Chicago – Pickaxes & Pitchforks ’23

A drawing of a T. rex skeleton wearing a hat and singing as it walks around Chicago.

Chicago - Pickaxes & Pitchforks '23

5 days / 5 nights

July 19-23, 2023

Rate for 5-day package

Exclusive small group trip, number of participants : 4-6 guests total

USD$3,290 + taxes

*All rates based on double-occupancy

Not since the formation of Dinosaur Jr. have indie rock and paleontology come together like this! Pickaxes & Pitchforks ‘23 is a 5-day City Expedition from Dinosaur Trips that combines Chicago’s exceptional paleontology centers with the top curated music festival going: the Pitchfork Music Festival

First, you’ll nerd out on all things paleontology as a cast of Chicago’s most compelling and exciting paleontologists welcome you for an incredible-access exploration of the world-famous Field Museum, and invite you into the places they work for an up-close understanding of their research helping to advance dinosaur research.

They’ll also show you around the Windy City, taking you to some of their favorite Chicago haunts and talking about all things dinosaurs, paleontology, dig experience, and life as a dinosaur researcher along the way.

Then it’s three days of nerding out over live music from the likes of Bon Iver, The Smile, Big Thief, Alvvays, Perfume Genius, Weyes Blood, King Krule, Kelela, Koffee, and more for the Pitchfork Music Festival* at Union Park

Paleontologists Yara Haridy, Pia Viglietti, and Meg Whitney headline Pickaxes & Pitchforks ’23 as your expert hosts across two days of digging deep into all things paleontology and dinosaur research at the expansive Field Museum of Natural History – home to the legendary Sue the T. rex, one of the largest, most extensive, and best preserved Tyrannosaurus rex specimens ever found – as well as giving you unparalleled access to their research spaces and an in-depth look into their work and welcoming you to their favorite cafes, bars, and restaurants in Chicago.

Your Pickaxes & Pitchforks ‘23 program includes 5-nights’ accommodation (check-in July 19th, check-out July 24th) at the trendy and stylish boutique hotel the Virgin Hotel Chicago, a 3-day festival pass (July 21-23), transportation for all expert-hosted experiences (July 19th and 20th), all meals for all expert-hosted experiences (July 19th and 20th), and museum & experience entrance fees.  

Your Paleontologist Hosts & Guides

Yara Haridy

Yara Haridy ( is postdoctoral researcher studying the Evolution of Bone Cells at the University of Chicago in Neil Shubin’s lab. Her research looks at how bone cells might tell us more about extinct animals’ metabolism, genome, and physiology. She always been loudly interested in the natural world, its intricacies and how it came to be.

Pia Viglietti

Pia Viglietti conducts research on the southern African fossil record which sheds light on two major mass extinction events at the end of the Permian and Triassic periods. These extinctions facilitated mammal and archosaur evolution in the Triassic, and  ushered in the age of dinosaurs at the dawn of the Jurassic.

Meg Whitney

Meg Whitney’s research looks at the microscopic structures preserved in fossil bones and teeth to bring animals that have been extinct for hundreds of millions of years to life. The way that teeth and bones grow record vital pieces of information and act as a storybook about extinct animals’ lives. Meg’s research uses these microscopic structures to study features such as growth rates, disease, hibernation, and convergent evolution during major transitional moments in vertebrate evolution.

*Dinosaur Trips is in no way affiliated with the Pitchfork Music Festival or Pitchfork Media.

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