Things to Do in Peoria (Illinois): A traveler’s guide

By M L | Updated January 29th, 2023

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If you are planning on visiting Peoria, Illinois soon, here are some of the things to do in Peoria that you may want to check out while you’re there! As with any vacation spot, there are tons of different things to see and do, depending on how long you have or what your interests are; however, I think you’ll find that this list has something for everyone. So without further ado…

Grand View Drive

Just a quick drive from downtown Peoria, Grand View Drive offers scenic views of the Illinois River. The road is just under three miles long and features many different spots for people to stop and enjoy the scenery. This is the perfect spot for anyone looking for a way to get outside and enjoy nature without having to go too far from home.

Caterpillar Visitors Center

Burlington, On, Canada – August 19, 2021: Close-up of Caterpillar sign on the office building in Burlington, On, Canada. Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation provides retail financing solutions.

The Caterpillar Visitors Center is a great place for anyone who is interested in Caterpillar Inc. or the company’s history. The museum features interactive displays and videos, as well as a replica of the original factory that has been created down to the last detail. Visitors can see some of the tools used by employees and learn about different parts of the assembly process.

Peoria Zoo

Happy mother and son watching and feeding giraffe in the zoo. Happy family having fun with animals safari park on a warm summer day.

One of the most popular attractions in Illinois is the Peoria Zoo. The zoo has an abundance of animals, with over 1,000 species and more than 1.6 million square feet of exhibit space. It is one of the largest zoos outside of a major metropolitan area and it’s also among the top destinations for school field trips in Illinois. Many visitors will find it hard to believe that there are so many things to do at a zoo, but the Peoria Zoo offers something for everyone!

Peoria Riverfront Museum

The Peoria Riverfront Museum is a great place for families and travelers alike. The museum has a wide range of interactive exhibits and programs for all ages, from toddlers to adults. Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am-4:00 pm, and on Sunday from 1:00 pm-5:00 pm.

Dozer Park

Dedicated on June 8, 2003, this park offers a playground for toddlers, forest walks with many mature trees and shrubs for nature lovers, and a pond with waterfowl. The most recent addition to the park is the Veteran’s Memorial Garden which honors veterans from all branches of the military who have served our country. The memorial was created by area residents who wanted to provide an inviting place where veterans and their families could share their service stories.

Peoria Civic Center

cannon on the Gettysburg battlefield

The Peoria Civic Center is one of the largest arenas in the Midwest and hosts hundreds of events every year. Concerts, sporting events, banquets, and trade shows are just a few of the many events that take place at this enormous facility. The Civic Center Arena seats over 10,000 people for concerts and around 20,000 for basketball games.

Forest Park Nature Center

Located just outside of Chicago, the Forest Park Nature Center is a hidden gem that many people don’t even know about. However, the center offers nature lovers an opportunity to experience the beauty of Illinois’ wilderness right in their backyard.

Forest Park Nature Center

The Forest Park Nature Center is a great place for people of all ages, interests, and abilities. It has a large variety of exhibits and activities that are sure to engage anyone who visits. The center is open year-round, with indoor and outdoor programming available.

The center features interactive exhibits on three main topics: nature exploration, natural resources, and human impacts on the environment.


Peoria is an ideal destination for a weekend getaway. Whether you are interested in fine dining, a night out on the town, or just looking to do some shopping, there is something for everyone. With so many attractions and activities to choose from, it would be hard not to find some