Press Release – Free Days, February 2023

Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Contact: Heidi Hagemeier, director of communications, 541-382-4754 ext. 166,

Mid Oregon Free Days Return to the High Desert Museum in February

BEND, OR — For the first time since winter 2020, Free Family Saturdays return to the High Desert Museum. On Saturday, February 11 and 25, visitors will get free admission to the Museum.

“After three years, we are excited to throw open our doors for Free Family Saturdays,” said Museum Executive Director Dana Whitelaw, Ph.D. “They have always been highly popular and it’s an amazing day for witnessing the Museum’s educational mission in action.”

Along with free admission, visitors can enjoy a special Daily Schedule filled with numerous interpretive talks. Every hour from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, there will be a Bird of Prey Encounter in the Bird of Prey Center pavilion. Visitors can meet a nonreleasable raptor in the Museum’s care and learn about their unique adaptations. Visitors can also experience nature encounters in Classroom A throughout the day.

Visitors on Free Family Saturdays will be able to experience the Museum’s new exhibition, Creations of Spirit. Native artists commissioned for this original exhibition created artwork to be used in Native communities before arriving at the Museum. It includes acclaimed artists Joe Feddersen (Colville), Kelli Palmer (Wasco, Warm Springs) and H’Klumaiyat Roberta Joy Kirk (Wasco, Warm Springs, Diné). Creations of Spirit is a one-of-a-kind, celebratory experience featuring the stories of living works of art.

Other temporary exhibitions include the original effort, Under the Snow. The exhibit, offered in English and Spanish, reveals the hidden world beneath the snow, called the subnivium. In this environment, animals create a matrix of tunnels to survive the winter’s frigid temperatures and hide from the predators that lurk above. The exhibit is filled with animations of animals and immerses the visitor in the winter landscape. Learn more at

And In the Arena: Photographs from America’s Only Touring Black Rodeo, will be open through June 25. Through the lens of San Francisco Bay area photographer Gabriela Hasbun, the exhibit documents the exhilarating atmosphere of the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo—the only touring Black rodeo in the country—and the showstopping style and skill of the Black cowboys and cowgirls who compete in it year after year. Learn more at

Winter hours are daily from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Learn more about all the Museum’s permanent and temporary exhibits at

Free Family Saturdays are made possible by Mid Oregon Credit Union.


The HIGH DESERT MUSEUM opened in Bend, Oregon in 1982. It brings together wildlife, cultures, art, history and the natural world to convey the wonder of North America’s High Desert. The Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is a Smithsonian Affiliate, was the 2019 recipient of the Western Museums Association’s Charles Redd Award for Exhibition Excellence and was a 2021 recipient of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.