Day of Play teaches parents, children about activities in Peoria

By WEEK Producer

October 5, 2013 Updated Oct 5, 2013 at 10:30 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Parents had the chance to learn about Peoria Saturday all while playing with their kids.

Getting behind the wheel of a fire truck is something most kids only dream of. On Saturday, hundreds of children had the chance to feel out a real fire engine at the PNC worldwide day of play at Glen Oak Park.

The Worldwide Day of Play encourages kids to get out and go play and is celebrated with more than 5,000 local events in all 50 states and in 20 countries.

One of Ethan's favorite things are trucks and buses and we heard there was going to be 10 or 12 here so we came out and he's loving it," Ethan Day said.

After checking out the rides, kids could head over to the PNC Mobile learning adventure.

There they were able to do crafts, some interactive learning and dress up like their community heroes or whatever they hope to be when they grow up.

Peoria Park District's Samantha Conrad says the day of play showcases everything Peoria has to offer for families.

"For people to know what there is to do in Peoria and how to get involved. People say what is there to do on a Friday night or what is there to do on a Wednesday night," Conrad said. "We have a lot of stuff that the community as a whole puts on and I think it's really great for all of us to be in one place."

Parents were able to grab the most information from the children's resource fair where local groups were sharing what they had to offer for families and kids.

Other organizations like the riverplex set up in the park so that the kids could play while their parents learned about programs.

Rhonda Crank from Edelstein brought her three kids to the day of play. Crank says she had no idea how many activities Peoria had to offer.

"I'm appreciative that they had this for us. All for free too it's exciting. It's a great opportunity to come out and see all the kids and parents enjoying their families," Crank said.

This is the first year Peoria has had the PNC day of play and organizers say they will definitely be doing it again next year.