Midwest Living Review
Eagles use the Mississippi River as a migration route in the spring and fall, and many nest in the area. As a result, eagle viewing is a popular activity, and the National Eagle Center is the perfect place to do it. Just looking out the center's two-story windows or stepping out on its 25-foot-high observation platform makes this place worth a visit (from November to March, there are hundreds of wild eagles in the area). The educational exhibits are kid-friendly, informative and engaging. One, for example, allows you to pick up a life-size eagle replica to see just how light the bird is (only about 10 pounds, thanks to hollow bones); another allows you to look through a monocular that replicates an eagle's vision. A program conducted every 45 minutes explains just how close the American bald eagle came to becoming extinct in the 1960s. The center offers refuge to four or five eagles that have been injured and cannot be returned to the wild. They sit on perches, are fed fresh meat and every hour one is brought out to pose for photographs with visitors. Admission charged.