Tired of waiting out the weather this winter? Embrace the snow and get outside to enjoy the best of what winter in Central Illinois has to offer. We’ve listed 9 activities the whole family will be sure to enjoy. Bundle up and brave the cold to make lasting memories in our local communities!


  1. Stick to the Classics

Grab a sled and find a hill near you! If you haven’t already staked out a great spot, head out to one of Peoria’s famous sledding locations:  Detweiller Park, Donovan Park, or Laura Bradley Park. If you’re looking for something new, try Mineral Springs Park in Pekin, or Morton’s Northwood Park. 


  1. Try a New Sport

Peoria’s own Donovan Park is a frequented spot for cross-country skiing enthusiasts in the winter months. Meet up with members of the Peoria Cross Country Ski Organization, or head out on your own for an exciting winter adventure.  


  1. Winterize Your Favorite Summer Activities

Missing summer? Modify your favorite activities to fit the cold! If you’ve got a fishing rod and freezing temperatures, consider heading out for some ice fishing. If you need to gear up, visit Bushwhacker. If you’re a novice, head out for the day on a guided ice-fishing trip. Herman Brothers Lake and Land Management offers guided ice fishing in various Fulton County locations, equipment and expertise included, sure to be fun for the whole family! 


  1. Homemade Snow Cones!

Get creative with what nature has to offer! There are hundreds of recipes online that utilize fresh snow as an ingredient! Pick a few, find a patch of clean, untouched snow outside, and get creative in the kitchen. Snow cones, ice cream, cocktails, oh my!


  1. Catch a Game!

Unleash your community pride and competitive spirit in the stands at the Peoria Civic Center, where you can cheer for the Peoria Rivermen on ice or Bradley Basketball on the court! 


  1. Get on the Ice

If you want to get out on the ice yourself, visit the Owens Center in Peoria or the Pekin Veteran Memorial Arena for ice skating lessons and open skate sessions! If you want the authentic experience, head over to the Pekin Lagoon to skate outdoors! 


  1. Exercise Indoors

If you’d rather not brave the cold, stay active indoors! Bounce off the walls at Elevate Trampoline Park, with locations in Peoria and East Peoria, climb to new heights at First Ascent Rock Climbing in Peoria, or splash around all afternoon at one of many indoor swimming pools in the area, including RiverPlex Recreation in Peoria, and Five Points Washington.


  1. Get Crafty

Feeling inspired? Head over to Leo’s Art Studio in Pekin for a Paint and Sip hosted by local artist Terri Gambetti, or find your way to Fired Up in Peoria Heights to paint your own pottery and explore your creative side. If you’d rather stay indoors, explore the web for other fun crafts. We recommend you try snow painting. Simply add water and food coloring to an empty spray bottle, and head outside to draw in the snow!


  1. Experience a Winter Getaway

If you’re in the mood for a bit of travel, consider spending a night in a cabin at Wildlife Prairie Park in Hanna City. Make memories at this unique location surrounded by nature. Enjoy outdoor activities, or get cozy inside.