“Under the sea they do it better!”
The Dubuque County Historical Society (DCHS) has its roots in the Richard Herrmann Museum of Natural History, established in the 1870s. The DCHS was formed in 1950 as a private, non-profit organization with a focus on oral and archival history; and it opened its first museum, the Mathias Ham House, in 1964. Over the past 25 years the DCHS has successfully raised $54 million to organize and expand its Mississippi River Museum into the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium.
The Museum & Aquarium is accredited by the American Association of Museums — a distinction held by only 9 percent of American museums, was named an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution in August 2002, and was accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums in 2009. The Woodward Riverfront Campus houses the William Woodward Mississippi River Center, Diamond Jo National River Center, the National Rivers Hall of Fame, the Fred W. Woodward Riverboat Museum, the Pfohl Boatyard, a wetland, and a refurbished train depot.
In my opinion the best attraction in Dubuque. The aquarium has a good representation of river inhabitants from the headwaters to the gulf and the museum had a wonderful turtles of the world exhibit. The grounds have many things to see outside of the museum including a Corps of Engineers vessel and reconstructed pioneer cabin. FREE for military families and you get a two day admission!
A fun museum stop. A great place to stop if you have younger kids, there are some great animal attractions, and lots of interactive displays. It's right on the river and they have several river boats that you can board and explore. The aquarium is a little sparse, so if that's what you're going for you might reconsider. But a great stop and you get 50% off with the zoo membership reciprocal so bring your zoo member card.
Great for families. They have a water play/learn area for younger children. Learn about ecology of the river.
The Museum & Aquarium are well laid out, clean, organized and informative. There are various exhibits with aquatic animals. The touch tank for sting rays is awesome. Wish they had more touch tanks for the smaller kids. Also, it is PRICEY. Not sure it was worth the price. But I am glad we did it.
Nice place to know more about the great Mississippi River!
Lots of interesting historical information. Amazing to see the different animals that call the Mississippi home. Admission covers 2 days which is great because the vast amount of information. The dinosaur exhibit was going on and the 6 yr old was enthralled.
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National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium
- Sun - Sat: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
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