The Peoria Playhouse Children’s Museum began as a campaign called the Power of Play that was launched by The Junior League in 2012 when they, and the Peoria Zoological Society and the Peoria Park District decided to work together to revitalize Glen Oak Park and create a magnificent children’s museum for Peoria.
Today, the Glen Oak Park campus is comprised of The Peoria Playhouse, The Peoria Zoo, and Luthy Botanical Garden’s. The Playhouse believes in collaboration with organizations throughout Peoria and surrounding communities to support families and achieve common goals. Anyone, regardless of income, abilities, or background is encouraged to visit the Playhouse.
The Peoria Playhouse is open Mondays, Wednesday through Saturday from 9am-4pm and Sunday from noon to 5pm. On Tuesdays, the Playhouse is open for members only from 9am to noon. There are special holiday observation hours that are listed on the Peoria Playhouse website.
This Museum is a Blue Star Museum which offers free admission to Military families. They are also part of the Museums for all initiative which offers free admission to those enrolled in the Explorers Programs which is open to those with a WIC or LINK card and valid ID.
Some things visitors should know before visiting the Playhouse are that strollers, food, and beverages are not allowed in the museum. Bottled water with a cap is permitted. All food and beverages may be enjoyed at the outdoor picnic tables.
The Playhouse has six exhibits and three tot areas. The tot areas are located conveniently throughout the museum so that parents can watch their youngest children play in safe places with board books and mats to crawl on while the older children explore the exhibits.
Sand Porch- Use your imagination to sculpt and transform kinetic sand into masterpieces in the enclosed porch. Don’t worry about the mess, kids can suck the sand right off in the vacuum room.
Peoria then and Now- Explore the past and present of Peoria in this exhibit where kids can visit the hubcap house, ride a train and even star in a vaudeville show, then hop forward a few decades to be a scientist uncovering cures in the SciLab.
Motion Commotion- This super hands-on series of exhibits allows kids to explore movement through momentum, gravity, speed and more by shooting hoops, skeeball, and other athletic games.
Family Farm- Learn about the agricultural heritage of the Midwest in this exhibit that allows kids to practice picking their own fruit, gathering eggs, and seeing what is would be like to live on a farm.
By Your River Gently Flowing, Illinois- Peoria sits on the Illinois River and kids can venture down in a sail boat in this exhibit that includes water play and toy boats, education on native animals and more.
All Construction Great and Small- Put on a hard hat and use real tools and your imagination to build objects. A musical surprise is also found in this exhibit. The Peoria Playhouse Children’s Museum in Peoria, IL - Photo: The Peoria Playhouse Children’s Museum
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