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Home > Things to Do in Aurora, Illinois

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. 

Upcoming Events in Aurora

Downtown Aurora
Jun 8, 2023
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Join the City of Aurora as we celebrate all-things Andy Warhol and the 1970's at the city's ...
Blackberry Farm
Jun 8, 2023
6:15 PM - 9:00 PM
C'mon out and enjoy this BYOB evening full of great music at Blackberry Farm! Gates open at 6:15...
Water Street Square
Jun 10, 2023
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
The Aurora Farmers Markets are headlined by fresh produce and fun! Now in our 111th season, we are e...
Downtown Aurora
Jun 11, 2023
12:00 PM
Join us for the FOURTH Annual Pride PARADE in Aurora!...
RiverEdge Park
Jun 16, 2023 - Jun 17, 2023
6:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Celebrating the annual Blues on the Fox festival with a killer line-up to start off summer right!&nb...
Water Street Square
Jun 17, 2023
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
The Aurora Farmers Markets are headlined by fresh produce and fun! Now in our 111th season, we are e...
RiverEdge Park
Jun 24, 2023
8:00 PM - 11:00 PM
The Troubadour Project hails from Atlanta, Georgia. The band features touring musicians from Sugarla...
View all Aurora Area events!

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

Things to see & do in Aurora

Abbey Farms Abbey Farms
Abbey Farms is a unique family-friendly agri-tourism farm in Aurora, IL that has been growing memories since 1949. Abbey Farms specializes in creating...View Details
All Spoked Up All Spoked Up
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
Altiro Latin Fusion Aurora Altiro Latin Fusion Aurora
Family owned restaurant offering a tapas-style inspired latin fusion cuisine of classic dishes with infused new flavors from Spain, Mexico, and South ...View Details
Amy Morton's Stolp Island Social Amy Morton's Stolp Island Social
Amy Morton's Stolp Island Social is Aurora's newest destination eatery! Attached to the award winning Paramount Theatre in downtown Aurora, St...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
Saturdays in Water Street Square are headlined by fresh produce and fun at the Aurora Farmers Market, now in our 108th (2020) season! Every week, our ...View Details
Aurora Regional Fire Museum Aurora Regional Fire Museum
The museum features a variety of interactive exhibits designed to educate and entertain children, families, and firefighters. Visitors can pass a leat...View Details
Basement of the Dead Basement of the Dead
Located in downtown Aurora, Basement of the Dead haunted house is rated the #1 scariest haunted house in Chicago Illinois and the world by BuzzFeed, #...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
Blackberry Farm Weddings Blackberry Farm Weddings
The Blackberry Farm wedding team is excited to create an experience which delivers a lifetime of memories for you and your guests. Our one-of-a-kind s...View Details
Blissful Blooms Blissful Blooms
Blissful Blooms began as a pop-up florist hosting classes and shops at events throughout the Fox Valley. As Aurora's newest boutique florist, we&#...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
Charlie's Silver Spoon Creamery Charlie's Silver Spoon Creamery
Hand crafted ice cream in the heart of Aurora Downtown. Charlie's Silver Spoon Creamery is located in the historic, newly renovated Aurora Si...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
Chupacabra Puerto Rican Kitchen Chupacabra Puerto Rican Kitchen
We’ve been very blessed to have a family that loves to cook. We're proud of the food we create and it's always important to us that our ...View Details
Cool Acres Park Cool Acres Park
Cool Acres – the District’s premiere shelter – is located along the beautiful Fox River on Route 25. This large structure with moder...View Details
Craft Urban Aurora Craft Urban Aurora
Seasonal American craft kitchen and bar serving up late-night ramen, craft cocktails, and farm to table American cuisine, and will soon add brunc...View Details
Crystal House Crystal House
After partaking in a First Friday event in downtown Aurora where they were totally infatuated with the City of Lights, Chaz and Elias completed their ...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
El Jefe El Jefe
With a focus on grilled Mexican food, El Jefe - Leña y Mar offers a diverse menu ranging from traditional seafood to delicious meats kissed by ...View Details
Endiro Coffee Endiro Coffee
Stop in for the best "tree to cup" Ugandan coffee roasted right here in Aurora Downtown. Add a sweet treat, breakfast or lunch, with me...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 Bike Share - Aurora City Hall Fox Valley Bike Share - Aurora City Hall
The City of Aurora aims to be a bicycle-friendly community and promotes bicycling throughout the city. In downtown Aurora, a green dedicated bike lane...View Details
Fox Valley Bike Share - RiverEdge Park Fox Valley Bike Share - RiverEdge Park
To create a more bike-friendly downtown, in July 2020, the City of Aurora partnered with Koloni to launch its new Fox Valley Bike Share prog...View Details
Fox Valley Bike Share - Santori Public Library Aurora Fox Valley Bike Share - Santori Public Library Aurora
To create a more bike-friendly downtown, in July 2020, the City of Aurora partnered with Koloni to launch its new Fox Valley Bike Share prog...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
French 75 Gallery & Lounge French 75 Gallery & Lounge
French 75 is a fine art gallery and cocktail lounge combined.  Inspired by the Paris art exhibitions and the emergence of impressionism, French 7...View Details
Galaxi Fun Zone Galaxi Fun Zone
Galaxi Fun Zone (formerly BALAXI Glow Zone) is a unique glow in the dark family fun center that combines the latest innovations in family enterta...View Details
Gary Brown Art Gary Brown Art
Gary Brown is native to the Chicago area. He was raised in Elmhurst, Illinois and now lives in Naperville, Illinois. Since childhood, Gary saw va...View Details
Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Hall, Aurora Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Hall, Aurora
The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Hall was a sanctuary. It served as a gathering place for those who had fought side by side on Civil War battlefie...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
Kiddy Club Indoor Playground Kiddy Club Indoor Playground
Chicago's very own indoor Sandbox is finally here! Kiddy Club was founded by two mothers who are tired of waiting for the weather to change to hav...View Details
La Garrafa La Garrafa
Located in one of Aurora's unique retro buildings, La Garrafa is an artisan ice cream parlor serving up gourmet flavors inspired by Mexican cuisin...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
Loft 28 West Loft 28 West
Loft 28 West is 7,000 sq. ft. of loft space that boasts high ceilings, floor to ceiling windows, wood floors and exposed brick to create a trendy indu...View Details
Mang-Kuk Asian Fusion Mang-Kuk Asian Fusion
New Asian-Fusion restaurant with an emphasis on Filipino cuisine opening soon in downtown Aurora. ...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
MISH MASH Adventures MISH MASH Adventures
MISH MASH Adventures, a completely new indoor adventure concept located in Aurora’s Fox Valley Mall. Inspired by TV adventure game shows like Do...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
Pacifica Square Pacifica Square
Pacifica Square is an Asian one-stop shopping center, providing Asian cuisine, shopping, leisure, and cultural attractions. With future phases, Pacfic...View Details
Paramount School of the Arts Paramount School of the Arts
Paramount School of the Arts is home to kids who feel differently, dream differently and express themselves differently. We are for the teens who are ...View Details
Paramount Theatre Paramount Theatre
Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in Aurora, is the center for performing arts and education in the second largest city in Illinois. Designed by r...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
PreMil Chicago PreMil Chicago
PreMil is a media platform and event space with an exclusive selection of limited run sneakers and streetwear, plus retro gems you won't find anyw...View Details
RiverEdge Park RiverEdge Park
RiverEdge Park, 360 N. Broadway St., in downtown Aurora, Illinois, is an idyllic outdoor summer concert venue, serving up live music, delicious festiv...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
Society 57 Society 57
Located in Aurora’s historical Pocus building, Society 57 is home to a beautiful, 7-day a week social space designed to imaginatively bring peop...View Details
Spartan House Spartan House
Spartan House is a family-run business that’s been a proud part of Aurora for over 42 years. John Poulakidas opened “John’s Beef and...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
Surf's Up Aurora Surf's Up Aurora
Bringing the community together with Seafood, Wings, and Crab legs. We are pleased to be able to bring  to Aurora  a family owned franchise....View Details
At SYRUP our goal is to provide you with an elevated breakfast and lunch experience. Throughout our menu you'll find quality ingredients like cage...View Details
Tavern On Broadway Tavern On Broadway
Cozy, welcoming tavern new to downtown Aurora with a full menu of lunch and dinner options that pair well with a wide array of craft beverages. A wall...View Details
The ArtBar The ArtBar
The ArtBar showcases local and national artists in a unique historic setting. Join Two Brothers Roundhouse and the ArtBar every first Friday of the mo...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
This warehouse-style 35,000 square-foot building is the ultimate destination for sports with 22 projection TVs and 140 flat screen TVs, conc...View Details
The Venue Aurora The Venue Aurora
The Venue is a live music venue and community center hosting concerts, workshops, dance, and events in the heart of Aurora Downtown. At The Venue...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
Warehouse 55 Warehouse 55
Warehouse 55 is located in downtown Aurora, 55 S Lake St, opening mid September! Its a 5000sf newly renovated warehouse that will feature unique, inde...View Details
Water Street Square Water Street Square
New space, new name, new vibe: City of Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin officially dedicated Water Street Square in 2019. Previously known as "Lot B...View Details
Wyckwood House Wyckwood House
A unique shopping experience featuring goods by local artisans in Aurora Downtown. We source our products from local artisans. We believe in shop...View Details
Yetee Station Yetee Station
Press buttons, push pixels: a new arcade finds a home in downtown Aurora. Operated by The Yetee, a creative online printing company run by and for gam...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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