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Programs

Adult Sports


Whether you’re interested in reliving the “glory days” or just getting fit, the Peoria Park District has an adult sport for you!  Click on the categories to the right for more information.


Art, Music & Making


Peoria Park District has you covered with its many Art, Music and Making opportunities!  We invite you to join us for cake decorating at Lakeview Recreation Center. Or, trek out to Camp Wokanda for Native American beading.


Beyond School


In October 2020, the Peoria Park District is launching “Beyond School.” These classes are appropriate for homeschool purposes, but can also be used as an educational supplement for students engaged in online school learning. Programs are available for students ages 4-17, in three categories: Fitness, Nature, and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math).

Each class is 6 hours spread across 3-4 sessions over the course of a month. Classes are scheduled in October, November, and December; registration will be available soon.

In addition, the Park District offers other ways to support student learning this school year. Please scroll down for descriptions of these program offerings.

Register for Beyond School Classes

Class Descriptions
(Not all classes are available in all ages for all sessions; see registration information for details.)

Fitness

KidFit Jr (ages 4-6): Let’s introduce physical fitness through play, simplistic games, and following directions. Led by an accredited trainer, KidFit Jr. will provide children with age appropriate, traditional PE games (with restrictions due to COVID), obstacle course work, and basic functional movements to help develop coordination, balance and proper movement patterns.  Children will learn the importance of physical fitness and the benefits of continued movement, all while having fun.

KidFit (ages 7-10): This program will challenge kids, aged 7-10 through multiple modalities.  In this fitness series, kids will learn basic functional movements, bodyweight callenstenics and engage in traditional PE games and physical fitness testing (COVID restrictions apply).  An accredited trainer will provide age appropriate training, such as cardiovascular based movements, strength movements, and flexibility movements to help children develop a base for physical fitness.

Intro to Weightlifting (ages 11-13): This course is designed to introduce the basic fundamentals of strength training.  Children will learn basic anatomy as it pertains to weightlifting, as well as proper movement patterns and lifting technique.  An accredited trainer will provide proper supervision of all lifts/movements.  An educational section will also be part of this series showcasing the benefits of strength training as well as explaining the different terms associated with strength training.

Weightlifting I (ages 11-13): This course is designed to build on the previous course, Into to Weightlifting.  In this class, children will learn additional strength training movements, different training modalities, as well as modifications for different movements.  An accredited trainer will also talk about exercise selection, frequency, rest and recovery.  This course will also educate children on the common injuries associated with strength training.

Weightlifting II (ages 11-13): This course is designed to help apply the fundamentals of strength training into effective programming based on goals.  An accredited trainer will not only guide children through strength training workouts each week, but will also help children develop their own program based on need/physical limitations/goals/restrictions.  Children will also get a glimpse into how strength training builds better athletes through sport-specific programming.

Nature

Young Naturalists at Forest Park Nature Center (ages 4-6): Get ready to explore, ask questions, and have fun in the forest with Forest Park’s naturalists! Enjoy stories, activities, and songs all focused on the natural world. If weather cooperates, we will enjoy a short hike each time class meets. One adult is invited to participate along with each child.

Outdoor Adventures at Sommer Farm (ages 7-10, 11-13): Engage in some classic outdoor activities at beautiful Sommer Farm. Participants will go canoeing, fishing, and hiking during this session. They’ll also experience other Sommer Farm favorites such as archery, gaga ball, and, for the older age groups, teams course activities.

Wilderness Survival at Camp Wokanda (ages 11-13, 14-17): Learning survival skills builds confidence, teamwork, and a knowledge of world around us. Instructor Kelsey Ernst will lead participants in skills such as fire and shelter building, identifying safe sources of food and water in the wild, navigation and preparedness, wilderness first aid, and more.

Treemendous Trees at Forest Park Nature Center (ages 7-10): Here in the Illinois River Bluffs, trees are all around us, so let’s take the time to learn about and appreciate them! We’ll discover the science of forestry through activities, observation, and spending time among them in the woods. Participants should prepare to be outside for at least part of each session.

Discovering Climate Science at Forest Park Nature Center (ages 11-13): Climate isn’t just the weather – it’s an incredibly important force that determines what can grow and thrive in our world! Participants will discover the carbon cycle, learn how to identify weather and climate patterns using data, and make connections between our climate and the living environment around us. Prepare to spend some time outside when weather allows.

STEAM

The Scientific Method (ages 4-6, 7-10): In these sessions, your child will not only learn what the scientific method is, but put it to the test! Various experiments include using chemistry to make batteries and rockets, using biology to create their very own monster using simple genetics, and using physics to create a structure that will prevent an egg from cracking when dropped, all while using the scientific method.

Science in the Past and Future (ages 4-6, 7-10): In these sessions, your child will learn not only how the way we use science has changed over time, but also how science has remained the same! From learning about simple machines and how ancient peoples used them to create architectural feats, to making their own architectural masterpieces using simple machines and designing their own tools and transportation systems for the future.

Dinosaurs (ages 4-6, 7-10): Everyone loves dinosaurs! In these sessions, your child will not only learn about dinosaurs, but what the world was like when they walked the Earth, as well as what animals came after the dinosaurs. Activities include learning about plate tectonics and geological time, learning about fossils and how paleoartists figure out what dinosaurs look like, and making dinosaur dioramas.
Registration links COMING SOON!
additional resources

Peoria Zoo Free School Admission Program – through December 30, 2020
Having missed the spring field trip season due to COVID-19, Peoria Zoo is hoping to increase its use as an educational resource this fall by offering discounted rates.  All children, K-12 grade, with an ID card from an Illinois school will receive free admission to Peoria Zoo Monday – Friday.  Accompanying parents and non-school age children will pay a reduced price of $7. (Don’t have a school ID- bring anything in as documentation that the child is enrolled in e-learning/virtual or a homeschool program.) To enhance the learning experience, teacher’s packets and activity sheets can be downloaded from the Zoo’s website: https://www.peoriazoo.org/teachers/

Printed and Virtual Resources

Encourage your children to write by having them submit an article for the PlayHouse Times. Pictures, comics, videos, and podcasts are also welcomed.

Explore the diversity of Central Illinois through multicultural StoryTime videos.

Learn about different careers with our the PlayHouse’s Virtual Career Days, and use accompanying curriculum materials to build skills related to these careers.

Explore the animals at the Peoria Zoo through Peoria Zoo Animal Fact Sheets. For each animal, find animal facts and sometimes a video from their Keeper!

PROGRAMS

    Sorry, there are no programs at this time

Camps


Due to COVID-19, we have reduced our all-day summer camp schedule to our outdoor Ancient Oaks Day Camp beginning July 6.

Also check out our PPD Academy half-day camp which features reading and math instruction from certified teachers to provide academic support to kiddos who have been out of the classroom since March!  The half-day also include high-energy recreation activities AND breakfast/lunch!

Heart of Illinois Special Recreation Association (HISRA) Inclusion Services
Attention residents of Peoria, Morton, Chillicothe and Washington Park Districts!

Is there a program offered at your local park district in which you would like your child with special needs to be included, but they may need a little help?  Call HISRA at 309-391-1929, or fill out an Inclusion Request form by CLICKING HERE!


Community


In addition to parks and recreation, the Peoria Park District takes very seriously its commitment to our community… we are pleased to offer multiple, non-traditional efforts that enrich the lives of those who live, work and play in our District.  Whether you’re seeking help to get your GED, want to get your hands on some great books, or hope to enrich the lives of our youth, the Peoria Park District has more to explore!


Dance


Dancing has no age limitation.  Dance enhances balance and coordination, provides a creative escape, can be performed solo or in a group and can even improve your memory! So whether you’re 1 or 101, step right up and dance!

Do you have a future actor or actress in your house?  If so, the Peoria Park District offers great educational drama programs throughout the year.  The Peoria Park District also partners with community theater groups.


Family Fun


Whatever it is your family enjoys, the Park District hosts events at various locations throughout the year that are sure to be great fun for the whole family.


Field Trips


Are you looking for a fun, educational experience outside of the classroom?  Do you homeschool and are you looking for exciting ways to supplement your childrens’ educational  activities?  Choose your adventure with a Peoria Park District Field Trip.

Or if travel is a challenge, we’ll come to you!  Click on our field trip brochure below and come learn with us!


Fitness


Whether you like lifting weights or practicing Tai Chi, the Peoria Park District has a fitness opportunity for you!  The Park District offers fitness classes at multiple facilities across Peoria, including many sports clinics for children and adults.  For a full list of the fitness classes offered and to register, please click  here.  You can also click here to head over to the RiverPlex’s website for specific programs offered at that facility.


Golf


There are not many sports which you can play from age 3-93. Golf is one of those sports that can connect generations and be enjoyed, no matter what age you are.

 

To learn more about the Peoria Park District golf system and to book a tee time, please visit www.ppdgolf.org now!


HISRA/Inclusion


The Heart of Illinois Special Recreation Association (HISRA) is the result of a desire on the part of the Chilicothe, Morton, Peoria and Washington park districts to provide quality recreation programs and services to individuals with disabilities and special needs. HISRA and its member districts enthusiastically support the spirit and intent of the Americans With Disabilities Act. HISRA is committed to providing opportunities for each individual to enjoy recreation activities in the least restrictive environment possible.

To learn more about the Association, please visit www.hisra.org.

To browse a current program list and to register, please click here.


Holiday Events


No matter what the holiday, Peoria Park District has something for everyone!


Nature Programs


If being outdoors is something that you enjoy, you will be happy to know that the Peoria Park District is home to miles of trails with special programs geared toward nature lovers from all walks of life!  Forest Park Nature Center boasts 540 acres of Illinois State Nature Preserve and offers 7 miles of trails.  Want to help the Park District keep the parks beautiful while spending some time in the great outdoors?  Join us at a Weedy Wednesday and put your green thumb to good use.



Scout Programs


Peoria Park District offers scout programs at various locations throughout the District.  Are you just looking for something fun to do with your Cub Scout pack and/or Girl Scout troop? Or, are you looking to earn a badge or patch, earn an award or participate in a lock-in or service project? Because Peoria Park District has a program your scouts will enjoy!


Seniors


The Peoria Park District does not just offer programs for kids, but also for those who are young at heart!  Through its various locations, the Park District provides lots of fun opportunities for seniors ranging from fitness fun to cooking classes and music lessons.  Wellness classes for seniors are also offered at multiple Park District facilities.


Sports


Baseball and basketball and pickleball, OH MY!  The Peoria Park District is proud to provide kids and adults the opportunity to learn and play many different sports.  We offer open gyms in various sports held throughout the District, including basketball and pickleball.  We also offer baseball and softball leagues for adults and children.  For more information about sports programs offered throughout the Peoria Park District, please click here!


Swimming


At the Peoria Park District we love to make a SPLASH!!  We have two facilitates for those who live, work, and play in Peoria to dip their toes in the water.  The indoor AquaPlex at the RiverPlex provides swimmers with a lap pool, open swim hours, and swimming classes.  Looking to use the pool to exercise?  The RiverPlex also offers fun classes such as Aqua Zumba, Senior Fit, and a variety of health classes through OSF.

If you are looking for a dedicated outdoor swimming facility, head over to Gwynn Family Aquatic Center which offers a zero depth pool, water slide, and wet sand play area.  Gwynn Family Aquatic Center has family fun for a great price with season passes available!  For more information about the AquaPlex, Gwynn Family Aquatic Center, or swimming programs throughout the Peoria Park District, please click here.


Trips and Travel


With the approval of a license agreement by Peoria Park District Board of  Trustees on February 19, 2020, the Peoria Park District has approved the transition of Vagabond Tours to Peoria Charter Travel, effective March 1, 2020.  It is our goal to make sure that opportunities for great travel experiences continue in our community.

During the transition of this program, Peoria Park District Vagabond Bucks will be honored through December 31, 2020.

The Vagabond Tours mailing list WILL NOT TRANSFER to Peoria Charter Travel.  If you are interested in continuing to receive the travel catalog by mail, please contact Peoria Charter Travel at 1-800-448-0572 to be added to the Peoria Charter Travel mailing list.

We appreciated the years of service provided by Donna Day and Chris Trompeter and wish them the very best in the future.  Thank you for your understanding.

PROGRAMS


Youth Programs


Whether your child is a little tot or a high schooler, the Peoria Park District has programs that will educate and entertain!  From Motor Mites at the Franciscan Rec Center for children ages 1-5 to Ed-Zoo-Cational programs for children of all ages to nature exploration, the Peoria Park District is the place to be.   


Youth Sports


Research shows that kids who participate in youth sports learn to focus, achieve greater success in school and become leaders.  Check out all of the exciting youth sports opportunities listed to the right.