National Great Rivers Museum
1 Locks and Dam Way, Alton, IL 62002, United States
National Great Rivers Museum

Review №1

Amazing stop! Wish we would have had time for tour. Tours are 45 mins- 1 hour and require you to walk about 1/2 mile. No photos or phones allowed. Cute gift shop. The museam with out the tour took my group 1.5 hours to read and look at everything. They also have a little film you can watch in a theater that is approx 30 mins. Which we did not do. Amazing displays fantastic information. It looked as if they were expanding and setting up new exibits as well.

Review №2

We were worried that it wouldnt be open due to Covid. While we couldnt ride the elevator to the top, we got to see and explore everything else. Our guide was very knowledgeable and friendly.

Review №3

Learned a lot and really enjoyed seeing how the locks work.

Review №4

This was a wonderful experience. My mom and I stopped here on our way to Grafton. It was very interesting, informative, and very educational. Due to Covid we were not able to go into the actual lock but our tour guides were very good and informative. Lots of interesting things to see.

Review №5

Absolute must if you are in or visiting the Alton, IL area. So much information on the history and ecological part of this area, not to mention the dam and locks. Make sure you take the tour! Our guide was very knowledgeable and did a great job of explaining everything and answering questions. What was totally amazing is that it was all FREE!!

Review №6

Great place to go see the river. Nice museum a lot of interesting things to see. You have to take a tour of the lock and dam. Travis knew his stuff.

Review №7

My family learned so much about the Lock and Dam systems of America! Out tour guide was very friendly and had a great sense of humor. Got to see a boat and barges get locked through. It was a great experience for the kiddos and I. Best of was free!

Review №8

A really interesting side trip. It offers an easy to understand look (good for all ages) at the great river, its uses and conservation issues. ALSO plan to tour the Lock and Dam, which is fascinating; you can watch the locks fill and empty, raising or lowering boats and barges. Cool!

Review №9

Fun and informative! Clean and safe! Staff nice!

Review №10

According to Google it says that this attraction is open. I told all my kids and we drove 2 hours to get there and it was closed due to covid. They will not answer their phones and Google and their website all say they are open and they are not. So yeah. My kids are thrilled that we have a 2 hour drive home and they got to do NOTHING today.

Review №11

If want a really cool tour, visit this place. Completely free and you get to walk across the top of the dam that stretches across the mighty Mississippi. Great tour guides and knowledgeable staff, and really free. See the river from a view that few people get. Take the family and have a fun day doing something that as fun as it is informative.

Review №12

Very informative -- great educational environment, especially for school children.

Review №13

We just love this place. Only problem is not being able to go out on the landing.

Review №14

Honestly did not even know this Amazing place was here! Great educational place to take your Kids or even yourself! Lock and Dam tours are at 10am 1pm and 3pm! Staff are great and knowledgeable. Sometimes I wonder why little gems like these are not promoted more!

Review №15

Very interesting and unique experience watching a tow and 16 barges go through the lock. Well done small museum. Worth the trip!

Review №16

Very neat experience museum. Everything is free. Worth the trip!

Review №17

Its worth the time to take the free tour.

Review №18

Very interesting. Somewhere different to visit in the area

Review №19

It was amazing to see just how high the water was at the dam. And now its way higher than these pics

Review №20

Poorly marked, limited parking, closes early we were there at 4:30 but the gates were already closed. Nice roof top nature walk with a great view of the river and dam. I think you enter through the gates but they were closed and said employees only.

Review №21

Great little museum and gift shop!!! Saw a flock of pelicans fly over that seemed as big as airplanes in the distance! Two bald Eagles and their nest.

Review №22

Was closed when I got there. Turns out its only open like three days a week. Thought I might still be able to see something, but couldnt really.

Review №23

Always interesting. Did the dam tour this year. We were able to watch the process of moving a barge through the locks

Review №24

An illustrative museum and amazing guide!! I loved to know more about the encounter between the great rivers!!

Review №25

Nice displays. Seems aimed towards kids, but theres good info for everyone. I missed the lock tour and will have to return.

Review №26

We took the tour and we had a great time.

Review №27

The tour guide is very friendly and knowledgeable! Kept my 13 and 10 year old entertained!

Review №28

They are open Wed- Sun. Tours for free of the Dam at 10am, 1pm and 3pm. Very friendly l. Definitely will be back.

Review №29

Bike trail nearby that runs along river. Views outside of the museum are probably a little better than the museum itself.

Review №30

Very educational, be sure to take the lock tour and watch both excellent short films. unfortunately, the tow simulator was down when I visited... guess Ill have to come back

Review №31

I think this place is so underrated. The guides told me that they usually expect no more than 5-7 visitors. What the hell! They have lots of beautiful collection on great river archaeology. The people working there are so friendly and totally willing to make a conversation with you. They explained everything so well. Also, they give you a tour on the newest river dam build in the area in every 3 hours I think. You must make sure that you attend it. Thats a whole new experience. Totally loved it. Ill definitely try to go there again when i get some time. And if you go there, spread the word. This place deserves recognition.

Review №32

Very educational and a great experience.

Review №33

This place is awesome. First off, its free but the tour of the lock is fantastic! The exhibits inside are very enlightening. Worth the visit.

Review №34

Informative, and great for kids.

Review №35

Love this place cant wait to bring the kids back

Review №36

A hidden gem! This is a wonderful spot to learn about the history of the Mississippi River, experience a barge passing through, and even get to practice as a captain in the simulator! Wonderful for kids to adults!

Review №37

An underrated gem of the Riverbend. Sometimes I go there to stare at the captive gar they have in an aquarium.

Review №38

Lots of educational fun!

Review №39

Its a very good place to go as a family. There are many things and activities for the kids. They have a nice gift shop and they even have tours of the locks and dam. I highly recommend this place to visit.

Review №40

Informative tour, friendly guides.

Review №41

A real treat for all ages . Very well done . A very nice museum and gift shop and tour . A must do.

Review №42

So much fun! Definitely take a tour out on the damm

Review №43

Nice free museum near Alton. Good for a family day out.

Review №44

Kind of a cool place! Could not go out and watch the barges come through because of the flooding but I get that. Keeping us safe.

Review №45

This is a great place to come and see the Mississippi River from a different point of view. Staff is awesome!

Review №46

Randy gave us a fantastic tour this morning. He is such an enthusiastic and knowledgable tour guide who truly enjoys teaching others about the Melvin Price Lock and Dam. (Plus the side info about all the local birds made it even more special.) Even in the freezing cold it was worth every minute.

Review №47

The museum itself if interesting. I love that the staff come out and and talk and explain any questions me or the grandkids had.

Review №48

Great Dam tour. Would highly recommend

Review №49

The facility has a museum with plenty of interesting displays for children and adults. There is even a simulator that lets you try to operate a barge on the Mississippi. They offer free tours several times a day that allows you to walk along the top of the locks and dam. The tour guide we had was full of information about the dam history and the surrounding area.

Review №50

Lots v of hands on. Great staffLoved the free tour of the lock

Review №51

We Love The Great Rivers Museum....I wish more of the exhibits worked properly and the doors were opened to go out to the Dam.Still peaceful and a great place to watch Eagles and other birds.

Review №52

Awesome place to visit. Especially the lock and dam tour. Best tour to take your kids. Get there early - as later in the day the tours get canceled due to wind and heat restrictions.

Review №53

Awesome!! The 3 1/2 hr trip was worth it if you are into things like this. The guide was very nice and had a lot of knowledge. Place was great except for the spiders...not a fan!!

Review №54

These people are great.. I had a shrimp boil and bought all my stuff here and the employees were helpful courteous and truly treated me like they they appreciated my business... yes I highly recommend this establishment and I WILL be doing future business with them...

Review №55

A really cool place with loads of info about the Mississippi River system. Bonus - its free.

Review №56

Such a neat museum that was able to entertain children and adults with excellent tours!

Review №57

Facts and exhibits are great. The tour of the lock is free and fascinating if you are lucky enough to have a barge or two moving down river.

Review №58

Very informative

Review №59

It was very interesting I liked the tour

Review №60

Free admission and free lock & dam tours: 10AM, 1PM, 3PM 7 days a week.

Review №61

Awesome tour, great guide! Lived in the area for some time and never knew this was here, but it was a morning well spent!

Review №62

The volunteer Charlie was very knowledgeable and pleasant as he guided our tour of the Mel Price Lock and Dam the day before the crest of the 2019 Flood

Review №63

The National Great Rivers Museum and the Lock and Dam tour are a great free resource for anyone. This is especially great for families with children. It offers educational information about the great rivers, the eco system, the management of the rivers, and an insight into the Core of Engineers, plus the workings of and building of the dams. We took my parents there this past April. It was our first visit there. A lot of the people working there are retired volunteers who do a great job for no pay. Our tour guide that lead the Dam Tour was the most enthusiastic employee I ever saw that receives no salary, entirely volunteer. I never saw anyone with that much interest and dedication into what he was doing. He also works with the Core of Engineers recording data all on a volunteer basis. I asked him what he did before he retired. He said he was a teacher, but I forgot what he said he taught. This partly explains why he was such an interesting tour guide. He was also quite amusing and I found him to be a very interesting person. I have never even saw paid employees with this much enthusiasm in what they are doing. This amazed me and I was very impressed. There also was another retired man working at the visitor desk. My husband, him, and I had a great conversation. Plus we got to witness the camaraderie these volunteers share with each other. Thanks guys for the great visit we enjoyed it and your great efforts.

Review №64

This was an educational experience!!! We took the tour on the locks and dam...watched an excellent movie, and all the exhibits were great about the Mississippi Rivers past & present, and wildlife found! Well worth the visit. Geared for children and adults!

Review №65

A very cool museum that covers great information about the Mississippi and the lock and dam system. The volunteers are great.

Review №66

There wasnt a whole lot to see but it was definitely interesting.

Review №67

This place is awesome! Visited here with the Missouri Agribusiness Academy 2018 in June and we all loved it! Especially with the birds at the end of the tour outside. Oh! And our guide was a highschooler! Amazing!

Review №68

Highly recommend! Very educational. Super great staff!

Review №69

Great little museum! Free!! I wish we had researched before going so we could have gone on a (free!) tour of the locks and dam. We arrived between tour times and did not want to wait around for the next time. We will go back! The staff was VERY friendly and knowledgeable. Great experience.

Review №70

Loved the tour....found out all the best places to fish

Review №71

The locks are awesome. We saw a very large river boat go through. Would definitely recommend going when there will be a tour. Nothing else there compares to the tour.

Review №72

Interesting facts on the river habitats and a tour of the lock and dam

Review №73

I cannot explain how much I love this place. Their work matters and the employees care about what they do. Ive learned a lot from them. The building is beautiful and there is river access nearby.

Review №74

Very educational on Mississippi River History

Review №75

Completely free museum and tour. Very interesting and well maintained. There was a picnic area that had been taken over by boyscouts- looked like they were having a ball.

Review №76

We were surprised to be offered a free guided tour of the locks and dam. The tour was fascinating, the museum was as well. Great staff and volunteers there!

Review №77

We needed more time than we had for our tour .

Review №78

An excellent tour to take and get familiar eyes with history of Alton and Missouri and the Mississippi Rivers

Review №79

Was given a great tour of the Damn and locks and an interesting museum.

Review №80

Went here for a field trip. The students didnt know what to expect. They all seemed rather pleased at the end of the trip. They were excited to walk on the dam and really enjoyed the scavenger hunt. Thank you for making this a memorable experience.

Review №81

Neat place, located on the lock and dam on the Mississippi river, good for kids

Review №82

Love it here

Review №83

10 out of 10 . The tour guide was very professional. All the others were very friendly , telling us about the tour and the movie. We went August 6th . Please leave a generous tip so these places can serve us.

Review №84

This was a great learning experience. I cant wait to go back!!

Review №85

I loooooved it sooo much

Review №86

Very friendly staff. Building is wheel chair accessible (really, no guff no weird bumps or narrow doors) 2 wheel chairs (non-motor, regular sized) avaiable for use. Staff was very helping in putting on captions for related movies and answered all questions. Heck, even the turtles in the lobby were friendly. Will come again.

Review №87

Very interesting place! Interactive exhibits, historical information, excellent! We will go back to tour the locks and dam.

Review №88

Good for a walk, no traffic

Review №89

Love it

Review №90

Great place to spend an afternoon with the kids. Dont miss the tour of the lock and dam.

Review №91

I live within an hour of this museum and lock & dam and I had no idea it existed. It makes for a great day trip. Lots of bird watching and the museum and free tour of the lock & dam were great.

Review №92

Great little place to stop by. We learned some interesting things about the lock and surrounding areas. Would have been better if the elevator was working.

Review №93

Great informative field trip for my 2nd grader.

Review №94

The museum is full of great pictures and history. Just get past the environmental fervor and evolutionist viewpoint, and it is amazing. Take the tour of you can.

Review №95

What a neat place! The female tour guide was very sweet a knowledgeable! Highly recommended.

Review №96

Museum website indicated museum was open. IT WAS NOT! Folks could have traveled several or even many miles. We were disappointed.

Review №97

Its a really neat and informative place especially if you have children.

Review №98

Interesting visitors center. Didnt take the tour. Easy parking; short walk; not crowded. Nice stop along the way on a day trip from STL.

Review №99

Educational to see barges locked through the lock and dam. Friendly guides and good educational materials about the river and lock system. Some of the exhibits are a little worn, and could use updating.

Review №100

Good exhibits. Some cleanliness issues and not able to get closer to the locjs and dam to watch the boats

100 Photos
4.7 Rating
  • Address:1 Locks and Dam Way, Alton, IL 62002, United States
  • Phone:+1 618-462-6979
  • Museum
  • National museum
  • Tourist attraction
Working hours
  • Monday:9am–5pm
  • Tuesday:9am–5pm
  • Wednesday:9am–5pm
  • Thursday:9am–5pm
  • Friday:9am–5pm
  • Saturday:9am–5pm
  • Sunday:9am–5pm
  • Wheelchair-accessible entrance:Yes
  • Good for kids:Yes
  • Restaurant:No
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