Sunday, June 2, 2013

Riverfront Museum, Peoria, Illinois

Family visiting in Peoria, Illinois, gave us the opportunity for several special occasions.  Stop # 15 on our summer tour was Peoria's Riverfront Museum.  It is a huge building of modernistic design, located in the city's downtown riverfront district, just a block and a half from the edge of the Illinois River. 

We had visited many years ago in its former location but this new home for the museum was just opened last October.  The structure is many times larger than the old one and includes a Dome Planetarium, a Giant Screen Theater, a Sculpture Garden, an Auditorium, a reference library, numerous classrooms; oh, and of course a gift shop and concession stand. 

It has exhibits of Peoria city's history and of the Illinois river which runs through the middle of the city and divides Peoria from east Peoria.  The museum also has exhibits of local arts from quilts to pottery, and an international traveling art exhibits.  We were fortunate that currently it was the work of Ansel Adams that was featured.  His collection of photographs entitled "Westward Expressions" was awe-inspiring.

The Tetons and the Snake River - Ansel Adams
Image from Wiki Commons

We enjoyed the art and history exhibits; our 14 year old niece also enjoyed the "hands on" Discovery Rooms and the "Peak Performance" room.  There she could test her various physical skills and see numerical ratings of her arm strength, jumping ability, throwing strength and accuracy. It was apparently designed as a "parent saver" so kids could work off the energy they had bottled up from passively looking at art and historical items! 

The Museum's planners had apparently thought of everything -- except the exorbitant fees for performances in the specialty theaters!  They were too steep for our pocketbooks so we stuck with what our entrance fees had purchased.  Nevertheless, a good time was had by all.