July 29, 2018
The National Park Visitor Center is located just off the lobby of the Science Center of Minnesota. It is a very small visitor center with a few displays on the uses of the river and what it means to different people. There is an exhibit where you can attempt to tie off your boat using massive ropes and a cleat as well as other interesting displays.
However, the item that caught Chloe was an interactive screen system where you move your arms to fly like an eagle, flapping and soaring as you cruise the river to catch fish then return to your nest to feed your babies. Chloe played with this for a good bit and it was fun to watch but then she talked ME into playing. Let’s just say that I would not make a very good eagle mom. I’d be bouncing off the bluffs while my babies sat sad and hungry in the nest waiting for klutz mom to make it back with a fish. We had some good laughs.
Part of the requirements for Chloe’s Junior Ranger badge led us up to a terrace overlooking the Mississippi River. There were good informative signs up there and an awesome view (top picture).
After Chloe was sworn in and received her badge, the helpful Ranger suggested we go to another NPS site along the river, the St. Anthony Lock and Dam… so of course we added that to our list. THEN we learned there was a riverboat cruise near the lock and dam that takes you through the lock… so we added that to our list.
It got to be quite a long list for our four nights in the area but we did our best to see as many of the sights as we could fit in. Minneapolis/St. Paul was exhausting but we had fun.
The Mississippi River Museum was our first stop. Read on for stop 2 (Science Center of Minnesota) and stop 3 (Mall of America) before we drove back to camp and collapsed for the day.