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15 Best & Fun Things To Do In Peoria (Illinois)

Downtown Peoria has been the heart of Illinois since 1845 when it was incorporated as a city.

It is about 169 miles northwest side of Schaumburg and about 73- miles away from Springfield towards the Northern side of Illinois.

From historic museums to memorial houses, art galleries, and a host of children’s playing areas, Peoria is the topmost holiday vacation that is suitable for travelers of all ages.

Whether you want a beautiful gateway to take some moments off the walk or you want a solo and relaxing site where the entire family will enjoy enough time, Peoria is a perfect pick!

Regardless of your financial strength, this city has a bit of something fun and interesting for every budget.

So, when do you plan to visit this awesome city in Illinois?

Whether it’s summer or during the winter period, you can never be short of the best and most fun sites to visit!

To ensure you have a perfect stay during your vacation period in Peoria, we’ve put up some best attractions that will be worth your time upon your arrival.

Shall we begin to talk about the best and most interesting sites you can check out?

Let us begin!

Things To Do In Peoria

1. Caterpillar Visitors Center

Caterpillar Visitors Center

Caterpillar Visitors Center

For more than 20 years, the Caterpillar Visitors Center has been drawing travelers from all over the cities in the United States to Illinois.

Just as the proverbial statement that “a book shouldn’t be judged by its cover”, this pleasurable area offers something unique more than what regular visitor’s centers offer.

Essentially, Caterpillar Visitors Center is a museum in Peoria that offers a fascinating history of caterpillars in the United States.

To make the story so interesting, this fun area houses Caterpillar diggers and tractors, and trucks from the vintage to the modern era with a lot of interactive exhibits.

Not just a selective museum that’s only insightful to adults, these fascinating exhibits are also informative to great for children with special interests in engineering, science, technology, and mathematics.

These exhibits adequately reflect the use of equipment as well as their scientific details leading to the production of caterpillars.

If you’re on this awesome site in Peoria, your horizon is borne to be expanded! This is because this museum is highly insightful!

Unlike other attractions that only offer outdated films about this particular aspect of history, this museum is just so exceptional!

Take note that, considering the quantum of exhibits available here, a tour through this historic site may likely take up to five hours.

Impressively, there’s underground parking, the entire area is so clean & beautiful, and the instructors are so friendly.

Aside from that, This Peoria museum pride itself on being among the few historic houses in the state of Illinois that have a gift store, lobby area, exhibition floor, and plentiful restrooms.

This is just a rare gem! If you’re in Peoria, endeavor to visit!

Address: 110 SW Washington St, Peoria, IL 61602, United States

2. Peoria Zoo

Peoria Zoo

Peoria Zoo

A day out with the entire family in a zoo can make lasting memories.

Seeing a wide range of animals isn’t only a fun activity, it’s equally an adventure where you will learn so many things.

Therefore, time spent observing this important conservation is never wasted!

Since you are planning your next vacation to Peoria, do you care to visit a zoo with your entire family?

You want the best for yourself, so, certainly, your response would be in the affirmative!

Upon your arrival in this city of Illinois, Peoria Zoo has lots of pretty animals that will be worth your time!

Located at Prospect Road in Peoria, Peoria Zoo is an attraction that was established in 1995.

With over 232 animals and about 100 species, Peoria Zoo is obviously a dream come true for animal lovers.

The museum opens all year round except on Christmas day, Thanksgiving, New Year’s day, new year’s eve, and Christmas eve.

What distinguishes this animal zoo from its contemporary is the fact that its collections of animals are all from all over the continent in the world.

Take note that adventuring here takes about 90 minutes. Nevertheless, as short as it may appear, it will be memorable.

In fact, the entire zoo area has a balance of sun and shade. So, if you’ll love to take some rest in between the period you’re navigating through this exceptional place, that’s so possible!

If your sightseeing tour to Peoria wouldn’t include Peoria Zoo, definitely, you’re not ready for a true exploration because you’ll be missing out on something so fun!

Address: 2320 N Prospect Rd, Peoria, IL 61603, United States

3. Peoria Riverfront Museum

Peoria Riverfront Museum

Peoria Riverfront Museum

Located along the riverfront area, Peoria Riverfront Museum is another fantastic place you may include on your bucket list if you’re traveling around Illinois.

The Peoria Riverfront Museum is a museum that celebrates art, history, and science.

Its beautiful collections include decorative art such as furniture, metal, ceramics, and glass, textiles. Similarly, this location’s fine art collection includes sculptures and paintings. On the other hand, its folk art collection includes various graphics and decorative items.

In fact, the world’s third-largest solar scale model is centered in this beautiful museum!

Other amenities of this pleasurable place include a movie theater and a large historic room with several informative exhibits.

If you are still thinking of a perfect way to spend your vacation period while in Peoria, this attraction is a perfect fit for your itinerary!

Remember, happiness is a product of your reaction. Meanwhile, your reaction is dependent on your choices!

Deciding to come to this lovely site will be one of the best decisions you’ll make!

Even if you’re not a history buff or an art lover, there’s a little garden that is enough to keep you entertained and engaged during your vacation here.

Evidently, there’s something fun for all ages! Even at that, the admission fee is affordable and you wouldn’t have to pay any extra fees to get your car parked.

However, this Peoria museum isn’t open to the public on Sundays. Meanwhile, its hours of operation on Monday are between 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm. If you’re visiting on Tuesday through Saturday, Peoria Riverfront Museum opens from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Address: 222 SW Washington St, Peoria, IL 61602, United States

4. Dozer Park

Dozer Park, Peoria

Dozer Park

Do you love baseball and you would like to include baseball attractions on your bucket list during your trip to Peoria?

If you do, Dozer Park offers awesome baseball matches you will find so interesting.

Originally known as O’Brien Field and thereafter renamed to Chiefs Stadium before its current name, Dozer Park is the home team of Peoria Chiefs, a Midwestern league that’s affiliated with St. Louis Cardinals.

It has an 8,500 sitting capacity and since its establishment over two decades ago; it has recorded over 8,000 travelers.

Aside from that, Dozer Park is a Sod surface attraction, it’s always clean, and it isn’t a typical attraction where you will have to pay any admission fee.

There’s also a decent variety of foods available. The prices of this food are not high and you wouldn’t have to wait for a long time after ordering.

Other than that, if you’re a lover of beer, there’s a great selection of beer on this entertaining site at inexpensive prices.

In fact, there isn’t any bad seat in its viewing center, parking is convenient, the field is well-maintained, and there are lots of promotions.

Quite certain that perfection belongs to God, nevertheless, this sporting area is just too perfect! A leisurely afternoon here will definitely be worth it!

The best part of this Peoria’s public attraction is that, even to the younger ones, there’s a large playground that’s enough to keep them engaged while you’re enjoying baseball matches.

At Dozer Park, there’s obviously something fun, interesting, and entertaining for everyone!

Except if you’re not a sports lover, an extension of your vacation to this site will be well worth it!

Address: 730 SW Jefferson Ave, Peoria, IL 61605, United States

5. Peoria Civic Center

Peoria Civic Center

Peoria Civic Center

When it comes to having a whole day of fun galore, think of no other attraction than Peoria Civic Center!

Peoria Civic Center has a movie theater, exhibit halls, ballrooms, and moderate meeting space.

In fact, if you love basketball, that’s a plus for you! This is because this entertaining area is also the home to the men’s basketball team at Bradley University.

Not just that, this civil center is also the home to Ameren Illinois Broadway, which features the most outstanding Broadway in the whole of the Midwest.

If you are on a visit to Peoria Civic Center, you can never be short of an option as it’s always fun all year round.

Little wonder this recreational site has been attracting visitors from all cities in the United States since 1982 when it was established.

With a capacity of 11,442 and an affordable admission fee, there’s totally no justification for why this location should be missing out on your itinerary.

Take note that this open space site isn’t as kid-friendly as other attractions herein.

So, if you’re on a trip with your entire family to Peoria, it’s advisable you consider visiting other attractions so that it will be an inclusive adventure for all.

Of course, as a parent, while making your decision and choices, your kid’s satisfaction should be an utmost factor worth consideration!

Address: 201 SW Jefferson Ave, Peoria, IL 61602, United States

6. Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum

Peoria PlayHouse Children's Museum

Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum

If the presence of your children will prevent you from visiting Peoria Civic Center, Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum is a better option to consider!

Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum is a colorful kids’ museum in Peoria.

This museum features play areas and interactive exhibits relating to science, music, and arts.

If you want an all-inclusive attraction that’s not only fun but equally beneficial to the growth of your kids, this location shouldn’t be an option, it’s a must-visit!

Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum wouldn’t only give your kids the opportunity to be an explorer, but it will make a creator! What an awesome place to be!

After all, the journey of life is a continuous one. If we do not grow with it, we become redundant. By so doing, whether you’re ten or eighty, you’re an old man!

An interesting feature of this fun area worthy of note is that the tour guides act like old friends to kids. They ensure every kid is comfortable playing and learning.

Beyond that, with the little admission fee payable, every kid is offered lots of snacks and several presents to take home.

Address: 2218 N Prospect Rd, Peoria, IL 61603, United States

7. Forest Park Nature Center

Forest Park Nature Center

Forest Park Nature Center

For in love with nature once, you will be a wise man. Fall in love several times with nature and you will forever be wise!

Aside from history, nature teaches human being several things without being in a classroom.

While observing nature, we derive not only fun, we equally learn!

Therefore, is there any nature-rich attraction on your bucket list?

If yes, that’s pretty good! If your response is, on the contrary, it’s never too late to include one!

Forest Park Nature Center is a perfect fit for that!

Unlike other areas recommended herein, the Forest Park Nature Center is operated by the Peoria Park District.

Its emphasis is on oak-hickory synergies on a soil of sandy loess.

While loess soils are prone to natural erosion, the oaks root systems, trees, and hickories keep that fragile section of the bluffs.

This may sound like a hypothesis to you, but you need to visit the Forest Park Nature Center to understand this! Forest Park explains the prairie grasses, roots of trees, and how the roots of individual plants work conjunctively to form a combined root system!

Aside from the fact that this terrain focus on nature, it’s also suitable for hiking, biking, cycling, and jogging.

There are also native species in their natural habitat. These animals include raccoons, deer, squirrels, and wild turkeys.

Regardless of your interest and peculiarities, you’ll definitely find something fun and engaging to yourself here!

If you’re traveling around Illinois, this attraction should be a better reason to extend your vacation to Peoria.

Note that, except for Mondays, the Forest Park Nature Center opens all days of the week.

Address: 5809 N Forest Park Dr, Peoria Heights, IL 61616, United States

8. Luthy Botanical Garden

Luthy Botanical Garden, Peoria

Luthy Botanical Garden

Whether you just appreciate the awesomeness of various flora or you love gardens, Luthy Botanical Garden is just for you!

Established in 1951, this pleasurable area was named after George Littlewood Luthy, who was an erstwhile president of Peoria’s Commercial National Bank

Today, this great area offers over a dozen of Conservatory, theme gardens, and a series of insightful exhibits.

Other than that, this site equally features seasonal displays, orchids, and tropical plants.

If you love nature, Luthy Botanical Garden is another location in Peoria that you will find so interesting and insightful.

After all, you will never grow if you remain in one place. If you’re so desirous of growing, you must continually strive to learn!

Luthy Botanical Garden presents lots of ways for you to learn and have a newer richer vacationing experience!

This lovely destination is open daily, and the admission fee is free.

Although, it’s important to state that, for the conservatory, a lower fee is sometimes charged.

Despite being a haven for nature lovers, this place also features a series of entertaining and cultural events.

Being one of the perfect serene escapes in Peoria, there’s always an activity going on here on a daily basis.

If you’re on a low budget and you want the best out of this city of Illinois, a visit here will suffice!

Address: 2520 N Prospect Rd, Peoria, IL 61603, United States

9. Louisville Slugger Sports Complex

Louisville Slugger Sports Complex

Marty Finley / Louisville Slugger Sports Complex

With the top-of-the-line facilities available in Louisville Slugger Sports Complex, even if you’re not a sports lover, you can’t regret visiting here.

This sporting area features a 125,000-square-foot dome and over eleven synthetic turf fields and 1,300 seating capacity stadium

Its awesome feature doesn’t only make this site so perfect for tournaments and leagues, it also boasts of being the only sporting complex in Illinois that showcases non-sporting events.

So, if athletics isn’t your favorite thing, several other activities here will keep you up without having to worry!

This delightful region is unique in the Midwestern area not because of its huge size but by its versatility in all-season.

While you enjoy a series of sporting activities, you’ll also immerse yourself in various activities and cultural events.

If you’re traveling down to Peoria and you’re yet to update your bucket list to include the Louisville Slugger Sports Complex, the wisest thing you can do is to include it now!

Interestingly, it’s just a 10-minute drive away from Peoria International Airport, which makes it quite accessible to travelers.

Whether you’re looking for a great spectator, premier playing surfaces, or excellent concessions; you can expect amazing hometown feel here!

The locals on the ground are so friendly, there are restaurants and gift shops on site and most impressive, the ticket fee here is relatively low!

Do ensure you come early before the parking area is fixed up!

Address: 8400 Orange Prairie Rd, Peoria, IL 61615, United States

Do you care to explore other beautiful cities in Illinois? If you do, carefully check our best picks of sites in Quincy, Champaign, and Gelena

10. Dan Fogelberg Memorial

Dan Fogelberg Memorial, Peoria

Dan Fogelberg Memorial

The history of Peoria can not be completely narrated without the mention of Dan Fogelberg.

He was an American songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and musician.

He was popular for his beautiful and inspiring songs. If you’re traveling near Peoria, it will be something great to come here for an hour or more.

The lyrics from a couple of his songs are etched on the large boulders overlooking the Illinois River.

Besides, this memorial is beautiful, well-kept and so quiet. In fact, there are benches to sit and reflect on.

There are also lots of exhibits that tell more about the great man. It’s touching but so insightful!

The admission fee here is absolutely free and its hours of operation are 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! It’s always open.

If you’re a music lover, you will love visiting here!

Note that it’s not a typical attraction that features a gift store or food vendors. So, it’s advisable you make provisions of what you’ll eat if you plan to stay on-site for long hours.

Address: 100 Morton St, Peoria, IL 61603, United States

11. The Corn Stock Theatre

Corn Stock Theatre

Corn Stock Theatre

Corn Stock Theatre is one of the most outstanding cultural celebrations in the Peoria area.

It began in 1954, and thousands of travelers have been entertained and informed over the years through this interesting cultural presentation.

During this celebration, folks gather under a big tent that’s always in a round shape.

It is usually an all-night activity where there would be lots of dancing, singing, and acting.

Since your next vacation destination is Peoria in Illinois, do you care to experience how this outstanding cultural show used to be?

If you would, upon your arrival in Peoria, endeavor to extend your vacation to the Corn Stock Theatre!

At Corn Stock Theatre, you wouldn’t only have the opportunity to learn this unique tradition, but worth the opportunity to understand the history of this city better.

Incredibly, all the actors are local folks and they’re so knowledgeable and friendly.

All the seats are equally good, the settings are intimate and the closeness of the audience to the actors is good as well.

This is a beautiful summer treat you shouldn’t miss out on if you’re vacationing around Illinois.

You’re only paying a few dollars to enjoy this unique performance!

Take note that, Corn Stock Theatre doesn’t open on Saturday and Sunday. Meanwhile, Monday through Friday, its hours of operation are between 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

Address: 1700 N Park Rd, Peoria, IL 61604, United States

12. Peoria Northwoods Malls

Northwoods Malls

Northwoods Malls

Northwoods Mall is your one-stop destination for entertainment, dining, shopping, and great deals!

During your visit to Peoria, if you love to visit an attraction where there are lots of possibilities, it shouldn’t be anywhere else other than Northwoods Mall!

Since 1973, Northwoods Mall has been a favorite destination for visitors and locals alike.

It is owned by Kohan Retail Investment Group and it has about 90 shops in total featuring several vendors from all over major cities in the United States.

A unique attribute that makes this shopping center unique amongst its contemporary is the fact that it offers 3,009 spaces for parking!

That suggests that there’s absolutely nothing to worry about as far as parking your car here is concerned!

Even at that, the cost of goods is so bearable, unlike what’s obtainable elsewhere!

In fact, this awesome site also prides itself as the only shopping center in Peoria that offers a bowling alley and arcade. What an inclusive place!

This area opens from 11:00 am through 8:00 pm on weekdays. However, on Sunday, its period of operation is between 12:00 pm through 6:00 pm.

Address: 2200 W War Memorial Dr, Peoria, IL 61613, United States

13. Pettengill Morron House Museum

Pettengill Morron House Museum

Pettengill Morron House Museum

The Pettengill-Morron House is situated at West Moss Road in the West Bluff District, Peoria.

It’s a second empire architectural-style historic mansion that was built in 1868.

The essence of its construction was in honor of Moses Pettengill, who was a store owner that came from New Hampshire to Peoria.

To undermine its importance, on the 2nd of April, 1976, this landmark was listed as one of the most fun and historic places in the United States.

So, whether you’re coming to Peoria for a short time visit, vacationing, or exploration, this is a place you can check out to spend an hour or two!

Impressively, the gorgeous backyard wedding area of this pleasurable site also presents lots of social and cultural activities.

The entrance fee to this historic house is absolutely free, so it’s a win-win for you to be here!

However, this site isn’t a regular museum that opens every day, it is only open to the public on Thursday between 10:00 am through 2:00 pm.

Address: 1212 W Moss Ave, Peoria, IL 61606, United States

Do you care to explore other beautiful cities in Illinois? If you do, carefully check our best picks of sites in Schaumburg!

14. Giant Oak Park

Giant Oak Park

Giant Oak Park

Are you willing to take your vacation to the next level?

If you want to take your vacation to the next level during your next summer vacation, Giant Oak Park offers something unique that you’ll appreciate.

It’s an attraction on a one-acre of land that contains a picnic area and hiking trails and it’s the home to one of the largest burr oak trees in the United States.

The best attribute of this park is that the varieties of oak trees here are believed to have existed for the past 300 years.

Besides, this is a free-admission park, so you wouldn’t be paying any payment to enjoy these great amenities. In addition to that, it’s open all year round between 11:00 am through 5:00 pm.

Address: 426 W High St, Peoria, IL 61605, United States

15. Peoria Speedway

Peoria Speedway

The Peoria Speedway

Peoria Speedway is a Car racing track in Peoria, Illinois that provides racing adventure for visitors of various skill levels.

If you’re outdoor enthusiasts that derive so much pleasure in car racing, this attraction is a dream come through for you!

The tracks are clean; the facilitators are so friendly and even at that, there are several food trucks on site.

Suggestively, while you enjoy racing adventure as much as you’d love, there’s a greater food option for your best choice.

The best part is that both the riding fee and the cost of food & drink are so affordable!

If you’re traveling around Peoria, be meticulous enough to extend your vacation to this outstanding site. It will be so much fun!

Address: 3520 W Farmington Rd, Peoria, IL 61604, United States

Final Remarks

You don’t need a sweet magician to tell you that Peoria is a city with lots of interesting attractions.

So, get set for an adventurous trip ever! While doing that, be meticulous enough to narrow down your itinerary with the aid of our best picks above.

Safe journey and happy exploration in advance!