PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — From little feet crossing the musical bridge to catching balls from above, Katie Klaus said The Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum allows kids to learn through play.

“We provide a safe place for kids to play and to learn and to create and play in an open-ended manner to where we don’t have a result in mind. It’s all about the experience and what they’re learning.”

Katie Klaus, Operations Coordinator for the Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum

Klaus began her journey in 2017. She rose through the ranks over the years to operations coordinator. She said the Peoria Park District facility allows kids of all ages to problem-solve, explore, and learn.

“We also try to be accessible to all families,” said Klaus. “We have low-income programs, so if you have WIC or LINK benefits you can get a reduced admission or reduced membership, and so we just want to be welcoming to all children of all backgrounds.”

The PlayHouse closed during the pandemic, but Klaus said she returned the moment she could.

“I’ve been on the floor as Admissions Playologist and then transferring that to hiring people and training them…what they’ve all been saying to us is they feel like they can ask for help,” said Klaus. “That’s a great feeling. Because I can take my experiences from what I did before translate to now so that new staff feels more welcome.”

Kids visiting The PlayHouse must be accompanied by an adult (16+).

The PlayHouse’s current hours are:

Tuesdays: 9 a.m. — noon (members only)
Wednesday-Saturdays: 9 a.m. — 4 p.m.
Sundays: noon — 5 p.m.

Real Tools hours:

Fridays: 12 p.m — 4 p.m.
Saturdays: 10 a.m. — 4 p.m.
Sundays: noon — 5 p.m.


Ages 1-64: $9.00
65+: $8.00
Active Military: $8.00
Under 1: Free

Through this submission form, you can nominate someone you know to be our next CI Hero.