Featured Exhibits

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (NMRMA) is the key attraction in the Port of Dubuque. An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum & Aquarium river-front campus is the only interpretive center for the entire Mississippi. Visitors to the NMRMA can take an entertaining and informative journey on the Mighty Mississippi; enjoy dynamic aquariums, historical exhibits and a stroll through the wetlands and boatyard. Each visit is a truly interactive experience where visitors can get "up close and personal" with live critters, become barge pilots, and tour the steamboat William M. Black.

The William Woodward Discovery Center is the national headquarters for the Mississippi River and is the only facility of its kind in the world. The center presents large fresh water aquariums, live animals, touch pools, stream tables, living history demonstrations, a changing exhibit gallery. Animals include alligators, otters, beavers, turtles, fish, snakes, and much more.

The Fred W. Woodward Riverboat Museum is the focal point for river history, riverboats, and the home of the River of Dreams Theater. Constructed in 1902, the building was the original home of the Dubuque Boat and Boiler Works which manufactured some of the largest boats and paddle wheelers in the nation. Today, it is home to the Mark Twain's River: The Golden age of Steam Boating exhibit, a working boat shop and living history Blacksmithing.

The Pfohl Family Boatyard is the museum's outdoor "hands-on" area featuring large steamboat artifacts, boat building demonstrations and a themed children's play area.

The William M. Black is a one-of-a-kind exhibit and listed on the National Historic Register. The Black is a working dredge boat that once roamed the waters of the Missouri River digging up tons of mud and muck, making the channels safe for navigation. Today, it's an integral part of the museum and an adventurous, authentic place for an overnight stay. Guests sleep in the crew's quarters, dine in the gallery and see what life was really like working a dredge boat.

The Woodward Nature Wetland Trail is the place to explore, experiment, and examine. Interpretive naturalists guide visitors through a living wetland with the many animals and flora that are native to this fascinating wetland habitat. Pay a visit to a frontier log cabin and a Native American Wikiup dwelling

The River Plaza gives our visitors an opportunity to experience a continuous experience while moving from one building to the next. A large pavilion provides shade, and a great location for outdoor events. Live animal displays including a Red Tail Hawk and two American Bald Eagles. The living stream includes live fish, two fish feeding stations, and a raft ride. A giant walk-through catfish serves as the anchor of a children's play area including park benches for the adults.

The Diamond Jo National River Center is our newest attraction celebrating all of America's great waterways. An indoor water fall greeting visitors to celebrate America's great rivers.

The immersive RiverWays gallery invites you to enter a canal, explore a river cave; and discover the history, culture, artifacts, and people of the diverse and watery interior of the United States.

The Large Format 3D/4D Immersion Theater presents 3D high definition sights, and 4D special effects including dramatic sound, wind, mist, seat movement and smells of the on-screen action.

Rivers to the Sea traces the story of water and rivers as they flow from streams to rivers to the ocean. Enjoy four salt-water aquariums including our 40,000 gallon Gulf of Mexico exhibit holding sharks, rays, and the beautiful schooling fish found at the mouth of the Mississippi.

RiverWorks invites children of all ages to explore through hands-on, water-based activities, they learn about rivers and what rivers mean to all of us. This children's "museum within a museum" keeps its river focus, with a crawl through beaver lodge, water table and a pedal-powered water "cycle."

The William Bowell Sr. River Library is a showcase of books, paintings, documents, photographs and manuscripts of America's river history.

The National Rivers Hall of Fame captures the drama of river people from all across America. Visitors can explore our nation's rivers in a keelboat audio exhibit, enjoy steamboat Invention Theater and steer barges in a modern-day towboat pilothouse simulator.

Special Events


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