Saturday we went to the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque. We’ve been there a few times and have loved it every time. This museum has tons of stuff to do. We were there three and a half hours and didn’t come close to seeing everything. Its a bit of a drive to make it feel like a special trip, but its easy to get to doesn’t cost a ton of money. One of the aspects we really enjoyed Saturday was the scenery. The drive is straight down US Highway 151. With the rolling hills and farms, it is particularly scenic in the fall. I managed to snap a few good pictures as we drove.
The last time we went was when Peyton was about a month old. He decided he needed to eat about four hours before we could leave. So we went even though it was getting really late. We stopped for lunch and at one point Allie bolted into the kitchen when I went to the bathroom. Dada was back at the table with Peyton. This time went much much better! It was so fun to see Peyton running around. Both kids really enjoyed it.
Since we were going to the aquarium, Allie wanted to wear her t-shirt we got her from the aquarium in Las Vegas.
They had a little observation tower we didn’t remember from when we went before. It was a nice view of the river, though not so scenic right out the window.
One thing I think is cool about Dubuque (but that I would hate if I lived there) is all the hills. They have all these big pretty houses right on top of the hill.
One of the big hits of the museum was the RiverWorks hands on water exhibit.
The kids really liked playing in the water. They did a little splashing, and then we saw on the rules splashing wasn’t allowed. Oops!
We all tried the bike exhibit where you pedal to drip water into a bucket and then it fills up and rains to show the water cycle. It was harder than it looked, particularly when you couldn’t reach the pedals!
I could reach the pedal, but it was super hard. That bike is not a nice spinning bike!
After the RiverWorks, we walked outside to the other building with the aquarium.
We saw a bald eagle and a red-tailed hawk (I think? I can’t remember the name of the second), that were on display because they aren’t capable of surviving in the wild.
I think Dada and Mama were a bit more impressed than the kids.
Inside, Peyton was excited to sit in the little chair.
Allie has a stuffed turtle from the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago named Nickel, after the big turtle they have there. There was a special turtle exhibit in the aquarium and she was pointing out every single one and said they were all named Nickel.
One of the bigger tanks. Peyton kept protesting when Dada tried to put him down.
The big catfish tank! In between running all over the place, Peyton kept going back there. So fun to watch!
Upstairs in the turtle exhibit there was a turtle shell to climb in. Allie started saying her name was Nickel for awhile!
We were at the museum for about three and a half hours. Thats a lot with two kids, especially one a toddler who runs around like crazy and doesn’t listen when we tell him to go somewhere! Peyton was starting to get cranky after the turtle exhibit, so we explored outside a little more before heading home. Allie met Mark Twain.
They have a wetland area around the outside and we liked exploring around there.
More pretty fall scenery!
After that, we took some pictures in front of the big paddlewheel…
Well at first Allie didn’t want any more pictures. She was more interested in her map.
But then we got some good ones of Mama and the kiddos.
We maxed out Peyton’s limit with this trip. Both times we let him walk outside he would get going to fast and then trip and fall. I will admit it was funny because he’d just lay there on the ground like a turtle himself.
Confession: This was the last time he took another tumble and he actually hurt himself! We were on our way to the car and by time we got there, he had quite a goose egg!
Ooops! In my defense, I wouldn’t have taken a picture if I’d realized he was really hurt! By Sunday morning it wasn’t quite as much of a bump, but he has quite the scrape and bruise there! His long hair covers it up pretty well though. It was hard to get a good picture.
So Peyton woke up around 5:45 Saturday morning. He did sleep on the way to Dubuque for about 30-45 minutes. We figured with getting up so early, basically skipping his nap, and walking maybe more than his little legs ever have in one day he might sleep on the way home and/or sleep in on Sunday morning. That was a no on both accounts, though he did nap for three and a half hours Sunday afternoon.