Tour miles of dazzling drive-through holiday light displays. Enjoy an enchanting production of The Sound of Music and warm up with mulled wine at Christkindlmarket. Visit friends and family in the Aurora Area of Illinois and you can discover some of Chicagoland’s favorite activities this holiday season.

Christkindlmarket debuts at RiverEdge Park in downtown Aurora, Illinois 

The most authentic traditional holiday market of its kind outside of Europe makes its debut in Aurora, Illinois this holiday season. Set against the scenic backdrop of the Fox River valley and downtown Aurora, RiverEdge Park is the perfect venue for Christkindlmarket, one of Chicago’s favorite holiday attractions year after year. Enjoy unique shopping, kid-friendly events and attractions, as well as intercultural activities. Admission to Christkindlmarket Aurora is free, but you will have to pay by cash or card for a mug of mulled wine or a rich and delicious European winter snack. Visit for details and up-to-date information. 

Imported Image
Alicia Kaori plays Maria in Paramount Theatre’s holiday season production, The Sound of Music. (Photo by Amy Nelson)

Enjoy the Sound of Music at Paramount Theatre 

One of the most popular musicals of all time, The Sound of Music has enchanted audiences for more than 50 years. This holiday season, Chicago audiences can experience this beloved musical for the first time, or all over again, at downtown Aurora’s Paramount Theatre

The Sound of Music is the classic story of Maria, a care-free nun in training, sent by her convent to be the governess of a Navy captain’s seven children. In her new role as tutor and guardian, Maria finds herself unexpectedly questioning her life path as she falls in love with the entire family, including Captain von Trapp. Music is at the heart of what unites them as they face tough decisions while Austria, their homeland, is on the brink of World War II. Do they stay or do they leave?  

The hills are alive with The Sound of Music song list, performed live by Paramount’s 16-member orchestra, and filled with Rodgers and Hammerstein standards like “Edelweiss,” “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” “Climb E’vry Mountain,” “So, Long, Farewell,” and the title song, “The Sound of Music.” 

Due to popular demand, Paramount has extended The Sound of Music beyond its original closing date, January 8, with performances now running an additional week, through January 15, 2022. As usual, Paramount’s lobby will be decked out in holiday decorations, including a two-story Christmas tree. For tickets, visit

Imported Image

The Second City's Holiday Revue at Copley Theatre

Chicago’s notorious improv troupe returns to make you laugh through the holidays! Have a holly jolly holiday season with Chicago’s famed improv and sketch comedy theater. The annual end of year tradition continues: Second City is coming to the Copley Theatre, where you will never be more than 70 feet away from the side-splitting, song filled holiday spectacular. Whether you've been naughty or nice, give the gift of laughter this holiday season in downtown Aurora. 


Imported Image

Pair your night out with our Dinner & a Show guide, highlighting over two dozen dining destinations throughout the Aurora Area.


Imported Image

Discover fun, festive holiday events in the communities of the Aurora Area

Visit our events calendar at to find fun things to do this holiday season with family and friends. Signature holiday happenings include: 

Imported Image

Winter Lights Aurora (Friday, November 18th)


Imported Image

The downtown Aurora Cocoa Crawl (Friday, December 2nd)


Imported Image

Christmas Walk and Cookie Walk in downtown Oswego (Friday, December 2nd and Saturday, December 3rd)


Imported Image

Yorkville’s Holiday Weekend Celebration (Friday, November 18th & Saturday, November 19th)


Imported Image

Winterfest Art Market in Batavia (Friday, November 11th through Sunday, November 13th)

Imported Image

Mod & Merry Cocktail Parties at Edith Farnsworth House (Friday, December 2nd & Saturday, December 3rd)

Find these and more festive holiday things to do at our Aurora Area events calendar


Imported Image

Christmas joy and winter cheer are here at Abbey Farms and Blackberry Farm

Two Aurora Area destinations where lasting memories are made each season offer month-long holiday events that are a hit with all ages. 

Shop the farm market at Abbey Farms this holiday season and pick or cut your very own Christmas tree, sourced from a Douglas Fir farm owned and operated by the Marmion Abbey monks. Events run November to December, learn more at

All aboard the Holiday Express at Blackberry Farm, a living-history museum that transforms each holiday season into a whimsical winter wonderland. Holiday Express train operates on weekends and tickets go fast, so plan your visit at today. 

Holiday Lights in the Aurora Area of Illinois

Festive drive-thru holiday light displays

From the Rotary Club of Aurora's Festival of Lights at historic Phillips Park to downtown Aurora, where the “City of Lights” has a magnificent holiday light display planned, miles of dazzling light displays offer magical holiday memories for visiting families this year. The best part? These holiday lights are free to enjoy!

Before and after your trip, we've got you covered with fun things to do at nearby attractions, from holiday shopping to family-friendly holiday events. Read our guide to holiday light displays in the Aurora Area of Illinois to plan your holiday season sightseeing.


Imported Image

Shop and stay in the Aurora Area of Illinois this holiday season 

The Aurora Area is home to two of Chicago’s top shopping destinations, Chicago Premium Outlets and Fox Valley. At Chicago Premium Outlets, find exclusive deals on your favorite fashion brands up to 65% off. The newly transformed Fox Valley features family-friendly attractions and events at the new Center Park indoor gathering space, as well as a Tapville craft beer and wine bar. New and forthcoming residential, dining, and entertainment options round out the experience at Fox Valley. Nearby, Pacifica Square offers one of the largest Asian lifestyle centers in Chicagoland. Enjoy dining options highlighting a range of Asian cuisines, live karaoke, gift and apparel shops, and more. View our shopping listings at

Inside Stay Hotels

The hotels of the Aurora Area offer welcoming, affordable brand-name lodging options. The best part? You can visit Chicago and stay in Aurora at about half the cost of a downtown hotel. With easy access to the City of Chicago via regional rail or roadways, it's easy to base your holiday visit in the Aurora area of Illinois. Plan your visit with the Aurora Area Go Guide, available in print and online at