Get into the Christmas spirit with Christkindlmarket Aurora
Posted on 10/31/2023 by James Cardis, Aurora Area CVB
Tour miles of dazzling drive-through holiday light displays. Enjoy an enchanting production of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 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 returns to 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 christkindlmarket.com/aurora for details and up-to-date information.
Christkindlmarket Aurora opens Thursday, November 17th at RiverEdge Park, 360 N. Broadway in Aurora, Illinois 60505.
Hours are: Thursdays 11am-7pm; Fridays & Saturdays 11am-9pm; Sundays 11am-6pm. Special opening hours for Thanksgiving (11am-4pm), December 18, 19, and 20th (11am-7pm), and Christmas Eve (11am-4pm) are posted at christkindlmarket.com/aurora and subject to change.
Enter a world of pure imagination at Paramount Theatre
Oompa Loompas, oodles of fun and other surprises await audiences at Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, receiving its Professional Regional Premiere November 8, 2023-January 14, 2024 at downtown Aurora’s Paramount Theatre.
Follow young Charlie Bucket, his Grandpa Joe and four more Golden Ticket winners on a private tour of eccentric “Candy Man” Willy Wonka’s magical and mysterious chocolate factory. Who will win the lifetime supply of chocolate? Experience their life-changing journey through a world of “Pure Imagination," revealed with Wonka’s army of curious Oompa-Loompas.
Trent Stork, Paramount’s Artistic Producer and Casting Director, and winner, Jeff Award, Director-Musical-Large, for Paramount’s Kinky Boots in 2022, and their design team are planning a high-energy, technicolor production performed on a dazzling set designed by Jeffrey D. Kmiec, with choreography by Kasey Alfonso, music direction by Kory Danielson and costumes by Ryan Park.
Before audiences even step into the theater and see the amazing set, Paramount’s Grand Gallery will be fully decked out for the holidays, anchored by a two-story, Willy Wonka-themed Christmas tree, the perfect backdrop for pre-show holiday season selfies.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is your golden ticket for a scrumdiddlyumptious holiday outing for the whole family at Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora. Single tickets, $28-$79, are on sale now, or save with a Paramount Theatre three-play Broadway Series subscription package.
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.
Discover fun, festive holiday events in the communities of the Aurora Area
Visit our events calendar at enjoyaurora.com/events to find fun things to do this holiday season with family and friends. Signature holiday happenings include:
Winter Lights Aurora (Friday, November 17th)
The downtown Aurora Cocoa Crawl (Friday, December 1st)
Yorkville’s Holiday Weekend Celebration (Friday, November 17th & Saturday, November 18th)
Winterfest Art Market in Batavia (Friday, November 10th through Sunday, November 12th).
Find these and more festive holiday things to do at our Aurora Area events calendar.
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 abbeyfarms.org.
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 blackberryfarm.info today.
Festive drive-thru holiday light displays
From Aurora's 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.
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 enjoyaurora.com/Shop.
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 enjoyaurora.com/VisitorsGuide.