Open Daily at 10:00 A.M.
It's A New Adventure at Every Turn at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium!

Here's What's New

Turtles: Secrets of the Shell

Turtles: Secrets of the Shell will exhibit at the Museum & Aquarium beginning in March 2013. The exhibit includes live animal displays, audiovisual presentations, informational panels, hands-on experiential components, and educator led programs. After display at the Museum & Aquarium, key components of Turtles will travel to nature centers across Iowa. The traveling exhibit, Turtles! A Traveling Exhibit for Iowa's Environmental Learning Centers, includes educational and experiential learning activities, as well as informational panels. Turtles! will travel to at least eight nature centers in 2014, and will likely continue traveling throughout 2015.

The exhibit Turtles: Secrets of the Shell, supports the Museum & Aquarium's mission to explore life of the Mississippi River and the rivers of America and their global connections, and to research, interpret,educate, and promote the conservation of their historical and natural environment. With the opening of Turtles, we hope to draw attention to the tremendous conservation challenges faced by these animals.

Civil War Symposium


With the upcoming opening of our Civil War exhibit in April 2014, we are excited to announce our Civil War Symposium on Saturday, April 26th. Various speakers will present throughout the day on topics related to how the Civil War affected the Mississippi River and its people.

Saturday, April 26
9:00-3:30 pm
National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium

David Salvaterra, Loras College
Kenneth Lyftogt, University of Northern Iowa
David Connon, Independent Researcher
Terry Lindell, Wartburg College
Leo Landis, State Historical Museum of Iowa
David Brodnax, Sr., Trinity Christian College
Carolyn Richards
Diane Harris
Loras College Student Exhibitions

Admission to the Symposium is free with advanced registration. Please contact the Museum & Aquarium at 563-557-9545 ext 201 to reserve seating.

Authors and exhibitors interested in participating, please contact the Museum & Aquarium by April 11.

Funded by The Institute of Museum & Library Sciences, The A.Y. McDonald Charitable Foundation, Humanities Iowa, and The National Endowment for the Humanities.

Blacksmith Days

Saturday & Sunday, May 3 & 4

Experience the craft of blacksmithing at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium during Blacksmith Days, May 3 & 4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Regular admission applies.

This special weekend event will highlight the historical importance of blacksmithing and metal working along the Mississippi River during pioneer times. Several working blacksmiths will demonstrate their metal-working skills to guests and there will be activities for children and families.

Great Give Day

May 6, 2014

Tuesday, May 6th is Great Give Day! With the help of the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, donations made on this one day will be amplified by matching corporate donations! This will be an online event only and donations will be made through For more information, please visit

River Adventure Camp- Eco Explorers

August 4th - August 9th 2014

Monday-Thursday 9:00am–2:00pm, Friday 2:00pm thru Saturday 2:00pm.
6th-8th Grades (based on 2014-2015 school year)

Put on your hiking boots and get ready to explore the outdoors! Experience blending science and the history of the Mississippi River. Enjoy fishing, dip netting, canoeing, and hiking along with a field trip off campus. End the week by staying overnight out on the ice harbor in the crew quarters of the historic William M. Black. Get ready for adventure!

Members: $150; Non Members: $170

Click here to download the Registration Form PDF file.

Registration forms are also available at the Museum & Aquarium box office or to request a form be sent to you via email

click here

River Adventure Camp- Mississippi River Rats

July 28th-August 1st 2014

Morning Session: 9:00am-12:00pm
Afternoon Session: 1:00-4:00pm
(Both morning and afternoon sessions have the same content)
1st-5th Grades (based on 2014-2015 school year)

Dive in this summer and become a “River Rat”! Have fun exploring Mississippi River life by hiking around the Museum & Aquarium, collecting insects in our wetland, and discovering natural habitats. Enjoy hands-on activities, games, and 3D/4D movies with friends. Get up close and personal with our live animals and go behind the scenes to see the secret world of the Museum & Aquarium!

Members: $100; Non members: $120

Registration forms and fees must be received by July 1, 2014.

Click here to download the Registration Form PDF file.

Registration forms are also available at the Museum & Aquarium box office or to request a form be sent to you via email

click here

NEW! DCHS Collections now on-line!

View a portion of the collections of the Dubuque County Historical Society on-line. Follow this link to start exploring.

On-line Collections