Peoria is one of those cities that we can visit again and again and always find new things to do. From scenic drives to ballgames, history museums to a wildlife park, there is plenty going on, whether you spend a weekend or several days. In this slideshow, we suggest 10 ways to play in Peoria and nearby communities.
Where does the term “Will it play in Peoria come from?” See the answer in the last slide.
Disclosure: The Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau hosted our visits to Peoria. However, any opinions expressed in this post are strictly mine.
The Peoria Historical Society offers several tour options, covering everything from the city’s whiskey history to haunted sites. We took the River City Tour, which covers a little of everything pertaining to Peoria’s past. Can a theater really fit into a truck bed? Yes! It’s where you’ll watch the orientation film at the Caterpillar Visitor Center. Then, take the self-guided tour of the company’s history, climb into the equipment, and try your hand at one of the simulators. Take in a family-friendly ballgame at Dozer Field, home to the professional Minor League Peoria Chiefs. The Chiefs are a single-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Exhibits in the Peoria Riverfront Museum cover everything from the city’s manufacturing history to a 400-gallon aquarium filled with native Illinois fish species. Test your sports skills or knowledge in the IHSA Performance Interactive Gallery, or watch a show in the Dome Planetarium or Giant Screen Theater. Learn the history of this historic home and the prominent local residents who lived here on a tour offered by the Peoria Historical Society every Thursday. The last owner, Jean Morron, donated the home with all of its possessions intact, so when you enter the home you feel like you’re stepping into someone’s current residence. Each year new sculptures created by Midwest Artists make up Sculpture Walk Peoria. Schedule a free docent-led tour on Saturday morning or download the Otocast app for an artist-narrated self-guided tour. (Sculptures pictured here are from a previous year.) Peoria is home to a nice mix of restaurants, from barbecue to seafood, from Asian to Cajun. About 150 Midwest native animals, including bison and elk, live in surroundings as close to natural as possible at the Wildlife Prairie Park in nearby Hanna City. The park also includes over 20 miles of hiking/biking trails, a disc golf course, and a butterfly habitat. Spend the night here, if you wish, in a converted caboose or grain bin. Wheels O’ Time, located near Peoria in Dunlap, Illinois, focuses on the manufacturing industries from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s. The museum’s 3,000 square feet of exhibit space, spread across four buildings, plus outdoor space, is jam-packed with artifacts, mostly from the Peoria area. Transportation exhibits include nice collections of automobiles, railroad cars, bicycles and models of steamboats and airplanes. Just 12 miles east of Peoria, Washing’s historic downtown square makes a great Peoria side trip. Check out the monuments that commemorate historic local events and browse the shops. Stop for lunch in what was an 1800s bank building or treat yourself to an ice cream cone or caramel corn. Learn More About These Peoria Attractions
If you go…
Peoria is located in central Illinois, about 160 miles southwest of Chicago and 170 miles north of St. Louis. For more information about these and other Peoria attractions, visit the Discover