These activities are perfect for families with children 5 to 12 years of age. Spend a weekend in the Quad Cities and enjoy a wonderful array of things to see and do. This itinerary is perfect for a quick getaway or during spring or summer break. You can customize it to meet the interests of your children and shorten it if your plans only allow a one- or two-night stays. Please note, some attractions are only open during spring through fall and some museums are closed on Mondays.
Enjoy lunch at Happy Joe's Jungle Bungle
near NorthPark Mall. Enjoy pizza, spaghetti, salads, ice cream and more from this locally owned pizza parlor. This restaurant features a fun center that kids just love.
After lunch, head to the Putnam Museum
. Explore the wonderful exhibits like "River, Prarie & People," "Black Earth," "Hall of Mammals," "Egyptian Gallery," and the "Discovery Room." Also, check out the website for current visiting exhibits and specials. After the museum, step inside the National Geographic Theatre featuring a giant screen six stories tall and seven stories wide with digital surround sound. It is the most technologically advanced projection system in the world. Enjoy both 2D and 3D movies.
The Putnam Museum features an interactive Science Center, natural history exhibits, and a giant theatre screen six stories tall.
Once you have finished your adventures at the Putnam, head to your hotel and check in for a relaxed evening. Our website offers a variety of family packages at local hotels. Check them out on our Packages page
Head to Niabi Zoo
for a fun-filled day with the animals. Niabi opens in the spring every year, and remains open through the fall. The zoo also offers a Breakfast at the Zoo on special dates. While at the zoo, visit the giraffes, monkeys, bears and more. Take a ride on the Endangered Species carousel and ride the Mel McKay Express replica steam engine too! Concessions are available at the zoo for a quick lunch.
Niabi Zoo has hundreds of species of animals! Feed the giraffes, visit the monkeys, ride on the carousel or the replica steam engine.
During the afternoon - if you are not too tired from your zoo adventures - take a leisurely ride aboard the Channel Cat Water Taxi
. This open-air, pontoon-style boat operates Memorial Day through Labor Day. You can board the boat from various landings in the Quad Cities and one admission will allow you to ride as long as you want and get off and on as you like. It is a great way to see the mighty Mississippi up close and personal. See website for landings, admission, and hours of operation.
The Channel Cat Water Taxi is a leisurely way to get out and enjoy the Mississippi River. Buy an all-day pass and visit several downtown shopping and dining areas. Or, bring your bike and ride both sides of the river.
Also, kids will love the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum
. The 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. The museum is open 7 days a week, Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Once you have enjoyed a relaxing night, it is time to head to the Family Museum
in Bettendorf. This award-winning museum is appealing to children age 3 to 12 years old and features art and science exhibits where you can:
- Operate a crane
- Play at the water table
- Build a dam
- lay house
- Visit Fox Hollow
- Work at the Post Office and Pizza Parlor
- Try hammering a nail
You can also enjoy outdoor activities in the children's playground and water play area. Be sure to check the website for traveling exhibits featured at the Family Museum.
The newly-renovated Family Museum has an interactive water table, a miniature town, changing exhibits and many more great features for kids of all ages.
Follow your visit to the Family Museum with one of these highly recommended adventures or add it to the activities on one of the other days during your visit.
Open all year:
Memorial Day through Labor Day:
Visit Ski Snowstar for great skiing action. Multiple ski lifts, hills of all difficulties, and certified instructors with daily lessons.
The Quad Cities is a great place to bring your family for a weekend getaway!