Our first fun thing on our big road trip this summer was gem panning at Raccoon Mountain Caverns in Chattagnooga, Tennessee. It was free for the kids to try it out but you had to purchase the fossils, gems, etc. if you wanted to keep them. For this trip – we just let our kids enjoy a new experience and learn a little history at the same time.
If you’ve never been gem panning it’s very similar to looking for shells on the beach. Simply put you place handful(s) of dirt and rock sediment into a sieve container, rinse it in water so that the dirt falls out, and look to see what you have left in it!
The gem panning here was a great set up and there was no one around when we went. The kids had a great time “finding” treasures!
This is the same way that explorers would search for gold and other precious stones.
We had a great time gem panning in Tennessee! It’s a fun experience that I think all kids & adults should have!