17 Fun Things To Do In Peoria IL Illinois

Nestled along the banks of the Illinois River, Peoria is a vibrant city with a rich history, diverse culture, and a plethora of activities for visitors and locals alike. Whether you’re a history buff, outdoor enthusiast, or a fan of the arts, Peoria has something to offer everyone. In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey through the best things to do in Peoria, Illinois.

  1. Discover the Riverfront: Start your adventure by exploring Peoria’s picturesque Riverfront. Take a stroll along the Riverfront Trail, enjoy the scenic views, and don’t forget to capture the stunning sunset over the Illinois River. The Riverfront also hosts various events throughout the year, from festivals to concerts, providing entertainment for all ages.
  2. Visit the Peoria Riverfront Museum: Dive into the region’s rich history and culture at the Peoria Riverfront Museum. This interdisciplinary museum offers a blend of art, science, and history exhibits. From interactive displays to captivating planetarium shows, the museum provides an engaging experience for visitors of all ages.
  3. Embrace Nature at Forest Park Nature Center: Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the serene beauty of Forest Park Nature Center. With over 500 acres of woodlands, prairies, and wetlands, this center is a haven for hiking, birdwatching, and simply immersing yourself in the tranquility of nature.
  4. Experience Wildlife at the Peoria Zoo: Bring out the inner child in you at the Peoria Zoo. Home to over 100 species of animals, this family-friendly destination offers an exciting and educational experience. Walkthrough exhibits like Africa! and Australia Adventure to get up close and personal with some of the world’s most fascinating creatures.
  5. Explore the Luthy Botanical Garden: Take a leisurely stroll through the Luthy Botanical Garden, a hidden gem in the heart of Peoria. With themed gardens, including a stunning rose garden and tranquil Japanese bridge, it’s a perfect spot for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful escape.
  6. Attend a Performance at the Peoria Civic Center: Immerse yourself in the arts by attending a performance at the Peoria Civic Center. From Broadway shows to concerts and sporting events, this venue hosts a diverse array of entertainment options throughout the year.
  7. Dine in the Warehouse District: For a taste of Peoria’s culinary scene, head to the Warehouse District. This revitalized area boasts an eclectic mix of restaurants, breweries, and cafes. Whether you’re craving international cuisine or locally brewed beer, you’ll find something to satisfy your palate.
  8. Step Back in Time at the Wheels O’ Time Museum: History comes to life at the Wheels O’ Time Museum, showcasing a collection of vintage cars, aircraft, and tractors. Explore exhibits that span over a century, offering a nostalgic journey through Peoria’s transportation history.
  1. Enjoy Water Activities at East Peoria’s Fondulac Park: Head across the river to East Peoria’s Fondulac Park, where you can engage in various water activities. Rent a paddleboat or kayak and explore the tranquil waters of the lagoon. The park also features walking trails and beautiful green spaces for a relaxing day outdoors.
  2. Catch a Game at Dozer Park: Baseball fans, rejoice! Dozer Park is home to the Peoria Chiefs, a Class A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Catching a game here is not just about the sport; it’s about enjoying the lively atmosphere, indulging in ballpark snacks, and cheering for the home team.
  3. Shop and Dine in Peoria Heights: Experience the charm of Peoria Heights, a neighborhood known for its boutique shops and diverse dining options. Explore local boutiques, art galleries, and antique stores, then unwind at one of the area’s trendy cafes or restaurants for a delightful culinary experience.
  4. Attend Festivals and Events: Peoria hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year. Whether it’s the Illinois Blues Festival, the Art Guild Fine Art Fair, or the Steamboat Days Festival, there’s always something happening. Check the event calendar to coincide your visit with one of these lively celebrations.
  5. Discover the Peoria Historical Society: Delve deeper into Peoria’s past by visiting the Peoria Historical Society. Explore historical sites such as the Pettengill-Morron House and the Flanagan House Museum, both offering a glimpse into the city’s architectural and cultural heritage.
  6. Take a Day Trip to Wildlife Prairie Park: Just a short drive from Peoria, Wildlife Prairie Park is a haven for nature and animal lovers. This expansive park features native Illinois wildlife, hiking trails, and the opportunity to see bison, elk, and other animals in their natural habitat.
  7. Explore the Heights of Elegance Sculpture Park: Art enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the Heights of Elegance Sculpture Park at Grand View Drive. Stroll through this outdoor gallery showcasing contemporary sculptures amid beautifully landscaped grounds, offering a unique blend of art and nature.
  8. Savor Local Brews on the Ale Trail: Peoria has a burgeoning craft beer scene, and you can explore it through the Peoria Ale Trail. Visit local breweries like Industry Brewing Co. and Obed & Isaac’s Microbrewery to savor a variety of craft beers in a vibrant and friendly atmosphere.
  9. Learn at the Caterpillar Visitors Center: Gain insights into the history and innovation of one of Peoria’s iconic companies at the Caterpillar Visitors Center. Interactive exhibits and displays showcase the evolution of Caterpillar equipment and its impact on industries worldwide.


Peoria, Illinois, offers a delightful blend of history, nature, and entertainment. Whether you’re a solo traveler, a family with kids, or a couple seeking a romantic getaway, there’s no shortage of things to do and explore in this charming city by the river. So, pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable experience in Peoria.

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