Homer’s Odyssey:
From Badlands to Burpee

Homer’s Odyssey is the product of more than eight years of work-from the discovery of the first bones in the badlands near Ekalaka, Montana, to the preparation and reconstruction of the fossils in the Burpee lab, and finally the development of a new, permanent exhibit. Homer, Burpee’s “teen-aged” Triceratops, is ready for his story to be told.


Diary of a Dinosaur

After years of preparation, Jane, the world’s most complete and best preserved juvenile T. rex, is on display as the centerpiece of a captivating exhibit at Burpee Museum, Jane: Diary of a Dinosaur. Come discover what happened during the 66 million years she lay buried, visit the expedition’s Montana base camp, and view Jane’s fully restored 21-foot skeleton.


Carboniferous Coal Forest

State-of-the-art technology is combined to create a realistic, two-story tall, prehistoric carboniferous coal forest. Thrill to the thunder and lightning of a tropical rainstorm as you explore Rockford’s local landscape, insects and amphibians as they existed 300 million years ago!


A Shadow Over the Earth:
The Life and Death of the Passenger Pigeon

This temporary exhibition tells the story of the Passenger Pigeon, which once numbered in the billions, and the human influence on its extinction. The exhibit explores the idea of learning from the past and provides hope for the future as scientists continue to unravel the complexities of extinction and use this knowledge to make a difference in the world today.


The Ordovician Sea

What did Rockford look like millions of years ago? Here’s a hint: you’d need your bathing suit! Discover the ancient sea that covered this region during the Ordovician Period, and see fossils of the critters who called it home long before we did.



Learn how Earth was formed and the forces still shaping our planet today. Exhibits on economic, world and regional geology all explore the world before us and where we are now. See extraordinary displays of unusual rocks, gems, and minerals as well as information on plate tectonics, land formations, and more!


The First People

Your trip through time continues with the history of Native Americans in North America. The First People features a full-size wigwam and tipi, an American Bison, and a dugout canoe that you can climb into! Learn about many different Native Americans, and make sure to visit the video kiosk on your way out to learn what it’s like to live in a wigwam, hear Native American stories, and watch a Pow Wow!


Windows to Wilderness

Focusing on the wildlife of the Rock River Valley, Windows to Wilderness offers a fun, interactive approach to the world around us. Prepare yourself to look at our environment through a new set of eyes as you explore this hands-on exhibit, encounter live animals and re-discover your own habitat!


Viewing Lab

The Viewing and Prep Lab is a window into how the Museum works. Located on the lower level, the viewing area’s large glass windows reveal the biology and paleontology laboratories where specimens are conserved and prepared for the Museum’s collections and exhibits. Burpee Museum maintains more than 100 thousand items in its permanent collection!