National Parks / Natural World in PEORIA with kids

The world has some incredible natural wonders, and luckily for you, Peoria has some incredible places to visit with kids right on your doorstep….and you won’t want to forget your camera!

The national and state parks in and around Peoria, Illinois offer an incredible variety of experiences for children.  Some parks protect a unique and diverse wilderness, teeming with wildlife which is always a thrill for kids!

Some parks protect incredible fascinating and significant historical sites, where the family can go back in time through American history…who says the learning as to stop on a family day out!

Even the city of Peoria itself has smaller parks perfect for a quick trip into nature.  You don’t even need to leave the city to have that park experience - and kids LOVE them!

Shut those televisions off and put those computer games away….the great outdoors is calling and it’s calling YOU!

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  • Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve

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    (72 miles) Mahomet

    900 acres of wooded parkland featuring opportunities for fishing, boating, hiking, picnicking, cross-country skiing and sledding, plus the Hi-Tower Observation Deck.

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  • Caterpillar Visitors Center

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    Peoria

    Self guided experience exploring the history of the brand's development which includes a motion simulator ride, heritage gallery, vintage vehicles and future concepts.

  • Peoria Riverfront Museum

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    Peoria

    An interdisciplinary extravaganza blanding art, history, science and achievement to an educative thrill that will get everyone seriously thinking. Plus 3D Giant Screen Cinema and Dome Planetarium.

  • Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences

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    (3 miles) Peoria

    The museum features exhibition galleries, Planetarium, Illinois Folk Art Gallery, Discovery Center, valuable collections of fine arts, folk arts and natural history, and educational programming for ...

  • Childrens Discovery Museum

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    (34 miles) Normal

    3 vast floors full of interactive experiment and hands on learning experiences designed to reinforce love of thought and exploration in all ages. Serious fun.

  • Dickson Mounds State Museum

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    (36 miles) Lewistown

    The Dickson Mounds Museum, a branch of the Illinois State Museum and a National Historic Site, is one of the major on-site archaeological museums in the United States. It offers a unique opportunity ...

  • Discovery Depot Children's Museum

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    (44 miles) Galesburg

    Diverse exhibits encouraging hands-on learning at this children's museum in Illinois, perfect for those inquisitive minds up to 12 years!

  • Geology Museum

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    (59 miles) Macomb

    A museum part of the University to allow the general public to understand, learn about and be enriched by Earth Sciences. A fascinating and educational experience for the kids and the parents in ...

  • Illinois State Museum

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    (64 miles) Springfield

    The Illinois State Museum promotes discovery, learning, and an appreciation of Illinois' natural, cultural, and artistic heritage. The Museum's extensive collections and research activities provide ...

  • Childrens Museum of Illinois

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    (70 miles) Decatur

    Hands-on fun for kids aged 3 years to 12, with interactive exhibits in this children's museum to teach them about science, the arts, and more!

  • Monticello Railway Museum

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    (70 miles) Monticello

    A great museum for train lovers, with rail cars on display, exhibits on the history of trains and railroading, as well as weekend trains rides May to October! Choo Choo what a fun family day out in ...

  • Firehouse Ministries Fire Museum

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    (75 miles) Rock Falls

    Take a look into the history of Rock Falls Firefighting at this fun fire museum in Illinois - great for kids who love big trucks and learning!

  • Family Museum of Arts and Science

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    (76 miles) Bettendorf

    he Mission of the Family Museum is to inspire life-long learning in children through interactive arts and science activities and exhibits. One of the many fun family places to go if you're looking ...

  • Putnam Museum of History and Natural Science and Imax Theatre

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    (78 miles) Davenport

    Founded in 1867, the Putnam is home to over 150,000 artifacts and specimens, the Putnam Museum of History and Natural Science offers permanent and changing exhibits,and houses Iowa's only 3D IMAX ...

  • Chanute Aerospace Museum

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    (80 miles) Rantoul

    For those aerospace and aviation loving families, this Illinois museum is a great family day out option for you! With real aircraft that kids can get up close to, it's a fascinating look at the ...

  • Orpheum Children's Science Museum

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    (81 miles) Champaign

    A fun, creative and hands-on science museum in Champaign, Illinois where kids can learn and play through interactive exhibits. A great family day out!

  • Johnny Gruelle Raggedy Ann and Andy Museum

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    (97 miles) Arcola

    The Johnny Gruelle Raggedy Ann & Andy Museum opened to the public in May of 1999, in Arcola, Illinois. We are the only officially licensed Raggedy Ann & Andy museum in the world!

  • SciTech Museum

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    (99 miles) Aurora

    SciTech "hands-on" museum boasts over 200 interative exhibits, daily shows, special events and activities. Hours of fun for kids in Aurora!

  • Peoria Zoo

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    (2 miles) Peoria

    Explore the animals of Africa, Asia, Australia, yet next leave Illinois! Peoria Zoo features amazing learning opportunities for kids, and great animal fun!

  • Wildlife Prairie Park

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    (9 miles) Hanna City

    2,000 acre of beautiful parkland with a wildlife park home to 150 creatures over 50 species. With a fishing lake, mountain bike tracks and hiking tracks, this really is an outdoor adventure for the ...

  • Miller Park Zoo

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    (35 miles) Bloomington

    Offers an extensive collection of well cared for animals, reptiles and birds from around the word, with a daily animal feeding schedule, plus keeper talks and interaction opportunities.

  • Henson Robinson Zoo

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    (67 miles) Springfield

    Over 90 species from all over the world at this beautiful Springfield Zoo, giving kids a great day of animal-tastic learning!

  • Niabi Zoo

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    (68 miles) Coal Valley

    900 animals representing 160 species on 40 acres. Includes children's zoo, carousel, playground and miniature train. Animal fun in Illinois!

  • Scovill Zoo

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    (70 miles) Decatur

    Animal lovers of all ages can visit South African cheetahs, an Australian wallaby, and golden lion tamarins from Brazil, to name just a few!

  • Bicycle Safety Town

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    (5 miles) Peoria

    4,000 feet of simulated street-life for kids to practice the rules of the road on, plus a toddler playground! Bike fun in Illinois!

  • Wheels O Time

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    (10 miles) Peoria

    In 1979, two guys had many antique and collector autos stored in various places in the Peoria, Illinois area. They started thinking about storing them in one place, such as a building on the north ...

  • Haunted Trails Family Amusement Park

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    (98 miles) Joliet

    14 acres of family amusement park fun in Jollet, with mini golf, go-karts, batting cages, and of course - RIDES - for a year round "Halloween" experience!

  • Grizzly Jacks Grand Bear Resort

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    (52 miles) Utica

    Great indoor water fun at this resort, with day passes available. 24,000 square feet of play zones, slides and lazy rivers! Great Illinois water fun all year round!

  • Raging Waves

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    (90 miles) Yorkville

    7 major slides, wave pool, lazy river, 2 shallow interactive play areas for kids, giant sandbox, family shows PLUS zip line adventure course and Outback Road Rally!

  • Joliet Splash Station

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    (93 miles) Joliet

    Splashing family fun with this Illinois water park, with tunnels, slides, rapids, ravines, and tubes!

  • Springfield Walks

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    (62 miles) Springfield

    Fun and fascinating walking tours around the wonderful city of Springfield, Illinois. Includes a full haunted history tour! Great for kids aged 5 and up.

  • Monkey Joes

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    (77 miles) Davenport

    offers a large facility filled with inflatable adventure from giant slides and obstacle courses to classic bounce houses and beyond.

  • Upper Limits Indoor Rock Climb

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    (34 miles) Bloomington

    We have many different rooms and areas for a total of more than 20,000 square feet of variable climbing surface making us one of the largest climbing gyms in North America. Plus massive multi-level ...

  • Knights Action Park

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    (66 miles) Springfield

    Water fun, go-carts, ferris wheels, golf, batting cages and so much more in this Springfield adventure park!

  • Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library

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    (62 miles) Springfield

    A fascinating, historical and educational day with the whole family as you walk through the life and times of Abraham Lincoln.