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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.

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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


  • 08.11.18
    8:00 am - 2:00 pm

Join Curator of Art and Community Engagement Andries Fourie for a landscape drawing workshop at Fort Rock. Transportation provided. Bring a hat, sunscreen, a water bottle and lunch. Materials required include a hardcover sketchbook or drawing pad (18” x 24” or smaller) and drawing media of your choice. Drawing board recommended. No experience required. Ages (more…)


  • 08.11.18
    11:00 am - 2:00 pm

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


  • 08.17.18
    7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Join us on an exciting evening expedition in search of bats on the Museum grounds using echolocator equipment. Bring weather-appropriate clothing and a flashlight or headlamp. 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm Members $5, non-members $10 Registration and prepayment required. In partnership with (more…)


  • 08.25.18
    5:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Join us for the 29th annual Rendezvous — a rip-roaring evening including dinner, silent and live auctions, raffle, historical gambling, hosted saloon and dancing. Central Oregon’s longest-running fundraiser supports the Museum’s educational programs. 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm RSVP: www.highdesertmuseum.org/HDR Made possible by (more…)


  • 08.30.18
    8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Experience the fun and adventure of rock climbing at Smith Rock State Park. This half-day excursion is designed for families and first-time climbers. Guides with Smith Rock Climbing School will explain the techniques and mechanics of climbing, giving everyone a chance to feel confident trying something new. In addition to climbing, Dr. Laura Ferguson, curator (more…)


  • 09.01.18
    11:00 am - 3:00 pm

Full steam ahead! See the 1904 sawmill in action and discover how critical this steam-powered sawmill was to homestead families in the High Desert. 11:00 am – 3:00 pm Free with Museum admission (more…)

Changing
Exhibits

9.2.17 -
7.15.18

Kids, Natural History

Innovation Lab: Design Inspired by Nature

Learn how designers, engineers and architects are taking a page out of nature's book, and create some designs of your own in this family-friendly exhibition.

4.28.18 -
9.9.18

Art, Natural History

Ascent: Climbing Explored

Discover the sport and spirit of mountaineering and rock climbing in a new, Museum-curated exhibit highlighting the history and culture of these adventure sports.

5.3.18 -
6.3.18

Kids, Art

Kids Curate

Kids Curate ensures that arts education remains in schools. The High Desert Museum offers teachers the professional development required to deliver integrated arts projects to their students.

5.12.18 -
10.14.18

Art, History

High Desert Dreams: The Lost Homesteads of the Fort Rock Basin

Photographer Rich Bergeman captures the decaying homesteads, vanished town sites and High Desert ecology through beautiful black-and-white photographs.

Growing up otter

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