounter than you could get on a normal tour.”
The cost is $95.
In July, Fossil Rim will host “Robin Hood Day Camp” from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on July 8. The public will learn about archery, white-tailed deer and “The King’s Deer” which are European red deer, as well as camouflage and poaching.
“There’s not a lot of events that really address the deer,” Chandler said. “We’ll have some archery activities that day, teaching kids some skills, forest habitat and living in it, [and] I think, maybe some camping, if you were out in nature, some tips to get by.”
The cost of is $32 per person.
From 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on July 9, Fossil Rim will host “Composting and Keyhole Gardening.” The event gives students the chance to learn and practice skills for their own home and yard. They will be able to explore a pollinator garden, examine a keyhole garden and learn more about the importance and beauty of plants.
“We don’t have a ton of gardening-focused type events, especially for kids, so if kids are interested in the garden-side of things, that would definitely be one to keep in mind,” Chandler said.
The cost is $23 per person.
A photo tour will be available multiple days during the summer starting from 4-8 p.m. on July 13.
The photo tour lets the photographer catch the dusk light, which is the best light possible for afternoon photos. The tours will go through Fossil Rim’s 1,800 acres of pastures and the driver caters to photographers whenever possible.
“If the tour comes up on a good photo opportunity, they’ll sit there for 10 minutes just to make sure everybody on the tour has had time to photograph the animal or the subject of the photo as much as they want,” Chandler said. “If the lighting would be more conducive to pull in the vehicle to a certain angle, the driver will go off the off-road as needed to get the best angle so it’s totally catering to helping the guests get the best photos in the dusk and late afternoon early evening light.”
There are 50-plus species of animals at Fossil Rim. Some of the animals that may be photographed include white rhinos, blackbuck, European red deer, gemsbok, zebras, addax, waterbuck, giraffes, sable and axis deer.
Reservations are required. Camera Club members can receive a 10 percent discount. Private tours are also available for an additional fee. The cost of the photo tour is $65 per person.
The photo tour will also be available from 4-8 p.m. on July 27, Aug. 10, Sept. 7 and from 3-7 p.m. on Sept. 21.
From 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Aug. 5 and 6, a summer special called “What Does The Doc Say” will take place.
Fossil Rim’s homeschool coordinator will play the role of doctor and ask the key questions: “Who’s the patient? What’s the diagnosis? What’s the treatment plan?”
Guests can join him for a sweeping survey of the biosphere that is Fossil Rim.
Chandler says the public will learn about biodiversity and he describes this event as a “big picture environmental course.”
This two-day event is recommended as a package but it can also be enjoyed on either day as a standalone. The cost is $23 per person for each day.
From 6:30-9:30 p.m. on Aug. 23 and from 6:30-9:30 p.m. on Sept. 13, Fossil Rim is hosting “Discovery After Dark Program and Tour.”
The program will start with an interactive learning experience where attendees can discover nocturnal animal adaptations. Then, using spotlights, the public will go on a guided sunset tour focused on the nightlife of Fossil Rim.
“In my opinion, it’s one of the best ‘bang for your buck’ events we have,” Chandler said. “For the people who want to continue the event, they do an ‘After Dark Nature Hike’ with some stargazing."
Participants will meet at the EcoCenter, located at Fossil Rim's Overlook area. This activity, which will last approximately three hours, costs $35 per person and is limited to 16 participants.
There are two more events in September as well. From 5-8 p.m. on Sept. 14, an event called “More Than Just A Chubby Unicorn” will teach guests about rhinos for $95 per person.
From 3-7 p.m. on Sept. 21, “Animal Care Specialist Tour and Dinner” will teach guests about cheetahs, red wolves and black rhinos on a behind-the-scenes tour for $150 per person.
To reserve a spot for any of these events call 254-897-2960.