Things to Do in Peoria IL This Weekend

staycation in IllinoisLooking for things to do in Peoria IL this weekend?  With inflation at the highest rate in 40 years and airfare and gas prices spiking, if you’re looking for a staycation in Illinois, we’re here to help!  After a couple of years of few events happening and attractions being closed because of COVID, most families are itching to do something that counts as a vacation.  The good news is that there are plenty of fun events & activities your family can take advantage of in the Peoria area.

For Fun Things to do in Peoria IL, Check Out Our Ideas Below!

Escape 60 PeoriaEscape 60:  If you’ve never been to an escape room before, you should try out Escape 60 located in the Sunbeam building near the corner of Main & Sheridan in Peoria.  There newest room, Wizard Academy Book of Secrets, is a nod to Harry Potter where you and your team solve clues to restore the natural order of elements.  There are also 5 other rooms to choose from for your adventure.  Open Tuesdays through Sundays, they also offer team building adventures for corporate groups.  Check out more details and book your adventure at

Fiesta En El RioFiesta En El Rio:  Can’t take a trip to Mexico this summer?  This festival will bring it to your family.  It will take place on Saturday, July 30 from 4 – 11:30 pm on the Peoria riverfront to celebrate Hispanic heritage through music, dance, food and fun.  Learn more on the Peoria Park District Facebook page.

Peoria Chiefs Peoria Chiefs:  Have you been to Dozer Stadium this season?  The Peoria Chiefs, a St. Louis Cardinals affiliate, has home games through September 4.  Check their schedule for special promotions and nights when the have fireworks after the game.

The Heart of Illinois FairHOI Fair:  The 2022 Heart of Illinois Fair runs July 19 – 23 at Expo Gardens.  Featuring the carnival rides, Ag competition, pig races & petting zoo, ITPA Pulling shows, stock semi-truck and tractor pulls, a dog tricks show plus the Rock-N-Circus, this year all entries for the competitions are available online.  Get Carnival 5 Day Mega Passes through July 18 and save $70.

Illinois Shakespeare FestivalIllinois Shakespeare Festival:  If you’ve never been to a performance of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, 2022 is a great time to start as it’s back in full swing after a reduced schedule last year and no shows in 2020 because of COVID.  ISF continues beginning July 1 and runs through August 5 at Ewing Theatre in Bloomington.  The 2 shows running this summer are Much Ado About Nothing and King Lear.  Enjoy a picnic on the grounds before the show plus catch live entertainment before many of the performances.  Get full performance details and tickets at Watch our Entertainment Report video about the 2022 Illinois Shakespeare Festival  for more details.

Owens CenterOwens Center:  Escape the summer heat and cool off with a public skate at Owens Center located in Lakeview park.  Check the PPD Website for a schedule of public skate dates & times.  Don’t have skates?  No problem – you can rent a pair for only $3.

Peoria PlayhousePeoria Playhouse Children’s Museum:  If you have young children and haven’t yet been to the Playhouse, this summer would be a great time to take them.  Located in Glen Oak Park (in the former administration building), the Playhouse opened in June 0f 2015 and features six permanent exhibits geared toward kids aged 2 – 10 years.   They also offer live programs and workshops throughout the year.  Find full details at

Peoria Riverfront Museum - Creatures of Light ExhibitPeoria Riverfront Museum & Giant Screen Theatre:  There’s still time to catch the Museum’s newest exhibit, Creatures of Light Nature’s Bioluminescence running through September 5.  Kids will especially like the Luminescence Lab where you can create a picture with their giant lite-brite, make your very own sea creature come to life with ‘Draw Alive’, or make your very own craft to take home.   Watch our Entertainment Report video about Creatures of Light Nature’s Bioluminescence for more details.Summer of Star Wars

The Summer of Star Wars is on now at the Giant Screen Theatre in the Riverfront Museum.  They’re running each of the 6 movies each week on Illinois’ largest screen.  It’s a great opportunity for young family members to learn why they’re classics.  Star Wars films run every Saturday at 3 pm and 6:30 pm through July 23.   Find a full schedule plus buy tickets online for the Giant Screen Theatre.

Peoria ZooPeoria Zoo:  If your kids haven’t been to the Peoria Zoo lately, it is a great activity for the whole family.   Open daily from 10 am – 5 pm, in addition to their six main areas, they also offer daily presentations through September 5 where you can learn from the Zoo keepers about several of the interesting animals who live there.  Find more details and buy tickets online at

Wildlife Prairie Park Wildlife Prairie Park:  A top 10 destination to visit in Illinois, the Park is and 1800-acre zoological park where you’ll find 60 different species and over 150 animals that are or were all native to our area including wolves, bison, waterfowl, black bears, elk, otters, badgers, snakes, bobcats to name a few.  With new cabins available, it can really feel like a vacation but near your home.  Ride the Prairie Zephyr train through the park, kayak on one of the lakes, and take an air-conditioned Adventure Trek bus for a behind the scenes tour of the Park.  For hours and admission information, visit

Find a full listing of Peoria area events on our Calendar!