Located about an hour outside of Chicago in the Fox River Valley, Aurora is known as the arts & culture hub of the suburbs due to the globally renowned Paramount Theatre and the vibrant and trendy downtown. While it may be the second-largest city in the state, it is also incredibly scenic and full of breath-taking hiking and biking trails along with open green spaces like the Phillips Park, which hosts its famous zoo. Here a just a few things you need to put on your to-do list if you head to Aurora for a vacation.
It is hard to believe that such a large city can neighbor rural Illinois, but that is half the charm of Aurora. In just a few minutes, you can drive to the city limits and visit attractions like Abbey Farms, a notable working farm that welcomes guests to enjoy seasonal delights. Not only can you buy fresh produce and sample home-baked goods like cider doughnuts, but you can also cut your own Christmas tree in the winter months and pick a pumpkin out of the patch in the fall. A local treasure, Abbey Farms is a great way to experience midwest life without traveling too far out of the city.
Of course, if your primary intent of visiting Aurora was to taste the arts that the city is famous for, you need to grab tickets for a Broadway show at Paramount Theatre. Thus far, the theatre has been nominated for over 30 “Jeff” awards and features fantastic set designs. If it happens to be the off-season, you can still see the theatre in its full glory at dollar movie nights or art gallery galas, so be sure to check what its current schedule looks like while planning your itinerary.
SciTech Hands-On Museum
Fun for the kids or the young at art, the Sci-Tech Hands-On Museum lives up to its name by offering enriching, interactive exhibits to all guests. From science experiments to robots and machinery, visitors get to watch science at work and play their way through the day.
Hollywood Casino Aurora
If you prefer a more adult style of play, head over to the Hollywood Casino Aurora and try your hand at the slot machines or poker tables. Drink and food prices are very affordable, and all players are offered free valet parking.