The National Mississippi River Museum is only a short ride away from my parents' house, so Casey and I decided that we had to go there with Sierra and Colton (and Kaia too, but she was more along for the ride than really engaged at this age).
When we first got there, we went to the children's play area. There are several different places to play in the water, make a boat, build a damn, and power the water cycle.
While the water play area was fun, we were really there to see the animals. And what a variety of animals that live in and around the water there were! There was everything from fish to beavers to otters to an alligator! Sierra and Colton were particularly impressed with this shark.
Kaia was impressed with the shark, too, but I think she just liked looking at everything moving by inside the tank.
This is a main channel catfish. It was enormous! Seriously, it was large enough to eat a baby. Yikes!
There was an area with small animals that the kids could touch. Sierra at first declined touching the crayfish, but decided to give it a try after I touched it first. Colton declined. Casey and I reminisced about when we would go looking for crayfish in the streams on her farm growing up. Watch out for those claws!
There were three levels of the boat, and very steep staircases, almost like ladders, to get from one level to the next. Sierra and Colton did pretty well navigating the steep steps on their short legs.
There was a little path along the water back to the main portion of the museum. The kids wanted to see if anyone was home inside this hut. (There wasn't, but there was a fire circle.)