Downtown Aurora Illinois – Explore Art, Music, & More

Why should Chicago get all the credit? Downtown Aurora, located just 40 miles outside of the Windy City, has plenty of fun things to do. As the second largest city in Illinois, Aurora boasts a variety of shops, restaurants, and green spaces that you’ll love exploring. Downtown, you’ll marvel at the historic architecture and feel a sense of community from the friendly locals. There are plenty of cultural landmarks to check out and fun sites to see. The city is situated on the scenic Fox River and is easily walkable, making it the perfect place to spend the day.

You’ll be excited to learn about everything the city of Aurora has to offer. These are some of our favorite spots downtown. You’ll be amazed at the fun you can have down the road from our Chicago apartments!

Paramount Theatre

With the Paramount Theatre, the best of entertainment is right at your fingertips. The theatre hosts a Broadway series every year, bringing the touring companies of some of New York’s best musicals right to Aurora. Favorites like The Little Mermaid, Sweeney Todd, and West Side Story have all appeared, with the selection of shows changing every season. The theatre also hosts dance performances, concerts, and comedy shows, including performances from Chicago’s famous Second City improv troupe.

The shows inside the Paramount Theatre are world-renowned, but the building itself is just as impressive. The theatre has been on the National Register of Historic Places for over 30 years and is known for its dramatic art-deco style. The theatre was commissioned by executives at Paramount Studios and opened in 1931, bringing favorites like the Marx Brothers to Aurora. The theatre still shows classic movies to this day on their two-story screen. Enjoy your favorite films for only $1! Its waterfront location on the historic Stolp Island makes it a beautiful place to visit. Come snap photos of the architecture, then venture inside and enjoy the show.

SciTech Hands on Museum

The SciTech Hands on Museum is also on Stolp Island, just a short walk from the Paramount Theatre. This interactive science museum is designed to inspire the young (and young at heart) to learn about the world around them. The museum is spread across three stories in a historic downtown building, providing visitors with 30,000 square feet of exhibits to explore.

Over 200 exhibits are at SciTech just waiting to be discovered. Interactive models help kids learn about electricity, physics, magnetics, and more through fun activities. Visitors will discover the crazy conditions of outer space, the magic of light optics, and the secrets of Earth back in ancient times. Exhibits change regularly, so you can visit often and always learn something new.

In addition to the interactive fun, SciTech also hosts birthday parties, field trips, and special events. From overnight club adventures to science summer camps, there is always something special to do at the museum! Admission is only $10 for visitors between the ages of 4 and 59. Seniors and veterans will enjoy a special discount, while kids under the age of 3 are always free. Bring the whole family to the SciTech Hands on Museum and discover the wonders of the world- just minutes away from our Chicago apartments!

Hollywood Casino

Enjoy a night out on the town at Hollywood Casino. Located right on the water on Stolp Island, this casino provides Aurora with over 50,000 square feet of dining, entertainment, and games. Try your hand at a poker tournament, or play other exciting table games like craps, blackjack, and roulette. If slots are more your style, the Hollywood Casino has over 1,000 machines. Whether you want to play the classics or explore new technology, there is a slot machine for you!

But the Hollywood Casino isn’t just for games. Enjoy live entertainment on Fridays and Saturdays and discover your new favorite local band. Top dining experiences also await. Whether you’re looking to fuel up before playing more games or relax with a romantic dinner, Hollywood Casino has you covered. Reserve a table at Fairbanks Steakhouse for some of the region’s best steak and seafood, or check out Epic Buffet for a classic casino dining experience that rivals the famous Las Vegas buffets. At Hollywood Casino, world-class excitement is around every corner. Just don’t forget your ID- the fun here is for those over 21.

RiverEdge Park

RiverEdge Park is a scenic outdoor event space and music venue that the whole family will enjoy. Located between the Fox River and North Broadway, this space is easily accessible from any spot in downtown Aurora. It’s even located across from a Metra train station so friends from Chicago can join you for the fun!

Artists from across the country come to perform at RiverEdge Park. With a VIP rooftop seating area, reserved concert seating, and general admission seating on the grass, you can see your favorite artists on any budget. Come hungry, because the food is as much a part of the RiverEdge Park experience as the music. Enjoy meats and sandwiches from the concession stand, or indulge in treats like loaded tater tots or funnel cake sundaes. A variety of food vendors appear at concerts as well, so you’ll have plenty of things to munch on during the show. People are welcome to bring their own food as well, so grab your cooler and favorite blanket and pack up a picnic. After the show, walk along the river or check out the local nightlife. There is still so much to see downtown!

Finding an Apartment Near the Action

Aurora has so many choices for dining, shopping, and entertainment. Our apartments in Chicago are just a few miles away from the hustle and bustle of downtown, while also being close to the city’s historic parks and lush green spaces. Check out our Chicago apartments, and discover the perfect place to call home.

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