Hillsboro Tribune: Hillsboro’s Best 2017

Thank you for voting for the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals in the Hillsboro Tribune’s annual Hillsboro’s Best awards. We’re honored to receive the highest awards from readers of the Hillsboro Tribune in SIX categories! Thank you so much for naming the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals:

2017 Hillsboro's Best Winners logo

  • Best Family Attraction
  • Best Place to Take the Kids
  • Best Place to Volunteer
  • Best Annual Event
    (Summer Festival)
  • Best Holiday Event


  • Best Wedding Venue

The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals walked away with not one, not two, but six awards this year — five of them gold. Readers say they’re the best family attraction in town, hold the best summer and holiday events — their annual summer festival and Thunder Egg-Stravaganza are to die for — and are a great place to volunteer and, yes, even host a wedding.”

Check out the full list of “Hillsboro’s Best” here!


Book signing at the museum!

cover 3 ebookLocal author Tonya Macalino will release her latest book at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals on October 7, 2017 from 2:00-4:00 PM. Executive Director Julian Gray, author Tonya Macalino, and representatives from the Hillsboro Historical Society will present connections to local history and special places in the third book of The Gates of Auròna children’s chapter book series and Tonya will be signing her book.

The Rice Museum features as a major location for the young adventurers in Macalino’s new release The Gates of Auròna: Spinwatch, which is set in Hillsboro, Oregon. Many local personalities appear as character inspirations in the series, including Executive Director Julian Gray and Curator Leslie Moclock. “I had never seen dragons guarding the Alma Rose until Tonya brought them to us,” said Moclock, “It’s wonderful to imagine mythical beasts helping us guard our museum treasures!”


Executive Director Julian Gray, author Tonya Macalino, and Tonya’s three dragons pose with the Alma Rose

The event will take place inside the Master Gallery of the museum, where the greatest treasures of the museum and the magic crystals of the book are located. Admission to the museum is included with purchase of the third book, The Gates of Auròna: Spinwatch. All three books in the series will be available for purchase in the museum store, inside at the event, and online through Amazon.com. Craft projects, prizes, and light refreshments will be available. Preregistration is requested at www.thegatesofauronabook3.eventbrite.com

2017 Northwest Fossil Fest at the Rice Northwest Museum

The Northwest Fossil Fest sponsored by the North America Research Group (NARG) will take place at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals on Saturday, August 12, 2017, from 10 AM to 5 PM.

The theme for the 12th Annual Northwest Fossil Fest is “Fishing the Past!”

The event is free for families to learn about fossils, fossil collecting, preparation, identification, hands on demonstrations, and educational displays. Dr. Edward Davis, University of Oregon will talk on fossil fish from Oregon, including the sabertooth salmon.

Paleontologists will be on hand identify fossils and to show kids of all ages how to clean and prepare fossils.  There will be lots of hands on activities and this is a great event for families and fossil fans.  Attendance for the Fossil Fest includes free admission to the museum.

For more information and up-to-the-minute information see Northwest Fossil Fest.



Summer Festival is Back!

Our 14th annual Summer Fest 2017 will be at the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals Saturday and Sunday, August 5-6, 2017. The hours are 10 AM – 5 PM. Admission is $5 for everyone ages 5 and up!

Summer Festival Full Page Flyer

Geodes and other minerals and rocks for sale at vendor booths. The outdoor festival features a wide variety of rock, mineral, gem, jewelry, and fossil dealers. We will have food for purchase, live music, and plenty of fun family activities.

Rock clubs from around the region will be offering wonderful educational displays, demonstrations, and activities.

Come early and stay the whole day. The entire museum will be open during this event, so you can explore all our displays after browsing vendors’ tents and creating a “pet rock.” Bring a picnic lunch or enjoy the refreshments at the museum.

It’s a perfect event to spend with friends and family. Bring them all!


Silent Auction Preview!

We are so excited to have received so many generous donations of really cool items for our upcoming silent auction!

Here’s a sneak peak at some of the items & packages we have available!

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So come prepared to bid on these items and also a zip line tour, a glider ride, a trip to Astoria, a trip to Seattle, an abundance of wine, minerals, and many more!

Many thanks to our Silent Auction donors:

ACE Hardware #661
Al’s Garden Center
Scott Ankenbrand
Bag&Baggage Productions
Richard Berger
Cannery Pier Hotel & Spa
Greg Carr
Bruce Carter
Clatsop County Historical Society
Columbia River Maritime Museum
Bill & Diana Dameron
Dooger’s Seafood & Grill
Festivals Inc.
Finn Ware
Fort George Brewery + Public House
Garden Frog Nursery
Julian Gray & Barb Epstien
Helvetia Tavern
Helvetia Winery
Hillsboro Hops
Iteco, Inc.
Bruce Kelley
La Provence Boulangerie & Patisserie
John Li
Maryhill Winery
McGee Wealth Management
Margaret & Bob McMillan
Dennis & Mary Murphy
New Seasons Market
Wendy Obenauf
Gene & Rosalind Meieran
Michael & Patricia O’Dwyer
Ór Dubh
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Orenco Photography Club
Pittock Mansion
Plum Hill Vineyards
PM Creations
Portland Children’s Museum
Portland Japanese Garden
Prehistoric Oregon
Premier Community Bank
Provincial Vineyards
Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club
Pumpkin Ridge Zip Tour
Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals
Garret Romaine
Sharon Rowe
Paula Stewart
Dylan Stolowitz
Topgolf Hillsboro
Washington County Museum
Dale & Barbara West
Widmer Brothers Brewing
Willamette Valley Soaring Club
Bev Wolfe
World Forestry Center

And, as always, thank you to our event sponsors:

McGee Wealth Management logo, text written center in gold and blue

Margaret & Bob McMillan

Sharleen Harvey

 Bill & Diana Dameron

 The Hive Catering Co.

Bruce Carter

 Paula Stewart

It’s almost here! Join us for Thunder-Egg-Stravaganza 2017!

The egg hunt that “rocks” returns once again! Join us from 10-5 at the Rice Museum on Saturday, April 15, 2017. Admission is $5 for everyone ages 5 and up, and includes admission to the museum galleries.

Your mission: locate 4 eggs of different colors around our property and redeem them for prizes. Our prize table includes 2000+ WHOLE thunder eggs. We’ll have volunteers on site all day slicing those thunder eggs in half for FREE so you can be the first to see the surprise inside.

Educational talks on thundereggs in the Northwest will take place inside the museum at 11AM, 1PM, and 3PM. Egg hunting is available all day.


A 2016 participant shows off his freshly cut geode from the prize redemption table.

Frequently asked Questions:

Do we need to be there at a certain time to hunt the eggs? 
No! To redeem for a prize, you need to find four eggs of certain colors (based on their location on the property, the “egg zones”). That eliminates the “mad dash” of other egg hunts and keeps it fair! You can show up any time between 10 and 4:30 and we promise there will be eggs hidden.

Can adults participate?
Absolutely! We don’t do age-discrimination here at the Rice Museum, everyone loves a good egg hunt!

Do adults have to pay if they’re not participating?
Yes, your $5 covers your admission to the museum regardless of if you choose to hunt eggs. That’s reduced from normal $10 admission.

Do you sell food?
Limited snacks will be available for purchase at our hospitality table, so bring your own lunch or plan to grab it at one of the fabulous nearby restaurants! Keep in mind, we do not allow food inside the museum, so all picnic activities are based on your personal weather tolerance.

Do we have to pay for parking?
Parking is included with your admission, but it is limited and carpooling is HIGHLY encouraged.

Presenting: The Rice Museum Benefit Dinner & Silent Auction!

The Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals is hosting our first ever benefit dinner! Please join us 6 May 2017 at 5:00 PM to honor Sharleen and William Harvey, Sr. for their years of devotion to the museum.

Dr. Jeffrey Post, Curator of Gems & Minerals for the Smithsonian Institution, will deliver a presentation on the Mineral Treasures of the Smithsonian, including the renowned Hope Diamond. He will also present our official certificate of affiliation from the Smithsonian.

National Museum of Natural History

The Hope Diamond, photo courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution

Other evening highlights will include a silent auction and dinner from The Hive Catering Co. Tickets are $100 per seat. The event will take place at the Glenn & Viola Walters Cultural Arts Center in Hillsboro.

Tables are going fast, so don’t wait! Get your tickets today!

We wouldn’t be able to hold events without amazing sponsors. We are extremely grateful to:


Margaret & Bob McMillan

Sharleen Harvey

 Bill & Diana Dameron

 The Hive Catering Co.

Bruce Carter

 Paula Stewart

-Sponsor the event at any level to add your business name here!-

Purchase Tickets

Mystery Mineral Day- February 25!

Mystery Mineral Day is happening Saturday, February 25, from 10 AM to 2 PM at the museum. A panel of experts will be ready and waiting for you to bring your unknown rocks, minerals, fossils, gems, and potential meteorites for identification!

Have you always wondered what to call that cool crystal you picked up on a hike that one day? Did you inherit a collection, but it’s missing some labels? Do you think you may have found a fossil bone or a rock from outer space? Our experts are volunteering at this event just for you, so don’t be shy. Come on by!

This event is included with general admission.

ALMA ROSE ON EXHIBIT IN TUCSON-See this iconic specimen and many more!

A photo of the Alma Rose rhodochrosite specimen, it is a black rock with gray and yellow crystal formations and 6 large rhodochrosite cubes. Featured on a black background.

The Alma Rose, Photo by Jeff Scovil

We’re headed to Tucson, Arizona for the biggest mineral event of the year! We’re proud to be the featured collector at the Westward Look Fine Mineral Show and and will also be exhibiting at the 2017 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show®.


The Alma Rose rhodochrosite specimen made the trip! See it and more of our amazing collection on Saturday, February 4, from 10AM-4PM, and meet & greet with Executive Director Julian C. Gray and Curator Leslie Moclock at:

The Westward Look Resort
245 East Ina Road
Tucson, Arizona 85704

Learn more about the Fine Mineral Show here.

The Alma Rose will also be exhibited at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show® from February 9-12. Learn more here!

Tucson Convention Center
260 S Church Ave
Tucson, AZ 85701

If you can’t make it to Tucson and are headed to the museum, the Alma Rose will be back on exhibit in Hillsboro on 2/16/17. Even though we miss the Alma Rose, the Rice Museum is open our regular hours of 1PM-5PM Wednesday-Friday and 10AM-5PM Saturday-Sunday.