Hello! Sally posted a thread on our AP board that you were coming to Peoria, so I thought I'd chime in.
I have a 2 year old also, and am currently 25 weeks pregnant. If you'd like, I'd be more than happy to meet you for a playdate.
I've never really stayed in any of the hotels in Peoria, but Mark Twain is supposed to be very nice. And, as pp mentioned, is downtown where Cat headquarters are. The riverfront has a great splash fountain, and ds loves to hang out there. So, if it's supposed to be nice bring something for him to get wet in. Ya never know that time of year!
Also, there's another newer area with a more upscale mall (upscale for Peoria
) called Grand Prairie and there are I think 2 new hotels as also. Good restaurant choices can be found there as well. There's also a playground with Caterpillar looking equipment for the kids to play on.
If you're going to be comped for hotel and food, I'd stay at Mark Twain. Oh, and there's a cute little restaurant by the riverfront called Rhythm Kitchen. Bring a stroller and wander around. I think my son would be perfectly content splashing in the fountain and watching trains and barges go by all. day. long.
We could probably arrange for a nice sized playdate along the riverfront with some AP moms and 2 year old boys if you'll let us know when you're coming.