Stroll through wetlands, watch a boatbuilder repair a classic riverboat, tour a dredge boat, watch a film: These are just four ways to experience the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. Housed in two large buildings and extending outdoors, the museum and aquarium will appeal to both adults and kids. Just be sure to allow plenty of time to explore all it has to offer.
At a variety of exhibits, we learned about how rivers related to ecology, geography, conservation, commerce, history and Native Americans. We were captivated by a model re-creating the 1927 and 1965 Dubuque floods—as well as by the six aquariums in the William Woodward Discovery Center. All ages will enjoy trying to pilot a riverboat on a simulator; kids will especially like the RiverWorks area where they build boats at a water table and move them down the river. A 3D-4D Immersion Theater offers two films; special effects include mist, seat movement and smells.