13 Indoor Adventures with Kids


Annalee Anderson, Guest Writer


As we all know, Peoria weather is unpredictable! 78-degree sunshine on a Tuesday might mean a 40-degree and rainy on Wednesday. Luckily, there are some excellent indoor options to keep in your back pocket for the next unpredicted inclement day. Scroll through these local gems for adventures that are guaranteed to hold the kiddos’ attention and burn some of that pent-up rainy day energy.

Caterpillar Visitors Center  {Peoria}    //    This one-of-a-kind museum is a great way to spend a rainy day! With Caterpillar diggers, massive machinery, and vehicles from modern to vintage, this interactive and educational stop will have kids raving! The hands-on activities like the backhoe digital simulator and exploring in the cab of a real bulldozer is sure to engage kids (especially those who like big machinery) for hours.

Elevate  {Peoria + East Peoria}    //    Trampoline parks are the ultimate indoor playground for kids, and luckily, Elevate has two local locations, Peoria and East Peoria. Kids can bounce, jump, and play laser tag all in a day’s work! Time allotments range from one to two hours, with the option of adding a laser tag game to your jump time. Elevate also offers exclusive memberships for homeschoolers and toddlers!

Gone Social  {Peoria}    //    Escape rooms offer a thrilling adventure for your family and friends, sure to leave your kids ready for more! With themed escape rooms, travel to a wizarding world, CSI crime scene, Doctor Who immersive experience, and more! Escape 60 encourages relationship strengthening and communication skills, all while having a blast!

Fired Up  {Peoria Heights} or Peek-in Pottery  {Pekin}    //    Fired Up in Peoria Heights or Peek in Pottery in Pekin are two excellent options to coax out the inner artist in everyone. Both of these local spots are a paint-your-own-pottery studio with a wide array of paint colors and pottery options. Kids can create core memories with their friends and family, either with a birthday party or rainy day painting. Both shops have wonderful paint color and style guidance for kids of all ages and abilities.

First Ascent  {Peoria}    //    Rock climbing is a surefire way to get kids moving and grooving on a rainy day. First Ascent in Peoria’s Warehouse District has your kiddos covered! Their motto is “get your kids climbing our walls instead of yours,” and they offer plenty of opportunities to do so. Specifically, First Ascent has kid-friendly drop-in climbing sessions, climbing classes, and a climbing team. On First Ascent’s website, there is more information regarding their kid-only offerings. Happy Climbing!

Five Points Washington  {Washington}    //    This fitness center located in Washington offers a wide range of classes and activities for children and adults. There are youth fitness classes such as kids yoga, aquatic fit and fun, and kids on the move, all geared towards teaching children about the importance of exercise while having fun! Aside from classes, Five Points Washington has a kids’ clubhouse available for daycare accommodations. Last but not least, enjoy the indoor leisure pool on a rainy day!

Let’s Roll: Bowling + Beyond in Greater Peoria  {Article}    //    Bowling is the perfect activity to brighten up a rainy day or boring afternoon. Our region is full of family-friendly bowling alleys, some of which have arcades + movie theaters inside!

Luthy Botanical Gardens  {Peoria}    //    Even on a rainy day, the great outdoors is accessible at the Peoria Park District’s Luthy Botanical Gardens! Located in Glen Oak Park, this conservatory offers beautiful flora to be appreciated by kids and adults alike. Tropical plants unseen in Illinois’ native ecosystem are thriving alongside other themed gardens. Luthy Botanical Gardens has free admission and specialized programs for kids!

Morton Roller Rink   {Morton}    //    Open Friday – Sunday, this place is full of childhood nostalgia. Family owned and operated for 55 years, you’ll have a blast from the past when you lace up your skates. Sip a slushie and do the limbo, the cozy atmosphere lends kids young and old to skate out their hearts.

Owens Center Ice Skating  {Peoria}    //    The Peoria Park District Owens Center, located on Lake Ave, offers year-round indoor ice skating on NHL sized rinks. There are options for private rentals and classes, as well as public open skate times. Admission prices and up-to-date information on public skating is listed on the Owens Center Facebook page. Start your kiddos hockey or figure skating career at the Owens Center on a rainy day!

Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum  {Peoria}    //    Located in Glen Oak Park, this Peoria Park District facility offers children “the tools and inspiration they need to be explorers and creators of the world.” Specifically, there are open art projects, animal exploration, and toddler-friendly activities. Information on admission and special events is available on their website.

Peoria Riverfront Museum  {Peoria}    //    With a trip to Peoria’s Riverfront Museum, your whole family will leave learning something new and exciting! Rotating exhibition shows in the Dome Planetarium, and movies in the Giant Screen Theater are fun attractions for all who attend. Kid-exclusive offerings are also available at the Riverfront Museum, such as the Luminescence Lab accompanying the Creatures of Light exhibit.

Rough and Tumbled Rocks, Jewelry, and More  {Wyoming}    //    Rough and Tumbled is proof that geology rocks! Their cozy and fun shop holds all sorts of glittering treasures, including beautiful rock and gemstone jewelry, decorations, and even sparkling Moroccan geodes. However, Rough and Tumbled is more than just a rock collector’s dream. They host events like jewelry making classes and have a sluicing experience where you can discover your own treasures. This local gem is perfect for a day with the kids.

Wheels O’ Time Museum  {Dunlap}    //    For over 40 years, the Wheels O’ Time Museum has provided children and adults with insight into life in the past, including transportation, farm and home life, entertainment, and industry in Central Illinois. Open from May to October, this attraction in Dunlap is sure to leave the whole family insightful and inspired! 

Annalee Anderson, Guest Writer
Discover Peoria, IL