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Make your wedding a day to remember.


The Museum & Aquarium can help you create all the details for the perfect event, from beautiful tables to a delicious menu served by our exclusive caterer. The Museum & Aquarium includes ideal settings for indoor or outdoor ceremonies, mingling over cocktails, receptions, or dancing the night away.

Located on the Mississippi River in charming Dubuque, Iowa, the Museum & Aquarium is also ideal for wedding showers, rehearsal dinners, baby showers, anniversary parties, and corporate events.

event faq

National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium        The Knot - Best of Weddings
We are delighted to make your day perfect.

Please contact Teri Witt, Sales & Banquet Manager, for further information and pricing.

563-581-4986 | 800.226.3369

Event Spaces - Photo Galleries

Plaza, Boatyard, & Patio

Harbor side open-air Plaza Pavilion, ideal for larger outdoor ceremonies; open-air Boatyard with waterfront views, ideal for outdoor ceremonies and tented events; and private Patio outside Train Depot overlooking pond, ideal for smaller outdoor ceremonies. 
Plaza and Boatyard - Accommodates up to 200 guests each/ Patio - Accommodates up to 125 guests 

Train Depot

Charming, historic space perfect for ceremonies, intimate receptions, bridal showers, and rehearsal dinners.
Accommodates up to 100 guests for a reception and 200 guests for a ceremony

Mississippi River Center
Discovery Center - First Floor

Open gallery and exhibit space ideal for larger events.
Accommodates up to 250 guests

Mississippi River Center
Discovery Center - Second Floor

Open gallery and exhibit space ideal for larger events.  
Accommodates up to 250 guests / This space is only available during certain months of the year.  Please ask about availability.


The Museum & Aquarium offers clients the use of our exclusive caterer – J&D Catering – who can provide a range of menu options including special dietary needs. All food service, as well as event setup and cleanup, is provided.

Wedding Reception

Wedding Reception

Bar Service

The Museum & Aquarium handles all beverage service for any event, along with bartender staffing.

  • Hosted Bars
  • Cash Bars
  • Hosted Keg Beer Service
  • Drink Tickets
  • Signature Cocktail


“We loved everything about planning and having our wedding at the River Museum.”

“We loved everything about planning and having our wedding at the River Museum. The venue is unique and all of our guests greatly enjoyed the atmosphere. The guests loved being able to look at the exhibits and walk around outside. Our ceremony was in the Train Depot at 6pm and then we had our reception in with all the exhibits and dance floor there too. We heard nothing but positive feed back from our guests about the venue, wait staff, and food. For us, our favorite part was the ease of working with the museum. Teri, the coordinator, took care of everything. She and her staff set up all the tables, decorations, and kept us on schedule the entire evening. She worked with our vendors to get the flowers, cake, dj, sound system, and decorations delivered and set up. I would tell Teri what I wanted, like how the centerpieces should look, and she did it. We couldn’t be happier with how everything turned out. We had an amazing day and a wonderful time working with the museum and Teri. Highly Highly recommend this venue!“

– Hannah W, 8/9/2017
Courtesy of the Knot

“Everyone loved the museum setting”

“Early this month, our daughter was married at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque. From our initial meeting, through the ceremony, and to the end of the reception, it was a wonderful experience. Everyone who attended loved the museum setting. Both Mr. Nate Breitspecker and the wedding coordinator, Ms. Teri Witt, were available, easy to work with and very professional during what could have been a frantic experience. The Museum took care of nearly every aspect of the wedding and reception. Their dinner caterer was outstanding and their list of other available vendors for other services helped immensely. We would be remiss if we didn’t extend a very special thanks to Teri Witt. As the wedding coordinator, she was both helpful at every moment and was a calming influence on us when we were nervous. She literally walked us through everything before, during and after the event. It couldn’t have been done any better! We would highly recommend the museum and the excellent staff to anyone considering venues for a wedding.”

–  Eric and Amy, Wedding 4/1/2017

“We had such a great experience”

“We had such a great experience at this venue. The staff are super knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful. Teri, the banquet coordinator, is a fantastic resource and is super organized – absolutely every last detail was taken care of. Nate is the events coordinator, and he was also very easy to work with. The caterer, Diane, was just wonderful to work with, and the catering team and bartending staff were great. There’s plenty of stuff for guests to visit and look at, nearby hotels and restaurants, and lots and lots of free parking. We had a guest count of 115, and the final bill was very reasonable…(includes the space fee, food, and a beer/wine hosted bar). The museum has event staff that do all the setup and tear down. We did heavy appetizer stations in lieu of dinner, which isn’t their usual setup but worked well in the space. We got married in the depot room and had our reception in the exhibit space. One thing about the depot room that you might want to know if you are considering this venue is that it is only a few feet away from an active train track. The trains do slow down, but they’re not silent. Just in case that’s a dealbreaker! We didn’t mind. Nothing but happy thoughts about this whole place.”

– Meredith, Wedding 9/10/2016
Courtesy of

“If I could do this day all over again I would!”

“If I could do this day all over again I would! Not only because I got to married the love of my life, but the venue, staff, and service was fantastic! Teri was a blessing – no matter how many questions I had she was quick to answer, gave me her honest opinion, and was extremely patient every time I had no idea what I wanted. The day of went smoothly, the staff was incredibly professional, and I felt like I didn’t have a thing to worry about. Since my wedding I have received nothing but compliments on how great the day was and the beauty of the venue as a whole. If you are looking for something a little more unique and for the best value this is definitely the place to go!”

– Caitlin and David, Wedding 9/9/2017


Note my all caps. I want to do all I can to express my enthusiasm for the National Mississippi River Museum as a venue. They were incredible. We worked with Nate in the early planning stage. He was unbelievably responsive. If he couldn’t answer a question right away, he would respond to the email and let us know when he would get back to us. He accommodated literally every request. My now husband asked for a layout of the space and he sent an attachment of a photo where the tables would go. As we got closer to the date, we worked with Terri who was on site during the ceremony and reception. She worked so hard all evening. We didn’t worry about anything. They handled set up, they handled tear down. Our only job was to have fun. We loved that they had an exclusive caterer! One less decision to make, and as an added bonus, their caterer is awesome! Diane is a funny and kind person and we received many compliments regarding the food. Finally, the value. Everything was reasonably priced. I’ll conclude with some compliments we received the night of the wedding: “this is the coolest place I’ve ever seen a wedding be” “when we get married, we are going to copy everything you did” “I had no idea something this cool is so close to where we live” “Beautiful place for a wedding” The list goes on and on….”

– Megan, Wedding 5/14/2016
courtesy of

Contact Us

We are delighted to make your day perfect.

Please contact Teri Witt, Sales & Banquet Manager, for further information and pricing.

563-581-4986 | 800.226.3369

350 E. 3rd Street

Dubuque, Iowa 52001

Photography Credit

macy marie

Marc & Mindy Photography
Elgin, Illinois