Tortoise Tales
Summer 2014

Dinosaur Family Fun Day
Saturday, August 2, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Travel back in time to the Age of the Dinosaurs during our dinosaur-themed Family Fun Day. Join the Museum and the Recreation Department for hands-on crafts, games, and to discover Dinosaur Park. It's dinosaur-sized fun for the whole family!  

This event is FREE! 




Join the Recreation Department for summer fun at the Paradise Park Neighborhood Center! Enjoy crafts, entertainment, games, food, and more!

 Saturday,AUGUST 16

10 a.m. - 3 p.m. 



July 16: New Zealand
Join a real New Zealand Kiwi to learn about this Island Country out in the Pacific Ocean. New Zealand has a huge variety of very interesting plants, animals and people.

July 30: Kenya
We will travel to East Africa and discover the country of Kenya, a land of fascinating tribal cultures and natural wonders. Explore Kenya's magical sights from the peak of Mt. Kenya to the sweeping plains of the Masai Mara, and go on safari to learn about the abundant wildlife living in this diverse country. Then learn about the famous Masai warriors who make Kenya their home.

Art and Culture Wednesdays at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum provide unique opportunities for kids to explore other countries through hands-on activities led byexperienced staff.

Time: 10:30 - 11:00 a.m.

Cost: $2 per student (free with Museum Family Membership) 

No pre-registration required, pay at the door

Science Saturdays

July 26: Water                                                          August 9: Building Bridges 



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 biological and physical sciences.  All programs will be facilitated by our Museum Educator.  It is recommended that children be of school age for this program.

11:00 - 11:30 a.m

FREE and no pre-registration required 

Welcome to Vanessa! 


Allow us to introduce the newest member of the Museum family! 

Vanessa Cantú is the Town of Yucca Valley's newly appointed Museum Registrar and Exhibits Coordinator. The Museum's collections are in great hands!  Vanessa holds a Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and a Master's Degree in Museum Studies from John F. Kennedy University.  Much of her professional experience was attained at several Bay Area museums and archives, including Point Reyes National Seashore and the Marin Museum of the American Indian.  However, Vanessa is no stranger to the Morongo Basin, nor to the Hi-Desert Nature Museum.  She grew up and went to school in the area, and has also volunteered at the Museum from time to time.



Thursday, July 31, 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.  

"Uninvited Guests"  

Museum Biologist Stefanie Ritter is presenting a lecture entitled "Uninvited Guests" on Thursday, July 31, starting at noon, as part of its Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series. Are you still under the impression that you know everybody who lives in your house? Stefanie will introduce you to your unknown roommates. Besides Fido the dog, there are several families of four, six and eight legged creatures, as well as an endless variety of adorable microscopic residents, that appreciate your hospitality without sharing the rent.

Bring your lunch, bring your friends, or just bring yourself to our Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series once a month. Speakers will present topics of special interest for high desert residents.

The lectures start at 12:00 noon.

Admission is $5 - Free for Members -  beverages will be served.




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 through 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  

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To view a full schedule of Yucca Valley events, sports programs and recreation classes visit the Town's website at