Top Things to Do in Peoria in 2023: Exciting Activities & Events

Things to do in Peoria in 2023

Welcome to Peoria, a vibrant city in Illinois that has something for everyone. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, a foodie, or a sports fan, Peoria has a diverse selection of exciting activities and events to offer.

In this article, we’ll highlight the top things to do in Peoria in 2023, from exploring the city’s natural beauty to indulging in its culinary delights, attending special events, and more.

Key Takeaways

  • Peoria offers a range of exciting activities and events in 2023
  • Visitors can explore the city’s natural beauty, history, culture, culinary scene, and more
  • Special events such as festivals and concerts offer unique and memorable experiences

Explore Peoria’s Natural Beauty

Peoria is home to some of the most beautiful outdoor spaces in the country, making it the perfect destination for nature lovers. With a range of parks and nature trails, visitors can explore the scenic landscapes and enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. Here are some of the top places to experience Peoria’s natural beauty:

1. Rock Island Trail

The Rock Island Trail is a 26-mile long trail that offers scenic views of the Illinois River and surrounding forests. Perfect for hiking and biking enthusiasts, the trail also has access points for fishing and picnicking.

2. Forest Park Nature Center

The Forest Park Nature Center offers visitors the chance to discover the beauty of Central Illinois. With five miles of hiking trails, visitors can explore the natural beauty of the area. The nature center also offers educational programs and events for all ages.

3. Wildlife Prairie Park

Wildlife Prairie Park is a 2,000-acre zoological park that offers visitors the opportunity to see native animals in their natural habitats. The park features hiking trails, fishing ponds, and a variety of educational programs for visitors to enjoy.

4. Detweiller Park

Detweiller Park is a 760-acre park that features hiking and biking trails, picnic shelters, and a variety of recreational facilities. Visitors can enjoy stunning views of the Illinois River and explore the park’s natural beauty.

With so many beautiful and unique places to explore, Peoria is the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, or picnicking, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Peoria’s natural beauty.

Immerse Yourself in Peoria’s History and Culture

Peoria boasts a rich history and a vibrant culture, making it an ideal destination for those who want to delve deeper into the city’s past. From museums to historical sites to cultural events, there’s no shortage of opportunities to learn about Peoria’s heritage and traditions. Here are some of the top ways to immerse yourself in Peoria’s history and culture in 2023:

Museums Peoria has several museums that offer fascinating insights into the city’s past. The Peoria Riverfront Museum, for example, features exhibits on art, science, and history, while the Wheels O’ Time Museum showcases antique cars, trains, and other vehicles. The African American Hall of Fame Museum is also worth a visit, as it celebrates the contributions of African Americans to Peoria’s history and culture.
Historical Sites Peoria is home to many historical sites that offer a glimpse into the city’s past. The Pettengill-Morron House Museum, for example, is a beautifully preserved Victorian mansion that dates back to 1868, while the Peoria Historical Society offers guided tours of various historic sites throughout the city. The John C. Flanagan House Museum is another must-see, as it showcases the life and work of one of Peoria’s most prominent architects.
Cultural Events Peoria hosts many cultural events throughout the year, celebrating the city’s diverse heritage and traditions. The Illinois Blues Festival is a popular event that showcases the best blues musicians from around the state, while the Fine Art Fair features works from over 100 regional and national artists. Meanwhile, the Peoria International Folk Fair highlights the music, dance, and cuisine of cultures from around the world.

Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover, or simply curious about Peoria’s past and present, there’s something for everyone on the city’s cultural scene. So why not plan a visit to Peoria in 2023 and immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant history and culture?

Indulge in Peoria’s Culinary Delights

Peoria’s culinary scene is a foodie’s paradise, with a range of dining options to suit every taste. From classic American fare to international cuisine, the city boasts an eclectic mix of restaurants and cafes.

For a true taste of Peoria, head to one of the many restaurants serving local cuisine. Peoria-style pizza, with its unique thin crust and sweet tomato sauce, is a must-try. Another local delicacy is the horseshoe sandwich, an open-faced sandwich topped with meat, cheese sauce, and french fries.

Restaurant Cuisine Location
The Blue Duck Barbecue Tavern Barbecue Downtown Peoria
Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano Italian The Shoppes at Grand Prairie
Jonah’s Seafood House Seafood East Peoria

Peoria also hosts several food festivals throughout the year that are a food lover’s dream. Don’t miss the Annual Taste of Peoria, where you can sample dishes from the city’s top restaurants, or the German-American Society’s Oktoberfest, where you can indulge in traditional German cuisine and beer.

Whether you’re in the mood for fine dining or casual eats, Peoria has something to satisfy every craving. Come hungry and leave satisfied!

Unwind at Peoria’s Entertainment Venues

Peoria offers a vibrant entertainment scene, with a variety of options to suit all tastes. From live music to theatrical performances, visitors will find plenty of ways to unwind and enjoy themselves.

Live Music

For music lovers, Peoria has numerous venues to catch live performances. Take a night out at the Limelight Eventplex, a premier music venue that hosts local and national acts, or head to Crusens on Farmington Road where you can enjoy weekly live music shows and events.


If you prefer a theatrical experience, Peoria has a thriving arts community with many theater options. The Peoria Civic Center is a must-visit for Broadway shows and concerts, while the Corn Stock Theatre is a popular choice for outdoor performances during the summer season.


Peoria’s nightlife scene offers options for those looking to dance the night away or relax with a drink. Check out The Fox Pub and Cafe, a popular spot for craft beers and pub fare, or visit Martini’s on Water Street for specialty cocktails in a chic atmosphere.


Peoria’s entertainment venues offer something for everyone, whether you’re a music lover, theater buff, or night owl. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the city’s vibrant entertainment scene.

Experience Peoria’s Sporting Events

Peoria is a city that loves sports and offers many opportunities for visitors to experience the thrill of live sporting events. From baseball to hockey, Peoria has something for every sports fan.

One of the highlights of Peoria’s sporting scene is the Peoria Chiefs, a minor league baseball team that plays at Dozer Park. The team has a loyal following and watching a game is a must-do activity for visitors. If you’re more of a hockey fan, check out the Peoria Rivermen, who play at the Carver Arena. The atmosphere at their games is electric, and you’re sure to have a great time.

Team Sports in Peoria

Peoria is also a great place to engage in team sports. The Park District of Peoria offers a variety of team sports opportunities, from soccer to basketball. Whether you’re looking to join a league or just want to shoot some hoops with friends, Peoria has plenty of options.

If you prefer to watch sports, be sure to check out the sporting events at Bradley University. The Braves have a strong athletic program and regularly host events in basketball, baseball, and soccer, to name a few. The atmosphere at their games is always lively and the competition is top-notch.

Sports Teams in Peoria Sports Stadiums in Peoria
Peoria Chiefs (baseball) Dozer Park
Peoria Rivermen (hockey) Carver Arena
Bradley Braves (various sports) Multiple venues on Bradley University campus

No matter what your sports preference is, Peoria has something for you. Don’t miss out on the excitement and passion that sports bring to the city.

Shop ’til You Drop in Peoria

Peoria offers a variety of shopping destinations, from local markets to unique boutiques. Here are some of the top spots to explore:

Shopping Destination Description
The Shoppes at Grand Prairie This outdoor mall features over 70 stores, including popular retailers like H&M and Sephora.
Peoria Riverfront Market Visit this open-air market on Saturdays from May to October for fresh produce, handmade goods, and live music.
One World Market Shop fair trade and handmade products from around the world at this unique boutique.
Unique Twist Browse eclectic home decor and fashion finds at this boutique located in the historic Warehouse District.

Whether you’re searching for the perfect souvenir or a unique gift for a loved one, Peoria’s shopping scene has something for everyone. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to shop ’til you drop!

Attend Special Events in Peoria

Peoria is known for its lively festivals, concerts, and community events that offer unique and unforgettable experiences for visitors. In 2023, the city will host a variety of special events that showcase Peoria’s diverse heritage and vibrant culture.


Peoria is home to numerous annual festivals that celebrate everything from food to music to arts and culture. The Peoria Art Guild Fine Art Fair, the Illinois Blues Festival, and the World Championship Pumpkin Festival are just a few of the many festivals that take place throughout the year. Visitors can sample delicious food, listen to great music, and engage with local artists and vendors.


Music lovers will find plenty to enjoy in Peoria, which hosts a variety of concerts and music festivals throughout the year. The Peoria Civic Center hosts concerts by popular musicians and bands, while the Peoria Riverfront hosts outdoor concerts and events during the summer months. Visitors can groove to the sounds of jazz, blues, rock, and everything in between.

Community Events

Peoria is a close-knit community that loves to come together for special events and gatherings. The city hosts a variety of community events, such as the Steamboat Classic 4-Mile and 15K Race, the Santa Claus Parade, and the Festival of Lights. Visitors can mingle with locals and experience the warmth and hospitality of Peoria firsthand.

Whether you’re a foodie, a music lover, or simply looking for a good time, Peoria’s special events are not to be missed. Make sure to check the city’s calendar of events when planning your trip to Peoria in 2023.


Peoria is a city that offers something for everyone. From its natural beauty to its rich history and culture, the city has a diverse range of activities and events to explore. Visitors can indulge in the culinary scene, experience the excitement of sporting events, unwind at the city’s entertainment venues, or shop at the local markets and unique boutiques.

But what truly makes Peoria special is its special events. From festivals to concerts to community gatherings, there’s always something happening in Peoria. In 2023, visitors can look forward to exciting events that showcase the city’s vibrant culture and heritage.

Plan Your Visit Today

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore Peoria’s natural beauty, history, culture, culinary scene, entertainment venues, sporting events, shopping destinations, and special events. Plan your visit to Peoria today and create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.


Q: What are the top things to do in Peoria in 2023?

A: Peoria offers a wide range of exciting activities and events for visitors in 2023. From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Q: What outdoor activities can I explore in Peoria?

A: Peoria boasts beautiful parks and nature trails where you can immerse yourself in the city’s natural beauty. Enjoy hiking, biking, and picnicking amidst scenic landscapes.

Q: Are there any museums or historical sites in Peoria?

A: Yes, Peoria is home to museums and historical sites that offer a glimpse into the city’s rich history. Explore the exhibits and learn about the vibrant culture of Peoria.

Q: Where can I find the best restaurants in Peoria?

A: Peoria has a diverse culinary scene with a wide variety of restaurants to choose from. Experience the local cuisine and indulge in the city’s delicious flavors.

Q: What entertainment options are available in Peoria?

A: Peoria offers a vibrant entertainment scene with live music venues, theaters, and a bustling nightlife. Enjoy concerts and theatrical performances throughout the city.

Q: Can I attend sporting events in Peoria?

A: Absolutely! Peoria is known for its sports events, ranging from professional games to local team sports. Cheer on your favorite teams and enjoy the lively atmosphere.

Q: Where can I go shopping in Peoria?

A: Peoria has a variety of shopping options, including local markets and unique boutiques. Discover hidden treasures and find the perfect souvenir to take home.

Q: Are there any special events happening in Peoria in 2023?

A: Yes, Peoria hosts a wide range of festivals, concerts, and community events throughout the year. Experience the unique and memorable atmosphere of these special occasions.