Have fun, support local businesses, and help flatten the curve! Here are ten things to do in downtown Aurora that will cheer you right up.
1. Stop by Sugar Skull City
Sugar Skull City is happening from October 15 to November 15, and it’s completely built around the idea of a self-guided, crowd-free model. Visitors can venture out on their own and view windows decorated for Day of the Dead. See colorful ofrendas, windows painted by local artists, and more.
2. Grab a coffee and pastry
Aurora boasts four independent coffee houses in their downtown. Lucky? YES! But luck won’t help them survive, so grab a coffee and a pastry. It’ll improve your mood and help them out. Masks required!
- Altiro Coffee Shop, 9 S. Stolp Ave.
- Endiro Coffee, 29 W. New York St.
- Society 57, 100 S. River St.
- Tredwell Coffee, 14 W. Downer Pl. (pictured)
3. Dine outside
It’s still possible! Warm up by cozy wood firepits on Pinney Street while enjoying the burger voted #1 in the county. Enjoy flaming hot fajitas next to the warmth of outdoor patio heaters on La Quinta’s welcoming patio. Grab your coat and head to these spots this fall (and into the winter).
- Ballydoyle, 28 W. New York St.
- DeCari Pizza, 33 N. Lake St.
- Gillerson’s Grubbery, 33 W. New York St.
- La Quinta de los Reyes, 36 E. New York St.
- Tredwell Coffee, 14 W. Downer Pl.
4. Shop small
SO many options to shop small in downtown Aurora. Thanks to creative entrepreneurs, downtown is filled with artisan wares, vintage goods, retro clothing, chic home decor, and more. Find the perfect accessory and a set of (bicycle) wheels downtown. Mask up!
5. Go on a scavenger hunt
Aurora Public Art posted four scavenger hunts that encourage everyone to explore downtown and find some art. The hunts are posted in the windows at The DLP Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Pl.
6. Mural selfies
Downtown has amazing murals by local, regional, and national artists. They make for great selfie backdrops. Spruce up the ol’ Instagram and head to see some murals (with your phone ready).
Tip: Visit the newest mural located behind Tortas Guadalajara at 5 S. Lake St. by mural artist Josh Schultz and commissioned by Aurora Downtown.
7. Get it To Go
Curbside pick up and delivery got us through once before, and it’ll be a big help again to us and to downtown restaurants. When surveyed, residents consistently said that they wanted more restaurants downtown. Now that we have them, let’s keep them! Order carry-out often.
8. Be a Monthly Spotlight Donor
Consider a small, recurring charitable donation to sustain Paramount Theatre’s award-winning work. You could choose to give $10 a month, commemorating the 10 years of our Broadway Series…$36 a month, to honor each of their 36 Broadway Series shows …or $84 a month to honor their 84 Jeff Award nominations. You can even make a one-time contribution, just to say “Keep up the good work!”
9. Water, specifically a river
Don’t take our most valuable asset for granted. We have a RIVER!!! Downtown is mostly an island, too. Take a staycation on Stolp Island and you’ll be the envy of your friends. Water is good for the soul, so sit at a bench and quietly enjoy the sounds and sights of the Fox River.
We like to share our love for small businesses, so head north on the Fox River Trail to downtown Batavia and give their shops a little love, too.
10. Clinker bricks
Say what?! That building on the northwest corner of Stolp Avenue and Benton Street with the whacky bricks that stick out everywhere, those are clinker bricks. The Mayan (formerly The Elks) is famous for them in downtown Aurora. Downtown also has an onion dome, art deco and mid-century buildings, and even gothic-revival.
Take a self-guided tour with the help of 30 historical markers placed throughout downtown.