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.
Award-winning entertainment at Paramount Theatre
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 number of "Jeff" Award nominations to go along with 8 wins and counting 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. Paramount is also home to the new BOLD Series dramatic works at Copley Theatre, Paramount School of the Arts, and Paramount Theatre Special Events. Learn more at paramountaurora.com.
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. Find a full directory of businesses and events at auroradowntown.org.
Concerts under the stars at RiverEdge Park and big, bold flavors at Two Brothers Roundhouse
With its picturesque setting on a gorgeous stretch of the Fox River just north of Downtown Aurora, RiverEdge Park is where concertgoers flock to enjoy summer concerts under the stars at signature events like Blues on the Fox and Fiestas Patrias. For the holiday season, RiverEdge Park transforms into a cozy European winter wonderland for Christkindlmarket Aurora, one of Chicagoland’s top seasonal attractions. View concert listings and information at riveredgeaurora.com.
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 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 a free stand-up comedy showcase every Thursday night. On Sunday mornings, stop by Two Brothers Roundhouse for Cars & Coffee, a weekly car show and coffee tasting. Find out more at twobrothersbrewing.com/roundhouse.
Shopping destinations in Aurora, Illinois
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. Learn more about Chicago Premium Outlets at premiumoutlets.com/outlet/chicago.
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, an on-site entertainment center, provides bowling, billiards, private karaoke rooms, arcade gaming, and more on two fun-filled floors at the mall. Inside the mall, Center Park offers a vibrant space to gather and play, catch a show, or relax with a craft beverage. For Fox Valley Mall event & store listings, visit shopfoxvalleymall.com.
Just across New York Avenue from Fox Valley Mall, experience an Asian lifestyle center featuring shopping, dining, leisure, and cultural attractions at Pacifica Square, where you'll find "All of Asia, right in Aurora." Over a dozen eateries representing cuisine ranging from Indian biryani to Thai noodles, ramen, Korean-style fried chicken, Chinese BBQ, and more are complemented by Park 2 Shop, a multicultural grocery store and food hall. Find a full directory of shops and events at pacificasquare.com.
Discover fun for the whole family to enjoy in Aurora, Illinois
Supporting Aurora’s standing as one of the top destinations for millennial families, unique attractions like Phillips Park, the Aurora Regional Fire Museum, and Blackberry Farm offer fun for the whole family to enjoy. Whether it’s a walk through the zoo after spying mastodon bones at Phillips Park, taking a step back in time to experience pioneer living at Blackberry Farm, or enjoying a touch-a-truck activity at the Aurora Regional Fire Museum, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to make lasting memories. For full details on Aurora Area museums and more, visit enjoyaurora.com/Discover.
Reasons to plan a return visit to Aurora, Illinois
Whether for a day-trip or a long weekend, Aurora is full of great reasons to plan a return trip. 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 handmade wares for shoppers from throughout the Midwest.
The picturesque Fox River and its adjacent trails reward outdoor enthusiasts with excellent recreation opportunities for runners, paddlers, and cyclists, with unique events like the weekly Blues Jam at Aurora Athletic Club to amplify your experience on and along the water. No boat? No problem, local rentals are available at Howling Wolfe Canoe & Kayak.
The PIAZZA Aurora, Ballydoyle Aurora, and The Venue all offer exciting live entertainment ranging from global roots music to pop hits and the best of local rock, country, and hiphop.
Plan your visit to Aurora with our Aurora Area Go Guide, available in print and online at enjoyaurora.com/VisitorsGuide