Our guide to a girlfriends reunion in the Aurora Area highlights authentic, handmade experiences crafted by women makers and entrepreneurs in the Aurora Area of Illinois. Take a class together, get pampered at a modern salon & tearoom, and find plenty of fun activities, eclectic dining, and boutique shopping to enjoy. Call your girlfriends and plan a getaway today!
Wind down with award-winning Illinois wine in downtown Oswego
Kick off your visit by catching up over award-winning Illinois wines at Fox Valley Winery.
With a focus on local artistry and community spirit, downtown Oswego is home to an outstanding collection of independent, women-owned boutiques featuring contemporary fashions and home goods. Velvet Grace is one such example, located in a charming set of historic log cabins where you can find a style studio, trunk sales, and modern home decor. Stonehouse Market, located in a landmark building in downtown Oswego, curates a sophisticated collection of vintage, handmade, and one-of-a-kind items. When you're ready for dinner, plan a stop at Oswego's hottest new eatery, 113 Main.
Shop women owned boutiques in downtown Aurora
Find French-inspired artisan pastries and coffee at Atrevete Confections — owner and executive chef Jacqueline Mejia apprenticed with Chris Hammer of Top Chef: Just Desserts fame prior to opening her charming cafe in Montgomery, Illinois. A station for the region's Fox Valley Bike Share is located neaby, giving your group and opportunity to tour scenic trails alongside the Fox River. Head up to Aurora, where you can shop women-owned boutiques at Wyckwood House, The Cotton Seed Creative Exchange, and Branch Gardens, an urban garden center with contemporary flair.
Indulge in a Victorian tea-time lunch and spa treatments at Calla Lily in Aurora's historic LaSalle Street district followed by gourmet ice cream at Charlie's Creamery, featuring seasonal and locally inspired flavors. Take a floral design class at Blissful Blooms, located in an airy loft above Warehouse 55, and cap off your evening with dinner at Amy Morton's Stolp Island Social (re-opening August 2021), a modern steakhouse and gathering place in downtown Aurora, or with artfully-crafted cocktails and tapas at Altiro Latin Fusion, featured in our guide to New Mexican Dining in the Aurora Area.
Shop #IllinoisMade and follow in the footsteps of a pioneer
Start off your day with coffee and breakfast at Endiro Coffee — an #IllinoisMade destination, this women-owned tree-to-cup coffee roaster based in Uganda aims to brew a better world with every cup poured. Make a stop at Hearth & Hammer General, a woman-owned candle-making studio and modern general store in downtown Batavia also designated #IllinoisMade by the Illinois Office of Tourism. Visit the Batavia Boardwalk Shops, where a rotating selection of artisans sell farm-fresh goods, floral arrangements, and handmade goods and do lunch at Bocaditos, a mother & daughter owned cafe serving up authentic Argentinian recipes and handmade goods sourced from women makers in Argentina.
Continue your journey at Farnsworth House for the Edith Reconsidered program, a look at the pioneering life and style of Dr. Edith Farnsworth, a multihyphenate nephrologist, poet, translator, teacher, and musician whose "country home" on the Fox River, designed by Mies van der Rohe, is heralded as an iconic example of American mid-century design. After your tour, stop for yummy charcuterie, gourmet sandwiches, and exquisite wine pairings at Grace Coffee + Wine before visiting Emerson Creek, a gorgeous farmhouse venue with an on-site boutique. Take time for dinner on the scenic riverside patio at Southbank Original Barbecue, with nightly outdoor entertainment on the weekends, then head over to The Law Office Pub & Music Hall, a favorite local tour stop for the rising stars of modern country.
More fun things to do in the Aurora Area of Illinois
Looking for more options to enjoy the Aurora Area with friends? Visit our Aurora Area Events Guide to find live entertainment, festivals, and nightlife at destinations like RiverEdge Park and Aurora's award winning Paramount Theatre.