As you might expect, the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in Dubuque is near the Mississippi River. It’s fitting that many of the living exhibits showcase aquatic life found in the river’s natural habitat. View bizarre paddlefish that are unique to the Mississippi River watershed and pet stingrays as they swim along in their touch pool.
Aquariums here feature the river’s seasonally flooded forest regions as well as re-created wetlands with their inhabitants of birds, turtles and fish. View the American alligator that makes the lower Mississippi River its home and be amused by the playful antics of river otters.
Four of the attraction’s aquariums are dedicated to North American marine areas that have habitats affected by rivers, including the largest exhibit, which depicts the Gulf of Mexico.
The role of the river has been pivotal in the region’s history, having an influence on agriculture, commerce, boat building and the arts of music, literature and painting. Explore these areas through displays.
A large paddlewheel greets you as you approach the entrance. This type of wheel powered a riverboat, an iconic site on the Mississippi River in historic times. Through simulation, try your boat-handling skills as you attempt to skipper a barge on the river.
In addition to the exhibits and displays, movies on river-related themes are shown in the 3-D and 4-D theaters.
Plan to spend up to 3 hours at this attraction. The cost of a ticket permits a return visit the following day to see what you may have missed earlier.
National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium is an accessible attraction spread over two buildings. It is open most days throughout the year. Take the family or come by yourself to be entertained and to learn about this important river and its watershed.
Ask about a discount to Dubuque’s historic Mathias Ham House when purchasing tickets for this museum.