It's officially summertime, and your kids are already showing symptoms of boredom.
The good news is that you don't have to spend a lot to have a good time. Click here for 120 ideas, all of which are free, that are sure to entertain little ones during the dog days of summer.
If you'd like to get away from the house, Dubuque offers an abundance of low-cost, family-friendly opportunities. Lynn Ford, a tourist specialist at the Iowa Welcome Center in Dubuque, says residents often overlook fun, budget-friendly experiences that are in their own backyard. Here are five of them:
- Fenelon Place Elevator Co: Located at the base of Bluff and Fourth streets, it's the shortest, steepest, cheapest cable car elevator in the country. Roundtrip tickets are $2 for adults, $1 for children ages 5-12 and free for children younger than 5.
- Mines of Spain: The recreation area is located on 1,380 acres of wooded and prairie land south of Dubuque. Visitors can hike or bike on trails, view the Julien Dubuque Monument and explore the E.B. Lyons Interpretive and Nature Center. "When the weather breaks, that's the first place my children go," Ford says. "It's beautiful up there. And it doesn't cost anything."
- National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium: If you haven't been to the museum lately, consider a return trip. Visitors can explore a river cave, see sharks, rays and schools of fish, and experience many interactive exhibits. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for ages 3 to 17. "The river museum costs money, but the value of what you're getting for what you're spending is worth far more," Ford says.
- Dubuque Museum of Art: The free museum features watercolors, a Grant Wood Gallery, Children's Gallery and more.
By Emily Kittle