Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mississippi River Museum + Water Park

So while Scott and his family were being crazies riding their bike up and down through the bluffs of the Mississippi River Valley on TOMRV, Michael and I decided to check out some of the sights in Dubuque- the National Mississippi River Museum and then later the Grand Harbor Waterpark. 

Scott and I had visited the museum when we were celebrating our first anniversary 6 years ago. I knew Michael would love it and we don't get to this part of the state often so we took the chance to visit. He had a blast! It is a great museum for kids and adults of all ages. 

Michael loved the friendly turtles that greeted us when we arrived. We got there right at 9 when it opened and basically had the place to ourselves for about an hour. The turtles really were friendly and were doing tricks and saying hi to us. We went back several times that day and they were never out like they were in the morning! I had a cute video of this, Michael was having a ball. 

Michael made a friend over by the ray and eel tank and they had fun watching the eel ribbon its way around the water. They also made several Little Mermaid connections, which made me proud. Michael kept calling it a seal which was cute. I think this is the first time he's seen one in real life so he learned a lot- especially how they like to hide in the rocks (just like in the Little Mermaid!). 

The museum has a ton of areas to explore- lots of tanks and river things to explore. They had a special visiting exhibit of turtles when we were there and we had fun seeing the different types of turtles (and tortoises, as I was schooled by a young college volunteer!). We even visited the National River center which is on the same grounds and watched a short 4D movie which was only a few dollars on top of the admission. It gave our legs a chance to rest. We did actually end up leaving to grab lunch and quick nap in the car and came back for another hour in the afternoon. They even said with our paid admission for that day we could have come back the next day too but we ran out of time. It was a great value.

He also loved the otters and loved watching them play in the water. I have a cute video of him watching them and he hasn't stopped talking about them since. He'll say, "what were those things that were black and liked to play with toys at the fish museum? Oh yeah, otters!"  Otters are so stinking cute! 

 "That's a catfish" 
He says every fish is a catfish- not sure if that one really is or not? 

He was also interested in seeing the beavers- "those things that live in the water and chop down trees with their teeth" but they were napping all day in their cave.
Around 3 we decided to head to our hotel and check out the water park. Michael was so excited and we had been trying to prep him on all the fun we was going to have. He had a blast! He did the two big water slides (sitting on my lap) at least 20 times, lots of running around the big treehouse, lots of times on the little baby slide, and lots of running through fountains. He was worn out and so was this mommy!!

We got our fill of water play both that afternoon and the next morning before we had to go pick dad up. It was really fun and I loved that Michael had a blast. He is such a sweet, special and fun three year old and I hope these are good memories that we can both treasure.

We've had a great start to our summer so far!

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