While I like budgeting money, I don’t love keeping tabs on every dollar while traveling. That is the time I want to reward myself and embrace the vacationer’s lifestyle. That is until I get my credit card bill – what a memory ruiner! And while the best solution to this problem is paying cash, packing plenty of snacks, and avoid using credit cards, I like having my charges all together where I can analyze my trip afterward.
However, I promise today’s adventure will not cost you a penny as we are rocking to the Quad Cities in Freestyle. However, these activities are also super fun!
Nahant Marsh the wetland a nature preserve that was carefully restored and is a is home to over 150 species of birds, more than 400 species of plants, and a wide variety of mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and insects, including several rare and endangered species. The marsh area encompasses different wetland community types including bottomland forest, open-water habitat, and a marsh.
The Marsh is a perfect spot for the families to explore the nature and the education center provides plenty of help to encourage learning. We played an i-Spy game here for an hour, and it was so much fun to see my hungry for competition children trying to spy all things nature.
The nature center has plenty of tools for anyone to borrow – from books about birds to magnifying glass, from butterflies catcher to the variety of landing nets!
John Deere Pavilion
John Deere came to Moline to start his plow-manufacturing company in 1848. Still in Moline today, The John Deere Pavilion is an incredible place – it is both the world headquarters of the Deere & Co. and a fun place for the whole family with the biggest tractors kids and adults can climb, virtual simulators and fun challenging games.
At the Pavilion’s annual Learn & Play Day (July 21), you will see a lot of action outside of the John Deere Pavilion – with tractor races, petting zoo, and many other activities and so much more. However, if
you dream your child dreams of climbing a tractor that is as high as a house – come right in and start exploring.
Also inside, try operating simulator machines (I now know I am not good at stacking pipes) and multiple exploration areas like Our Growing Planet (examines global challenges and suggests solutions), Innovation Solutions (break-through designs), Discovery Zone (hands-on learning activities and interactive technologies), and Cotton to Blue Jeans (the story of cotton from seed to shelf).
Want more? Here are more fun and FREE activities you can do as a family in the Quad Cities:
- Mississippi River Distilling Company offers free daily tours that share the process of brewing – no reservation required.
- Schwiebert Riverfront Park has a fantastic view, a playground, water play fountain.
- Black Hawk State Park is a historic site. This landmark is full of Native American History yet still offers playground and hiking trails.
- Backwater Gamblers Water Ski Show. Started in 1980 with just 14 members, the Backwater Gamblers Water Ski Club got their name because of gambling with their lives by water skiing on the backwaters of the Mississippi River. Now skiing on the serene Rock River in Rock Island, the team has grown to over 150 members and has consistently been among the top five show ski teams every year at the National Water Ski Show Tournament.
- Deere-Wiman House and Butterworth Center. Home to the son of John Deere, these two extravagant homes were built in the late 1800s and preserved in Quad Cities history. During the winter and summer holidays, the houses host live reenactments of the period in which the family lived.
- Bass Street Landing. Another fun spray fountain any kid would appreciate on a hot day. This place also hosts live concerts and outdoor gatherings at night.
- Arsenal Museum holds an integral part of Quad Cities history. It tells the story of those who worked within the walls of the Arsenal and the manufacturing of military equipment.
- Check out Quad Cities Event calendar for more seasonal activities.