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“Diverse activities for everyone!”

National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium
Ranked #1 of 68 things to do in Dubuque
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium features the culture, creatures and history of our the Mississippi and all our nation's rivers through dynamic exhibits and twelve large aquariums housed in two main centers. The impressive 14-acre riverfront campus includes a connecting plaza, a 3D/4D theater, boatyard, on-site dining options, and more! DIVE IN for a visit to the Museum & Aquarium, where fun & learning flow together!
Reviewed January 5, 2010

The best thing about the place is it is a museum and aquarium. There is something for everyone. Animals, touch it tank, history, interactive exhibits about ecology and science, a paddleboat dredger to go on, other boats to look at and visit, huge outdoor area for little ones to get their energy out, a small nature trail with some historical exhibits amongst the plants and waters, and an affordable gift shop (very rare on vacation). So if you have some kids who love animals and others who love history, and some who love other sciences, this place will keep everyone happy. If you are in the area, well worth a membership -- it pays for itself quickly, especially since it gives you a 'go to' place in the cold Midwest winters. You can't miss this if you are in Dubuque for any reason. You learn something new every time, and the people who work there are tops!

I will admit, after having spent my whole life travelling and living only in huge cities, I expected a dinky little place. I was so wrong, about this place, and Dubuque.

2  Thank Kibblet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,255 - 1,259 of 1,284 reviews

Reviewed September 6, 2009

So, in response to my 2 star rating a couple years ago, the marketing director contacted me saying I will send you free tickets if you will come back & try us again. So we did. We visited yesterday. The place was pretty busy, but it is spacious inside so not bad moving around and viewing exhibits. I sitll must say that if you have been to other aquariums, as we have, you will be dissapointed with this place.
That being said, it is better. There are lots of frog exhibits that are fun. The otter exhibit is fun, but don't visit when the sun is from the south or you cannot view them without terrible glare and reflection on the glass.
The lizard exhibits are fun & very crowded.
I still have to say that the tanks appear dark and cramped for the fish and the condition of the glass appears even more scratched and worn.
So, overall, yes it is better, yes I would recommend the place if you are in Dubuque & have not been, especially with kids, and yes it is educational and a good place for kids.

Thank Deeno14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2009

This was our second visit to this museum. We took two grandchildren, 8 and 12, while visiting in Dubuque. It was enjoyable for all of us. With the films showing the history of the Mississippi river, the aquariums, and the interactive displays, there is quite a bit to see. Of the various things we did on a 5 day trip with the grandchildren, we felt this was well worth the price of admission.

Thank gccrod64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2009

I am a grandmother traveling with 10 year old granddaughter. We spent several hours at this museum and aquarium and had a very good time. Lots of things to see, indoors and out. According to my granddaughter, the biggest downside was that there were very few opportunities to touch. Our favorite activity was spotting frogs and turtles in the outdoor area.
The tour of the riverboat was fascinating and gave us a feel for how the crew members lived.

Thank red53angel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2009

What a great find! Indoor and outdoor exhibits, educational, interactive and fun! The building is roomy allowing plenty of space for visitors to enjoy the exhibits without feeling crowded. We visited with out 13 year old twin boys and they loved it. We planned on spending an hour or so. We were there at least 3 and plan on going back. The movies were great! The boys enjoyed watching the otters as well. We also had lunch in the cafeteria. Food was great and very reasonably priced. The cafe is in a renovated train station. Pretty cute.

Thank Pamela9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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