First Fridays is full of cheer, largest yet on Dec. 6 in downtown Aurora

First Fridays is festive and bright on December 6 with more participating locations than ever. The sold out 2nd annual Cocoa Crawl is the highlight of the night with more than 30 venues participating in the popular event. 

For those without a Cocoa Crawl mug and button, there is still plenty in store for the last First Fridays of the year. First Fridays will resume on February 7, 2020. 

Enjoy food trucks at the First Fridays Food Truck Food Court from 5 to 9 p.m. at Water Street Square across from City Hall. Vendors include Harvey’s Fire Box, Burritoville, Small Cakes, Red Hot Chicago, and Umbrella Azul. 

Visit several venues open to the public. Free trolley rides from 6 to 10 p.m. 

First Fridays is a no cost, no ticket event, and it is open to the public.

Waubonsee Community College Aurora Downtown Campus, 18 S. River St, will host a Holiday Pottery Sale featuring jazz, chorale music, student art exhibit, Camelia Danza Tribal, free t-shirt silk screening, and one-of-a-kind ceramics. Enjoy free refreshments and Hot Cocoa while getting some holiday shopping done. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Branch Gardens, 77 S. Lake St., along with VizoArts, will host “Jingle-n-Mingle” with artwork from Rose Regulus, Anton Witek, Lily Elyse, STLTHART, and John Cornelissen and live music from 6 to 9 p.m. featuring Echo and Ransom with special guest Olivia Ports. Free raffles on the hour with a chance to win a Christmas tree. Bring non-perishable food items to donate to the Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry. 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Arcana, 5 1/2 W. Downer Pl., will be open with “Macabre Market,” a small and spooky esoteric holiday market featuring Roz Anomaly, Kittens of Industry, Lucky Eye Ink, Joe Kesler, and Teresa Fiehn Millies. $20 tarot readings. 7 to 10 p.m.

Two Brothers Roundhouse, 205 N. Broadway, will host The ArtBar’s “The Punk Show,” and it will be open for the Cocoa Crawl with Ghirardelli hot cocoa and fresh whipped cream. Open until 1 a.m.

Crystal House and Nieponski Gallery, 59 S. LaSalle St., will celebrate its grand opening and ribbon cutting. The new storefront that features engraved glass and art by Chaz Nieponski will also participate in the Cocoa Crawl. 4 to 9 p.m.

Aurora Artists Studios, 50 E. Galena, 2nd floor, will be open with their annual “Holiday Open Studio” featuring painterly presents and fine art from resident artists Cheryl Holz, David Hettinger, and Rafael Rocha. 6 to 9 p.m.

Gallery 1904, 1 E. Benton St., will open for “Motherhood and Freespirit,” a gallery show of paintings, jewelry, and bellydancing featuring Jacqueline Jayne Fowler and Natika. 6 to 10 p.m.

If These Walls Could Talk Custom Framing and Gallery, 32 S. Stolp Ave., will host the annual “Pack the Pantry” art auction that invites local and regional artists to create art from paper grocery bags. All proceeds go directly to the Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry. 6 to 10 p.m.

Balderas Beauty Salon, 25 N. Broadway, will host “The Winter Show” with artist Karina Chavez. 6 to 10 p.m.

Gary Brown Art Gallery and Studio, 7 S. Broadway, hosts “’Tis the Season! – Gifts of Love” featuring artist Mark Radina and music from Ain’t Dead Yet band. 6 to 10 p.m.

Ballydoyle Irish Pub Aurora, 28 W. New York St., will be open for the Cocoa Crawl with musician Cindy Chase. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Tavern On Broadway, 24 N. Broadway, will be open for a sneak peek with Cocoa Crawl. 6 to 9 p.m.

La Quinta de los Reyes, 36 E. New York St., will host Cocoa Crawl with champurrado (chocolate flavor) and homemade cookies. 6 to 9 p.m.

Endiro Coffee, 29 W. New York St., will be open for the Cocoa Crawl with music by Dan Becker and the Tourists. 6 to 9 p.m.

Aurora Public Library, 101 S. River St., will host a holiday celebration with carolers, music, caricatures, and their Holiday Celebrations in Many Lands exhibit. Enjoy the Cocoa Crawl and music by One Family Band and the Jeff Ford Quintet. 6 to 9 p.m.

The Venue, 21 S. Broadway, will be open with salsa dancing. Enjoy free salsa lessons at 7 and 8 p.m. IMSA’s Strolling Strings will perform at 6 p.m. DJ and salsa dancing until midnight. Mora will be serving free cocoa and hand rolled sushi and ramen for purchase. Cash bar. 6 to midnight.

Tredwell Coffee, 14 W. Downer Pl. Ste. 18, will feature art by Eric Cervantes from Pin and Pebble, and music by Adam Linder. They will serve Mexican Mocha hot chocolate for the Cocoa Crawl. 5 to 9 p.m.

Gremlen Recording Studio, 130 W. Downer Pl., will be open with Christmas Karaoke and hot chocolate. 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Latrice Murphy Design and Photography, 61 S. Broadway, will be open with a Winter Open House featuring vendors and $5 holiday photos. 6 to 9 p.m.

Pure Skin Solutions, 26 S. Stolp Ave., will offer vegan hot chocolate for the Cocoa Crawl. 6 to 9 p.m.

Warehouse 55, 55 S. Lake St., will be open with Holidays at Warehouse 55. 6 to 9 p.m.

Paramount School of the Arts, 20 S. Stolp Ave., will host a holiday open house. Stop by for cocoa, carols, sample classes, and tons of holiday fun, including photos with Santa. 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Aurora Historical Society, 20 E. Downer Pl., will be open with ongoing exhibits “Aurora Story” and “Aurora Then and Now” on the second floor. Shop for Aurora-themed gifts, including the 2020 Vintage Aurora calendar in the first floor gift shop. 6 to 9 p.m.

Wela Financial – Eric L. Essex, 54 W. Downer Pl., Ste 101, will be open for this year’s Cocoa Crawl. 6 to 9 p.m.

HealthMarkets, 41 W. New York St., will be open for the Cocoa Crawl. 6 to 9 p.m.

Charlie’s Silver Spoon Creamery, 6 E. Downer Pl., will be open with hot chocolate ice cream for the Cocoa Crawl. Try new holiday flavors while supplies last. 6 to 9 p.m.

Christian Science Reading Room, 34 S. Stolp Ave., will be part of the Cocoa Crawl. 6 to 9 p.m.

Aurora Regional Fire Museum, 53 N. Broadway, will be open for free museum exploration. Visit their gift shop for fun gifts. 6 to 9 p.m.

SciTech Hands On Musuem, 18 W. Benton St., will host robotics demonstrations and the East Aurora School District preschool program’s info table. Families can pre-register for Gingerneering workshops. 5 to 8 p.m.

The Hope Chest, 36 N. Lincoln Ave., will host “Christmas Trees Reimagined,” with cocoa and cookies, live music, a sale, giveaways, and a multiple Nontraditional Christmas Tree Display. Music by Kurt and Kari Sommerville. 6 to 9 p.m.

AKA Dance, 14 W. Downer Pl. Ste 10, will be open for the Cocoa Crawl with a Christmas Recital Promo from 6 to 7 p.m. 

First Midwest Bank, 2 S. Broadway, will be open for the Cocoa Crawl. 6 to 9 p.m.

Aurora Tap House, 134 W. Downer Pl., will host the Aurora Film Society with their film posters and 2020 membership opportunities. A DJ will wrap up the night. Boozey boosts for the cocoa for 21+ years and older. $3-$5. Art show 6 to 9 p.m. DJ 9 to 1:30 a.m.

All Spoked Up, 14 W. Downer Pl. Ste. 12, will be open for the Cocoa Crawl and participants are invited to a Toys for Tots night ride. To ride, donate a new, unopened toy and a bike light for your bicycle. 6 to 9 p.m.

Gillerson’s Grubbery, 33 W. New York St., will host an Ugly Sweater Contest with prizes for the top three. KC’s Kandle’s will be the featured vendor. 5:30 to 10 p.m.

Wyckwood House, 14 W. Downer Pl. Ste 16, will host Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry and Compact Industries who will be providing gourmet lux hot cocoa. Live music from 6 to 9 p.m. by Nick Gutierrez. Custom Ornaments by Jessica from The Letter J Creates starting at $15. 5 to 9 p.m.

I of the Angeles, 217 E. Galena Blvd., will be open with $10 Tarot and $5 Picture with Santa. Stop in for a tarot reading and enjoy some cocoa and a photo with Santa. 6 to 9 p.m.

PreMil, 46 W. New York St., will be open for their Toy Drive Fundraiser. They welcome the community to stop in with a new toy, and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa. 6 to 9 p.m.

The Perch, 31 W. Downer Pl, Ste 301, will be open with a family-friendly holiday craft. Decorate a free holiday magnet and shop for thoughtful gifts while enjoying hot cocoa. 6 to 9 p.m.

First Fridays maps are available at all venues.
Cover photo by Amy Nelson Photography

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