Family Friendly Place to Learn About the Mississippi River

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Our visit to Vicksburg Mississippi was a very educational experience. Not only did we have a great time visiting the historic Civil War battle site, we also stopped in the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium. The nearby playground and mural wall were very cool too.

The Mississippi River is more than just a huge waterway.

A River Boat

Not only is the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium a great hands on place to take kids, it is also completely free! For a budget minded family that loves to learn it is a wonderful place to go. The volunteer that greeted us was friendly and knowledgeable, which made for a pleasant experience.

Starting with the short, but educational video, then working our way through the displays really increased our knowledge of the Mississippi River. It’s role in trading and commerce has played a huge part in this country from even before it was colonized. This river is still being used today, much more than I had realized.

Probably the coolest thing at this museum though, would have to be that out back there is an old riverboat to tour. It is completely self guided and you get to see the entire boat. This boat was built in the sixties and used up until the nineties as a sort of floating office space. One of our favorite parts was the kitchen where we got to see how the food was prepared and what they would eat while on the boat.

Enjoy the Mississippi River through art and play.

Two kids looking at a wall muralAfter exploring the museum take a short walk to check out the nearby mural wall. It has many different murals, each depicting a piece of Vicksburg’s history. It was definitely a cool thing see after we had been to the battle site and the museum because we knew what many of the murals were about. The painting of the Ironclad’s was especially of interest after having walked on the USS Cairo, the only remaining ship of it’s kind.

Across the street from the mural wall is a playground. It is a neat little playground because they have a boat related theme to it all. The kids had fun playing captain and the fact that you can see the river from the playground made it much better for their imaginations. A bonus for the parents was benches (also with river views) and the free WiFi.

Vicksburg is a small town with a big history. It was a great place to visit with kids. The historic site, the free National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, and outdoor area right on the river made it a very nice experience. Another cool place that we did not have time to check out is the place where they first started bottling Coca Cola. It is located right near the playground on their main street.

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13 Comments

  1. I really like this idea of River themed trip. Especially Mississipi is a great river with a lot of history. So, it must be a great experience even for adults while kids an learn a lot. Such trips are needed along many other rivers.

  2. Good to see that they still have preserved that old boat and you can enter and see it. That must have been quite an interesting thing. I can see that the kids too had a blast with those boat theme playground. It must have been a great playful learning experience for them. Cheers

  3. Mississippi is a name that has always fired my imagination. The river fascinated me while reading Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. It would be such a plesure to visit the place and learn about the history of the river through the museum and aquarium. Definitely a great place for an entertaining and learning experience with the kids.

  4. What a cool place! I think along with kids we will have a great learning too at the first Mississippi River. Indeed; I have already learnt so much from your post. Touring around old Tiver will be fun and I would love to see that first bottling plant too.

  5. The kids are so cute and they enjoy this place so much. The warm welcome was an ultimate start up on getting on this visit and I like the fact that you guys were also able to see the kitchen and witnessed how they prepared foods. That made me hungry! Good trip you had made with your family!

  6. If feel I’ve learnt a lot just reading this! I’d love to visit the River, I didn’t know there was a museum you could go to which is pretty awesome, especially the tour around the old river boat. I’d definitely want to see the place where they first started bottling coca cola!

  7. Its good to see there are still quality museums out there which are free to enjoy. So many museums and galleries are beginning to charge crazy prices for entry or exhibitions. It may be sad, but the WiFi availability also got me excited.

    Meg Jerrard
  8. Interesting to know that you can take the kids to the Mississippi River and not just see the river but to learn and have fun as well! I always thought it was just a river to look at. LOL. The tour around the old river boat sounds pretty interesting (especially for kids who love learning about history) . Good to know that you can visit it and bring the kids for free!

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