Happy International Museum Day! We are wrapping up Museum Week here at The Homeschool Scientist with a visit to a brand new, world class museum. The Peoria Riverfront Museum is located on the Peoria, Illinois riverfront. It is an amazing addition to the entire Central Illinois region.
Our family visited the museum for the first time last week. We are former patrons of the smaller museum the Peoria Riverfront Museum replaced, so we were excited to check it out.
We were not disappointed.
The museum is separated into several sections, each one distinctive and showcasing something wonderful about Peoria and Central Illinois.
International Features Gallery
This gallery features visiting exhibits of internationally known artists along with museum owned works. The current artist on exhibit is Ansel Adams, one of my favorites. My daughter is just starting to be interested in photography, so this was a wonderful opportunity for her to see what the art of photography looks like.
The Street is a streetscape that walks you through the history of Peoria and its contributions to the nation and the world. The Object Theater is, also, located in The Street. This small theater uses multimedia technology paired with objects to tell stories of innovation.
While my husband, my daughter and I were engrossed in history, my son made his way to the hands-on area to try his hand at making cars to race down a track, to play with a cool gear wall and play with a sand area. Perfect for an 8 year old boy.
IHSA Peak Performance
The IHSA Peak Performance area is dedicated to learning about the 40 sports and activities under the Illinois High School Association. There are lots of opportunities to test your skills such as jumping, basketball, instrument identification and arm strength. You can, also, look up IHSA records or test your scholastic skills. My sports loving family spent LOTS of time here.
Illinois River Encounter
This area of the Peoria Riverfront Museum displays the history, ecosystem and economic impact of the Illinois River. The 400 gallon aquarium contains fish species native to the Illinois River.
Growing up near the Mississippi River, I was always fascinated by it. I had an uncle who worked on one the locks and dam sites and we would occasionally visit and watch the barges go through the locks. I have tried to explain how the locks work to my children, but they just didn’t get it. The Illinois River Encounter actually has a hands on model of a lock and dam system than finally made it “click” for my kids. We all had a great time playing, I mean, learning at this exhibit.
Discovery World is an area full of interactives divided into 2 parts. One for young learners and the other for grade school and older. We had fun on both sides.
My husband and daughter played with the magnet board, while my son was drawn to the water area.
Planetarium and Giant Screen Theatre
Our only regret about our trip to the Peoria Riverfront Museum was that we missed the Planetarium shows and the Giant Screen Theatre. We were so engrossed in hands-on learning, that we kept losing track of time. I love planetarium shows and the five story high and seven story wide Giant Screen Theatre is something I just have to see. Luckily, we live close and can visit again soon!
Our family was so impressed with the accessibility of the Peoria Riverfront Museum. It is alive, moving and engaging. It does an excellent job of appealing to adults and children within the same exhibits.
The Peoria Riverfront Museum is a great resource for our homeschooling family and and one we will go back to again and again. Traveling to or through Illinois this summer? Make it a point to stop at the Peoria Riverfront Museum.
That’s a wrap on Museum Week here at The Homeschool Scientist. We’ve visited the Creation Museum , Center For Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus, OH, the Orlando Science Center, The Great Lakes Science Center and now the Peoria Riverfront Museum.