There are many wonderful things about Evanston, but top on my list this week is Dave’s Down to Earth Rock Shop and Prehistoric Life Museum. That’s a long name for a small store, and with good reason: there are many exciting and unique items packed into this space. It is unlike any other store I’ve been to or experienced.
Do you have a loved one or friend for whom it is difficult to shop for gifts? Is your favorite toddler going through the inevitable dinosaur phase and needs a fresh fix? A visit to Dave’s might just do the trick.
The staff is friendly, proactive and helpful. They know their merchandise and are happy to guide the scientifically and archaeologically mystified customer. On the shelves and on the walls at Dave’s you can find exotic gemstone beads in a myriad of colors; unusual dinosaur games, posters and puzzles; gorgeous, decorative and practical crystals and carvings; Native American artifacts; fossils–and more. You will not look at rocks the same way after you visit Dave’s.
Dave’s also hosts a self-guided and free museum in its basement dedicated to prehistoric life. The museum, packed with artifacts from the private collection of David and Sandra Douglass (the store’s founder), includes fossils from every period since Precambrian times and the largest display of fossils local to Illinois. It’s a worthy destination for school classes and clubs throughout the year.
Shake off your retail boredom and indulge your curiosity. Go to Dave’s. There is nothing like it anywhere in Evanston.
Dave’s Down to Earth Rock Shop and Prehistoric Life Museum resides at 704 Main Street in Evanston, half a block west of the Main Street CTA and Metra stops. Open weekdays and Saturdays; closed on Wednesdays and Sundays.