Rocks suitable for education and play can be bought in bulk at many hardware, craft, and “big box” stores. Check garden supply areas for 40-pound bags of white marble, red lava rock, and various sorts of pebbles. There are often bags of polished rocks in home decor or arts-and-crafts sections of these stores.
A wider range of rocks can be found at stone and landscape centers. You can check out their stocks online, paying special attention to the sections on landscape pebbles and gravels. Some places we have used recently include:
There are several rock shops in the Chicago area. Dave’s Down-to-Earth Rock Shop is our favorite. Are there others you would recommend?
Rock and fossil shows are great places to buy rocks for educational purposes or for personal collections. Check our Rock Clubs and Rock Shows page for some upcoming shows in the Chicago area.
Museum gift shops often sell rocks and minerals. Some of them are listed on our Museums with Rocks page.