Caterpillar is one of the most enduring companies in Illinois history, started with humble beginnings in Peoria, IL, and still headquartered there after all this time. The dazzling Visitor's center is a celebration of that success. It takes an hour or so to experience the center and it is right next door to the Riverfront Museum, so you can park to experience both, as well as the restaurants along the vibrantly redeveloped RiverFront area.
I suppose you need to determine whether the subject matter suits your interests - a small but very nicely done museum explaining how a local tractor company grew to become the world's premier manufacturer of heavy construction equipment, including the gallery of CAT vehicles to climb around in and "man the controls."
The vehicles on display are not mock-ups but the real thing, full of buttons and knobs that are pushable and turnable, though of course the vehicles themselves do not start, move or allow you to start demolishing their home. Simulators are provided for those who need more action. We enjoyed climbing in the huge scoop at the front of one, waiting for Daddy to "scoop us up!" Instead he just snapped a pic, which was enough adventure for us.
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