Riding the Channel Cat Water Taxi with Kids

The Channel Cat Water Taxi is a perfect adventure for any summer day. It really is fun for all ages, but it seems that kids particularly enjoy the magic of riding on the river.

If you are going to take your kids, here are a few things we have learned on our visits.

Channel Cat with kids1Tickets and boarding:

You can board in five different docks along the Mississippi River –

  • Behind TGI Friday’s on the John Deere Commons, downtown Moline.
  • Near the Celebration Belle in Moline.
  • Isle Casino Hotel, Bettendorf
  • Near the marina in the Village of East Davenport.

The full schedule is available online and tickets ($6 for adults, $3 for kids) are sold when boarding.

Channel Cat with kids4

There is a limited capacity on the boat and one weekdays, only one boat is running. In our case, the boat was at capacity when we tried to board at the John Deere Commons. We spent an hour at the John Deere Pavilion (right across the street) and then successfully boarded.

If you are on a tight schedule, get to the dock early and get in line. Or buy tickets ahead of time.


The full loop takes just over an hour, if you don’t get off the boat. There are plenty of things for kids to look at and enjoy along the route – like bridges, birds and wildlife, buildings and other boats. My son also has fun looking for fish in the water.

Channel Cat with kids2

Kid-friendly stops

While you can stay on the Channel Cat for the full loop, the ticket is good for an entire day of rides. You could easily make an entire day out of this, with lots of fun stops. Here’s a few I’d recommend with kids:

  • Stop for a sundae or homemade candy at Lagomarcinos in the Village of East Davenport.
  • Sit on the patio along the river and eat lunch at TGI Fridays in Moline.
  • Walk along the bike path at Butterworth Parkway in Moline (there are several play areas along the way). Or bring your bikes with you – it’s a great bike trail.
  • Visit the John Deere Commons and John Deere Store in downtown Moline.


Channel Cat with kids3

Whether you want to explore the river for an hour or all day, the Channel Cat is a wonderful QC experience. And the best part – it’s entertaining for ages 1 to 101.


About the author

Kim Woodward Kim Woodward is a wife, mom, and freelance writer living with her husband and son in a barn in rural Geneseo, Illinois. A notorious dabbler and DIYer, she shares her projects and adventures at NewlyWoodwards.com, and contributes to QuadCityMomsBlog.com. A native of the Quad Cities, she loves setting out on local adventures and discovering hidden gems in the area. She’s always on the lookout for the best live music, family-friendly activities, and cup of coffee.

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