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8 Family Approved Vacation Ideas

Dubuque has something for everyone.

Take your family members (humans and animals alike) throughout the wonders of where Iowa started.

Octopus Mississippi River Dubuque

Discover the Mississippi

Experience the might of the Mississippi River at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium. Learn about the watershed that runs from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. Explore a dredge boat that features captain’s quarters, history, and views of the river. Make friends with the animals that call the river home.

More To Explore: Art on the River, Mississippi Riverwalk, American Lady Yacht Cruises

Inspire Creativity

At Creative Adventure Lab, kid’s imaginations fun free. Visit the Lego Lab that features over 1,000 pounds of Leg bricks. For the more adventurous, set your sights atop a two-story climbing wall at the Climbing Lab. Get creative by painting magnetism, and so much more. Traveling with a toddler? There is a special area designed for kids 0-3.

More To Explore: Dubuque Museum of Art, River Lights Bookstore, Outside the Lines Art Gallery

Crystal Lake Cave Dubuque

Connect with Mother Nature

Discover the wondrous mineral formations that can be found at Crystal Lake Cave. Over huge amounts of geological time, slow-moving groundwater has carved Crystal Lake Cave from layers of Galena Limestone. This cave features stalagmites, helicities,, rare anthodites and more!

More To Explore: Swiss Valley Nature Center, Mines of Spain/EB Lyons Interpretive Center, Heritage Trail

Play Bingo

Need something to keep the kiddos entertained while in the car? Download our Dubuque Bingo Card filled with things you just might spot during your time where Iowa started.

Make a Splash

Year round, the Grand Harbor Resort & Waterpark provides 25,000 square feet of wet fun. Featuring waterslides, tube rides, a lazy river, and more, this waterpark is a must see. Stay at the hotel or purchase visitor passes to take part in a splish splashing good time.

More To Explore: Splash pad at Cloie Creek Park, Flora Pool, Nicholas J. Sutton Pool

Cupcakes Dubuque Iowa

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Sweet treats are in abundance in Dubuque. Visit Candle Ready Cakes year round for delicious cupcakes and cake balls. For chocolates and candies, Betty Jane Candies has a wide assortment of options. (We’d recommend you try their famous Gremlins.) In the fall, stop by Czipar’s Apple Orchard for caramel apples or their apple cider donuts!

More To Explore: East Mill Bakery, Chocolaterie Stam & Wine Bar

Take a Risk

Is your family made up of risk-takers? Zip over the trees at one of our courses designed for families looking to feel the rush of high velocity fun. Sky Tours Zipline is a 9 line campus with a guided tour of the historic Union Park it soars above. For ziplinning, rock climbing and a ropes course, check out Four Mounds Ropes Course.

More To Explore: Sundown Mountain, and Vertical Jump Park

Budget Friendly Ideas

Looking to save a few dollars? Try these ideas for a wallet friendly getaway!


Explore: Farmers’ Market, Street Art in Dubuque, Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, Field of Dreams Movie Site, Lock & Dam #11