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.

living history teach and learn high desert museum things to do in bend oregon


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

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!


  • 01.31.19
    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Museum Curator of Art and Community Engagement Andries Fourie will lead a gallery walk through the exhibition Rick Bartow: Things You Know But Cannot Explain. Learn about Bartow’s life, his influences, the importance of his Native American heritage and the methods and materials he used to make his art. 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm $7, (more…)

  • 02.01.19
    9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Tweet Tweet Did you hear that? It’s almost nesting season for local birds. Discover what it takes to make a safe habitat for birds and their babies. Assemble and decorate a nesting platform for songbirds that you can install in your own yard! This program is sold out. If you would like to be placed (more…)

  • 02.02.19
    10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Be inspired by Rick Bartow’s self portraits. Bring the kids for a fun, hands-on family workshop and learn to draw and paint self-portraits. Andries Fourie, curator of art and community engagement, will teach you how to draw facial features and a colorful, creative self-portrait. No previous experience required. All materials supplied. For ages 3 and (more…)

  • 02.02.19
    10:30 am - 1:00 pm

Encourage birds to nest on your property! Join us to learn about native backyard birds before making your own nest box to take home. Building materials provided. Suitable for ages 8 and older. The cost of the program includes materials for one box and two participants. The following Refund Policy is in effect for the (more…)

  • 02.04.19
    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Many Oregonians envision a future that includes communities built on values of diversity, equity and inclusion. At the same time, we live in a society that marginalizes and excludes people of color. Facilitators Anita Yap and Traci Price will lead participants in a conversation that looks at how Oregon’s history of racism influences our present (more…)

  • 02.06.19
    10:00 am - 11:00 am

Come on an adventure! Inspired by the art of John Simpkins in the exhibit Desert Mystic: Paintings by John Simpkins, create your own large-format folk art and a story to go along with it. Children ages 3-5 and their caregivers investigate science, art, music, stories, and culture in a fun, hands-on manner. Don backpacks filled (more…)


9.8.18 -

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.

10.27.18 -

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.

1.26.19 -

Art, History

Rick Bartow: Things You Know But Cannot Explain

Rick Bartow (1946-2016) is one of Oregon’s most celebrated Indigenous artists. Rick’s sculptures, paintings, drawings and prints are an eloquent exploration of his identity, and they remind us that identity is layered and complex.

Growing up otter



mining days things to do bend oregon high desert museum