Museum of Riverside

Museum of Riverside

Programs and Events 

COVID 19: The City of Riverside ENCOURAGES members of the public to wear a mask indoors at city facilities and outdoors on city property when social distancing is not possible, REGARDLESS of vaccination status.

Upcoming at the Main Museum

3580 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, CA 92501

First Sundays 2022-2023

First Sundays are back on the front steps of our main museum in Downtown Riverside October 2022 through May 2023!  All First Sunday events are from 1-4 p.m. and free of charge.

February 5 - Will You Be My Valentine?
St. Valentine's Day has been celebrated in Western culture for centuries. What better way to celebrate those you love than with a delicious cookie? Join a local baker to decorate your own masterpiece cookie (you don't even have to give it away!).

March 5 - Reptile Roundup!
Join Riverside's own Reptile Joe as we explore the wonders of the reptilian world. He'll bring some of his favorite snakes and lizards to share and talk about what to do if you encounter a wild animal in nature. Explore how folks camped in the 19th century at Heritage House in the exhibition In Tents Moments from March through the end of June.

April 2 - Earth Day - Natural Dyes
From insects to flowers and other plants, explore the world of natural dyes. Create your own imprint of a flower on a scarf as we slow down and learn what nature has to teach us!

May 7 - Captain Carl and His Mobile Tidepool
Join the Museum for the return of Captain Carl and his amazing sea creatures! Adults and children alike can hold a starfish, squeeze a sea squirt, and touch an urchin as we bring a bit of the shore to Riverside. Learn how you can reduce your use of plastics and make a sustainability pledge to help keep our oceans clean!


The Museum of Riverside participates in the Downtown Riverside ArtsWalk held the first Thursday of each month 6-9 p.m.  Activity and ending time will vary.

Upcoming at Community Locations

Documentary Screenings

"These Are Not 'Stories': American Indian Boarding Schools in Southern California" is a documentary gathering true American Indian boarding school experiences from the students themselves and their family members. Presented by the Museum of Riverside, Sherman Indian Museum, and Costo Endowment of American Indian Affairs, University of California, Riverside. All screenings are free and open to the public.

February 25, 2023, 2:00 p.m.
Sherman Indian High School, Robert Levi Auditorium

March 18, 2023, 11:00 a.m.
UCR, Palm Desert campus auditorium

March 25, 2023, 2:00 p.m.
The BOX Riverside, 3635 Market Street, Riverside

"These Are Not 'Stories': American Indian Boarding Schools in Southern California" was made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities' Sustaining Humanities through the American Rescue Plan in partnership with the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums. Additional partners include the Sherman Indian Museum and Costo Endowment of American Indian Affairs, University of California, Riverside.

A federal agency seal

ATALM logo

Sherman Indian School logo

Costo Endowment logo


Nights with the Museum

Always Different, Never Boring

Attend fascinating discussions with people from our local community.  No previous expertise necessary!

First Fridays of the month  |  6:30 – 8:00 p.m.  FREE!

Located at the Main Library Community Room, 3900 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside.

Friday, February 3, 2023  |  6:30-8:00 p.m. - NEW LOCATION, MAIN LIBRARY COMMUNITY ROOM
Rosalind Sagara, Co-founder and Chair, Save Our Chinatown Committee, and Judy Lee, Co-founder and past member, Save Our Chinatown Committee                                                                                                         “Chinatown, Riverside: Then and Now”
Do you know where Riverside's Chinatown is and how it came to be?  Learn more about how this historic site took shape, some of the people who called it home, and local efforts to preserve it for future generations.

Friday, March 3, 2023  |  6:30-8:00 p.m. - NEW LOCATION, MAIN LIBRARY COMMUNITY ROOM
Douglas J. Long, Ph.D., Curator of Natural History, Museum of Riverside
“California's Elephants: Mammoths, Mastodons, and the Megafauna”
A few tens of thousands of years ago, California looked a bit like Afrcia, with herds of giant herbivores and carnivores in a land that wasn't too different from Riverside today. Mammoths and mastodons flourished and survived until 12,000 years ago, but how did they evolve in the New World, and what caused their extinctions?

Friday, April 7, 2023  |  6:30-8:00 p.m.
Brittney Elizabeth Stoneburg, M.Sc., Collections Manager at the Western Science Center
“Doll Ponies: The Tiny Three-Toed Fossil Horses of Ancient California”
Three-toed horses once roamed Southern California millions of years ago. These prehistoric ponies offer a glimpse into our region's past environment and a warming future.

Friday, May 5, 2023  |  6:30-8:00 p.m.
H. Vincent Moses, Ph.D., Vincate & Associates History Consultants
“Jekel, Spurgeon, Wilson: Riverside's Architects of the Spanish Colonial Revival, 1914-1940”
By 1930, the Spanish Colonial Revival (SCR) dominated the architecture of Southern California. Moses's presentation will examine the primary works of Riverside's three best known architects of the SCR 1903-1940 and place them within the context of SCR in Southern California.

Friday, June 2, 2023  |  6:30-8:00 p.m.
Bree Putman, Ph.D., Department of Biology, Cal State San Bernardino; Natural History Museum of L.A. County
“Does Fear Filter Lizards from Urban Areas?”
Urbanization is growing worldwide, displacing native wildlife. Yet, some animals do well in urban areas (think of pigeons!). But why are some animals better than others at responding to such habitat changes? Dr. Putman will present her research that looks at whether our native lizard species differ in their fear responses toward humans, which may be associated with their survival and success in urban environments.

Friday, July 7, 2023  |  6:30-8:00 p.m.
Mairin Balisi, Ph.D., Augustyn Family Curator at the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology
“California Carnivores Through the Ages”
Non-native donkeys introduced into the Mojave Desert have become prey for a growing population of mountain lions, but this is only the current stage of a long and complex history of mammalian predators and prey in California, from dire wolves to sabertooth cats.                                              

Friday, August 4, 2023  |  6:30-8:00 p.m.
Douglas J. Long, Ph.D., Curator of Natural History, Museum of Riverside
“Riverside's Deadly Elephant Rampage: The Full Story”
A traveling circus and an oil depot explosion set off one of the strangest days in Riverside's history. This talk will explain the events of that day in 1908 and unravel the fascinating back-stories of the characters involved, including the elephants.

Friday, September 1, 2023  |  6:30-8:00 p.m.
Phillip Stearnes, Ph.C., doctoral student, Department of Biology, University of California, Riverside
“Life and Times of the Megalodon, the World's Largest Shark That Ever Lived”
New research shows just how big this ocean predator was, what it ate, how it lived, and why it became extinct. Fossils of this super-shark have even been found in Riverside County, dating from the time when the area was under the Pacific Ocean.

Friday, October 6, 2023  |  6:30-8:00 p.m.
Jennifer Mermilliod, architectural historian, JM Research & Consulting
“Evergreen Cemetery and Its Notable Inhabitants”
Learn about the history of Riverside's oldest cemetery, and stories of the interesting people interred below.

Friday, November 3, 2023  |  6:30-8:00 p.m.
Christopher Tracy, Ph.D., Director, Philip L. Boyd Deep Canyon Desert Research Center, University of California Natural Reserve System, University of California, Riverside
“Sand Between Their Toes: How Coachella Fringe-toed Lizards Helped Us Understand Desert Lizards in Africa”
The Coachella Valley is the only place in the world where the Coachella fringe-toed lizard lives. Herpetologist Dr. Chris Tracy will introduce us to his decades-long study of this federally protected lizards species, how it has affected development and natural conservation in the valley, and how that project took the research team from the Deep Canyon Research Center to Africa's Namibian Desert to understand more about lizards that live on sand dunes.

Friday, December 1, 2023  |  6:30-8:00 p.m.
Cathy Gudis, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History, University of California, Riverside
“From King Citrus to the Empire of Logistics”
The inland region today is occupied by over a billion square feet iof warehouses, and Amazon is the biggest employer. Yet the region was once promoted through vistas of seemingly endless orchards and was known as the Orange Empire, where citrus was king. How did we get to this point, where logistics has dominated the landscape, and with what implications?


Upcoming at Heritage House

8193 Magnolia Avenue, Riverside, CA 92504

Regular tours of Heritage House are held Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (12:15-3:15 p.m.)
We encourage guest safety. Please make a reservation to tour Heritage House via Eventbrite Link Here

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