Where to find great outdoor activities in the Aurora Area of Illinois
Posted on 03/16/2021 by James Cardis
Miles of gorgeous outdoor spaces and trails are available to you throughout the region, and new amenities like the Fox Valley Bike Share make it easy to plan a trip, get around, and find fun things to do in the communities of the Aurora Area of Illinois.
Explore the outdoors at Red Oak Nature Center, a family friendly outdoor education center on the Fox River.
Fox Valley Park District's Red Oak Nature Center connects you with the joys, lessons, and wonders of nature. One of Chicagoland's top facilities for nature and conservation education, and surrounded by more than 40 acres of lush forest and wildlife, this is an ideal destination for friends and family to reconnect and enjoy the natural scenery of the Fox River valley. Learn more at redoaknaturecenter.info.
Enjoy a tour of the Farnsworth House
The site of the Farnsworth House, an American icon of modern design, offers pristine views of the Fox River and a perfect spot to picnic. Exterior tours are available for a nominal fee at the visitor center, and a new kayak & canoe launch makes riverside access to the site easier than ever before. Annual events like the Wildflower Walk and Moonlight Tours enhance the natural aspect of your visit. Learn more at farnsworthhouse.org.
Use the Fox Valley Bike Share to get around and have fun!
We partnered with Explore Elgin to host Chicagoland social media expert & content creator Michelle Thames and her family for a long weekend getaway up and down the Fox River valley. The Fox Valley Bike Share program allowed the Thames family to enjoy a relaxing, scenic journey on our Fox River Trails. Learn more about Fox Valley Bike Share stations in the Aurora Area, and how you too can plan for adnveture in the Fox River Valley.
Springtime brings colorful tulip blooms to the Sunken Garden at Phillips Park, the crown jewel of Aurora's city parks
The Sunken Garden at Phillips Park in Aurora, Illinois was originally designed and developed by Ray C. Moses in the 1930's. Moses' father, George Moses, was a former gardener at the Estates of English Nobility, and passed down his knowledge of formal garden design. Elaborate, complex, and breathtaking layouts have been introduced to the Sunken Garden over the years, but one mainstay locals and visitors alike enjoy every spring is the tulip bloom. Over 10,000 tulips are planted in preparation of the springtime bloom, which usually occurs in early to mid-April. Watch our Instagram page for updates and plan your visit to Phillips Park, a magnificent 325-acre site complete with golf course, children's zoo, play areas, and a lakeside walking and running trail. Pair your visit with a trip to nearby garden center The Growing Place, for classes, events, and seasonal discounts at a historic farmhouse venue on Aurora's east side.
Get on the water with our Fox River Info Guide
Connecting vibrant, historic downtown districts from Batavia down to North Aurora, Aurora, Montgomery, Oswego, and Yorkville, this gorgeous, non-motorized stretch of the Fox River is one of Illinois' most scenic waterways. Our guide to the Fox River includes everything you need to know about where to put in, take out, and what to see along the way.
Trail runs and MTB races at Saw Wee Kee Park
The Oswegoland Park District hosts seasonal trail runs and mountain-bike races at Saw Wee Kee Park, a riverside wildlife refuge with abundant hills making for an exciting challenge for trail-runners and MTBers at all levels of ability. Find event listings at our Saw Wee Kee Park page, and pair your visit with shopping, dining, events, and attractions at GoOswego.org.
Enjoy a living history playground at Blackberry Farm
Blackberry Farm, the popular living history museum operated by the Fox Valley Park District, is set to re-open just in time for summer! Families from near and far have created lasting memories at Blackberry Farm for generations, where over 120,000 visitors each year enjoy attractions like paddle-boats, the Blackberry Express train, and the Fox Valley Park District's "Live & Uncorked" concert series. Learn more about the reopening schedule and reserve your tickets at blackberryfarm.info.
Make a splash at Aurora Area waterparks
Home to Raging Waves, the largest waterpark in Illinois, and Splash Country, conveniently located near Blackberry Farm, the Aurora Area is an outstanding destination for summer fun. Beat the heat, make a splash, and check out our collection of seven water parks that you should visit this summer.
Summer fun at RiverEdge Park is right around the corner — find lineup information and more at enjoyaurora.com/RiverEdge-Park
Sign up for exclusive deals on shopping & dining
The Aurora Area Discounts Program offers visitors and locals alike access to exclusive deals on shopping, dining, and entertainment in the Aurora Area. Signing up is as easy as sending a text — visit our Discounts page to learn more.
Outstanding venues for your big day
Your special occasion deserves a special venue.
Bring your vision to life in elegant spaces throughout the Aurora Area, from sophisticated retreats to chic, rustic locales — including some of the newest and most in-demand wedding venues in Chicagoland.
Outdoor adventure on Aurora Area trails
Chicagoland's "Rails to Trails" destinations for outdoor adventure include the Fox River Trail, Virgil Gilman Trail, and Illinois Prairie Path in the Aurora Area. Learn more about these scenic, wood-lined paths fit for recreation all year round.
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Get the Aurora Area Go Guide
The official visitors publication of the Aurora Area features family fun, festivals & events, arts & culture, and outdoor adventure to pair with destination shopping and dining in our ten communities. Read online or order a printed copy mailed to you!