One of the many things I like about doing this blog is that sometimes it forces me out of my comfort zone and I experience and discover new and fun things to do here in Peoria. The PNC Winterfest is a perfect example of one of those things. I don’t ice skate and I hate the cold and winter but two years ago I got an invitation from some of the nice people at the Peoria Civic Center to stop by the PNC Winterfest the first year they opened back in December of 2015, so I reluctantly went and I had a lot of fun! I went again last year and this year marks my third year going. I’ve also decided to add some warmth to the end of this chilly evening and you can see what I’m talking about as you scroll down this wintry post.
The PNC Winterfest
Here we are at the PNC Winterfest in downtown Peoria and it is freezing cold outside, but I’ve dressed warmly so let’s venture inside this icy winter wonderland!
You enter over here and there’s three of the girls working here tonight and braving the cold while doling out ice skates! You don’t have to skate to enjoy the Winterfest, but if you do, you can see there’s plenty of skates on hand! Then you walk down this way and there’s the door that opens up to...
The PNC Winterfest! There’s arrows that point you in the direction of any of the four destinations you want to explore. Let’s take a look around with the MBIP Camera recording it all!
Shiny Sparkly Things
It’s really cool here at the PNC Winterfest and very shiny and sparkly! There’s lit-up trees and snowmen, festive lights on the fence and snow and it’s really pretty out here. Even if you don’t want to ice skate, it’s still fun just to take a look around down here.
The Ice Skaters
However many people do come here to ice skate and I like watching them glide around on the ice. And yeah, I get a kick out of watching them fall on their asses too...you know you do too!
The Ice Slide
There’s also a towering ice slide here and sleds to ride down it are provided. You can go down as many times as you like once you’re inside and it’s a lot of fast and frozen fun! The last photo is an aerial shot of the skating rink taken from the top of the slide.
The Spectator Tent
When you get too cold, you can always pop in to the Spectator Tent where it’s nice and warm and colorfully lit up! And check out the sign, they have warm drinks at the concession stand, let’s go take a look!
The Concession Stand
Ah nuts, it’s closed already because I came towards the end of the evening. Oh well, remember I promised you something warm at the end of this frigid excursion? Well, just about a block away over there is...
Kenny’s Westside Pub
Kenny’s Westside Pub! It’s not only heated inside, but they have the perfect antidote for a cold Peoria evening! Let’s go in and I’ll show you what I’m talking about.
It’s toasty warm in here and while the tables and booths are somewhat filled up, the bar is wide open! And there’s bartender Beth with an ice-cold bottle of Budweiser. Yeah, I know a cold bottle of beer isn’t going to cure a case of the winter chills. But something I ordered will and while it’s being prepared we’ll take a little look around inside of Kenny’s Westside Pub.
Sean Kenny is the owner and I first met Sean back when he opened the original Kenny’s on Farmington Road in 2013. He upgraded and moved into this location in 2016 and Sean turned this location into a local pub that seems to have been here forever. It’s got the classic feel of a tavern and pub that feels forever familiar and friendly the moment you walk into it. And it’s not only a wonderful spot to drink, dine and socialize, there’s also a room devoted to live music and Kenny’s has become the spot for live music here in Peoria. Bands come from all over the country and sometimes beyond the states to play here. Check out the schedule for the bands and live music here. Cheers to Sean and the crew at Kenny’s for providing this oasis of entertainment, food, drink and fun to downtown Peoria!
Speaking of food, look at what just arrived at my spot at the bar! It’s the perfect antidote to the winter chills and blues, a piping hot bowl of Kilkenny Irish Cheddar Soup! This is wonderful soup any time of year, but in the winter it’s really special! The soup is made fresh at Kenny’s and it’s a cheddar based broth with Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale mixed in. Let’s put spoon to the soup and try this out!
The bowl of decadent delight is topped off with smoky bacon, green onion and house made croutons. This is way beyond comfort food, it’s more like an orgasm in a bowl! The soup is rich and thick with the Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale giving it a rich kick of flavor. And the bacon, onions and croutons add a savory taste to the hot, rich and creamy mix that could warm up the Grinch on his grouchiest of days! This is a thick and rich delicious meal in a bowl! Just close your eyes as you eat it and you’ll be transported here immediately!
I told you about the live music in here and there’s some of that happening right now, let’s go inside the music venue and see what’s playing tonight!
Wow, it’s a whole orchestra in here tonight! This is the Illinois Central Jazz Train and if you’ve never seen them, you should definitely check them out sometime. Here’s a link to their facecrack page.
And I thought I’d end this perfect winter evening with the first obligatory bathroom mirror shot of 2018! We’ll see you all tomorrow!
PNC Winterfest (Last day: January 14, 2018)
201 SW Jefferson Avenue
112 SW Jefferson Avenue
Related Posts: Thursday Night Funfest @ The Peoria Civic Center, MBIP On Ice @ The PNC Winterfest! (Starring The Skating Talents of Amber & Joe!) With A Pre-Skate Dinner @ Ulrich’s and Six Weeks Of Soup: Week Number One At Kenny’s Westside Pub.