Blue Star Museums Blog (Archive)

What's on View at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium?

Port of Dubuque, Iowa

Interpretive tableaux help illustrate the important role the Mississippi and other rivers played in settling the U.S. Photo courtesy National Mississippi River Museum

Established by the Dubuque County Historical Society, the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium is dedicated to telling the story of one of the country’s most significant waterways.  As described by museum staffer John Sutter, "The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium is the most comprehensive center for rivers in the United States." The museum’s Woodward Riverfront Campus houses the William Woodward Mississippi River Center, Diamond Jo National River Center, National Rivers Hall of Fame, Fred W. Woodward Riverboat Museum, Pfohl Boatyard, a wetland, and a refurbished train depot.

One of the highlights of the museum complex is the newly expanded Diamond Jo River Center, which features a number of dynamic permanent exhibits, including the RiverWAYS Gallery which highlights the adventures and impact of early river explorers; the Rivers to the Sea Gallery, which explores the link between rivers and oceans and features live ocean animals in three cylindrical habitat aquariums and one 40,000 gallon Gulf of Mexico aquarium; and the RiverWORKS Gallery, which houses a 32-foot long flowing river with ten interactive learning stations. The museum’s large format theater features not only 3D but also 4D effects, such as rain, wind, scent, and seat movement. Coming up at the museum on July 17 is Ding Darling Day with free activities, such as touch tanks, which allow visitors to get an up-close and personal experience with turtles, frogs and mussels.

Visit the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium website to learn more. And don't forget to visit the Blue Star Museums page on our website to find more Blue Star Museums near you!


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