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Holiday Shopping in the Aurora Area

Posted on 11/02/2016 by  James Cardis

Holiday Shopping Guide to the Aurora Area

From boutiques and antiques to brand-name and designer deals, get all of your holiday shopping done this season in the Aurora Area.

Start your holiday shopping trip at Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora. As the largest outlet center in the Chicagoland market and the ninth largest outdoor mall in North America, Chicago Premium Outlets is a true Midwest shopping destination. Featuring over 140 exclusive designer labels and popular brands, from high-end performance gear at Arc’teryx and Under Armor to chef-grade kitchenware at Le Creuset, you’ll find unbeatable deals on all the latest fashions in clothing, accessories, shoes, and home goods.

Chicago Premium Outlets

Dining Destinations at Chicago Premium Outlets

While on-site dining options like M Burger and Rise Pies are great fare to power through your holiday shopping list, we recommend taking a trip to nearby North Aurora where you can find elevated, eclectic American cuisine from two of the area’s top dining destinations, The Turf Room and Hardware.

Turf Room North Aurora

Winner of three Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence, visit the Turf Room for a wine list that is as long as it is rare and a new take on traditional American cuisine, from steaks and chops to seafood and pasta. While you’re there, try one of their incredible, top-heavy martinis which are shaken right at your table.

Hardware North Aurora

A self-sustaining location that includes a greenhouse, orchard, and 1.5 acre hop farm, Hardware Sustainable Gastropub & Brewery has been ranked one of Chicago’s best new breweries and it shows in their adventurous takes on traditional beers like Barney’s Coffee Stout, which is brewed with 10lbs of their own dark roasted coffee, and refined lunch and dinner menus centered around shareable small plates, charcuterie that’s cured in-house, and a frequent rotation of mouth-watering specials. And if you haven’t tried their deconstructed version of the classic Chicago hot dog, well… just try it and thank us later.  

Fox Valley Mall & Route 59 Shopping Corridor

Fox Valley Mall Aurora

Just a few miles to the south of Chicago Premium Outlets sits the Fox Valley Mall & Route 59 Shopping Corridor, the largest retail corridor in Illinois. With over 130 stores on three levels of shopping all under the same roof, Fox Valley Mall has it all for holiday shoppers this season. Anchor department stores like Macy’s, JCPenney, and Carson Pirie Scott offer tremendous deals around the holidays and – hot tip – you’ll get away with paying lower sales tax than in metro Cook County. Nearby hotels and close proximity to Chicago Premium Outlets makes this an ideal shopping getaway.

Food Pairings For Visiting Fox Valley Mall

We’re not saying to skip the food court – who doesn’t love picking up a pretzel or hot cookie while shopping? But parking-lot properties in the Fox Valley Mall are where you’ll find unique, irresistible dining options that are worth the five minutes (tops) it’ll take you to get from door to door.  

Blending old world traditions with culinary innovation, Basil’s Greek Dining is a celebration of Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. The name says it all at Basil’s: named after the primary herb used in Greek and Mediterranean food, basil adds a complex, multilayered flavor to everything from your yia-yia’s pastitsio to the plates at this upscale but casual restaurant.

Hopvine Brewing Company Aurora

Tucked away in the northwest corner of the Fox Valley Mall property next to the Comedy Shrine, one of the few remaining nightly comedy showcase theatres in the suburbs, Hopvine Brewing Company greets you with the aroma of fresh hops and herbs growing out on its three-season patio and a warm, welcoming wraparound bar. Chef Katie DeStefano and Brewmaster Ken McMullen team up to craft experimental food and beer pairings, turning over their lunch, dinner, and Happy Hour menus multiple times throughout the year, sparing no attention to detail: from house-made jams, jellies, and beer cheese to wild, table-side infusions of aromatics, fruits, candies, and vegetables with their beers. The entire brewing operation, from the fermentation room to the storage cooler, is exposed to the restaurant for an insider’s view on the process, and craft beer aficionados can find a diverse array of styles on offer at any given time of year, from sours and root-beer ales to Belgian-style Trippels and Imperial IPAs. 

Antique Treasures & More in Sandwich, IL 

Sandwich, IL is the capital city of antiques in the Midwest

Sandwich, Illinois is the antiques capital of the region. Period, full-stop. And the holidays are a perfect time to visit the gorgeous, welcoming town square where historic buildings take your holiday shopping back to another era. Addressed by awnings overhanging the broad pedestrian walkways of downtown Sandwich you’ll find treasures in every shop just waiting for you to find that special holiday gift for that special someone on your list. You can make your Sandwich antiques shopping trip a getaway with excellent accommodations at Timber Creek Inn & Suites, with its rustic, loft-style rooms and Jacuzzi suites, or scenic adventures and vintage rentals at the updated elegance of the estate-style bed & breakfast, The Homestead 1854 in nearby Plano. Dine at the Bull Moose, where you can be seated in Isabella, a rail car that was developed for the Columbian Exposition by the Pullman Palace Car Company in 1893 and most famously escorted our 26th President, Teddy Roosevelt, from coast to coast across the United States from 1900 to 1913.

Have an outdoor adventurer on your list? The Plano Synergy Outlet in Plano, Illinois is a wholesale distributor of fishing and hunting products with a peerless selection of the top names in outdoor equipment and apparel. Built on a foundation of over 150 years of outdoors know-how, the Plano Synergy Outlet has knowledgable staff who will ensure you make the right choice in your holiday gift of outdoor gear to the nature-lover in your family. 

The Avant Garden

The Avant Garden MarketPLACE is a destination garden center with reclaimed and repurposed unique gifts in an eclectic assortment of shops just outside of downtown Yorkville that truly has to be seen to be believed. Allow plenty of time to browse during your visit, as there's a LOT to see here, with great holiday gift options like reclaimed furniture, Bohemian-style clothing, and ironic tchotchkes for everyone on your holiday shopping list.

Just a five minutes drive away is Downtown Yorkville, home to some of the area's most unique food & drink options. A renovated law office in a building dating back to 1868, suitably named The Law Office Pub & Music Hall, regularly plays host to groundbreaking musical acts from around the world. Southbank Original Barbecue shares space on Hydraulic Street with Freeman's Sports, a popular rafting, kayaking, and fishing shop on the Fox River. Southbank's spacious patio offers wraparound views of the mighty Fox River and Marge Cline Whitewater Course, and its barbecue is smoked on-site with homemade rubs and sauces. And the newly opened Crusade Burger Bar is taking craft beer and bar food to new heights with a wide range of rotating taps and a menu that rivals the best of Chicago for ingenuity in both its combination of savory ingredients and indie-rock referencing burger titles. 

Shop Local in Downtown Aurora

With blocks of fun and unique shops, Downtown Aurora has a #ShopSmall Saturday full of specialty stocking-stuffers and delightful lunch or dinner options for you to enjoy this holiday season. From homebrew supply shops for the craft beer hobbyist in your family to stylish boutiques, outdoor outfitters, kid-approved family fun at the Aurora Regional Fire Museum, and Chicago's Best Burger, "The Rebel Duck" at Gillerson's Grubbery, there's something for everyone on your list in Downtown Aurora

Boutique Shopping in Batavia

Batavia is perfect destination for an Autumn day trip while stocking up on chic and elegant Illinois-made wares, aromatic essential oils, and locally-crafted holiday gifts at boutiques and vintage shops in this hip, up-and-coming area. With local dining that includes heavy-hitting Italian cuisine at Gaetano’s to American pub and comfort food at inviting craft beer bars like River’s Edge Bar & Grille, you can’t go wrong for brunch, lunch, or dinner in Downtown Batavia. We recommend stopping by nearby Fermilab, the only U.S. Department of Energy site in the country that’s open to the public, to make use of their over 6,000 acres of nature trails and preservation projects, including sight-seeing at the bison range and touring the awesome architecture at Wilson Hall. 

Make it a Shopping Getaway in the Aurora Area

With friendly, affordable, and newly renovated accommodations, the Aurora Area has the best mix of urban and suburban attractions and amenities to surround your holiday shopping travels to the area. From casino gambling to a wide variety of excellent dining options we only barely scratched the surface of what you can discover in the region in this guide. Check out our Holiday Family Fun Guide for events and entertainment to pair with your holiday shopping trip, and request our Visitor’s Guide to see more info on area hotels, attractions, seasonal events, and dining. 

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