If you have been looking for the best and most fun things to do in Hannibal, MO, then you will find this post useful. Hannibal is a city on the Mississippi River in northeast Missouri.
The Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum is where the American writer grew up and displays artifacts such as his typewriter and writing desk. The Mark Twain Cave Complex served as inspiration for his novels.
Completed in 1900, Rockcliffe Mansion features art-nouveau décor and antique furniture. The Mark Twain Riverboat offers trips on the Mississippi.
Aside from Hannibal’s unique historic district, the community has grown into a thriving haven for artisans and is included along the famous 50 Miles of Art corridor.
The 50 Miles of Art corridor consists of a scenic drive along Highway 79 and focuses on the growing art communities of Hannibal, Louisiana, and Clarksville, Missouri.
Hannibal is home to numerous world-class artists and artisans. Each year, two studio tours (Spring and Fall) highlight artists and their studios.
Best & Fun Things to Do in Hannibal, MO
Here are some things to do in Hannibal, MO.
1. Visit Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum Properties
Your quest for fun in Hannibal starts as you discover how a young boy growing up in the small village of Hannibal became one of the world’s most beloved authors.
A self-guided tour of the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum gives you the chance to explore the Hannibal of Samuel Clemens and experience the amazing stories he created through the power of his imagination.
The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum is located on 206-208 Hill Street, Hannibal, Missouri, on the west bank of the Mississippi River in the United States. It was the home of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as author Mark Twain, from 1844 to 1853.
2. Explore the Haunted House on Hill Street
The Haunted House and Wax Museum are sure to provoke nostalgia in those who visited more than 30 years ago. The Haunted House on Hill Street is the best place to get that thrilling feeling. Don’t let the charming exterior fool you – something sinister waits inside.
First, you will enter a small Holiday Magic area, offering gifts and holiday items. Next is the darkroom, where you will be greeted by the unblinking stares of 27 wax figures of both Mark Twain’s characters and family, all artfully sculpted by Martin Krewson. Go through another doorway, and the terror begins!
3. Pay a Visit to Bluff City Theater
The Bluff City Theater is a place you must visit in Hannibal. Bluff City Theater is an SPT Equity theatre dedicated to producing theatrical works rooted in literature- from books, about authors, or characters from books.
The theatre operates year-round as a performance venue. When not hosting its productions, Bluff City Theater hosts a variety of musical, theatrical, and community events.
Bluff City Theater is a small professional theatre located in the former Farmers and Merchants Bank building at 212 Broadway in Historic Downtown Hannibal.
4. Visit the Ayers Pottery
Ayers Pottery is a popular place for shopping in Hannibal, featuring the work of Steve Ayers, a professional potter who has been making pottery in Hannibal for more than 20 years.
Ayers Pottery produces attractive and functional pieces you are sure to love when you visit this Hannibal specialty shop. Ayers Pottery has a pleasing collection of bakeware, dinnerware, drinkware, homeware, and serve ware you won’t be able to find anywhere else in the world.
The pottery at Ayers Pottery is beautifully designed and colorful, with incredible detail within each piece. Ayers Pottery is more than just a store. Like many Hannibal specialty shops, visitors can marvel at the production of their products to truly understand the intricacies of pottery making.
Ayers Pottery is a locally owned pottery shop in Historic Downtown Hannibal. Steve Ayers has been making pottery for over 30 years now. Stop in to tour the studio and see what amazing work is taking place! Ayers Pottery is located at 308 N 3rd St, Hannibal, MO 63401, United States.
5. Explore Mark Twain Riverboat
The Mark Twain Riverboat has been a unique fixture on the banks of the Mississippi for more than 30 years, offering visitors an up-close view of the Mississippi River during either 1-hour narrated sightseeing cruises or 2-hour dinner cruises. Hannibal river cruises allow visitors the opportunity to explore the Mississippi.
If you have an afternoon to spare in Hannibal, the Mark Twain Riverboat is a must-stop. One-hour sightseeing cruises on the river include commentary on river history, legends, and sights.
You will see Jackson’s Island, Lover’s Leap, and of course, the Mighty Mississippi rolling along. Mark Twain Riverboat is located in Frontier land at 1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802, United States.
6. Have a Lifetime Experience at the Mississippi Mind Trap Escape Room
Mississippi Mind Trap is a fun, exciting & interactive entertainment experience. You, your family & friends will attempt to find clues and solve puzzles while trying to escape one of our realistically themed rooms within the time limit.
An adventure designed to transport you into another world, find clues, and solve puzzles to complete your mission in one of our realistically themed rooms. All of our games are family-friendly. Everyone in your group can contribute.
Mississippi Mind Trap Escape Room is located at 518 Broadway, Hannibal, MO 63401, United States.
7. Take a Tour Around Native American Trading Co. & Gallery
Located in a historic mission-revival townhome built-in 1906, Native American Trading Company is one block from Denver’s civic center and is across the street from the newly expanded Denver Art Museum.
Our gallery is as inviting as a tastefully decorated home with treasures like mid-19th century Saltillo serapes and Chief’s blankets, giving it the feeling of a museum.
Germantown colors of Navajo weavings brighten the walls. Authentic pottery from native pueblos of New Mexico and the village of Mata Ortiz in Mexico fill windows, shelves, and beautiful antique display cases.
The Native American Trading Company offers a selection of authentic handmade American Indian art at prices that are very good values for earnest shoppers. For the casual browser, the gallery depicts important lessons in the history and culture of the American West.
It is located at 213 West 13th Avenue at Bannock St across from the Denver Art Museum.
8. Have Fun at the Haunted Hannibal Ghost Tours
A spine-tingling, guided driving tour around one of the most haunted towns in America, come aboard our shuttle to learn the secrets of many of Hannibal’s most notoriously haunted sites.
Hear stories of murder and mischief that took place during Mark Twain’s boyhood days in Hannibal; meet the present-day ghosts of the mansions on Millionaire’s Row, and visit other ghostly sites.
The tour includes investigating the Old Baptist Cemetery, where you search for signs of paranormal activity among the graves of enslaved people and Civil War soldiers. (We can modify the stories to accommodate younger guests.)
The Haunted Hannibal Ghost Tours is located at 200 N Main St, Hannibal, MO 63401, United States.
9. Visit the Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse
Enjoy a panoramic view of Hannibal and the Mississippi River to begin your journey up the 244 steps to our NEW Lighthouse, head to the intersection of North and Main Street in Hannibal, near the Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn Statue.
You will be sure to snap some fantastic river photos, as well as pictures of Historic Downtown Hannibal.
The Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse sits on 10 acres of park atop Cardiff Hill, a favorite play area of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and the gang. Cross streets are E. Rock and E. Cardiff. Parking is available near the top.
There is also a rear entrance from Cardiff Hill Drive, offering handicapped-accessible parking. Two hundred and forty-four steps lead uphill to the Lighthouse from the north end of Main Street in historic downtown Hannibal.
The area around the Lighthouse offers a panoramic view of Hannibal and the Mississippi River.
Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse is located at E Rock St, Hannibal, MO 63401, United States.
10. Have Fun at Richard Garey’s Mark Twain Himself Live Show
Experience the amazing wit and wisdom of Mark Twain. Combining hilarious comedy, heartwarming drama, and stories as only Mark Twain can tell them all entertains all ages.
Filled with lots of laughter and served Victorian Tea of cookies, coffee, and tea, this show is a great theatre and authentic in every way. Don’t miss this acclaimed show.
Audience members will experience the fun and excitement of the famous Mark Twain shows 100 years ago. Through the magic of theatre, stage actor Richard Garey brings Mark Twain to life in the Historic Planters Barn Theater.
Returning Mark Twain to the Hannibal he loved, this show captures the man and legend. Mark Twain, HIMSELF is a great theatre full of humor, comedic sketches, irreverent wisdom, and penetrating insight into human nature.
11. Explore Rockcliffe Mansion
Rockcliffe Mansion is a Historic House Museum and Boutique Bed and Breakfast (B&B) Accommodations in Hannibal, MO. It offers a daily guided tour.
Because of its location on a high, rocky eminence, overlooking the entire city [and the Mississippi River], it [was] termed ‘Rock Cliff’ [later known as “Rockcliffe”], and is one of the many attractions of the city invariably viewed by strangers and tourists visiting Hannibal.
Rockcliffe Mansion is located at 1000 Bird St, Hannibal, MO 63401, United States.
12. Enjoy a Peek at Karlock’s Kars & Pop Culture
You’ll want to see this collection! Take a self-guided tour through Hannibal’s newest, family-friendly attraction! Over 10,000 square feet of artifacts let you relive historical, pop culture moments.
Remarkable artifacts include over a dozen vintage cars, arcade games, 100s of signs & posters, movie props, jukeboxes, and much more.
The cars will wow any car enthusiast. All are original, in their classic state. Some notable movie and pop culture items include Frank Sinatra memorabilia from the original Capitol Records Studio, a cash register belonging to President Harry S. Truman, and a motorcycle belonging to Steve McQueen.
Who knew all of these treasures could be seen in Hannibal? Check out the gift shop to take home a unique purchase from Hannibal, MO!
The Karlock’s Kars & Pop Culture is located at 114 S 3rd St, Hannibal, MO 63401, United States.
13. Explore the Mississippi River Gallery of Fine Art and Farming
The Mississippi River Gallery celebrates the storied heritage of the Mississippi River from St. Paul to New Orleans. Enjoy original art in different mediums exploring the storied history and culture of the river.
Learn more about the passion behind the art with artist’s exhibitions at the Mississippi River Gallery. Throughout the series, you will have the chance to meet our artists, artisans, and musicians. Consider attending a workshop held in-house to explore your creativity.
Your works of art, memory pieces, and needlepoint receive special attention in our full-service frame shop. From large to small: frames, conservation mats, photo mounting, shrink wrap, and shadow boxes; beautifully constructed.
The Mississippi River Gallery Fine Art and Framing is located at 319 N Main St, Hannibal, MO 63401, United States.
14. Visit Hannibal Art Council
A visit to the Hannibal Arts Council gallery is always a good time. Step into the gallery and discover the creative works exhibited by the featured artists. You’ll be amazed at how good it is for the soul to disappear into art can be.
Hannibal boasts a strong arts community offering year-round arts programs. The Hannibal Arts Council hosts a full exhibit schedule in its galleries, plus workshops, school touring, and dozens of art programs and services.
Hannibal Art Council is located at 105 S Main St, Hannibal, MO 63401, United States.
15. Explore the Village of Ilasco Memorial
Step back in time and learn more about ILASCO history.
Come and view the remnants of a cement company ghost town, including the old concrete jail built in 1909, eye-catching monuments, and eight national flags memorialize the ethnic heritage and history of ILASCO (an immigrant company town created in 1903 when Atlas Portland Cement Company erected a large manufacturing plant and at one time employed 2,500 workers).
The town of Ilasco has a unique history and ethnic heritage, built on the backs of blue-collar immigrants. These immigrants arrived with the dream of bettering the lives of their families’ lives and often had to overcome numerous obstacles like harsh working conditions and language barriers.
They were proud to be Americans and understood the importance of working hard to provide the American Dream for their families. The descendants of these courageous people are pleased to recognize and honor the early citizens of Ilasco.
16. Enjoy a Visit at Mark Twain Live at Cave Hollow Theatre
Experience “Mark Twain Live” by Jim Waddell at Cave Hollow Theatre, located within the Mark Twain Cave Complex.
Raconteur Jim Waddell reweaves yarns, first spun by Mark Twain, the creator of some of our most treasured literature. This presentation has been lauded by Twainian scholars for its authenticity of deliverance and mannerisms.
See Mark Twain Live at Mark Twain Cave’s Cave Hollow Complex. Twain was well-known for his stage performances during his lifetime.
Jim Waddell brings more than 30 years of professional experience to his portrayal of the celebrated writer. Jim weaves yarns first spun by the creator of some of our most treasured literature. Guests may visit with Jim after the show.
17. Have a Lifetime Experience at Molly Brown Birthplace & Museum
The “Unsinkable” Molly Brown was born in Hannibal in 1867 at the outset of Hannibal’s Gilded Age.
Hear tales of her childhood and learn how her experiences living in Hannibal would influence her throughout her life during your guided tour.
Tour the Molly Brown Birthplace and Museum, where you’ll learn the true-life rags-to-riches tale of Margaret Tobin Brown, the heroine of Titanic, an American patriot, and one of the most important voices throughout the Progressive Era.
Molly Brown Birthplace & Museum is located at 600 Butler St, Hannibal, MO 63401, United States.
18. Explore the World Trade Center Memorial
Through commemoration, exhibitions, and educational programs, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, a nonprofit in New York City, remembers and honors the 2,983 people killed in the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001, and February 26, 1993, as well as those who risked their lives to save others and all who demonstrated extraordinary compassion in the aftermath of the attacks.
Demonstrating the consequences of terrorism on individual lives and its impact on communities at the local, national, and international levels, the Memorial & Museum attests to the triumph of human dignity over human depravity.
It affirms an unwavering commitment to the fundamental value of human life.
The World Trade Center Memorial is located at 180 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10007, United States.
19. Visit Jim’s Journey: The Huck Finn Freedom Center
Visit Hannibal’s only museum dedicated to the African American who inspired the character of Jim in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
In Hannibal’s first memorial to “Jim”, aka Daniel Quarles, view Samuel Clemens, the humanitarian, and explore the lives of African Americans who influenced his life and works.
You will also have the opportunity to explore the proud history of many African American Hannibal residents who have called Hannibal, Missouri, home through the generations.
Jim’s Journey: The Huck Finn Freedom Center is Hannibal’s newest museum. This Northeast Missouri African American history museum is also the country’s only memorial to Jim, Huck Finn’s friend, and companion in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Visitors will learn about Twain, the humanitarian who used satire and humor to undermine racism in his literature and actions. This collection of artifacts, photographs, and memorabilia tells of Daniel Quarles, Jim, and the other African Americans in Twain’s life/writings.
This African American history museum gives dignity to Hannibal’s nameless, invisible ancestors who labored as enslaved people for more than 50 years in our community. Learn more about the struggles and contributions of African American residents in “America’s Hometown.”
Jim Journey: The Huck Finn Freedom Center is located at 509 N 3rd St, Hannibal, MO 63401, United States.
20. Explore the Big River Train Town & Museum
All aboard! To Train Town; where toy trains come alive. Take a journey to a time when the golden age of railroading and toy trains were a part of everyone’s life.
Stroll back and enjoy the operating and interactive layouts, along with toy train memorabilia. New and vintage toy trains are sure to delight train enthusiasts of all ages.
Bring your camera and smiles – fun for all ages. Also visit the depot store, with toys and supplies for the serious collector. A small admission fee is charged for the interactive layouts.
The Big River Train Town & Museum is located at 320 N 3rd St, Hannibal, MO 63401, United States.
There are many things to do in Hannibal, MO, and it all depends on your travel budget and purpose.
In order to make the most of your Hannibal, Missouri family vacation, it’s best to be prepared! Any Hannibal vacation will certainly include a bit of history. Dive into the city’s historical past at the boyhood home of Samuel Clemens, better known to most as Mark Twain.