Plan Your Visit to the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium
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Plan Your Visit

The National
Mississippi River
Museum & Aquarium

350 East 3rd Street
Port of Dubuque, Iowa 52001


Wifi is available in our Mississippi River Center building. It is currently unavailable in the National Rivers Center, on the William M. Black, and at the Mathias Ham Historic Site.
On-site Wifi Password: museumguest

Image of KWWL Channel 7 News Logo with link to weather page  Click the logo to get the forecast for your visit!

Never been to the River Museum?
Take a Virtual tour!

Hours of Operation


March 1 - May 28, 2021

10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.


May 29 - Sept. 6, 2021

9 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Sept. 7 - Oct. 31, 2021

9 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Nov. 1, 2021 - Feb. 29, 2022

10 a.m. - 4 p.m.*
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.*

*Closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.




  • Adult
  • Youth (Ages 3-17)
  • Senior (Ages 65+)
  •  Buy Tickets 

    Save $2 by purchasing online!


  • Adult
  • Youth (Ages 3-17)
  • Senior (Ages 65+)
  •  Buy Tickets
    Save $2 by purchasing online!


  • Adult
  • Youth (Ages 3-17)
  • Senior (Ages 65+)
  •  Buy Tickets 

    Save $2 by purchasing online!


  • Held at 11:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. daily. Limited of 6 tickets per time slot. Must select date of visit at time of purchase.*

  • *Due to the popularity of this experience and limited availability, refunds are not available.
Behind the Scenes Aquarium Tours - $120/tour

Spend time with one of our experienced aquarists behind the scenes as you visit a variety of rooms used to care for and house our living collections. See where food is prepared, learn about our herp holding area, and take a visit behind the Main Channel. Guests will also get to speak with our aquarists about what their jobs entail and help an aquarist feed animals within either our Main Channel or Backwater Marsh Aquariums. 

The experience is one hour in length and can be purchased in conjunction with general admission tickets or enjoyed as a standalone experience. It includes space for up to four individuals. Call 563.557.9545 x213 to inquire about larger groups.


Stingray Feedings - $10/participant

Enjoy our stingray feeding experience! A limited number of tickets are available for our daily morning and afternoon feedings. Admission to the River Museum is required, and visitors must select a specific date and time during purchase. Due to limited availability, there are no exchanges or refunds for this experience.

To maintain social distancing, a limit of one accompanying person is allowed in the stingray feeding area with a paid participant. Other family or group members may observe from the second floor viewing area. Participants under age 5 must be accompanied by an adult who will be asked to assist the child in proper feeding technique.

stingray feeding tickets

Hodge Military Discount Program

Hodge Military Discount Program

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, as well as our sister site, the Mathias Ham Historic Site, recognize and thank our active duty military, reserves, National Guard, and veterans for their service through the Hodge Military Discount Program. This program is available exclusively at our box offices. The Hodge Military Discount Program cannot be combined with other offers and discounts; however, it includes:

  • 20% off general admission for veterans year-round
  • 20% off general admission for active duty military, including reserves and national guard, and their families year-round
  • 20% off individual, dual, family, and grandparent memberships purchased by veterans or active duty military, including reserves and national guard

Featured Exhibit

Splash and Bubbles: Dive In, Lend a Fin!

May 15 - Sept. 19, 2021

Featuring a variety of hands-on exhibit components, Splash and Bubbles: Dive In, Lend a Fin! invites children to discover a whole new world as they navigate an under-the-sea maze in a kelp forest, explore a sunken ship that has become an artificial reef, interact with puppet characters created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, become a Reeftown Ranger to learn to protect the ocean, and more!

Learn more

Featured Exhibit

Iowa Marine Engine & Launch Works

Now Open!

Phase one of River of Innovation, the Iowa Marine Engine & Launch Works, is a new 3,000-square-foot permanent exhibit space featuring a working 19th century belt-driven machine that once created motors for racing boats on the Mississippi River.

Learn more

4D Theater

Our immersion theater presents large format 3D sights and 4D special effects including dramatic sound, wind, and mist.

Now Showing

Daily Activities

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All Day
Explore the Wet Lab

The Wet Lab includes numerous natural artifacts including furs and fossils as well as an opportunity to view live crayfish and mussels.

Location: Wet Lab, Mississippi River Center Building

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On the hour daily.
Mississippi Journey

Location: Mississippi River Center, Journey Theater

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On the half hour daily.
River of Dreams

Location: Mississippi River Center, Journey Theater

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11 a.m. or 2:30 p.m.
Stingray Feeding

Up to 6 guests are invited to participate in this interactive feeding twice daily. Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis online or at the box office. Guests should arrive promptly at the designated time.

Location: Down in the Delta, First Floor of the National River Center Building

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11:00 am - 4:00 pm (Weekends only)
William M. Black Steam Dredge Open Boarding

Board the William M. Black for a self-guided tour of the engine room, crew quarters, pilot house, and more!

Location: William M. Black

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11:30 AM (Daily), 2 PM (Weekends)
Machine Shop Demonstrations

Watch the machine shop in motion and learn about this amazing machine and its history!

Location: River of Innovation

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1:30 p.m. daily
Creature Feature

Meet one of our exciting Museum & Aquarium animals!

Location: Backwater Marsh, First Floor of the Mississippi River Center building

* All Times Subject to Change.

Finding Your Way Around


Campus Map

Museum Stores

Located in each building, our Museum Stores offer unique children's toys and games, river apparel, Dubuque apparel, local wines and beers, books, jewelry, and more. Snacks and beverages are also available for purchase.