Peoria Riverfront Museum – Kaci’s Places to Play in Peoria

Written By: Andrew Ketterer

Our own Kaci Osborne headed down “The Block” this week to take a closer look at one of the newest attractions in the Peoria Area. The Peoria Riverfront Museum was opened in October of 2012 and is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institute, containing galleries featuring art, science, history and achievement.

Luckily enough, Kaci was able to spend some time talking to Nikki Cole, Vice President of Development, about everything that is on display at the Museum.

A young visitor tests his reaction time in the IHSA Peak Performance gallery.

A young athlete tests his reaction time in the IHSA Peak Performance gallery.

One of the most popular galleries at the Peoria Riverfront Museum is the IHSA Peak Performance gallery, where everyone has a chance to test their skills, from jumping ability to balance. “One of the favorite things about this gallery is the amount of inter-generational playtime that you see,” says Cole. “We have grand-kids testing their skills against grandma and grandpa, and mom and dad.”

Discovery Worlds is another popular gallery that is dedicated to the youngest of visitors and their development. It is split into two areas based on age and learning ability of the children the exhibit is serving.

The Illinois River Encounter is dedicated to the Illinois River. Previous to the museum, there wasn’t anywhere to go to learn about the Illinois River, so the museum has given visitors that opportunity. “What’s great is that the gallery itself is really divided in two. One part talks about the working functions of the river and the other talks about the ecology, biology and living on the river.”

Of course, the museum offers educational films during the day and the Hollywood films at night on their Giant Screen Theater, which I had the pleasure of visiting earlier about it this month. The screen is the largest in downstate Illinois and the brightest screen IN THE WORLD! Read about my experience!

Lastly, the Dome Planetarium, one of the museums signature pieces. The state-of-the-art system gives viewers a completely new look at the night’s sky. It’s so amazing that Nikki says, “You can actually go into our planetarium, bring in binoculars and see more details of stars through your binoculars than you can see with your naked eye!”

Other exhibits at the museum include The StreetCollections Gallery and the International Feature Gallery.

Don’t forget to stop in at the Museum Store when you’re done with your visit. They have a little bit of everything from umbrellas to wearables.

As Kaci says, “There’s so much to see and do here at the museum. You guys have got to come check this out for yourself!”

Don’t forget to stick around at the end of the video for to hear why Kaci has a strong hate for the word “Smithsonian.”


This video is part of the Kaci’s Places to Play in Peoria YouTube series. Please check out the Peoria Area CVB Media Page for more videos from Kaci!


2 thoughts on “Peoria Riverfront Museum – Kaci’s Places to Play in Peoria

  1. Pingback: River City Ramblings | Peoria Marriott Pere Marquette

  2. Pingback: River City Ramblings | “Playing in Peoria” – September 25

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