Hot Trips

Fun Things to do in the Quad Cities with Kids

The Quad Cities is a region located in the midwestern United States, consisting of four cities on the Mississippi River: Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa, and Rock Island and Moline in Illinois. The Quad Cities offers a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy. Here are a few things to do in the Quad Cities with your kids.

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Mississippi Riverfront

The Mississippi Riverfront in the Quad Cities offers a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy. The Riverfront is a picturesque spot that provides great opportunities to appreciate the natural beauty of the area and the Mississippi River, one of the most important rivers in the United States.

The Riverfront Trail is a paved trail that runs along the Mississippi River and provides great views of the river and the surrounding area. The trail is perfect for walking, biking, or rollerblading.  You can take a boat tour of the Mississippi River to appreciate the natural beauty of the area and learn about the history of the river and the Quad Cities. The boat tours are operated by local companies and provide an immersive experience. The Mississippi River is home to a variety of fish species, including catfish, bass, and pike. You can fish from the riverbanks or take a fishing charter to catch the big one.

LeClaire Park is a beautiful park that is located along the Mississippi River. The park features a playground, picnic areas, and a bandshell that hosts live music performances during the summer. River Action Inc is non-profit organization offers a variety of activities, events and programs to help visitors explore the Mississippi Riverfront, including kayak and paddleboard rentals, bike rentals, and guided tours.

River Music Experience is a music venue that offers live music performances and educational programs that celebrate the rich musical heritage of the Mississippi River. You can also attend concerts, workshops, and other events throughout the year.

The visitor center is a great place start and to learn about the history of the Mississippi River, the Quad Cities and activities you can enjoy with your family.

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John Deere Pavilion

1400 River Dr, Moline, IL 61265

The John Deere Pavilion, located in Moline, Illinois, is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the history and innovation of one of the world’s largest equipment manufacturers. The pavilion offers an interactive and educational experience for visitors of all ages.

The pavilion features a variety of exhibits that showcase the history of John Deere, from its early days as a blacksmith shop to its current role as a global leader in the agriculture and construction equipment industry. Visitors can see a variety of vintage and modern equipment on display, and learn about the company’s innovations and contributions to the industry. You can even try your hand at operating a John Deere tractor simulator, which allows you to experience the thrill of operating heavy equipment in a safe and controlled environment.

The pavilion features a virtual reality experience that allows you to see how John Deere’s technology is used in the field, and how it helps farmers feed the world. They also offer guided tours that take you through the history and innovations of John Deere. The tours are led by knowledgeable guides who can answer any questions and provide insights about the company. For the kids, there are educational programs for students and educators, which can be tailored to different age groups and learning styles.

Before you go stop by the gift shop that offers a variety of John Deere merchandise, including clothing, toys, and collectibles.

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Figge Art Museum

225 W 2nd St, Davenport, IA 52801

The Figge Art Museum, located in Davenport, Iowa, is a must-visit destination for art lovers and those interested in American, European and contemporary art. The museum features a collection of over 4,500 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and mixed media pieces.

The museum’s permanent collection includes works of art from a variety of American and European artists, including American Regionalism, American Impressionism, and European Modernism. Visitors can see works by famous artists such as Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, and Auguste Rodin. The museum hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing contemporary and emerging artists, as well as special exhibitions of traveling shows. Visitors can check the museum’s website for the current exhibitions.

There are a variety of educational programs for visitors of all ages, including lectures, tours, and workshops. These programs provide an in-depth look at the museum’s collections and exhibitions, and are a great way to learn more about art and the artists.

Stop by the Museum Store for a wide selection of art-related items, including books, jewelry, and home decor items, as well as art reproductions, perfect for a souvenir or a gift. If your hungry during your visit, check out the museum café for a selection of sandwiches, salads, and pastries, as well as a selection of coffee.

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Channel Cat Taxi

2505 River Dr. Celebration Belle Dock Moline IL 61265 

The Channel Cat Water Taxi is a unique and exciting way to experience the Mississippi River in the Quad Cities area. The water taxi offers scenic rides along the river, allowing passengers to take in the beautiful views of the surrounding area. The Channel Cat runs seasonally, typically from May to October, and offers a variety of routes and stops.

One of the most popular routes is the “Island Hopper,” which takes passengers on a tour of the Mississippi River’s largest island, Rock Island. The tour includes stops at the Rock Island Lighthouse, the Rock Island Arsenal, and the Quad City Botanical Center. Another popular route is the “Downtown Davenport,” which takes passengers on a tour of the downtown area, including stops at the Figge Art Museum and the RiverCenter performing arts center.

The Channel Cat also offers a “Hop On, Hop Off” service, which allows passengers to get on and off the water taxi at different stops along the route. This service is a great way to explore the Quad Cities at your own pace and see all the sights that the area has to offer.

The Channel Cat Water Taxi is a fun and unique way to see the Quad Cities and is perfect for tourists, families and locals. The tickets can be purchased on board, and prices vary depending on the route and the number of stops. It’s a great way to spend a summer day, enjoying the scenery and history of the Mississippi River.

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Quad City Botanical Center

2525 4th Ave, Rock Island, IL 61201

The Quad Cities Botanical Center, located in Rock Island, Illinois, is a beautiful destination for those who love nature and gardening. The center features a wide variety of plants and flowers, including a butterfly garden, a rose garden, and a Japanese garden.

 You can explore the botanical center’s various gardens and see a wide variety of plants, flowers, and trees, including exotic species from around the world. The gardens are designed to provide you with a relaxing and immersive experience. The butterfly garden is home to a variety of butterflies and is a great place to see these beautiful insects up close. You can learn about the life cycle of butterflies and the plants that support them.

The rose garden is a beautiful and fragrant garden that is home to a variety of roses. Here, you can see different varieties of roses and learn about their care and cultivation. The Japanese garden is a tranquil and serene garden that features a variety of traditional Japanese plants and design elements, such as a koi pond, a tea house, and a Zen garden.

The botanical center offers guided tours of the gardens and provides visitors with an in-depth look at the plants and flowers on display, as well as the history and design of the gardens. The botanical center offers a variety of educational programs for visitors of all ages, including lectures, workshops, and classes, which provide an in-depth look at gardening and horticulture.

The botanical center hosts a variety of events throughout the year, such as concerts, festivals, and flower shows, providing visitors with an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the gardens and learn more about gardening and horticulture.

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Modern Woodmen Park

209 S Gaines St, Davenport, IA 52802

Modern Woodmen Park, located in Davenport, Iowa, is a minor league baseball stadium that is home to the Quad Cities River Bandits. The stadium offers a family-friendly atmosphere and provides visitors with the opportunity to catch a game during the baseball season.

You can catch a game of the Quad Cities River Bandits, a minor league baseball team affiliated with the Houston Astros, and enjoy the atmosphere of a live baseball game. While you are there, Modern Woodmen Park features a variety of food and drink options, including traditional baseball concessions like hot dogs, popcorn, and peanuts, as well as more diverse offerings such as BBQ, burgers and craft beers.

The park hosts a variety of special events throughout the season, such as fireworks shows, concerts, and themed nights. You can check the stadium’s website for a calendar of events. The park provides a fun and safe environment for families, with a playground and a Kids Zone with inflatable games and activities for kids. The park offers a variety of group packages and special seating options for groups of all sizes, such as party decks, picnics, and luxury suites, providing a great way to entertain clients, friends, or family. The team store offers a variety of River Bandits merchandise, including hats, jerseys, and other team-related items, perfect for a souvenir or a gift.

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Davenport Skybridge

The Davenport Skybridge is a pedestrian bridge located in Davenport, Iowa, United States. The bridge was built in 2005 and spans the Mississippi River, connecting the cities of Davenport and Bettendorf. The bridge is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike, offering panoramic views of the river and the surrounding area. Some points of interest around the bridge include Modern Woodmen Park, the Figge Art Museum, and the RiverCenter performing arts center. The bridge is also a popular spot for fishing and leisurely strolls.

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Colonel Davenport House

Davenport Ave, Rock Island, IL 61201

The Colonel Davenport House is a historic mansion located in Rock Island, Illinois. It was built in 1833 by Colonel George Davenport, a prominent fur trader, military officer, and businessman. The house is considered one of the finest examples of Federal-style architecture in the Midwest, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The house features a two-story brick structure, with a central hall plan and symmetrical facade. The interior features intricate woodwork, including carved mantels and moldings, as well as a winding staircase and spacious rooms. The house also has a spacious lawn and a large garden, which provide a beautiful setting for events and tours.

In recent years, the Colonel Davenport House has been restored and renovated to its original appearance, and is now open to the public as a museum. Visitors can explore the house and learn about its history and the life of its former occupants. The museum also hosts special events and educational programs, which provide visitors with a deeper understanding of the house and its significance.

Whether you are a history buff, a lover of architecture, or simply someone who appreciates beautiful homes, the Colonel Davenport House is well worth a visit.

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The Palmer Family Residence

808 N Brady St, Davenport, IA 52803

The Palmer Family Residence was the home of the prominent Palmer family of Chiropractors. In 1912 this historic residence was home to Dr. B.J Palmer, who was known as The Developer of Chiropractic and his wife Marbel, The Lady of Chiropractic. Dr. B.J Palmer ran the Palmer School of Chiropractic until his death in 1961 and his wife, Mabel, studied anatomy, wrote a textbook as well as taught anatomy at Palmer for more than 35 years. Both were posthumously named a distinguished Fellows in the Palmer Academy of Chiropractic in 2006.

Their family legacy continues to this day with a number of current practicing Chiropractors. The Palmer Family residence is now a historic home and Chiropractic Museum on the campus of the Palmer College of Chiropractic.

The home is open to the public with guided tours Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The tours are about one hour long and include the entire first floor of the residence. Many of the rooms are still set up how the Palmers had them while they lived there.

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Rock Island Arsenal Museum

3500 North Ave, Rock Island, IL 61201

The Rock Island Arsenal Museum is a military history museum located on the Rock Island Arsenal island in the Mississippi River. The museum is dedicated to preserving and displaying the history of the Rock Island Arsenal, which has played a significant role in American military history since the Civil War. The museum features a variety of exhibits that highlight the arsenal’s contributions to the military, including weapons, vehicles, and equipment used by American soldiers throughout the years.

One of the main exhibit is the “Arsenal Island: A Military History,” which tells the story of the Rock Island Arsenal through artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays. You can also see the “Ordnance: The Power of Artillery” exhibit, which explores the history of artillery and its role in warfare. Additionally, there are exhibits dedicated to specific conflicts, such as World War I and World War II.

The museum also has an extensive collection of small arms, including rifles, pistols, and machine guns. You can also see an exhibit of tanks and artillery pieces, as well as a display of military vehicles and equipment used during World War II and the Korean War.

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That’s A Wrap!

Knock out four cities in one trip with a trip to the Quad Cities. Hope this list of things to do in the Quad Cities helps you better plan a fun family weekend getaway. Don’t forget to explore our blog for more guides in more cities. Happy Travels Hot Fam!

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I am a busy mama with 3 delicious babies and a serious itch for travel and writing (when I am not bartending, that is)! After graduating from Cal State San Marcos with a B.A. in Communications, I decided to start a family and pursue a career in freelance writing. I created HotMamaTravel as an outlet to do what I love while sharing useful travel tips and inspiration with others. Our mission is to show parents how to master travel with kids, while keeping your Saturday-night selves. We call it "Family travel...with a twist".

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