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National Great Rivers Museum

Alton, IL

4 (2 reviews)

Where are we going?

Address: Lock and Dam Way, Alton, IL 62002, USA How do we get there? Number: 877-462-6979
Attractions in Alton All Photo
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About this activity

There are some mighty great rivers in the USA, with such history surrounding them and life flourishing from them, so why not visit a museum that celebrates them - and in particular the Mighty Mississippi! The National Great Rivers Museum is 12,000 sq ft of exhibits that tell the story of this impressive river, and help visitors understand all aspects of it, and how it affects our lives today.

Throughout the museum you will find interactive displays that explore the natural ecosystem of the Mississippi River and how humans have interacted with the river, both in the past and present day. Go back in time to when the early cultures that called the Cahokia Mounds home, to the European settlers.

Kids can learn about the various wildlife that lives near the banks and in the water, from prairie plants, to trees, and birds and other animals. There is even an aquarium in the museum displaying the fish that inhabit the river!

The National Great Rivers Museum also outlines the mechanics of the river itself, such as how soil is made, and how erosion works. so it's a fabulous learning experience for kids.

At one station kids can estimate how much fresh water their household uses a day, and at another they can send e-mail postcards from their hometown!


Are you ready to take a journey along the Mighty Mississippi, and dive into its rich history?

Activity location


The National Great Rivers Museum is located on IL-143 (the Great River Road) south of the Clark Bridge between the communities of Alton and Wood River.

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National Great Rivers Museum FAQ’s

There are picnic facilities so why not bring your own lunch!

Check out the free tours, accessible by wheelchair, of the Melvin Price Locks and Dam are conducted daily at 10am, 1pm, and 3pm.

There is a gift shop where you can pick up a range of gifts and merchandise

Give them a call to ask about the accessibility of the museum and exhibits

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