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National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque reopening

The NASA Iowa Space Grant Consortium paid everyone's admission to the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium on Monday, April 24, 2017. (Allison Wong/KCRG-TV9)
The NASA Iowa Space Grant Consortium paid everyone's admission to the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium on Monday, April 24, 2017. (Allison Wong/KCRG-TV9)(KCRG)
Published: May. 21, 2020 at 2:01 PM CDT
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The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium will reopen to guests this weekend. It's been closed for nearly two months during the pandemic.

While some exhibits like the stingray exhibit will be open, others will be closed. This is so staff can take a phased approach at reopening.

The museum and aquarium will open for members Friday and then on Saturday to the general public. To visit, you'll need to go to the museum's website to get a time ticket in advance.

When you get to the museum, only one box office will be open. There will be signs telling visitors how to maneuver throughout the building.

Wendy Scardino, at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, said, "That will allow for traffic to flow in one direction throughout our entire campus, specifically in our buildings. We have over 14 acres, 100,000 square feet, and so we have a lot of space for folks to spread out and want to make sure again that we have plenty of opportunity for social distancing."

While some exhibits will be closed, including the William M. Black Steamboat and the 4-D theatre, visitors will still get to see the animals.

Scardino added, "While we don't like to assign feelings to our animals, the otters have missed the attention from their adoring fans. Every time I've been in the office, they are very eager for some attention."

Visitors are encouraged to wear masks, though it is not a requirement. Staff at the museum are now looking ahead to what things may look like for the summer.

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