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

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Discover a plethora of engaging and free activities that cater to all ages in this vibrant community along the Mississippi River. From scenic parks and playgrounds to cultural events and festivals, the Quad Cities has something for everyone. Explore the beauty of nature at local parks like Vander Veer Botanical Park or stroll along the riverfront for breathtaking views. Join in on family-friendly events, concerts, and festivals that regularly grace the area, providing entertainment without breaking the bank. The Quad Cities invites you to create lasting memories with your loved ones through an array of free and family-friendly activities.

Last Updated: 1/8/2024
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 – 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

Village of East Davenport  – take a stroll in the historic district for a fun-filled day of window shopping

Figge Art Museum – The Figge offers free admission on the 2nd Saturday of each month, free family days once a month, and free admission in the month of July

Nature

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

Seasonal

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

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

Parks

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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In & Around the Quad Cities

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