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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

  Get the Storm Track 7 forecast for your visit!

Hours of Operation


Sept. 3, 2019 - Oct. 31, 2019

9 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Nov. 1, 2019 - March 1, 2020

10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Closed Mondays*

*Open Mondays when Dubuque schools
are not in session.
 Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Closed at 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve.


March 1, 2019 - May 24, 2019

10 a.m. - 5 p.m.


May 25, 2019 - Sept. 2, 2019

9 a.m. - 6 p.m.




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

Buy Tickets



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

Buy Tickets



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

Buy Tickets  


All ages 3 and over

  • One Film
  • Two Films

one 4D film

Stingray Feedings - $10/participant

Enjoy our stingray feeding experience! A limited number of tickets are available for our daily 2:30 p.m. feedings. Admission to the River Museum is required, and visitors must select a specific date at time of purchase. Due to limited availability, there are no exchanges or refunds for this experience.

Purchase Tickets

Military Pricing

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, as well as our sister site, the Mathias Ham Historic Site, are Blue Star Museums. Blue Star Museums offer free admission to the nation’s active-duty military personnel, the families of active-duty military personnel, and veterans, including National Guard and Reserve, from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Smithsonian in Dubuque

Visit both of Dubuque's Smithsonian Affiliates, the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium and the Dubuque Museum of Art, with this dual ticket package. Make sure to check hours of operation for both institutions prior to purchase. More information on the Dubuque Museum of Art can be found at


Featured Exhibit

Innovative Dubuque

May 18, 2019 - May 3, 2020

Innovative Dubuque: Sparking Centuries of Ingenuity, a new temporary exhibit at the River Museum highlights the genius of entrepreneurs, inventors, and businesses through nearly 200 years of local innovation and inspiration. Featuring artifacts from the Dubuque County Historical Society’s collections, held at the Museum & Aquarium, as well as loaned items from area individuals and businesses, the exhibit explores the back-story of many well-known and lesser-known local innovations.

Learn more

4D Theater

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

Now Showing

Daily Activities

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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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10 a.m. - 4 p.m. daily (weather permitting).
William M. Black Historic Landmark

Tour the William M. Black, 1930s steam-powered dredge boat, and a National Historic Landmark. Access to the boat is dependent on weather.

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10:30 a.m. daily.
Gulf of Mexico Aquarium Feeding

Watch Dot, the green sea turtle, and her friends get fed!

Location: Gulf of Mexico Aquarium, National River Center

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11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Mon.-Wed., Fri.-Sun.
Boat Shop

Educators and volunteers demonstrate boat building, historic artisan work, and the use of hand tools.

Location: Fred W. Woodward Riverboat Museum

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11:30 a.m. weekends only
Creature Feature

Meet one of our exciting Museum & Aquarium animals!

Location: Backwater Marsh, First Floor of the Mississippi River Center building or on the Woodward Boardwalk when weather permits

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12:30 p.m. daily (weather permitting).

Location: Boardwalk, Outside Mississippi River Center

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1:30 p.m. daily.
Creature Feature

Meet one of our exciting Museum & Aquarium animals! Saturdays during What's Bugging Belva?, Creature Feature will take place in the exhibit along with a story time.

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

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11 a.m. daily.
Paddlefish Feeding

See the amazing way these fish filter their food from the water!

Location: Paddlefish Exhibit, Woodward Discovery Center, First Floor Mississippi River Center Building

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Thursdays (weather permitting).
Blacksmith Shop

Come watch the sparks fly! See our blacksmith staff and volunteers demonstrate early metalworking techniques.

Location: Plaza

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2:30 p.m. daily.
Stingray Feeding

Up to 10 guests are invited to participate in this interactive feeding daily. Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis online or at the box office.

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

* All Times Subject to Change.

Finding Your Way Around


Campus Map

Dining Options


Harbor View Grill

Restaurant open 11 a.m. until two hours before closing.

You’ll find a family-friendly menu that offers burgers, sandwiches, drinks, and other treats for both kids and adults. Enjoy your meal inside with views of the harbor or find a spot outside on our patio area. Gluten-free options available upon request.  


Mississippi Grounds Cafe

Open seasonally.

As you are exploring all there is to see, stop by the Mississippi Grounds for some ice cream or a quick snack. You can recharge with a healthy smoothie or a variety of coffee drinks that are made fresh by our baristas.

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.