A Peoria Park District Facility

Maker Space

The mission of the Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum is to help children become explorers and creators of the world. In the museum’s Real Tools space young visitors create anything and everything using hammers, drills, saws, glue guns, and more.

The PlayHouse also offers related programs, focused on helping children become confident and creative young makers.

Real Tools

This circular room, just behind the museum’s main entrance, is filled with work benches, stools, and bin after bin of materials: wood and wood scraps, different types of plastic, cork, cardboard, tape, fabric, hardware. Each work station is stocked with hammers, screwdrivers, and pliers, but children can also ask for saws, drills, glue guns, box cutters, wood burning tools, and more. In this space children have created everything from a life-sized flamingo to musical instruments to doll furniture.

An effective makerspace teaches children not only how to make, but how to invent. It teaches them to solve problems, and also compels them to find the problems that they want to solve. It challenges them not only to learn to use tools, but to identify the best tools for the task they want to complete. Each child is working on something different, which is what allows makerspaces to foster innovation and creativity.


Additional Maker Programs

Maker Workshops

Kids and families learn to use tools, experiment with different types of making, and think creatively in PlayHouse Maker Workshops. This program is designed for kids 3-12 years old. All children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult. Registration is required and closes the Wednesday prior to the workshop. Maker Workshops are offered on select Saturdays from 2-4pm.

Summer Maker Program

2019 Program Dates TBA; For children ages 3-14

  • Pick up a Summer Maker Map at the front desk.
  • Complete weekly construction challenges at home.
  • Bring finished projects or  photographs of the project to the PlayHouse.
  • Receive a stamp for each week you participate.
  • Earn special prizes as you complete each week.

Explorer Day Camp

School may be closed for Columbus Day, but the PlayHouse is OPEN! Spend the day with us at this new one-day camp, which will focus on art, music, and storytelling. Inspired by Native American culture, we will explore the beauty of nature and create some amazing projects to take home!

October 8, 2018 (Columbus Day), 8am-5pm (for ages 5-9)

Registration is required by September 28th.
25% sibling discount!
Scholarships are available for those who qualify.

Artists @ Play Summer Camps

In this awesome art camp, kids will splatter, spray, and smear…and bend, twist, model, and mold…while we learn different ways to paint, collage, print, sculpt, and more.

Full-Day (for ages 5-9): 2019 Dates TBA, 9am-3:30pm*
Includes daily art-related field trips to galleries, museums, artist’s studios, and public sculpture in order to learn all about the art in our community!

Half-Day (for ages 4-5): 2019 Dates TBA, 9-11:30am OR 12:30-3pm*

We made this!

Maker Resources

River City Labs is our local maker space for adults and older children. They have family memberships, as well as individual memberships for adults. Check out their website.

Teacher Tuesdays, run by the University of Illinois Extension, is a consortium of maker-related organizations and committed educators. More information can be found here.



The Peoria PlayHouse Children's Museum

The Peoria PlayHouse Children's Museum