Time flies in college and it’s over before you know it. Between classes, assignments, projects, and exams, it's easy to get caught up in the ‘on-campus’ lifestyle. So, before the time comes where you’ll be too busy applying for work or postgraduate studies, enjoy yourself by immersing in the Greater Peoria Area. From freshman to super-senior, get the most of your collegiate experience with the help of this ultimate Peoria Area college bucket list.
Challenge Your Friends to Game Night — Need a break from studying? How about challenging the roommates to a friendly-competitive game night at one of these fun spots. Stop by Round1 at Northwoods Mall for a few games of bowling…or pool…or hit up the expansive arcade…or karaoke! Or head to the 8 Bit Arcade Bar and grab a round of drinks while enjoying endless free arcade games. This fun riverfront bar is a Peoria-first and truly one-of-a-kind—the wide variety of classic arcade games is rivaled by the impressive beer selection!
Flex Your Creativity — Whether it's girls night or date night, set aside the technicalities of calculus and flex your creativity at one of these DIY studios around the Peoria Area. Generations Candle Company is a creative shop that instructs its artsy guests on how to make one-of-a-kind, custom-fragranced candles. This ‘scent’sational treasure will enhance any college dorm or apartment. Peek In Pottery is a glazing studio with 12,000+ ceramic options to design and decorate however you wish. With a studio that tailors art instruction to be inclusive of needs and capabilities, this creative spot is an amazing experience for everyone.
Catch a Game — Greater Peoria is home to three professional sports teams. Depending on the season, enjoy America's favorite pastime at Dozer Park, home of the Peoria Chiefs, or grab an iced-cold beverage and cheer on the 2022 President's Cup winners, the Peoria Rivermen, at the Peoria Civic Center. And don’t forget to cheer on the Flying Carps at a Peoria City USL2 Soccer game at Shea Stadium.
Scream (and Crawl) for Ice Cream — When writer's block is holding you back, replace it with a brain freeze instead. The Peoria Area has incredible ice cream shops—so many, in fact, if you tried every flavor, every week, at every location before graduation, it would take you 7+ years to get your degree. We aren’t kidding. Here’s just a few of our Ice Cream shops to crawl between: Yeni’s Palarte Mexican Ice Cream, Double D’s, Emo’s Dairy Mart, Dream Hut, FrozenSpoon, Emack & Bolio’s, Ice Cream Shack in both Peoria or Sunnyland, Twistee Treat, Bob’s Dairy Dream, Pinky’s, Uncle Bob’s Homemade Ice Cream, The Whip, Tall Bob’s Ice Cream Roundup, Pablo’s Ice Cream House, Little Land of Candy -N- More, Las Delicias Mexican Ice Cream, Ernie’s Dairy Dream, Swirls, Korner Island, Dream Hut, The Spotted Cow, 8th Street Sweet Spot, Sweet CeCe’s, Sucré Sweets and Socials, Lydia’s Dairy Barn, Stomping Ground Ice Cream, Toots Treats, Ollies Ice, Peaches Ice Cream, and more.
Enjoy the Sounds of Greater Peoria — Mainstream pop, indie rock, hip hop, punk, country, oldies, blues, or jazz—no matter your musical taste, you’ll find it live in Peoria any night of the week. The Twisted Spoke Saloon, Neon Bison, and The Hungry Moose are great options to listen to some tunes. Enjoy local bands in an Irish atmosphere at Kelleher’s Irish Pub and Eatery, Kenny’s Westside Pub, or West Dublin Pub. Sit back and sip some wine while you enjoy some tunes at Tres Rojas Winery, Spoon River Junction Winery, or Mackinaw Valley Vineyard. Or enjoy outdoor live music at Oliver’s in the Heights or at Pour Bros. Craft Taproom. Don't let being a college student on a budget stop you from enjoying the live music you love!
Customize Your Very Own Rock Island Trail Adventure — The Greater Peoria Area is home to the renowned Rock Island Trail, which magically combines outdoor adventure and local treats. Along the 26-mile biking and walking trail, adventurers can stop at multiple boutiques, restaurants, and shops along the way. We recommend stopping by the Missing Zither for an espresso martini on the patio of Keller Station. Make sure to hang in the beer garden at Industry Brewing, try your putty skills at Mt. Hawley Castle Golf, gear up at Bushwhacker, or check out Apricot Lane Boutique and the Fashionably Late resale boutique in Junction City, and munch on some chips and salsa over margaritas at Los Cabos, or chow down on a gyro at Kabab-G. The possibilities are endless!
Have a ’Wheel’y Fun Time — Whether you’re a gearhead, feel the need for speed, or want to get off campus, these unique adventures will fuel your Peoria Area discoveries. Grab your favorite beverages and a group of friends because it’s time to pedal-party! Your Pedal Party is a regional-first! This custom 14-passenger cycle-powered pub will have you and your friends poppin’ bottles and pedaling through downtown Peoria Heights! Pitstop at Central Illinois Dragway for some good old-fashioned drag racing at one of Illinois longest running dragstrips. Leave your books in the dust and race over to Kartville for a day of go-karts, bumper boats, and off-road ATVs. Ride like an outlaw, and win like a champion!
Revel in a Majestic Movie Night — Sometimes a college-sized television just doesn't cut it for movie night. Luckily, the Peoria Area has some unique opportunities to jazz-up your viewing experience. The RiverFront Museum has a jaw-dropping venue for movie night. With a screen over five stories tall and seven stories wide, it extends beyond your field of vision making showtime at the Giant Screen Theater a completely lifelike experience! If you’re looking for a smaller independent experience, check out these cozy movie theaters of yesteryear—Town Theatre in Chillicothe, Majestic Theatre of Canton, and the Palace Theater in Elmwood prove history is not just for the classroom. But as historic as the vibes may be, tickets at all three retro theaters are apt for a college budget.