Travel Iowa

Official blog for Iowa Tourism promoting Iowa's attractions, events, communities & destinations.

Get your free account at Travel Iowa.

  • Vote

    for your favorite new posts
  • Publish

    your own original blog posts
  • Earn

    $20 for your posts voted to Top Posts
  • Sign Up!
Summer Fun at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque, Iowa
Facebook Tweet Google+ Pinterest Email More Sharing Options

Summer Fun at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque, Iowa

The Mississippi River is as important to citizens in ten states today as it was to Native Americans and the first American settlers. The Mississippi River is the second longest river in America, stretching over 2,340 miles. The Mississippi River continues to function as a transportation source, water supply and commerce route. The river has been named multiple times to American River’s Most Endangered Rivers. Outdated flood management and oil spills seem to be the principal threats. The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque, Iowa, brings to life the ecosystems along the waterway to promote conservation and an appreciation for the wildlife and humans that have called the Mississippi home over the years, as well as some saltwater life that was transported to the aquarium.

40,000 Gallon Aquarium:  A 40,000 gallon aquarium is the main attraction at the museum. Visitors may watch as a nurse shark, rays, eels and other fish swim past. This aquarium serves as a behind the scenes view into the actual daily life of salt water aquatic animals. Walter, a Pacific octopus, calls the aquarium home. Visitors may watch as aquarium staff interacts with Walter, as he retrieves food and solves mazes. Visitors hear a brief explanation about the salinity of the tank and water temperatures conducive for saltwater life.

National Rivers Hall of Fame:  Early settlers and explorers that utilized the tributaries along the Mississippi for travel and food are listed in the National Rivers Hall of Fame. Mark Twain along with other writers and musicians that recorded life along the Mississippi in stories and song are included. The museum has a hands-on exhibit of the engineering achievement, known as the dam, that controls the river’s flow.

Titanic, The Artifact Exhibit:  Dubuque Bank and Trust has sponsored the "Titanic, The Artifact Exhibit," at the museum. Replicas of the original boarding pass are handed to each museum guest at the beginning of the tour. Visitors explore actual artifacts recovered from the wreckage of the Titanic ship that sunk claiming more than 1500 lives. Room recreations retell some of the compelling stories behind the original ship’s guests

4-D Theater:  "SpongeBob SquarePants 4D:  The Great Jelly Rescue" and National Geographic Studio’s “Deepsea Challenge 3-D,” are currently showing in the museum's 4-D theater.  Younger children will enjoy the SpongeBob movie while parents escape the summer heat in the air-conditioned theater. The "Deepsea Challenge 3-D," is an educational video showcasing aquatic life. A schedule is available on the website.

Summer:  The museum and aquarium have switched to summer hours. The old jail and the Mathias Ham House are now open for the summer season as well. Military families will receive free admission through Labor Day Weekend. The free summer trolley is currently running for the next couple of months. Tickets for the Titanic Exhibit, aquarium and 4-D theater may be purchased online.

 

*Photo courtesy of Give Me a Hug by Chris Smith at Flickr’s Creative Commons.

Leave a Comment

  1. RandolphP
    voted #6
    Log in to reply.
    1. TMH
      TMH
      Thanks Randolph!
      Log in to reply.
  2. MrsTomCat
    Did not know anything about Iowa. Great site!
    Log in to reply.
    1. TMH
      TMH
      Your support is appreciated!
      Log in to reply.
  3. Ann Johnston
    This looks like a very interesting way to spend the summer. Thanks for some really good places to visit and suggestions on what to do there.
    Log in to reply.
    1. TMH
      TMH
      Our oceans are a frontier. There is so much to learn! I always enjoy aquariums. Thanks for your vote, Ann!
      Log in to reply.
  4. Sarah Johnston
    Sarah Johnston
    I love history, museums and especially aquariums. Thank you for the wonderful information.,
    Log in to reply.
    1. TMH
      TMH
      Thanks for your vote Sarah! I too enjoy museums and aquariums.
      Log in to reply.
  5. pftsuisan
    Sounds like fun.
    Log in to reply.
    1. TMH
      TMH
      Susan, thanks so much for your loyal support, even when you are sick!
      Log in to reply.
  6. Julie Sinclair
    What an excellent way to spend a summer vacation with your family. Very educational.
    Log in to reply.
    1. TMH
      TMH
      Children are young for such a short time and then they grow up and leave the nest. We should capture family memories while we have the opportunity. Thanks for your support Julie!
      Log in to reply.

Explore

Connect with Travel Iowa

Sign Up to Vote!

10 second sign-up with Facebook or Google

Already a member? Log in to vote.