Holiday Shopping in the Aurora Area
Posted on 08/07/2018 by James Cardis
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 160 exclusive designer labels and popular brands, from Illinois' first Shinola outlet to the only Restoration Hardware outlet in Chicagoland, you’ll find unbeatable deals on all the latest fashions in clothing, accessories, shoes, and home goods.
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 eclectic American cuisine from two of the area’s top dining destinations, The Turf Room and Hardware.
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.
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
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 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. The new Round 1 Entertainment Center houses two floors of fun at the mall, including a 16-lane bowling alley, billiards, a massive arcade, food & drink, and even private karaoke rooms.
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 don't miss out on parking-lot properties at Fox Valley Mall 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.
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.
Specialty Shopping in Downtown Oswego
This historic downtown has many shops, services, and activities for you to enjoy. Seasonal events and an eclectic mix of boutiques & dining make downtown Oswego a year-round destination. Enjoy craft beers at the brand new Oswego Brewing Co., grab a donut from My Sister's Lil Donut Shoppe, or sip a cup of your favorite fresh roasted coffee at The Village Grind, then go out and explore the scenic streets of Oswego's downtown shopping district where you can find everything from home decor at Hudson Design House to handmade, artisanal soaps and body balms at Aroma Roots. Quilter in the family? Be sure to check out Prairie Stitches Quilt Shoppe, a treasure for quilting enthusiasts who travel here from throughout the region.
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. Enjoy nearby scenic adventures, hosted gatherings, and inviting overnight stays at the updated elegance of the estate-style bed & breakfast, The Homestead 1854.
Vintage Shopping in Yorkville
The Vintage 71 Shops (formerly 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, Illinois, 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. You can read more about the founding and future of The Law Office on the #EnjoyAurora blog. Southbank Original Barbecue'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. Just across Route 47, Crusade Burger Bar takes 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 irreverently named burgers.
Boutique Shopping in Batavia
Batavia, Illinois 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.
A Hidden Gem in Big Rock
The small town of Big Rock, Illinois is home to one of the largest destinations for specialty ceramics at More Polish Pottery. A leading retailer of Polish pottery brands, the staff at More Polish Pottery are knowledgeable about the origins of these rare treasures and can tell you the story and meaning behind each piece. Join shoppers from all over the Midwest who travel to Big Rock for these unique, valuable gifts.
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 Events page for activities 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.