A Peoria Park District Facility

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2019 Summer Maker Program
May 27 – Aug 16 all-day

The Peoria PlayHouse Summer Maker Program begins on Memorial Day: Monday, May 27 and ends on Friday, August 16. We hope this program encourages you to try out different types of tools and inspires you to make fun projects, all summer long!

On your next visit, pick up a Maker Map at the front desk, filled with 25 awesome challenges. Some of the squares MUST be completed at the Peoria PlayHouse, while others can be done at home with your favorite adult OR at the museum in our Real Tools maker space.

Just as a reminder, Real Tools summer hours are:

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, 12-4pm

Tuesday, Closed

Saturday, 9am-4pm
Sunday, Noon-5pm

For every FIVE stamps you collect, you’ll receive a small prize of your choice AND a raffle ticket for the Grand Prize: a basket of tools and supplies to make more amazing projects at home!

For questions about the Summer Maker Program, please contact our Family and Public Programs Educator, Adrienne Huffman, at (309) 323-6894.

Be Anything Career Day: Community Heroes
Aug 17 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Be Anything Career Day: Community Heroes

Join us to BE ANYTHING! at the Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum! In August we are exploring careers that save lives. Meet representatives and explore vehicles from the police and fire departments, explore an ambulance, learn about the work of doctors and nurses, and more!

Visit all of the stations and be entered to win a raffle basket with items that allow you to extend the experience.

This is the third of four career days. Learn more about the Be Anything! series here.

Celebrate Peoria: Kilts to Kimonos
Sep 8 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

What we wear and why can say so much about who we are. Explore cultural and religious fashions worn by the people in the greater Peoria area. Try on clothes like a sari or hijab, enjoy a multicultural fashion show, and more!

Activities are free with museum admission or membership.


12:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Henna tattoos/mehndi in Hay Loft, 3rd floor


12:00 PM – 3:00 pm

Trash to Treasure accessory making in Real Tools, 2nd floor

Design a fashion doll in Art Room,  1st floor

Clothing displays: yarmulkes, saris, and Mexican clothing in Art Room, 1st floor

Islamic and Hindu clothing try-on next to Theater, 1st floor

Chinese traditional theater costume photo booth in front of Butterfly Wall, 1st floor


1:30 PM

Multicultural fashion show in JULEP Room, 1st floor


2:30 PM

Hats of Faith and What We Wear story time in JULEP Room, 1st Floor

3:00 PM

Islamic Clothing Talk and Q&A in JULEP Room, 1st Floor


Celebrate Peoria is an event series that explores and celebrates the cultural and religious diversity of Peoria and Central Illinois. All activities are planned in collaboration with community partners.

Accessibility Night
Sep 13 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

In collaboration with Easter Seals and Heart of Illinois Special Recreation Association (HISRA), join us for a fun, sensory-friendly night featuring dimmer lights and less noise. Open to children of all needs and abilities!

  • Open to children of all needs and abilities
  • Parents and siblings welcome!
  • Sounds and lights will be lowered
  • Sensory Packs with noise canceling headphones, sensory toys, sunglasses, and other materials are always available at the front desk
  • Quiet area will be available

Pre-registration is encouraged.


Learn about our accessibility programs for children with sensory processing disorders and other special needs here.

Please contact our Education Manager, Courtney Baxter for questions or concerns at 309-323-6896 or cbaxter@peoriaparks.org

PNC World Wide Day of Play
Sep 14 all-day

Join us in Glen Oak Park for PNC Worldwide Day of Play!

Hosted by Peoria Park District

This fun-filled family-friendly event features the following and more:

-PNC Mobile Learning Adventure
-Meet Walkaround Bert & Ernie
-Face Painting
-Carnival Games
-Obstacle Course
-Children’s Resource Fair
-Touch A Truck
-instrument petty zoo
-Barnyard Discoveries
-Bradley University Chemistry Demo Club
-Door Prize Giveaways
-Complimentary Admission to the Peoria PlayHouse
-Reduced Admission to Peoria Zoo for $3/person

Lee Wenger will be our emcee for the day and we will also have various entertainment on our stage throughout the day by local dance and theater groups.

Bring the whole family for this day of free fun-filled activities,
performances, games and more!

Thank you again to our team at PNC Bank who make Worldwide Day possible for the Peoria Community.


Be Anything Career Day: People in Our Neighborhood
Sep 28 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Join us to BE ANYTHING! at the Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum! In September we are inspired by the PlayHouse exhibit Peoria Then and Now to look at community jobs:

Visit with:

  • Meteorologist, WEEK (and explore the Weather Tracker vehicle!)
  • Salon Owner, Whispering Willows Salon
  • Finance Professional, CEFCU
  • Recruiter, Girl Scouts of Central Illinois
  • Librarian, Peoria Public Library (and come aboard the Bookmobile!)
  • Grocer, Sous Chef
  • Maintenance Worker, Peoria Public Works Department (and learn how a Street Sweeper vehicle works!)
  • Dentist, Just Kidz Dentistry
  • Mechanic, Bob Lindsay Honda (and explore the inside of a car!)
  • Behavioral Therapost, GBC aba
  • Anchor, WMBD

Visit all of the stations and be entered to win a raffle basket with items that allow you to extend the experience. And online bidding is now open – bid on one-on-one career experiences for your  child, and join us at Trailside Event Center on October 3rd for an adults-only cocktail event featuring a live auction of career experiences for children and adults! Learn more about the Be Anything! series here.

Be Anything Cocktails & Careers @ Trailside Event Center
Oct 3 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Be Anything Cocktails & Careers @ Trailside Event Center

Join us at Trailside Event Center on Thursday, October 3rd from 6-9pm for a playful cocktail party featuring a live auction with Be Anything! experiences for adults, raffle, and PlayHouse-style activities. The event is emceed by WMBD’s Greg Batton, and tickets include two complimentary drinks as well as heavy hors d’oeuvres from Cracked Pepper.

Learn more about this event and our online career auction.


Members Sneak Peak: Fossils Rock
Oct 11 @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Members Sneak Peak: Fossils Rock

Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum members are invited to take a sneak peek at our newest exhibit, Fossils Rock!

Join or renew your Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum membership before October 1st for an invitation to this one-of-a-kind event.

Learn more about Fossils Rock here.

Exhibit Opening: Fossils Rock
Oct 12 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Exhibit Opening: Fossils Rock
Discover a world millions of years in the making in our brand new exhibit, Fossils Rock! Dig for fossils in our sand table. See a life-size replica of a T-Rex skull. Travel through time and embark on a prehistoric expedition!
On our opening day, from noon-3pm, meet scientists who specialize in the prehistoric world, and try out activities related to the work they do:
  • Adrienne Stroup, Paleoartist, The Field Museum
  • Az Klymiuk, Collections Manager, The Field Museum
  • Sam Fritz, student of paleontology and the curator of this exhibit!

Exhibit and all activities are free with museum admission or membership

Learn more about Fossils Rock here!

Cub Scout Day at the PlayHouse
Oct 19 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Join us for a special Cub Scout Day at the Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum!

Wear your uniform and enjoy special discounted admission of $5 per scout and accompanying family member.

The first 25 Cub Scouts will receive a patch!

Girl Scout Lock-In
Oct 19 @ 8:00 pm – Oct 20 @ 7:00 am

Calling all BROWNIES and JUNIORS!

Join us for a special overnight experience at the Peoria PlayHouse! Girls will have the chance to play in the exhibits as much as they like and participate in a variety of fun projects, especially designed for Girl Scouts!

Patch and food (hot breakfast and snacks) included in registration fee.

To register, call Adrienne Huffman, Family and Public Programs Educator, at (309) 323-6894.

Haunted PlayHouse
Oct 26 @ 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Join us for a day of Halloween fun! Enjoy spooky story-time, trick-or-treat scavenger hunt, and creepy art and science activities. Strike a pose in our silly photo booth, show off your costume in a parade through the building, make an accessory to go with your costume, and more!

Wear a fantasy costume and receive $1 off museum admission! Please no masks or plastic, metal or wooden weapons.

Feel free to play at the museum before and after Haunted PlayHouse programming (museum hours 9 am – 4 pm). Halloween games will be available throughout the building to play all day!

Limited space activity: Create a Halloween luminary. ($2 per child; sign up at the event before 1 pm).

National Author’s Day: 2-for-1 Day at the PlayHouse and Zoo
Nov 1 all-day

National Author’s Day: 2-For-1 Day at the Peoria PlayHouse and Peoria Zoo

Discover amazing books about animals and more at the Peoria Zoo AND the Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum! Buy admission at one facility and get same-day admission to the other for free.

Join us at the PlayHouse at  10am for Animal Encounters, and meet an animal visiting the PlayHouse with Park District Environmentalists.

At 11am to learn about tree frogs with local author Amy Ward, who will be reading from her book Crunchy, Not Sweet, and leading a related painting activity.

Fossils Rock Workshop: Make a Mini-Exhibit
Nov 9 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Cost: Free (does not include museum admission)

Ages: 6-17

Limit: 10 children

Register by emailing cbaxter@peoriaparks.org or at Peoria PlayHouse by Wednesday, November 6th

Do you collect shells, game cards, or something else interesting! Show us your own special collection and we’ll show you how to become a curator. Working together, we will learn how make our own mini museum exhibit complete with your own labels and a display design. Afterwards, these young curators will be invited to lend their collection to us for display in our Fossils Rock exhibit!


Noon Year’s Eve: Paleo Party
Dec 31 @ 10:00 am – 12:30 pm



Ring in the New Year with us at noon! Communication Junction will lead two Sign and Sing story times complete with stories, songs, and bubbles! Decorate party masks, play dinosaur themed games and win prizes. Then pump up the jams at the Dino Stomp dance party at 11:15 am! Go on a scavenger hunt and special tour in our new exhibit Fossils Rock. At noon, celebrate with a special surprise and cupcakes to celebrate the New Year.

Cost $8 per member including Explorer Members/$16 per non-member includes museum admission (museum will not be open otherwise outside of this event). Learn more about membership here.

** Members, in order to receive your discount enter the code PH2019NYE at checkout. Membership will be verified for those using the code.

The Peoria PlayHouse Children's Museum

The Peoria PlayHouse Children's Museum