The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium welcomes anyone who may benefit from a sensory-friendly environment to a series of Sensory Days this summer. 

The River Museum first hosted Sensory Days in 2022 and have since expanded to include an InSight evening for guests with visual impairments. The dates for this year’s events are June 11 from 5 – 7 p.m. and July 21 and August 11 from 8 – 10 a.m. Across campus at both the Mississippi River Discovery Center and the National River Center, the Museum will have dimmed lighting, limited extra and ambient sounds, and no distracting exhibit motions during this public event. All the River Museum’s animals and exhibits will be available for viewing by attendees.

Tickets do not include general admission to the River Museum beyond the event. 

“Sensory processing needs affect a large portion of the population, whether it be individuals with autism, PTSD, or dementia, veterans, people with ADD or ADHD, and many others. The River Museum welcomes nearly 200,000 guests each year,” said Kristen Leffler, Staff Resource & Engagement Manger and Internship Coordinator at the River Museum. “We strive to be inclusive every day for our all of our guests, but by hosting Sensory Days, we go the extra mile and make clear our commitment to sharing the River Museum experience with everyone. With simple yet impactful modifications to the guest experience, we strive to ensure accessibility for all.”

Families of children, teenagers, and young adults who may benefit from a sensory-friendly environment are all invited to attend. Tickets are $11.95 for non-members and River Museum members receive free admission. Guests who qualify for the Museums for All rate will still receive the discount. For qualifications and more information, visit

Support for Sensory Days and programming is provided by the Iowa Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities. This year, the River Museum is raising funds for Sensory Days as a part of the Greater Dubuque Community Foundation’s Great Give Day on Wednesday, May 15. Those interested in donating to the programming can schedule their donation starting May 13 at

For more information about Sensory Days, contact Kristen Leffler at 563-557-9545 x221 or via email at