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Things to Do in Aurora, Illinois

The City of Aurora is home to an outstanding collection of things to do and see. Here you'll find award-winning theatre, the region's newest outdoor concert venue, the region's best shopping destinations, family fun at museums and entertainment centers, and outdoor adventure at Aurora's parks and nature trails along the Fox River. 


At the heart of it all is the Paramount Theatre. Consistently ranked among the top producing theatres in the Chicago theater landscape, the Paramount owns a record-breaking 30 "Jeff" Award nominations and 8 wins for its triumphant Broadway Series. Critics and audiences alike delight in the Paramount Theatre's Broadway Series for its breathtaking performances, larger-than-life set design, and innovative directing. And unlike many regional theatres that play host to touring shows, the Paramount Theatre's awe-inspiring productions are built from the ground up right here in Aurora. The 2017/2018 season of the Broadway Series at the Paramount Theatre includes the smash hit rock n' roll musical Million Dollar Quartet, the modern Christmas classic Elf: The Musical, the captivating thriller Cabaret, and the heart-warming tale of love and the power of song, Once

Off-season events at the Paramount Theatre include one night only appearances from the biggest names in show business, dollar movie nights, art gallery galas, and more great entertainment in the heart of Downtown Aurora. In fact, Aurora's rise to prominence as an arts & culture hub in the Fox River valley is thanks in large part to the success of the Paramount Theatre, as well as its growing community of downtown businesses and the creative scene fostered there. First Fridays in Downtown Aurora are immensely popular, providing an opportunity for locals and visitors alike to enjoy pop-up art galleries and live music at dozens of venues throughout Downtown Aurora

With its picturesque setting on a gorgeous stretch of the Fox River just north of Downtown Aurora, RiverEdge Park is where concertgoers flock to see rising stars, indie darlings, and legendary acts take the stage to play their hits at Chicagoland's newest outdoor concert venue. Summer Concert Series headliners and annual events like the Two Brothers Summer Festival bring the hottest groups to the Aurora Area. Aurora's signature music festival, Blues on the Fox, celebrates over 20 years of attracting the very best blues musicians from around the world to pay tribute to the rich history of the blues in Aurora

When you're not soaking in the sounds from the RiverEdge Park stage, there's plenty more live entertainment waiting for you just across the street at Two Brothers Roundhouse. Dine on chef's specials of sumptuous pub fare, sip delicious house roasted coffees in the cafe, and enjoy award-winning craft beers from Two Brothers Artisan Brewing. The Tavern at Two Brothers hosts a varied rotation of touring and local acts every week, as well as the suburbs' premier stand-up comedy showcase. A new distillery, where Two Brothers Artisan Spirits will be produced on-site, makes its debut in the space at the end of 2017. 

High stakes thrills and gaming can be found at Hollywood Casino Aurora, one of the largest poker venues in Illinois and home to over 1,100 of the hottest slots. At Fairbanks Steakhouse you can fine in updated elegance consistent with the casino's theme of the golden age of Hollywood. 

Conveniently located along major driving routes, visitors can access destination shopping at Chicago Premium Outlets and Fox Valley Mall. Chicago Premium Outlets is one of the largest outdoor outlet shopping destinations in the Midwest, providing a high-end experience for shoppers seeking exceptional values on over 160 exclusive designer and premium brands. 

Fox Valley Mall is the anchor of the Route 59 retail corridor in Aurora, where you can shop popular brand names and round out your stay with nearby dining and recreation options. Round 1, a new on-site entertainment center, provides bowling, billiards, private karaoke rooms, arcade gaming, and more on two fun-filled floors at the mall. 

Families will find a lot to love about Aurora, too, from interactive learning opportunities at SciTech Hands On Museum, the Mastodon Gallery at Phillips Park Zoo, and the region's largest collection of antique fire equipment at the Aurora Regional Fire Museum. Pioneer living comes to life along with seasonal fun at Blackberry Farm. Splash pads, water parks, and fun-filled entertainment centers can be found throughout the city at other family-friendly hot spots like the 

While you're here, visit the Aurora Farmer's Market, the longest-running market of its kind in the State of Illinois, where regional farmers and artisans present fresh produce and wares for shoppers at the Aurora Transportation Center.

The picturesque Fox River and its adjacent trails reward outdoor enthusiasts with excellent recreation opportunities for runners, paddlers, and cyclists. 

Paramount Theatre photo credit: Liz Lauren

All Spoked Up - Aurora All Spoked Up - Aurora
All Spoked Up (Aurora) is just off the Fox River Trail in Downtown Aurora. All Spoked Up offers expert service & repairs, hosts group rides, and i...View Details
Aurora Architectural Walking Tour Aurora Architectural Walking Tour
Downtown Aurora and the Stolp Island Historic District is an outdoor architectural museum, where you'll find dozens of registered historic places ...View Details
Aurora Farmers Market Downtown Aurora Farmers Market Downtown
Shop Aurora's Farmers Market for seasonal favorites! Join neighbors and come enjoy the familiar flavors and weekly surprises. This is Illinoi...View Details
Basement of the Dead Basement of the Dead
Chicago's No. 1 Haunted House. Features Shattered the 3D nightmare, ranked Top 13 3D Haunt in the World by Haunted Attraction Magazine. Terrifying...View Details
Blackberry Farm Blackberry Farm
Nestled on 54 scenic acres, Blackberry Farm is a family-friendly destination that features unique play areas for all ages, live animals, amusement rid...View Details
Blues on the Fox Blues on the Fox
For over two decades, blues musicians from across the world have gathered in Aurora to play their hearts out to blues-loving crowds in the thousands. ...View Details
Calla Lily Victorian Tea Room & Gifts Calla Lily Victorian Tea Room & Gifts
Beautiful tea room located in historic downtown Aurora. Enjoy lunch, afternoon tea service, desserts & scones, or book an intimate private event. ...View Details
Chicago Premium Outlets Chicago Premium Outlets
Chicago Premium Outlets, an outdoor center located 40 minutes from downtown Chicago, has over 160 stores such as Armani Outlet, Coach, Saks Fifth Aven...View Details
Downtown Aurora Downtown Aurora
Downtown Aurora brings you First Fridays, Wednesdays at the Plaza, Food Truck Festival, and more exciting downtown events. From amazing architecture, ...View Details
Endiro Coffee Endiro Coffee
New! Stop in for the best Ugandan coffees, a sweet treat, breakfast or lunch. Choose from a full breakfast or lunch menu, served by a friendly st...View Details
Fairbanks Steakhouse @ Hollywood Casino Aurora Fairbanks Steakhouse @ Hollywood Casino Aurora
The setting and ambiance are 1930's classic Hollywood, but the culinary experience is fine contemporary dining. With USDA prime beef and delicious...View Details
First Fridays Aurora First Fridays Aurora
First Fridays Aurora is a night of art, fun, music, dance and community. Dozens of venues in Downtown Aurora host pop-up art galleries, live performan...View Details
Fox River Trail Fox River Trail
The Fox River Trail features 43 miles of scenic biking, hiking, jogging or cross-country skiing. Paved and sometimes hilly this trail is a favorite be...View Details
Fox Valley Mall Fox Valley Mall
Fox Valley Mall is the premier shopping center in Illinois, featuring over 120 top retailers, specialty stores, entertainment and dining options! Anch...View Details
Gillerson's Grubbery Gillerson's Grubbery
The scratch kitchen at the Gillerson's is home to "Chicago's Best" burger, the Rebel Duck, a meat-lover's dream that pairs well ...View Details
Glow Zone Aurora Glow Zone Aurora
A Glow in the Dark Family Entertainment Centre. We have 9 thrilling attractions including indoor Go Karting, Arcade games, VR games, Mini Golf, Ropes ...View Details
Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Museum (GAR), 1878 Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Museum (GAR), 1878
In the very heart of a thriving new community GAR, Aurora, Post 20 built a monument that would honor their fallen comrades while creating a legacy for...View Details
Hollywood Casino Aurora Hollywood Casino Aurora
Hollywood Casino is the place for you! They'll add dazzle to your days and life to your nights with free admission, pulse-pounding games, incredib...View Details
Hopvine Brewing Company Hopvine Brewing Company
Tucked away into an unassuming corner of the Fox Valley Mall complex in Aurora, Hopvine Brewing Company turns out eclectic, experimental fare made pos...View Details
Illinois Prairie Path Illinois Prairie Path
Former right-of-way for the old Chicago Aurora & Elgin electric railroad was converted in the 1960's and has become a favorite among visitors....View Details
La Sierra De Aurora La Sierra De Aurora
Banquet facility perfect for ceremonies and parties. Se habla Español. Four banquet rooms with seating up to 600....View Details
Mastodon Gallery at Phillips Park Zoo Mastodon Gallery at Phillips Park Zoo
Phillips Park Visitors Center and Mastodon Gallery showcases the mastodon bones that were unearthed in the park during a 1934 Civil Works Administrati...View Details
Orchard Valley Golf Course & Restaurant Orchard Valley Golf Course & Restaurant
One of Chicagoland's top five courses, Orchard Valley Golf Course is an 18-hole, 6,800-yard, par-72 championship layout open to the public. Featur...View Details
Paramount Theatre Paramount Theatre
Recently named one of the Top Ten Theatres in Chicago by the League of Chicago Theatres, the Paramount continues to provide world-class entertainment&...View Details
Phillips Park Phillips Park
Located on over 325 acres, popular attractions include the Mastodon Visitors Center, the gorgeous Sunken Garden, an 18-hole golf course/driving range,...View Details
Phillips Park Visitors Center & Mastodon Gallery Phillips Park Visitors Center & Mastodon Gallery
Phillips Park Visitors Center and Mastodon Gallery showcases the mastodon bones that were unearthed in the park during a 1934 Civil Works Administrati...View Details
RiverEdge Park RiverEdge Park
Home of the Blues on the Fox festival. The 30-acre park was designed in a way that would serve many purposes. From the canoe/kayak launch and natural ...View Details
RiverEdge Park Summer Concert Series RiverEdge Park Summer Concert Series
From rockers to country legends, festival to funk, every summer is a hot summer at RiverEdge Park. (Photo by Tom King) See their website for new reser...View Details
Rocktown Adventures Rocktown Adventures
Rocktown Adventures is a specialty outdoor retailer and adventure club. They offer sales, rentals, lessons, guided trips and related apparel for kayak...View Details
SciTech Hands-On Museum SciTech Hands-On Museum
Aurora's interactive science and technology center is celebrating its 30th year offering hands-on exhibits demonstrating the principles of everyth...View Details
Splash Country Water Park Splash Country Water Park
Spend a fun-filled day at Splash Country Water Park. This deluxe water park features six-lane zero-depth pool with children’s play features, the...View Details
The ArtBar The ArtBar
The ArtBar showcases local and national artists alongside local and national musical acts in a unique historic setting. Join Two Brothers Roundho...View Details
The Growing Place The Growing Place
Started from bare ground in 1989, The Growing Place has grown into a garden oasis for all who visit. The trees are maturing and the gardens are thrivi...View Details
Tredwell Coffee Tredwell Coffee
Tredwell Coffee provides artisan coffee and light food in the heart of historic downtown Aurora. We know that a fantastic cup of coffee or tea ca...View Details
Two Brothers Roundhouse Two Brothers Roundhouse
Discover the big, bold flavors of Two Brothers artisan beer, coffee, dining, and distilled spirits in this massive limestone roundhouse, a former rail...View Details
Two Brothers Summer Festival Two Brothers Summer Festival
Two Brothers Summer Festival is an annual craft beer and music festival hosted by Two Brothers Brewing Company with the ultimate goal of raising money...View Details
Vaughan Athletic Center Vaughan Athletic Center
225,000 sq. ft. athletic, fitness and aquatic center features nine indoor tennis courts, four basketball courts suitable for multi-use, two indoor tra...View Details
Virgil L. Gilman Trail Virgil L. Gilman Trail
This trail is 9 miles from Ohio Street, south of Montgomery, northwest to Bliss Woods on Bliss Road, north of Sugar Grove. The Fox River is crossed on...View Details
Zagster Bike-Share Program Zagster Bike-Share Program
The City of Aurora and Zagster, Inc. launched a new bike-share program that will provide Aurora visitors with a convenient, affordable and healthy way...View Details


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