Dinosaur fans who can't make it all the way to a dig will find a pretend one — with real fossils — at Everett Mall's new Dig It!

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Dinosaur fans who can’t make it all the way to a dig will find a pretend one — with real fossils — at Everett Mall’s new Dig It! The Fossil Workshop.

Everett’s flagship store is part of a growing national chain, started in 2002 in Utah. Kids can sift through three sand pits to find dinosaur bone fragments, ancient horse or rhinoceros teeth, ammonite fossils or shiny agates. Individual pieces are buried in the sand; kids dig through with their hands.

Each area has a different theme: Excavation Station has land and plant fossils, including fern impressions and petrified wood; Shark Bite Bay features sea life, such as fossilized shark teeth; and Prospectors Pit offers rocks and minerals, including geodes kids can crack open. Specimens are 5 million to 600 million years old.

Kids can keep potential picks in the provided apron pocket to sort through at the end. Staff members are happy to identify anything kids can’t recognize and give an approximate age. Drop-in visitors — who are welcome any time but may need to move around field-trip groups — pay $8.99 per specimen.

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After making their choice, visitors can look at their items with magnifying glasses and microscopes, then use brushes or picks to clean them off.

Outside the store in the mall is a free tot play area with climbable dinosaurs, slide and a fossil display.

Details: Open 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays. Dig It! The Fossil Workshop, Everett Mall, 1402 S.E. Everett Mall Way, Everett, 425-423-8506or www.digitfossils.com.

Stephanie Dunnewind, Seattle Times staff reporter

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