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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


May 28 - Sept. 5, 2022

9 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Sept. 6 - Oct. 31, 2022

9 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Nov. 1, 2021 - Feb. 28, 2023

10 a.m. - 4 p.m.*
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.*

*Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
**Christmas Eve open 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.


March 1 - May 27, 2023

10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Special Hours: March 12 - March 20 open beginning at 9 a.m. Regular closing hours apply.




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

    Save $1 by purchasing online!


  • Adult
  • Youth (Ages 3-17)
  • Senior (Ages 65+)
  •  Buy Tickets
    Save $1 by purchasing online!


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

    Best deal PLUS save $1 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 - $125/tour

AVAILABLE  | Saturday & Sunday - 11 AM  |  Wednesday & Friday - 1 PM
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 six individuals. Call 563.557.9545 x213 to inquire about larger groups.


Stingray Feedings - $12/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

Museums for All

Museums for All

We are pleased to join over 800 museums, aquariums, zoos, arboretums, and botanical gardens in providing free or reduced access that encourages individuals of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum habits.

Our Museums for All program provides free or reduced access for up to four family members through one of the qualifying programs below. Please note refunds will not be given to qualifying individuals purchasing tickets in advance of their visit. This offer is valid at the box office only.

  • Food Assistance (SNAP benefits)
  • Medicaid (Hawki and Medicare not included)
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Housing Choice Voucher Program Section 8


Featured Exhibit

A Life in the Wild

Open Now - January 2023

The wilderness can be a beautiful thing. From the stunning landscapes found in nature to the interactions between wildlife, oftentimes these moments go uncaptured. Thomas D. Mangelsen has dedicated his life to photographing these amazing encounters and one-of-a-kind moments.

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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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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Open Boarding daily 10:00 a.m. - 4:00p.m. (weather permitting)
William M. Black Steam Dredge Open Boarding

Board the William M. Black for a 45-minute long guided tour of the engine room, crew quarters, pilot house, and more!

Location: William M. Black

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10:30 AM & 2 PM (Daily)
Belt-Driven 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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11 AM & 2:30 PM (Daily)
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. Recommend you purchase prior to arrival for specific date. 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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11:30 AM (Daily)
History Highlights

Learn about some of the items in our collections!

Location: Backwater Marsh

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1 PM
Shop Talk

Learn a bit about the history of boat making with one of our educators.

Location: Boat Shop, Mississippi River Center

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1:30 PM (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


Harbor View Grill

Open Tuesday-Sunday for lunch

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 and vegetarian options available.  

Museum Stores

Hours are the same as museum hours.

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.