40+ Free Family-Friendly Activities | In & Around the Quad Cities

family friendly activies in the quad cities area

Local Love

Downtown LeClaire, IA – home of Antique Archaeology (TV Show American Pickers), several boutiques in Cody Road Historic District, live music at local breweries

Quad Cities Area Guide to Libraries + Summer Reading Programs – check with your local library for offers to museums and more!

John Deere Pavilion (Moline, IL) –  as one of the top tourist attractions in the QCA, families can climb into tractors, sprayers, construction equipment, lawn tractors, and more

Skybridge (Davenport, IA) – A skywalk offering a cool and interesting view of the riverfront. At night the color-changing LED lights make the experience a little extra fun

Public Sculpture Program: Quad City Arts –  display of public sculpture with cities, organizations, and businesses in publicly-accessible locations throughout the Quad Cities

Free Family Fun – City of Davenport – year-round family-friendly activities throughout Davenport centered around community building

Kids Eat Free or Discounted – local restaurants that offer free or discounted meals for kids during the week

Historic Homes of John Deere descendants: Butterworth Center and Deere Wiman House (Moline, IL) – free guided tours on Wednesday, Thursday, and Fridays at 2:30p

Iowa 80 Trucking Museum (Walcott, IA) – the world’s largest truck stop showcasing trucking history with antique models, vintage memorabilia & a gift shop

The Field of Dreams (Dyersville, IA) – tour inside the Field of Dreams farmhouse, set of the iconic 1989 movie

Kids Skate Free – sign up for free skating passes at Skate City in East Moline


Wapsi River Environment Educational Center (Dixon, IA) – lots of free nature activities most of which require registration

Nahant Marsh (Davenport, IA) – urban wetland boardwalk featuring nature trails and educational programs (at additional cost)

Biking & Hiking Trails – with so many to choose from in the QC we narrowed down a list of our favorite 6

Disc Golf – from Muscatine to Geneseo and Milan to Dewitt there are over 20+ courses to play at

Geocaching – The world’s largest treasure hunt! There are 1,678 geocaches around Davenport. Create a free geocaching account and download the official Geocaching® app or use a GPS device

State Parks

Wild Cat Den State Park (Muscatine, IA) – views of sandstone bluffs and natural formations as well as several historic structures such as The 1848 Pine Creek Gristmill and Pine Mill Bridge

Maquoketa Caves State Park (Maquoketa, IA) – with more caves than any state park, Maquoketa Caves also has enormous bluffs that tower throughout the park. And a six-mile trail system that winds through geologic formations and forests

Starved Rock State Park (Oglesby, IL) – a wilderness area on the Illinois River and is known for its steep sandstone canyons formed by glacial meltwater. Park wildlife includes white-tailed deer, bald eagles and migratory birds

Black Hawk State Historic Site (Rock Island, IL) – learn fascinating facts about common Illinois and Iowa wildlife by examining mounted specimens or discover nature on a guided hike


Farmers’ Markets – a great way to support local growers in our community

Niabi Zoo (Coal Valley, IL) – free days offered throughout the year, usually at the beginning and end of each season

Kids Bowl Free – register your child and get 2 free games of bowling per child ALL summer long (valued at $500). Includes children 15 years old and younger. Standard shoe rental rates apply.

Arboretums, botanical gardens, and conservatories – different plants during different seasons means this one is a must all year round

Summer Outdoor Concerts & Movies – such a fun family-friendly activity during warm summer evenings

Splash Pads – 10+ spots to cool off. A few are even being updated!

Outdoor Skate Parks – 7 locations around the QC

Best Sledding Hills – 10+ best places to go sledding in the winter

8 Places to See the Best Fall Colors – 8 of our favorite places to see fall foliage

Fryexell Geology Museum (Rock Island, IL) – located on the campus of Augustana College. One of the largest and finest collections of rocks and minerals in the Midwest. It also has a complete dinosaur skeleton!

Free Bike Rentals – Visit Quad Cities provides free bike rentals at their Moline Destination Center from spring through October 31


Schwiebert Riverfront Park (Rock Island, IL) – views of the Mississippi River, an open-air stage, playground areas, an interactive fountain/splash pad area, an observation shelter, art sculptures, biking/hiking trails and a waterfront promenade

Centennial Park (Davenport, IA) – basketball courts, playground, skateboard park, spray park, cricket, and rugby fields, dog off-leash area, and riverfront trail access

Vander Veer Botanical Park & Conservatory (Davenport, IA) – free admission on Tuesdays, all kids 16 and under are free every day

Walnut Grove Pioneer Village + Scott County Park (Eldridge / Long Grove, IA) – playground equipment, nature trails, five unique camping areas, and Olympic size heated swimming pool

Fejervary Park (Davenport, IA) – a dinosaur-dig sandbox for children, interactive water wall, spider web climber, and harmony park music area and more

Duck Creek Park & Golf Course (Davenport, IA) – Stampe Lilac Garden and Gazebo, Davenport’s most challenging public golf course

Weed Park (Muscatine, IA) – including a 3-acre lagoon, aquatic center, fishing (for ages 14 and under), picnic areas, playground equipment, rose garden, zoo garden, and more

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