Free Fun in the Quad Cities

A trip to the Quad Cities can be even more fun when it's not a strain on your pocketbook. Check and call ahead to confirm hours of all attractions.


Nahant Marsh
Nahant Marsh is one of the last urban wetlands of its size on the upper Mississippi River. Encompassing about 500 acres and offering amazing bird watching opportunities, look at the past when primordial wetlands dotted the river landscape. Take the boardwalk through the marsh at no cost.

Trails open daily from sunrise to sunset.


Bucktown Center for the Arts
Head downtown to browse the shops at the Bucktown Center for the Arts. The two floors of art galleries and studios offer jewelry, clothing and accessories, paintings, sculpture, metal, wood, stone, glass, drawings, prints, photography, collage and crafts. Be sure to scope out the other art galleries in the area.

Open Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.


Head up into the Skybridge for a great aerial view of the Mississippi River, Lock & Dam 15 and the bridges. It's a great place to watch the sunset or see bald eagles in the winter!

Iowa 80 Trucking Museum
The Iowa 80 Trucking Museum was a dream of Iowa 80 Truckstop founder Bill Moon. His love for trucks and the trucking industry laid the foundation for this museum. Over 60 vintage trucks dating back to 1910 are on display, as well as antique signs, gas pumps and toy trucks. The museum also features the REO Theatre where visitors can enjoy watching films about trucks and trucking.   

Open seven days a week, Memorial Day through Labor Day.


Mississippi River Distillery
Take a drive along the river to Le Claire for a free tour of the Mississippi River Distillery. During the tour, you'll see the entire distilling process, from the cleaning, milling and cooking of the grain to the fermentation, distillation, blending, aging and bottling of spirits. Finish the tour with free samples of products for those over 21 years of age.

Open daily, with tours on the hour from 12 to 4 p.m. (or by appointment).


Arsenal Island
Arsenal Island, an island in the Mississippi River, has been owned by the federal government since 1804 and is a working military facility. Stop at the Mississippi River Visitor Center on the island to learn  about the river, watch barges lock through the dam and see the world's largest Roller Dam. Special guided tours of the Lock & Dam and historic clocktower are offered during the summer months.

A current U.S. picture ID for visitors 16 and over is required to be permitted on Arsenal Island as it is a working military facility.


Arsenal Museum
This free museum on the island features the history of Arsenal Island with a model of the first fort built, Fort Armstrong, a premier collection of small firearms, and exhibits and photo displays. Visitors can also see the National and Confederate Cemeteries, tanks, artillery and native limestone military buildings.

A current U.S. picture ID for visitors 16 and over is required to be permitted on Arsenal Island as it is a working military facility.


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