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20 Things To Do in Pekin, IL

Pekin, Illinois is a city full of history and plenty of things to do. With its location along the Illinois River, Pekin makes for great recreational activities such as fishing, swimming, and boating. 

Nature lovers can enjoy miles of scenic trails throughout the area or get in touch with their artistic side at one of the many galleries located around town. 

The colorful streetscape has so much to offer for curious visitors who want an authentic taste of what Pekin has to offer from unique shopping experiences in downtown retail shops to live music shows beneath summer skies that provide unforgettable memories on any kind of night out. 

From outdoor adventures like hiking through Wildlife Prairie Park exploring nature’s beauty or simply visiting local breweries take your pick.

1. Mineral Springs Park

Mineral Springs Park is a relaxing, natural haven in the bustling city of Pekin, IL. Located at the corner of 10th Street and Foreman Avenue near Mineral Springs Hospital, this park offers a great escape for all ages. 

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The centerpiece of Mineral Springs Park is an oasis-like pond encompassed by fresh green grass and wide open spaces ideal for picnicking or enjoying recreational activities such as biking around the half-mile perimeter path looping through wooded areas where pairs of geese can be seen enjoying days outside with their families during peak season. 

Other amenities available at this beautiful urban setting include multi-use fields ideal for ball play and children’s playgrounds that provide enrichment opportunities to spark imagination while having fun outdoors year-round.

2. Magic Dragon Golf & Games

Magic Dragon Golf & Games is a popular family fun spot that offers an 18-hole mini golf course as well as go-karts, laser tag, batting cages, and bumper boats. The facility also has a games area with pool tables and video game systems such as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. 

For those looking to escape the heat or rain outdoors, there’s an indoor arcade filled with redemption games including big prizes like scooters or huge teddy bears. A pro shop featuring Magic Dragon merchandise caps off the experience at this one-stop entertainment shop.

3. DragonLand Water Park

Dragonland Water Park is a fun-filled destination that features thrilling water slides, relaxing pools and fountains, kiddie attractions, and much more. 

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Visitors can ride family-friendly tubes down five stories of the Dragon’s Den or try their skills on the multi-level Adventure Island obstacle course complete with a giant dump bucket to drench everyone below. 

Other exciting rides include Lazy River Rapids for floating or Inner Tube Slide for inner tube sliding fun. There are also several heated pools including an Olympic size pool as well as toddler-wading splash pad areas just to name a few.

4. Pekin Farmers’ Market

The Pekin Farmers’ Market is a local farmer’s market that offers visitors the opportunity to purchase locally-grown produce as well as artisanal goods and home-baked treats from dozens of vendors every Saturday morning from May through October. 

Visitors can also enjoy live music, educational programs on sustainable farming practices, cooking demonstrations by local chefs, health screenings, and children’s activities at the market each week. 

In addition to these offerings each season there are several special submarkets like an area with only organic foods or specific days dedicated to farmers selling only fresh meats throughout the year so it never gets boring. 

This popular farmers’ market showcases all that Pekin has to offer and supports local growers while providing healthy food for our community members.

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5. McNaughton Park

McNaughton Park is a picturesque park with an expansive outdoor area that offers plenty of activities for individuals and groups to enjoy. Within the park, visitors will find ball diamonds, tennis courts, soccer fields, basketball courts, and a beach volleyball court that are enjoyed year-round by the local community. 

Visitors can take advantage of two stocked fishing ponds within the grounds or stroll along one of its many beautiful trails lined with natural flora & fauna throughout its surroundings before settling onto one of three large pavilions for an afternoon picnic in nature’s beauty. 

Sprinkled throughout McNaughton Park guests will be able to find several playground areas designed age appropriately as well as multiple family grills set upon concrete bases ideal for cookouts on summer nights under starlight skies.

6. Rockin’ P Ranch Public Riding Ranch

Rockin’ P Ranch Public Riding Ranch is a family-friendly public riding ranch that offers guided pony rides; horse rentals for trail and recreational riding; individual and group lessons for beginner to advanced riders of all ages; Birthday Parties with ponies, horses, or hay rides (seasonal); junior clinics during the summer months as well as school field trips. 

Rockin’ P also offers services such as boarding, training, and sales within their facility which includes an arena equipped with lights along with 25 miles of maintained trails built offsite through some local forests boasting various features such as hills, creeks, bridges & tunnels.

7. Pekin Riverfront Park

Pekin Riverfront Park is a beautiful, scenic attraction located along the Illinois River in that covers lush landscape and impressive views of the river, this park offers visitors plenty to see and do. 

The extensive park features include miles of walking trails lined with trees and wildflowers that are perfect for birdwatching. Sports enthusiasts will love exercising or playing games on its ample grassy areas or courts for basketball, volleyball, and pickleball. 

A fishing pier also leads out onto the river for anglers looking to catch bass or other species living below the surface of its waters. For playtime fun, there is an incredible playground structure with slides overlooking Pekin’s famous Brightside area which comes alive during several festivals throughout each summer season. 

Various picnic spots can be found around the grounds offering guests peaceful restorative moments while taking partaking in scenic relaxation all within steps from downtown conveniences such as restaurants & shopping outlets.

8. Avanti’s Dome

Avanti’s Dome is an indoor entertainment center located in Pekin, Illinois. It features multiple activities such as go-karting, a laser tag arena, a three-story soft play structure with a slide and ball zone, bumper cars, a virtual reality gaming area, and arcade games. 

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Visitors can also enjoy delicious food from the restaurant and bar at the facility. Other amenities include private party rooms for hosting special events or celebrations. Avanti’s Dome is open every day of the week except on Sundays when it’s closed for private events only.

9. Parkview Golf Course

Parkview Golf Course is a picturesque public golf course that features some of the most challenging and beautiful landscapes available for your enjoyment. With lush fairways, fast greens, and daunting bunker complexes painted on rolling terrain with gently lapping creeks and tranquil ponds throughout the site – Parkview is an oasis to test your limits or relax after a long day. 

Along with its regular gameplay activities, Parkview also offers lessons from certified pros plus private tournaments on occasion catering to all levels of golfer. A full-service clubhouse featuring snacks & refreshments at affordable prices will be sure to keep you going all day long.

10. Pekin Sundial

The Pekin Sundial is a unique landmark in the city of Pekin, Illinois. It is a sightseeing destination for locals and travelers alike. The sundial consists of three sections: an inner ring dial, an outer ring time-zone panel, and a surrounding limestone plaza surface with aluminum hands on each side that display the hour lines. 

This magnificent piece includes 1,200 stones that eloquently wrap around it including names from all 50 U.S states—encapsulating the entire nation into one grand symbolizing unity amongst diversity. 

From atop its perch at Mineral Springs Park celebrate yearly historical events or simply appreciate this work of art light up with blue neon after dark.

11. Sunset Lanes

Sunset Lanes is a well-known entertainment center located in Pekin, IL. It features a fully-stocked pro shop with the latest bowling equipment and apparel, two full lanes of 10-pin bowling including wheelchair-accessible ramps and bumpers for kids, an onsite snack shack serving tasty treats and drinks, electronic scoring monitors to track your progress while playing games like duckpin or cosmic glow bowl. 

The facility also offers pool tables/enjoyment gaming machines as diversions from traditional lane activities add value to their services providing customers of all ages can enjoy lasting memories. In addition to its main attractions Sunset Lanes also boasts special events such as summer leagues & tournaments guaranteed fun for all.

12. Pekin Memorial Ice Arena

Pekin Memorial Ice Arena is a premier skating rink located in Pekin, Illinois. The arena features two regulation-sized ice rinks available for public skating, figure, and hockey rentals throughout the year. 

There are also dedicated areas for learn-to-skate classes, concessions stands, and family activities such as birthday parties. A ranging variety of programs and special events including free open skate sessions can be found here too. 

13. Powerton Fish and Wildlife Area

Powerton Fish and Wildlife Area is an outdoor recreational area owned by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). The park offers habitats for various wildlife including geese, deer, fish, quail, and other species. 

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Visitors can enjoy hunting pheasant and turkey in the season as well as fishing for largemouth bass or bluegill at one of five ponds open to anglers. There are also several trails to traverse around the area or take your pets hiking with you in designated areas. Powerton Fish & Wildlife Area provides camping opportunities with both primitive campsites as well RV sites with electric hookups available upon request. 

Other amenities include picnic areas, playgrounds, and even an archery range where visitors can practice their shooting skills year-round.

14. Pekin Marigold Festival

The Pekin Marigold Festival is an annual event that takes place in Pekin, Illinois each fall. The festival features a variety of activities including live music, carnival rides, and games, face painting, and other fun family-friendly festivities. 

In addition to the attractions at the festival itself, visitors can also explore local businesses such as antique shops or visit historic sites like Mineral Springs Park and Memorial Hall of Fame in East Peoria. 

The Marigold Festival is a great way to spend some time outdoors while enjoying all that this beautiful town has to offer visitors.

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15. Sunset Hills Golf Course

Sunset Hills Golf Course is the premier golf destination that boasts a championship layout with challenging greens, fairways, and bunkers expertly maintained by dedicated staff throughout the year. The course features three ponds and mature tree lines that provide lovely scenery from tee to green. 

Other facilities include a large clubhouse where players can relax after their rounds or get food for lunch; a practice green for working on any shot of your game; 24 covered driving range stalls complete with targets and yardage plates so you can work on your swing before hitting the course; rental carts for those looking to zip around in style; as well as lessons available from experienced Professional Staff Members who are available anytime during regular hours at Sunset Hills Golf Course’s Pro Shop.

16. Avanti’s Italian Restaurant

Avanti’s Italian Restaurant is a charming family-owned restaurant located in Pekin, IL. They offer classic Italian favorites such as pizza, spaghetti, and ravioli dishes, along with delicious sandwiches and calzones. Everything is freshly made to order in the pizzeria’s open kitchen so you can see all the fresh ingredients that go into your meals. 

In addition to traditional items like lasagna and minestrone soup, there are also some great local specialties like grilled vegetable giardiniera or chicken parmesan being served up every day by their friendly staff. With generous portions of high-quality food coming at affordable prices it’s easy to understand why Avanti’s has been a popular spot for locals since it opened 35 years ago.

17. Maquet’s Rail House

This family-owned restaurant serves up an eclectic menu of classic American eats including burgers, steak tacos, and classic sides like mac ‘n cheese. 

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Furthermore, Maquets offers diners the chance to explore its tie to the area’s storied railroad heritage with lots of historical decor such as antique locomotives adorning the walls and historic photos and artifacts found all over. 

Guests can also taste some delicious homemade craft beers on tap or relax outside on their patio during warmer months while sampling traditional pub grub favorites like nachos or sampler platters making this eatery one more great happening place to visit when in Pekin IL.

18. Hacienda Fuentes

Hacienda Fuentes is a Mexican restaurant located in Pekin, Illinois. The menu features traditional and contemporary dishes like burritos, fajitas, and tacos with fresh ingredients. 

The atmosphere at Hacienda Fuentes is lively yet relaxed with colorful decor and a modern southwest influence that creates a warm inviting feeling. All of their meats are slow-cooked in the house over fire pits to perfection and served alongside side dishes such as rice, beans or chips & salsa made fresh daily. Mix it up further by ordering one of their signature margaritas or try the popular Havana-Style Mojito made with white rum.

19. Pekin Paintball Park

Pekin Paintball Park is a premier paintball facility that offers outdoor playing fields that are landscaped and maintained for optimal enjoyment and safety. Players can experience various game modes like capture the flag, speedball, woods ball, 3-man elimination tournaments, or formation games. 

The park also includes an arcade area with interactive video consoles for additional entertainment when taking breaks from gaming activities. There are restroom facilities on-site as well as snacks and refreshments available from the concession stand which help to keep customers happy throughout their visit. 

Safety equipment such as facemasks along with CO2 tanks and air tanks can be rented at reasonable rates to ensure everyone has access to what they need while having fun at the park.

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20. Speakeasy Art Center

Speakeasy Art Center is a nonprofit art center located in Pekin, IL. The mission of the Speakeasy Art Center is to provide high-quality arts and cultural activities in order to enrich the community through education, inspiration, and participation. 

The center offers classes such as pottery making, drawing/painting lessons, and photography workshops. It also features rotating exhibits featuring local artists’ work throughout the year. 

Additionally, there are music concerts scheduled regularly showcasing talent from performers nearby as well as out-of-state bands & musicians appearing too.


Pekin is a great place to visit for those looking to explore the outdoors and enjoy some small-town charm. From camping, fishing, and other outdoor activities at Lakeview Park, walking the trails along Pecan Creek, or spending time shopping downtown – there’s something for everyone in this quaint city.

Whether you’re looking for an adventure or prefer a more relaxed vibe, Pekin has plenty of options to make your trip enjoyable.

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