Riverfront Museum and some Grandma Time

Riverfront Musuem

This summer is all about grandma time.  With my two grandchildren soon to reach double digits at eight (soon to be nine) and seven (to be eight in December) I am grasping the summer months like a drowning sailor.  We are taking weekly trips to fun spots in central Illinois.  Last week, the Riverfront Museum in Peoria, Illinois was our destination.

Riverfront Museum

The first thing we saw was a very BIG statue of Abraham Lincoln directing what appeared to be a lost tourist outside of the Riverfront Museum.  We found free parking and the kids posed in front of the statue. Then we wended our way into the museum and saw a very cool car built by the Duryea Manufacturing Co. 

This company was built by brothers Charles and J. Frank Duryea. They are credited as the first Americans to design, mass-produce and market a gasoline-powered car. The car looks like a motor on bicycle wheels!

Next we found our way in the kids interactive area. That’s where the grandkids pulled us right away.  This area was age appropriate for different age groups. They enjoyed the fun things to see and do.  I think our group favorite was the pins that they leaned against and made a profile view.  It was fascinating to see their face and body come alive on the other side of the pins when they leaned into it.  My husband did it to and it was neat to see his farm hat image!

We moved on to the Illinois River Encounter and Keith, my husband was quite taken with the barge film. The kids enjoyed learning about the fish and wetlands.

Riverfront Musuem
The kids can’t even be seen posing with this huge sculpture


The Peoria history at the Riverfront Museum was fascinating to me to see how many manufacturers began in this city.  Off this room was another space for the kids to do interactive play.  There was a planetarium area and while we missed the timing for the show, we saw the outside rim area.

I had not been sure what the museum would be like, but rather than trying to fill time, we ran out of time.

Riverfront Museum
The Caterpillar Visitor’s Center and Museum is great fun.

Caterpillar Visitors Center

Right next to the Riverfront Museum is the Caterpillar Visitors Center & Museum and currently antique CATs are on display.  I took the kids through the display while Keith went to the gift shop.  The kids loved the interactive movie that was in the bed of a HUGE mining truck.  I had been here before and wasn’t sure if this would be up their alley, but it was.  The seats shook and the kids were into it.  Then downstairs while they could not touch the machines of course, they could operate interactive display areas.  I had to pull them away so they could finish up the areas they wanted to revisit at the Riverfront Museum.

Lunch at the Rhythm Kitchen Music Cafe

I can’t say that the Rhythm Kitchen Music Café  this is really a place for kids because I think it is a bar as well as a diner, but my oh my was the food good and did the server ever cater to us!  I had a burger with gouda cheese that I split with Keith and there was nary a crumb left.  They did have kids meals, so I guess you could say it is kid friendly.  Everyone’s meal was awesome and the dessert that the kids and Keith ordered were over the top.  Being diabetic and trying to watch the pounds I just had a bite, but it was a great bite!

We want to go back and see the museum in more detail, we had a great day, New Salem is our next adventure.  I’ll let you know how the next installment of our summer Grandma time goes!