That day we took the circus to the zoo….<3


I really had not intended to share this on the blog for two reasons.

One reason is I feel I have overexposed our family on social media recently with all the get-togethers we have pulled off this summer.

And second, I didn’t take the crew on a field trip with a blog post in mind…but we had such a great time I want to give a shout out for the wonderful set up for families to have an adventure day in Peoria and they were so stinking cute and good, I can’t help but share some pictures.


Since the forecast was for a cool, rainy day and I was going to be with this bunch from 8:30 to 5:00, I asked if I could take them to Peoria and visit their children’s museum. It is called the Peoria Playhouse and I can’t say enough good things about it.

Set up in what appears to be a large cabin-like house, the play areas are fantastic and fun and safe and made for kids to interact with other kids.

Things like a construction site where they could operate two different vehicles and load and unload super soft but realistic bricks and rocks…a hen coop…milk a cow where real water sprayed into a bucket…a huge kinetic sand box set up on what is a glassed in porch area.

If the idea of a children’s museum with one, let alone four children, freaks you out – this one is ideal. The play areas are designed in contained ways so that you don’t have panic moments where you have to leave the 99 to go find the one and fear you will now lose the 99…not that I have ever done that in a children’s museum..or back yard…or Chick Fil’a…or…the dinner table.


The Playhouse sits across a park area from the Peoria Zoo and there are several amazing playgrounds and picnic areas dotting the park along with ample parking.

As God smiled on us, the Zoo was having a free day and since I had only planned to spend an hour or two at the museum and hadn’t packed a lunch, yet discovered we could camp out for a week in the museum and not stop having fun…we decided to take advantage of a somewhat non-rainy spell and walk over to get food at the zoo.


The choices were a restaurant with pizza and hot dogs and such or lunchables at the gift shop.

The unanimous and enthusiastic win was the lunchables…who knew…

So a mere $20 later and with a bag full of processed food we headed over the indoor picnic area to set up our buffet…


And if you want to pin this to your “Summer Entertainment Ideas” board, please feel free.

As we ate the skies opened up again…


so we thanked God for perfect timing, ate, talked and waited until the deluge subsided and then made our way back to the museum with a slight detour in some of the fun climbing exhibits.


We did more exploring and playing…


and drenching our already soaked clothes with more chemically treated water.

And when we were so wet that someone’s diaper had increased triple its size, we headed out to the van and did a wardrobe change and then decided we needed to go back to the zoo which is pretty incredible.

There are beautiful habitats housing some impressive creatures like a rhinocerous, giraffe family and zebras and including…


Simba and Nala…yes…that is not a mural…those are two real, live lions and yes…we did roar at them…repeatedly.

It was indeed a best day ever.

It was spontaneous…it cost a little cash…and it wasn’t without bodily injuries of the toddler kind.

It wasn’t well-planned, nor was stylish attire required.

It was loud and wildly fun and for me, who tends to talk herself out of trying new things…it was amazing to just watch them go at their pace and make our decisions and see them care for each other as they navigated an unfamiliar place and made it their own…


I am thankful for it and thankful if you had fun sharing it with us.

I really hope for each of you some summer delights that catch you by surprise and refresh your soul.

You are loved <3

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  1. Precious pics! Makes me not only want grands but to live near you in Peoria! Thanks for brightening my day with this post!

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