Local Museums and Tours

Where do I take my kids? To our museums!


National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium: Opened in June 2003 after 25 years of raising $54 million to establish and expand upon the original Mississippi River Museum.

The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium is accredited by the American Association of Museums - a distinction held by 9 percent of American museums, and it was named an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution in August 2003.

 It is located at 350 East Third St., 557-9545.

The river campus also includes the William Woodward River Discovery Center, the National Rivers Hall of Fame, the Fred W. Woodward Riverboat Museum, a boatyard, a wetland and a refurbished train depot.

  • William Woodward Discovery Center: Has five large freshwater aquariums, live animal exhibits, wet labs, towboat simulators and hands-on activities that will educate and entertain.
  • National Rivers Hall of Fame: Offers stories of people who pioneered the waterways of the United States, including Louis Armstrong, Mark Twain, and Lewis and Clark.
  • Fred W. Woodward Riverboat Museum: Displays and celebrates the history of riverboats on the Mississippi through exhibits and artifacts.
  • Woodward Wetlands: Includes a boardwalk trail that winds along natural and living history outposts. See turtles, flora and fauna and explore the natural habitat of the Mississippi.
  • Steamboat William M. Black: Is the size of a football field and was a working dredge boat that once roamed the Mississippi River. Overnight stays and dining soon will be available.
  • Educational Programs and Field Trips: Are available for students from prekindergarten age to college-level and beyond. Call for details.
  • Historic Dubuque Tours: Also available through the Historical Society.

E. B. Lyons Interpretive Center: At the Mines of Spain.  Exhibits and displays about the park and areas natural resources and history. Live animal exhibits.