A Peoria Park District Facility

Creativity and Innovation

Just consider what it would mean to them to hold something they dreamed up. This is how a generation of Makers will be created. This is how the next wave of manufacturing entrepreneurs will be born.

-Chris Anderson, Makers: The New Industrial Revolution 

The Peoria PlayHouse Children's Museum sparks curiosity and creativity in all children. As a unique resource for the greater Peoria area, we foster next-generation problem solvers who will fundamentally change our community and our world.


RLI believes in the future of Peoria; our communty's children will create this future. The Peoria PlayHouse Children's Museum is providing these children with skills and experiences that will help them become tomorrow's confident and excellent work force, innovators, and leaders.

- Jon Michael, Chairman and CEO, RLI

During PlayHouse visits children can engage in making, through which they cultivate their creativity. Learning to think critically and creatively to solve open-ended problems is essential to success, and will allow today’s children to shape tomorrow’s world.

At the PlayHouse, children discover that they can make anything and solve any problem once they put their mind to it.

PlayHouse Maker Programs are:

  • Open-ended and process-based. We do not tell children what to make; figuring out what to make is part of the learning process. We are teaching children to identify problems as well as solve them.
  • Tool-based. We teach children how to use tools safely, and how to select the best tool for the job. This helps children learn that there are a wide range of tools available, and how to use tools to their full advantage.
  • Rooted in Exploration. Making is a way to identify and address changes children want to see in designed world. This type of making prepares children to become transformers of their community as adults.



We absolutely loved the sculpture lab! Amelia was completely engaged the entire time. I was too! There was a pretty wide variety of ages; it was amazing to me that the teacher picked activities that each kid could do at their own level. Amelia wants to go to all of the Maker Workshops now!

–Johanna C.

Real Tools
Real Tools is filled with work benches, tools, and materials. In this space children have created everything from a life-sized flamingo to musical instruments to doll furniture.

Maker Workshops
Kids and families learn to use tools, experiment with different types of making, and think creatively in PlayHouse Maker Workshops. These workshops are monthly, most often on the first Saturday of the month, and require registration.

Summer Maker Program
Our Maker Maps offer children and families a variety of activities to do on their own throughout the summer. Bring your Maker Map showing completed challenges to the PlayHouse to win prizes, stamps, and raffle tickets toward a grand prize which is awarded at the end of the summer.

The 2020 Summer Maker Program was adapted to be completed 100% at home. Try these challenges with your kids!

The Peoria PlayHouse also offers Scout Programs in Woodworking, Robotics, and other fun STEAM-related topics.

The Peoria PlayHouse Children's Museum

The Peoria PlayHouse Children's Museum