Museums

National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium Dubuque

Where is it at?

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National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium
350 East 3rd Street
Port of Dubuque
Dubuque
IA
52001
Tel: 563.557.9545

Directions

GPS: Latitude N42°29'47" (42.496°) Longitude W90°39'40" (-90.661°)

FROM HIGHWAY 20 EAST BOUND: Follow Hwy 20 East toward the Illinois Bridge. At the intersection before the Illinois Bridge, turn left to, "Downtown/Civic Center" then follow Locust St for 3 blocks to Third Street. Turn right on Third St, until you come to T intersection.

Turn right at the intersection, turn right again into museum parking lot.

The museum is to the left

Where are we going today?

The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium gives you a unique opportunity to learn all about their historical collections, as well as their living collections - why? Because it's both a museum AND an aquarium of course!

This family-friendly day out along the grand Mississippi River has two very different types of collections, both of which will fascinate and educate!

The historical collections feature items of the Dubuque County Historical Society, which record the people of the county, as well as the Mississippi River Valley. Kids might be amazed at how much interesting history there is right under their feet!

These collections also explore the rivers of the USA, and their connection to the people and the environment. Kids can explore Native American life, as well as early settlement, commerce, river art, conservation, and even music!

Then of course, there is the aquarium within the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium! Kids can come face to face with sweet creatures such as otters, creatures from the flooded forest regions, the bayou, and even catfish and gar within their largest freshwater habitat - the Main Channel.

These exhibits really let kids learn about the different environments there are within the area, and how different the creatures are within each one.

Learning is made even more fun with various animal programs, including creature features, and fish feeding, and there is a super fun 3D and 4d theater experience - complete with sound, mist and wind to make the experience that much more real!

Great historic and ecological fun at this Mississippi museum and aquarium - what will you discover today!?

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How much does it cost?

  • Adults$15 admission only
  • Children$10 (ages 3-17) admission only
  • Free Under: 3 years
LAST UPDATED 2016

When can we go?

9am - 6pm Memorial Day to Labor Day. 5pm close rest of year. 10am open March to May

Daily (closed on Christmas Day and Thanksgiving)

Teachers corner

There are several learning opportunities at the Museum & Aquarium including water conservation, environmental education, river history and culture.

It's a great way for students to really learn all about something really special!.

I'm Hungry!

"River’s Edge Café" in the National River Center.

"Mississippi Grounds" coffee/snack counter in the Mississippi River Center.

Refreshments are also available at both Gift Shop locations. .

Healthy Eating!

Healthy snack options and vegetarian meal choices are available at the River’s Edge Café and the Mississippi Grounds snack counter. .

Any Top Tips?

Admission tickets are good for two consecutive days (valid only with receipt of purchase).

Don’t forget to explore the entire Museum & Aquarium, which includes two buildings, a National Landmark vessel and outdoor spaces.

Tickets to the 3D/4D Theater are separate from Admission; save money with the "Total Experience" packages… ask the box office upon your arrival for details.

Add a “Combo Ticket” to each admission for just $3 and visit our historical sites too!.

Doing our bit

They have many dynamic exhibits that help teach the public, especially kids and families, what they can do to help conserve and preserve our rivers, oceans and wildlife..

Need a little extra help?

They have extra wheelchairs and strollers on site available for guest use.

The William M. Black National Landmark vessel has limited access for wheelchairs and strollers. All other areas of the Museum & Aquarium are accessible. .

Baby Facilities

Special family bathroom with diaper changing board are available at both centers. All bathroom facilities are very large and accommodating to strollers and wheelchairs. .

Can I get one of those?

Bring that pocket money, because there is plenty to take home! Logo merchandise, educational toys, books, music, local artisan items, snacks/beverages, memorabilia, and more!.

More information

Keep an eye on changing exhibits so you don't miss out!.

What people are saying?

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    Great time, the kids loved it. There is lots to do and see! Dubuque has a wonderful history.

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    The "4D experience" was just ridiculous. We splurged for both Ice Age and Salmon Run. Ice Age (15 min) wasn't even in 3D. Salmon Run started with 5 minutes of scenic shots and then 10 minutes of the actual film. Basically, the seats shook a tiny bit a couple of times during Ice Age...yet not at times when it would have been most effective. Both films included being misted with water. A complete and total waste of money--$9 per person for the "double feature." Lamest thing I've ever spent money on.

    While the center was open until 6pm, the WM Black...Read More

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    The $15 adult admission price initially seemed steep until we realized just how much there is to do here! Two buildings focus on the Mississippi and other rivers throughout human history, as well as their impact on plants and animals. There is plenty to learn through displays, pictures, and videos without having to read too much. Some hands-on experiences for kids complement the outdoor displays, including a can't miss historic steam boat! Within easy and convenient walking distance of downtown Dubuque.

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    This is worth every penny. Spent 2 days here and could probably spend a 3rd. Take the drudge boat tour!

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    Awesome place to spend a day at. Great exhibits.

Submit a review

by Sandra Trca-Black

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The "4D experience" was just ridiculous. We splurged for both Ice Age and Salmon Run. Ice Age (15 min) wasn't even in 3D. Salmon Run started with 5 minutes of scenic shots and then 10 minutes of the actual film. Basically, the seats shook a tiny bit a couple of times during Ice Age...yet not at times when it would have been most effective. Both films included being misted with water. A complete and total waste of money--$9 per person for the "double feature." Lamest thing I've ever spent money on.

While the center was open until 6pm, the WM Black dredge boat closed at 3:30. Had we been told that at admission, we would have gone there first. But we weren't told, so walked out at 5pm to find it closed. That added insult to injury after the joke of the 4D debacle.

A clean facility in good condition with good exhibits. Just avoid the 3D/4D theater and make sure to ask when outdoor exhibits close.

The Weather

Monday

Conditions: Overcast
Temp: 41° F / 5° C
Humidity: 85 %
Wind: NW - 8 MPH

Tuesday

Conditions: Chance of Rain
Temp: 41° F / 5° C
Humidity: 86 %
Wind: ESE - 15 MPH

Wednesday

Conditions: Snow
Temp: 38° F / 3° C
Humidity: 90 %
Wind: NW - 21 MPH

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