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museum entrance plan your visit high desert museum things to do in bend oregon

About the Museum

Plan Your Visit

Check out current exhibits and daily programs, find directions, rates, hours and more.

Kids & Families

Explore Together

Learn about kid-friendly exhibits, activities, camps and more.

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Education

Teach & Learn

Lifelong learning starts here! Explore teacher trainings, memorable field trips and unique school programs.

Join the HDM Family

Make an Impact

Volunteer, become a member or donate to support arts, education, wildlife and more.

The Museum

Wildlife,
History & Art

Otters, porcupines, owls, oh my! Encounter wildlife up close, explore the history and culture of the wild West and take in beautiful art. The High Desert Museum is a cultural gem set on 135 acres of awe. It’s no wonder visitors voted us one of the best things to do in Bend Oregon!

Upcoming
Events


  • 11.30.18
    5:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Please join us for our Annual Meeting with Executive Director Dana Whitelaw, PhD, and hear about the Museum’s recent accomplishments and plans for the future. Afterward, stay for holiday fun for all ages including festive food, storytelling, crafts and photos with Father Christmas! 5:00pm – 6:00 pm – Annual Meeting 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm (more…)


  • 12.06.18
    6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

As artist Roberta Kirk stated in the By Her Hand exhibition, “Our people are still here … We are still practicing our culture, traditions and languages … We’re still trying to protect our land, our resources and our traditional foods. We’re still trying to carry on the way that our ancestors taught us.” Join us (more…)


  • 12.08.18
    10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Learn how to draw select raptors from the Museum’s Donald M. Kerr Birds of Prey Center under the guidance of artist and teacher Ian Factor. The workshop will begin with classroom instruction and sketching exercises from taxidermy specimens before moving on to drawing live birds. Dress warmly for outdoor sketching. Suitable for ages 14 and (more…)


  • 12.08.18
    11:00 am - 2:00 pm

Hear some toe-tapping tunes from our pioneering house band! Dancing encouraged. 11:00 am – 2:00 pm Free with Museum admission (more…)


  • 12.08.18
    11:00 am - 3:00 pm

Bring a camera and take a holiday photo with Father Christmas. Our beloved 1880s character of holiday past will be waiting for your wish list in the historic ambience of the Hall of Exploration and Settlement. 11:00 am – 3:00 pm Decorate your own cookie $1 Free with Museum admission (more…)


  • 12.11.18
    7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Native fish of Oregon’s High Desert, such as the Warner sucker, Foskett speckled dace and Hutton tui chub, thrive in healthy streams, lakes and springs. Some species exist only in certain places, such as the Borax Lake chub, which are only found in one 10-acre lake. However, these species have faced numerous threats to their (more…)

Changing
Exhibits

9.8.18 -
7.14.19

Art, Natural History

Animal Journeys: Navigating in Nature

The High Desert Museum is pleased to present Animal Journeys: Navigating in Nature, an original exhibition exploring the navigational feats performed by wildlife.

9.22.18 -
1.20.19

Art, History

By Her Hand: Native American Women, Their Art, and the Photographs of Edward S. Curtis

By highlighting works of art created by Native women alongside Curtis’s photographs, this exhibition celebrates Indigenous artistic traditions that have existed for centuries and continue to thrive within Native communities today..

10.27.18 -
2.17.19

Art, Natural History

Desert Mystic: Paintings by John Simpkins

John Simpkins personifies the tradition of the artist as a mystic and hermit as his paintings weave wildlife into dense, layered allegories.

Growing up otter

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