Tortoise Tales - Hi-Desert Nature Museum
Luau Dance
presented by
Yucca Valley Senior Club
Town of Yucca Valley

Featuring music by

Saturday, August 24th
6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Yucca Valley
Senior Center
55 and over: $3.00
Under 55: $5.00

 The Town of Yucca Valley will hold its annual Holiday Craft Faire on Saturday, December 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Yucca Valley Community Center.

Sign-ups to participate as a vendor start Tuesday, September 3, at 8:00 a.m. at the Yucca Valley Community Center. The deadline for vendor applications is November 14 at 5:00 p.m. or until all tables are sold.


Cost is $25 per table, one table per vendor


For more information please call the

Yucca Valley

Community Services Department at (760) 369-7211


Arrive for lunch at the Old World Festival Hall for the annual Oktoberfest in Huntington Beach featuring German cuisine. Enjoy live   entertainment with your German lunch experience. 
 Thursday, October 17

Depart: 9:00 a.m.

Lunch: 11:15 a.m.

Arrive in Yucca Valley: 5:30 p.m.

Price: $60.00 (includes Luncheon)



August 22 -          "Luxuries in Aztec Life"

Dr. Frances Berdan

Dep. of Anthropology, CSU San Bernardino


The Aztecs were meticulous and skilled artisans. Their finest works of art were stunning feathered adornments and intricate turquoise stone mosaics, of which only a handful still exist today. Drawing on these material remains and ethnohistoric documents, this powerpoint lecture explores the manner in which these exquisite objects were made and used in the diverse and dynamic Aztec world.

Dr. Frances Berdan has authored or co-authored 14 books and more than 100 articles on Aztec and Colonial Mexican culture, economy, and society.  



September 12 -           "Galileo Galilei"  


Ken Drummond & Ray Yeager

Noted  17th century astronomer Galileo will make a rare appearance, courtesy of Ken Drummond. He will discuss his many astronomical discoveries and demonstrate a few of his ground breaking  inventions. This will be followed by a Powerpoint presentation entitled " A Tour of the Night Sky " by Ray Yeager featuring the latest photos of the solar system and beyond.

Time:              12:00 - 1:00 p.m.  

Admission;  $ 5.00, Museum members free 


  download complete program here


Science Saturday 
August 17: Electricity

Have you ever wondered why you create a spark after rubbing your shoes on the carpet or why you shouldn't get in a pool during a lightning storm? Join Museum Educator Crystal Mason as she answers these questions and more during this electrifying Science Saturday.


Join us for days of discovery during Science Saturdays! These programs will ignite your children's curiosity by presenting information and performing experiments relating to biology, earth science and chemistry. All programs will be facilitated by our Museum Educator. It is recommended that children be of school age for this program.


Time:        11:00-11:30 a.m.


September 7: Plate Tectonics

September 21: Paleontology


Cost:        FREE!


Aztec Facts 
  • Before the Aztecs became successful they harvested algae and dried it into cakes in order to survive.
  • The Aztecs played a popular game called Ullamaliztli. The object of the game was to get a rubber ball through a small stone ring using only a players head, elbows, knees and hips.
  • This game was so important to the Aztecs that 16,000 balls were imported from the Mayan lowlands into Tenochtitlan each year.
  • Chocolate was prized by the Aztecs. One cocoa bean alone was worth 20 small tomatoes, and cocoa beans were even used to pay taxes.
  • The tail of the opossum was eaten by the Aztecs as a way to stimulate contractions to induce labor.
  • As part of their tough training, young Aztec priests pricked themselves with cactus spines. A young priest would go through 17,280 cactus spines for pricking!
  • The Aztecs were familiar with nearly 3,000 medicinal herbs.
  • In Aztec lore, the ahuitzotl was a dangerous water-dwelling creature but the Aztec people believed if they threw their fingernail clippings into water as an offering the ahuitzotl would make their nails grow out healthy and strong. It was later discovered that the ahuitzotl was a real creature: the water opossum.
  • The Aztecs referred to gold as the excrement of the gods.
  • All ancient Mexicans worshipped corn. For the Aztecs a successful person was called a "ripe ear of corn."
  • During the festival of Izcalli (meaning sprout or growth) dedicated to the rain and fire god children were pulled by their necks to make them grow as corn grows.
  • The preparation of corn was a daily task for the housewife, and even now in certain parts of Mexico it still occupies up to six hours of a woman's day.
  • The last Aztec emperor Moctezuma II had a selection of almost 200 dishes for dinner - including fresh fish brought on foot by a series of professional relay runners every day from the Atlantic coast nearly 250 miles away!
  • Aztec messengers relayed messages at a rate of about 260 miles per day. English horseback couriers in the Middle Ages averaged about 35 miles per day- the Aztec system was at least 7 times faster!

Visit the Museum
The Hi-Desert Nature Museum is located in the Yucca Valley Community Center Complex at 57116 Twentynine Palms Highway.  The museum is open Thursday - Saturday,
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Admission is free; donations support the educational mission of the museum.  The Hi-Desert Nature Museum is operated by the Town of Yucca Valley.
For more information on our programs and events contact the museum at (760) 369-7212 or visit our website at
To view a full schedule of Yucca Valley events, sports programs and recreation classes visit the Town's website at