Fall travel & getaway guide for the Aurora Area of Illinois
Posted on 08/29/2022 by James Cardis, Aurora Area CVB
Pick apples, pumpkins, and snack on cider donuts fresh out of the oven. Take in dinner and a show with award-winning Broadway at Aurora’s Paramount Theatre. Extend your stay to find fall colors on our trails and autumn flavors at local breweries. Find out how you can enjoy an outstanding fall getaway in the Aurora Area of Illinois!
Do dinner and a show in downtown Aurora
Drop off your bags and freshen up for dinner at any number of amazing restaurants in downtown Aurora — great picks for date night include Altiro Latin Fusion, Amy Morton’s Stolp Island Social, and the new Craft Urban Aurora, all just steps away from the box office at the Paramount. Both spots offer an elevated experience for theatergoers, from tasty tapas at Altiro to heritage steaks, chops, and seafood at Stolp Island Social. Reservations are strongly recommended on show nights.
Dreamgirls advance photo, Paramount Theatre / Amy Nelson
For Chicagoland’s best Broadway, look no further than the brightest attraction in the City of Lights — Aurora’s Paramount Theatre has been nominated for dozens of “Jeff” Awards (Chicago’s version of the Tonys) for its amazing Broadway shows, built from the ground up at the Paramount Theatre costume shop and set warehouse right here in Aurora. This fall, Paramount invites you to meet the Dreamgirls, Effie, Deena and Lorrell, three women trying to break their way onto the music scene and navigate the highs and lows of life in the 1960's. For the holidays, Paramount Theatre presents enchanting production of The Sound of Music, the unforgettable Rodgers and Hammerstein classic musical about a young woman who takes a job as governess of the von Trapp Family while deciding whether to become a nun at the brink of World War II, while the Second City's Holiday Revue returns to the newly renovated Copley Theatre. For more information on the Paramount Theatre, visit paramountaurora.com and our Broadway in Aurora guide.
Prefer to see live music? Plan a trip around The Venue, a concert hall & listening room in downtown Aurora featuring a jam-packed lineup of the finest blues, roots, folk, and jazz acts from throughout Chicagoland and beyond. Find out more at themusicvenue.org.
Fox River Trails in fall / Fox Valley Park District
Fall colors on the Fox River, fall flavors at local breweries
Whether you’re an early riser or choose to sleep in, wake up with a delicious cup of specialty roasted coffee at cafes like Endiro Coffee, Tredwell Coffee, or Society 57 in downtown Aurora. Do brunch bites your way, with a good old-fashioned homestyle breakfast at Harner’s Restaurant & Bakery, or at SYRUP, an upscale new brunch destination on Aurora’s west side. Prefer a pastry? Nosh on French-inspired croissants and macarons, signature pies and cheesecake, and more delicious snacks made fresh daily at Atrevete Confections on the riverside in Montgomery, just moments away from downtown Aurora. Also in Montgomery is the new Grays Mill Estate, a luxe event venue and restaurant with an outdoor beer garden where it’s Oktoberfest year round.
Seasonal pastries near the Fox River / Atrevete Confections
Take to the trails with the Fox Valley Bike Share, a reliable network of bike rentals available in downtown Aurora, downtown Oswego, Montgomery, and Batavia, offering some of the best views of fall foliage along the Fox River and excellent opportunities for shopping & dining in these historic towns.
A fall scene in downtown Oswego
In Oswego, shop contemporary women’s boutiques like Bella-gia Boutique and Melissa Jean Boutique, then browse rare finds at home decor curators Hudson Design House. View a full list of retailers at Go Oswego and the Oswego Downtown Association. Sip award winning Illinois wines at Fox Valley Winery, or sample a flight of outstanding craft beverages at Oswego Brewing Co., located in an historic firehouse in the heart of downtown Oswego. Do lunch at new restaurants 113 Main or La Marimba, and top it off with a tasty frozen treat at the new Dairy Barn.
Fall colors at Red Oak Nature Center / Fox Valley Park District
For an added dose of fall foliage, plan to visit Red Oak Nature Center. Fox River Trails wind through this outdoor education center, hugging the eastern banks of the Fox River, with outstanding sunset views that often include bald eagle sightings. Enjoy a dinner of sustainable fare at Hardware, home to BBGB Brewery and its on-site hop farm — try the deconstructed Chicago Hot Dog, a local favorite, or a charcuterie board packed end to end with house-cured meats. Nearby, Brother Chimp Brewing (opened in March 2020) offers expertly crafted traditional styles of lager & ale. Find out more about Aurora Area craft breweries with our self-guided craft beer tour.
Pumpkin Daze at Abbey Farms
Snack on cider donuts, pick apples and pumpkins, and walk through Kane County’s largest corn maze
Nothing says fall like a getaway to farms and orchards, where fresh fall produce grows in abundance, or getting lost in a corn maze and gathering around a cozy outdoor fire pit. Apple picking season begins in early September and runs through October in the Aurora Area. Here are a few great spots to plan a visit this season:
Woody's Orchard / TheChicagoCouple.com
At Woody’s Orchard, just off Route 34 in Plano, Illinois, you can enjoy craft beer and cider, snack on cider donuts, and fill up bags of fresh-off-the-tree apples in a variety of flavors to please all tastes, from rich and tart to light and sweet. Take home gourmet fall baked goods and more from the farmstand.
Abbey Farms, a unique agritourism destination in Aurora, hosts Pumpkin Daze in September and October, where you can pick pumpkins, sip on your favorite craft beverages, and enjoy live music around the outdoor fire. Abbey Farms is home to the largest corn maze in Kane County, a fun challenge for adults and kids of all ages. The corn maze is cut into a new shape relevant to the year’s theme — keep an eye out on Abbey Farms’ website and Facebook page for the aerial view reveal.
Keller’s Farmstand in Oswego bustles with fall activities, from pumpkin- and apple-picking on the farm to a farmer’s market stocked with fall produce as well as homemade fudge and yummy kettle corn. Walk the 10-acre corn maze with friends and family, or plan to run Keller’s annual 5K around the maze.
Fall foliage on the Fox River as seen from Farnsworth House
Tour a modern masterpiece at Farnsworth House
Nestled in a sanctuarial grove against the scenic backdrop of the Fox River, Dr. Edith Farnsworth’s home, the Farnsworth House, is an American icon of mid-century modern architecture designed by Mies van der Rohe. Take a tour and learn more about Dr. Farnsworth’s pioneering life as a poet, translator, musician, and nephrologist, while enjoying gorgeous fall colors in the wooded landscape around the house.
Dine on gourmet coffee and charcuterie at GRACE Coffee + Wine or sip craft beverages and order in at Flight Tasting Room & Bottle Shoppe. Authentic, upscale Mexican fare with signature small plates and margaritas draw diners to Hacienda Real, and neighboring restaurant Burnt Barrel Social offers a delicious lineup of whiskey and an eclectic new American menu.
Miles Nielson at The Law Office Pub & Music Hall in Yorkville
In the heart of downtown Yorkville, follow your nose to the smoked ribs and brisket cooked up at Southbank Original Barbecue, with a spacious outdoor patio offering wraparound views of the Fox River and Marge Cline Whitewater Course.
The Law Office Pub & Music Hall in downtown Yorkville is a favorite spot of touring independent acts hailing from Nashville, Austin, Los Angeles, and beyond — every night provides a chance to witness future stars ply their trade in this intimate concert venue, a perfect way to cap off your fall getaway in the Aurora Area of Illinois.
Plan your visit around our events guide
Keep an eye on upcoming events in the Aurora Area. Highlights include Oktoberfest celebrations, harvest festivals, as well as concerts, nightlife, and award winning Broadway shows at Paramount Theatre. Access exclusive deals on shopping, dining, and visitor services with our Aurora Area discounts program. Find friendly, affordable lodging options at Aurora Area hotels, and pair your visit with the Aurora Area Go Guide.