Four cities. One big river. A lot of interesting things to see and things to do. That’s the Quad Cities.
The Quad Cities consists of Betterndorf and Davenport in Iowa and Moline and Rock Island in Illinois. The Mississippi is the natural divider for the states and cities. They’re proximity to each made it feel like one large city with small-town atmospheres. There’s a lot to see and do in the Quad Cities.
Let your science nerd out
A mix between science center and natural history museum, Putnam Museum in Davenport is a gem for all ages to visit. It’s large enough that one could easily spend an entire afternoon there.
Highlights include the science center, mummies, and walking through the river exhibit featuring the animals, flora and fauna found along the Mississippi River.
The Fryxell Geology Museum is a museum on the beautiful Augustana College campus in Rock Island, Ill. It’s small but it’s easy to spend an hour here. Ask if a guided tour is possible because the enthusiasm of the guide is going to be contagious.
The museum’s biggest draw is the Cryolophosaurus, a 22-foot-long dinosaur fossil discovered by an Augstana College professor. It’s the first-ever dinosaur fossil found in Antarctica and it was a previously unknown dinosaur – so a doubly exciting discovery.
- Putnam Museum, 1717 W. 12th St., Davenport, Iowa
- Fryxell Geology Museum, 820 38th St., Rock Island, Ill.
Art and the bridge
The museum has one of the largest collections of Mexican Colonial artwork outside of Mexico City and is one of the first U.S. museums to have a Haitian art collection. The museum also hosts traveling exhibits.
There’s also a charming space for all ages called Family Art Center on the museum’s second floor. There’s space to draw, build, and try on costumes.
The Davenport Skybridge is about a block away from the Figge Art Museum. It’s a cable-stayed walkway from a parking garage that leads to a neat lookout over the Mississippi River.
The view during the day is nice enough, but at night, the Skybridge’s interior is lit up with colorful lights.
3. Figge Art Museum, 225 W. Second St., Davenport, Iowa
4. Davenport Skybridge, 400 Beiderbecke Drive, Davenport, Iowa
Go to a ballgame
The Houston Astros-affiliated team, the Quad Cities River Bandits, plays at the Modern Woodmen Park in downtown Davenport. There’s a good reason it was named by “USA Today” as the top minor league ballpark in the country. It has a zip line, rock climbing wall, bounce house, carousel, and a 110-foot Ferris wheel.
5. Modern Woodmen Park, 209 S. Gaines St., Davenport, Iowa
Things to do for families
Family Museum is a children’s museum with a creative pretend play space filled with a farm, grocery story, Mississippi bridge replica, veterinarian clinic, post office and more, plus a large water table and maker space.
There’s a clay studio and art studio upstairs
The John Deere Pavilion is a great place to explore with kids and farm enthusiasts. For the younger crowd, there are several huge farming equipment for them to climb on, simulators, and an interactive kids area.
For the enthusiasts, there are antique and modern John Deere farming equipment are on display at the John Deere Pavilion in Moline, Ill. You can climb into many of the machines.
6. Family Museum, 2900 Learning Campus Drive, Bettendorf, Iowa
7. John Deere Pavilion, 1400 River Drive, Moline, Ill.
Have dessert first
Logamarcino’s is a century-old confectionery and ice cream shop with a deli thrown in for good measure. This place is pretty charming and you’ll be tempted to buy candies and treats before even looking over the menu.
They’re well known for their sundaes. They make their own ice cream and hot fudge.
Lagomarcino’s has two locations in the Quad Cities. The quaint original is in Moline, Ill.
8. Lagomarcino’s Confectionery, 1422 Fifth Ave., Moline, Ill. and 2132 E. 11th St., Davenport, Iowa