Some rocks are big, some are small, but they all have ways to grab your attention. (Margery Gordon/Smithsonian Institution)

Sure, the natural history museum has dinosaurs and mammals, delicate butterflies and that ginormous elephant. But the rocks and minerals exhibition dazzles. So many colors and textures. Such amazing crystalline arrangements.

If you find yourself bedazzled by these natural gems, then you’ll definitely want to go to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum for Rock On! on September 29.

The family-friendly celebration of stone, sand and gravel will feature talks by Smithsonian, National Park Service and government scientists and lots and lots and lots of hands-on experiments.

Among the activities:

●Watch a simulated volcano eruption.

●Make marbleized paper using rocks.●

●Crack open a geode (a type of rock).


What: Rock On! Family Festival on Geology and Rocks

Where: Smithsonian Natural History Museum, 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW

When: Saturday, September 29, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

How much: Free!