20 Best Things To Do In Aurora, IL

20 Best Things To Do In Aurora, Illinois

Planning your next trip to Aurora, Illinois and looking for exciting activities? This vibrant city is a goldmine of attractions ranging from beautiful parks to world-class entertainment.

In this post, we’ve hand-picked 20 must-see destinations and fun-filled experiences that will make your visit unforgettable.

If you are looking for ideas of fun places to eat during your stay in Aurora, you can read our restaurant guide here.

Top 5 Attractions in Aurora, Illinois

The top 5 attractions in Aurora, Illinois include the Paramount TheatreChicago Premium Outlets, Blackberry Farm, Philips Park Zoo, and the Aurora Skate Center.

1. Paramount Theatre

things to do in aurora - the Paramount Theatre
Paramount Theatre – 23 E Galena Blvd, Aurora, IL 60506

Paramount Theatre is a beautifully preserved historic theater that offers an array of Broadway-quality productions year-round.

Nestled in the heart of downtown since it’s opening in 1931, its stunning Art Deco architecture and opulent interior never fail to impress.  It stands as a pillar of Aurora’s vibrant arts and culture scene, and hosts world-class performances.

If you love music or comedy shows, this is a great spot; Paramount regularly hosts renowned musicians and comedians from around the globe.

You can expect a fun evening here, as well as an intimate look into Aurora’s robust cultural identity.

2. Chicago Premium Outlets

things to do in aurora - Chicago Premium Outlets
Chicago Premium Outlets – 1650 Premium Outlet Blvd, Aurora, IL 60502

If you are in Aurora and want to do some shopping, then come here!  Chicago Premium Outlets have over 170 stores offering various brands at discounted prices. Basically this is a shopaholic’s dream-come-true.

Located just outside of downtown Aurora, these outlets provide a wide range of options. You can stroll through the open-air center as you browse designer clothing stores like Coach, Michael Kors, and Polo Ralph Lauren.

If you need some last-minute athletic or outdoor gear to explore Aurora with, you can check out The North Face or Nike here.

If nothing else, the ambiance is nice here so you can do some window-shopping on a sunny enjoy and just soak in the vibes.

3.Blackberry Farm

things to do in aurora - Blackberry Farm
Blackberry Farm – 100 S Barnes Rd, Aurora, IL 60506

Blackberry Farm is a charming historic farm that offers a delightful excursion for kids and adults alike.  The surroundings here are beautiful and the architecture unique.

The farm features tons of interactive exhibits that showcase farming techniques from days gone by, allowing you to learn about Aurora’s rich agricultural heritage.

The land also has extensive, picturesque gardens to enjoy a leisurely stroll on, and it is possible to picnic by the scenic lake.

This is a great option if you’re not sure how much energy you have – you can simply relax in nature, learn something interesting, or even go paddle boating or ride a miniature train! Perfect for a relaxed day with family and friends.

4. Philips Park Zoo

things to do in aurora - Philips Park Zoo
Philips Park Zoo – 1000 Ray Moses Dr, Aurora, IL 60505

Phillips Park Zoo is an awesome zoo, with over 100 different species of animals. The zoo furthers conservation efforts aimed at protecting endangered species.

This zoo provides an opportunity to get up close and personal with fascinating creatures, allowing you to do things like feed giraffes and pet farm animals.

They have playful monkeys, majestic birds, and tons of other animals to enjoy seeing.

5. Aurora Skate Center

things to do in aurora - Aurora Skate Center
Aurora Skate Center – 34W113 Montgomery Rd, Aurora, IL 60504

One of the top attractions in Aurora is the Aurora Skate Center. This family-friendly entertainment venue offers a fun and exciting experience for people of all ages. Lace up your roller skates or grab a pair from their rental counter and glide around their spacious rink.

The Aurora Skate Center also hosts themed skate nights and special events, adding even more excitement to your visit. Whether you’re a seasoned skater or just starting out, this popular spot guarantees hours of enjoyment for everyone.

So grab your friends or bring the whole family and get ready to have a blast at the Aurora Skate Center in Aurora, Illinois!

Outdoor Activities in Aurora

Outdoor activities in Aurora offer a range of options for adventure and nature lovers.

6. Vaughan Athletic Center

things to do in aurora - Vaughan Athletic Center
Vaughan Aquatic Center – 2121 W Indian Trail, Aurora, IL 60506

The Vaughan Athletic Center is a must-visit destination for water enthusiasts in Aurora, Illinois. This popular aquatic center offers a range of exciting activities and amenities for visitors of all ages.

Dive into the refreshing swimming pools or take thrilling rides down the water slides – there’s something for everyone here! Whether you’re looking to relax by the poolside or have an adrenaline-pumping adventure, Vaughan Aquatic Center has got you covered.

So grab your swimsuit and make a splash at this fantastic water attraction in Aurora!

7. RiverEdge Park

things to do in aurora - RiverEdge Park
RiverEdge Park – 360 N Broadway, Aurora, IL 60505

RiverEdge Park is a premier outdoor concert venue located in Aurora, Illinois. Situated along the picturesque Fox River, this spacious park offers a stunning backdrop for live performances and events.

With its state-of-the-art facilities and scenic views, RiverEdge Park has become a hotspot for music lovers and nature enthusiasts alike. Whether you’re attending a concert under the stars or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll by the river, this beautifully curated park provides an unforgettable experience.

Soak up the sights and sounds of Aurora at RiverEdge Park – it’s definitely worth adding to your list of must-visit attractions in Illinois!

8. Waubonsie Lake Park

things to do in aurora - Waubonsie Lake Park
Waubonsie Lake Park – 585 S Eola Rd, Aurora, IL 60504

Waubonsie Lake Park is a picturesque outdoor destination in Aurora, Illinois that offers breathtaking views and a variety of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy. This expansive park features a serene lake surrounded by lush greenery, making it the perfect spot for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Take a leisurely stroll along the scenic walking trails or have a picnic in one of the designated areas while taking in the tranquil surroundings. Fishing enthusiasts will also find delight at Waubonsie Lake Park, as it is home to an abundance of fish species.

Whether you’re looking to unwind amidst nature or engage in some active recreation, Waubonsie Lake Park provides a fantastic escape from city life and promises an unforgettable experience for all who visit Aurora, Illinois.

9. Oakhurst Forest Preserve

things to do in aurora - Oakhurst Forest Preserve
Oakhurst Forest Preserve – 1680 Fifth Ave, Aurora, IL 60504

Located in Aurora, IllinoisOakhurst Forest Preserve is a true paradise for nature enthusiasts. With its sprawling acres of lush greenery and well-maintained trails, this preserve offers the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful hike or a relaxing picnic spot, Oakhurst Forest Preserve has it all.

Explore the winding trails and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature as you encounter various plant and animal species along the way. The preserve is also home to beautiful lakes that provide excellent fishing opportunities for avid anglers.

Don’t forget to bring your camera, as this place is teeming with picturesque views waiting to be captured.

10. Mastodon Lake and Trail

things to do in aurora - Mastodon Lake and Trail
Mastodon Lake and Trail – 4300 Veterans Memorial Dr, Yorkville, IL 60560

Located in Aurora, IllinoisMastodon Lake and Trail is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts. This serene lake offers a picturesque setting where visitors can enjoy activities such as hiking, birdwatching, and fishing.

The surrounding trail provides a scenic route for leisurely walks or invigorating bike rides. With its tranquil atmosphere and abundant wildlife, Mastodon Lake and Trail offers the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the beauty of this hidden gem in Aurora’s outdoor recreation scene.

Family-Friendly Fun in Aurora

Families visiting Aurora, Illinois can enjoy a day of interactive learning at the SciTech Hands-On Museum, explore the outdoors at Abbey Farms or splash around at Splash Country Water Park for some fun in the sun.

11. SciTech Hands-On Museum

things to do in aurora - SciTech Hands-On Museum
SciTech Hands-On Museum – 18 W Benton St, Aurora, IL 60506

The SciTech Hands-On Museum in Aurora, Illinois is a must-visit attraction for both kids and adults. This interactive museum offers a fun and educational experience, allowing visitors to explore science, technology, engineering, and math through hands-on exhibits and activities.

From building robots to experimenting with physics principles, there is something for everyone at the SciTech Hands-On Museum. It’s a great place to spark curiosity, learn new things, and have a blast while doing it.

Make sure to add this exciting destination to your itinerary when exploring all the best things to do in Aurora!

12. Abbey Farms

things to do in aurora - Abbey Farms
Abbey Farms – 2855 Hart Rd, Aurora, IL 60502

One of the top attractions in Aurora, Illinois is Abbey Farms. This family-friendly destination offers a variety of activities for all ages to enjoy. Explore their pumpkin patch during the fall season and pick out the perfect pumpkin for carving or decorating.

Take a stroll through their corn maze and test your navigation skills as you try to find your way out. Kids will love visiting the petting zoo and getting up close with farm animals like goats and chickens.

In addition to their seasonal offerings, Abbey Farms also has a year-round farmer’s market where you can purchase fresh produce, baked goods, and other local products. Indulge in delicious treats like homemade pies and apple cider donuts that are sure to satisfy your cravings.

Whether you’re looking for outdoor fun or delicious farm-fresh food, Abbey Farms is a must-visit attraction in Aurora, Illinois.

13. Fox Valley Mall

things to do in aurora - Fox Valley Mall
Fox Valley Mall – 195 Fox Valley Center Dr, Aurora, IL 60504

At Fox Valley Mall in Aurora, Illinois, visitors can indulge in a fantastic shopping and dining experience. This bustling mall features a wide range of retailers, from popular fashion brands to specialty stores catering to diverse interests.

Whether you’re in search of the latest fashion trends or unique gifts, Fox Valley Mall has something for everyone. After browsing through the multitude of shops, take a break and sample delicious cuisine at one of the mall’s many restaurants and eateries.

With its convenient location and vast selection of options, Fox Valley Mall is sure to satisfy all your shopping needs during your visit to Aurora.

14. Splash Country Water Park

things to do in aurora - Splash Country Water Park
Splash Country Water Park – 195 S Barnes Rd, Aurora, IL 60506

Splash Country Water Park is a must-visit destination for water enthusiasts in Aurora, Illinois. This exciting water park offers a wide range of attractions and activities that are perfect for both kids and adults.

With thrilling water slideslazy rivers, and wave pools, there’s no shortage of fun to be had here. Whether you want to relax on the lazy river or experience an adrenaline rush on the slides, Splash Country Water Park has something for everyone.

It’s the perfect place to cool off and have a splashing good time during your visit to Aurora.

15. Red Oak Nature Center

things to do in aurora - Red Oak Nature Center
Red Oak Nature Center – 2343 S River St, Batavia, IL 60510

One of the top attractions in Aurora, Illinois for nature enthusiasts is the Red Oak Nature Center. Situated on 40 acres of beautiful land along the Fox River, this center offers visitors a chance to explore and appreciate the area’s natural beauty.

With its scenic trails and diverse wildlife, including birds, deer, and foxes, the Red Oak Nature Center provides a tranquil escape from city life. Whether you’re interested in hiking through wooded areas or observing plants and animals up close, this nature center has something for everyone.

Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture stunning views along the riverbank or immerse yourself in peaceful moments by simply sitting on one of their serene benches surrounded by nature’s wonders.

Cultural and Historical Attractions in Aurora

Explore Aurora’s rich cultural and historical offerings at the Aurora Regional Fire Museum, Sri Venkateswara Swami Temple, Aurora Historical Museum, Riverfront Playhouse, and Tanner House Museum.

16. Aurora Regional Fire Museum

Things To Do In Aurora - Aurora Regional Fire Museum
Aurora Regional Fire Museum – 53 N Broadway, Aurora, IL 60505

The Aurora Regional Fire Museum is a must-visit attraction for history enthusiasts and those interested in firefighting. Located in the heart of downtown Aurora, this museum showcases the rich heritage of the fire service in Illinois.

You can explore fascinating exhibits that detail the evolution of firefighting equipment, techniques, and stories of heroic firefighters throughout history. This family-friendly museum offers interactive displays where you can try on firefighter gear, climb aboard vintage fire trucks, and even slide down a fire pole.

It’s a unique opportunity to learn about the courageous men and women who protect our communities while having fun at the same time. Don’t miss out on this educational and entertaining experience during your visit to Aurora!

17. Sri Venkateswara Swami Temple

Things To Do In Aurora - Sri Venkateswara Swami Temple
Sri Venkateswara Swami Temple – 1145 W Sullivan Rd, Aurora, IL 60506

Located in Aurora, Illinois, the Sri Venkateswara Swami Temple is a must-visit for anyone interested in experiencing the rich cultural heritage of the area. This beautiful temple attracts visitors from all over with its stunning architecture and peaceful surroundings.

As one of the most popular temples in Aurora, it offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in Hindu traditions and rituals. Whether you’re seeking spiritual enlightenment or simply want to appreciate the intricate craftsmanship, a visit to Sri Venkateswara Swami Temple is sure to leave a lasting impression during your time in Aurora.

18. Aurora Historical Museum

Things To Do In Aurora - Aurora Historical Museum
Aurora Historical Museum – 20 E Downer Pl, Aurora, IL 60505

One must-visit attraction for history buffs in Aurora is the Aurora Historical Museum. This museum showcases the rich history of the city through a variety of exhibits and artifacts. Learn about Aurora’s early settlers, its industrial past, and its significant contributions to art and culture.

Explore fascinating displays that highlight important events and people who have shaped the city’s identity over time. From interactive exhibits to engaging storytelling, the Aurora Historical Museum provides an immersive experience that will leave you with a deeper appreciation for this vibrant Illinois town’s heritage.

19. Riverfront Playhouse

Things To Do In Aurora - Riverfront Playhouse
Riverfront Playhouse – 11 S Water St, Aurora, IL 60505

Located in the heart of Aurora, Illinois, the Riverfront Playhouse is a must-visit attraction for theater enthusiasts. This charming venue offers an intimate and immersive experience, showcasing a variety of productions throughout the year.

From classic plays to contemporary works, there is always something exciting happening on stage at the Riverfront Playhouse.

With its talented cast and crew, each performance at this beloved theater promises to be a memorable one. Whether you’re a fan of drama or comedy, you’ll find something to enjoy at this local gem.

The cozy seating arrangement ensures that every seat provides excellent views of the stage, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the theatrical magic.

As an added bonus, the Riverfront Playhouse also supports local talent by featuring performances from community members. This commitment to fostering creativity within the Aurora community adds an extra layer of charm and authenticity to every production.

20. Tanner House Museum

Things To Do In Aurora - Tanner House Museum
Tanner House Museum – 305 Cedar St, Aurora, IL 60506

The Tanner House Museum is a must-visit cultural and historical attraction in Aurora, Illinois. This beautifully preserved Victorian-era home offers visitors a glimpse into the past with its exquisite architecture and fascinating exhibits.

Step inside and explore the various rooms filled with period furniture, artwork, and artifacts that tell the story of life in Aurora during the 19th century. Learn about the Tanner family who once called this house their home and discover how they played a significant role in shaping the history of Aurora.

Whether you’re an architecture enthusiast or history buff, the Tanner House Museum is sure to captivate your interest and provide a memorable experience during your visit to Aurora.


In conclusion, Aurora, Illinois offers a plethora of attractions and activities that cater to the interests of both locals and tourists. From exploring historical museums and architectural wonders to enjoying outdoor adventures and family-friendly fun, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city.

Whether you’re looking for cultural enrichmentshopping delights, or thrilling entertainment options, Aurora has it all. Plan your visit today and discover the 15 best things to do in this charming Illinois gem!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top attractions in Aurora, Illinois?

Some of the top attractions in Aurora, Illinois include visiting the Phillips Park Zoo, exploring the SciTech Hands-On Museum, enjoying a performance at the Paramount Theatre, and exploring nature at the Red Oak Nature Center.

Are there any outdoor activities to do in Aurora?

Yes, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in Aurora. You can go hiking or biking along the Fox River Trail, have a picnic or play sports at Blackberry Farm, or spend a day fishing at Lake Waubonsie.

Can you recommend any family-friendly attractions in Aurora?

Absolutely! Families visiting Aurora can have a great time at Splash Country Water Park, where kids can enjoy water slides and pools. They can also visit Phillips Park Family Aquatic Center for more water fun or check out Santa’s Village Amusement Park for rides and entertainment.

Are there any cultural attractions to explore in Aurora?

Yes, culture enthusiasts will enjoy exploring The David L. Pierce Art & History Center that showcases art exhibitions and local history exhibits. The G.A.R. Memorial Museum is another great option, as it houses artifacts from various wars and offers insights into military history. Additionally, the Schingoethe Center for Native American Cultures displays Native American art and antiques providing an educational experience on indigenous cultures.

What are the 15 best things to do in Aurora, IL?

Aurora, IL, has a lot to offer, making it a great place to visit. Some of the 15 best things include visiting the Phillips Park Zoo to see attractions like the American River otters, exploring historic sites like the Aurora Historical Society, and enjoying the indoor play areas at the fun family center. Aurora Tap House is a must-visit if you’re looking for live music. For science and technology enthusiasts, the city has Mish Mash Adventures, an entertainment center with a fun game environment. Finally, visit Banana Split Inc, one of the best places in Aurora, for a treat!

What are some fun things to do near Aurora, IL?

There are numerous fun things to do near Aurora, IL. The city has many historic places, live music venues, and family fun centers. The Aurora Historical Society offers a glimpse of the city’s past, and Banana Split Inc is ideal for a sweet treat. For those seeking something fun, Mish Mash Adventures is a must-visit. The nearby Aurora Tap House often has live music events worth checking out.

What are the ten best indoor activities in Aurora, IL?

Aurora, IL, offers a variety of indoor activities. With its fun game environment, Mish Mash Adventures is one of the top things to do. The Aurora Historical Society provides a unique indoor historical experience. The Aurora Family Fun Center is great for indoor play areas and games. The city is also home to the Aurora Tap House, a perfect venue for enjoying live music indoors.

What are some fun things to do in Aurora during 2023?

In 2023, Aurora, IL, has some exciting things lined up. You can visit the Phillips Park Zoo, home to exhibits like the American River otters. For family fun, visit the indoor play areas at the family fun center. Enjoy live music at the Aurora Tap House, or discover the best at Mish Mash Adventures. Finally, take the chance to visit historic places like the Aurora Historical Society.

Can you recommend a good place to visit near Aurora?

The Phillips Park Zoo near Aurora is a great place to visit. It has various exhibits, including American River otters, and is a fun place for the whole family. Additionally, the Aurora Historical Society is well worth a visit for history enthusiasts.

What should be on my trip to Aurora itinerary?

On a trip to Aurora, IL, your itinerary should include visiting the Phillips Park Zoo, spending time at the fun family center, and immersing yourself in live music at the Aurora Tap House. Could you see the Aurora Historical Society to learn about the city’s history? And don’t forget to stop by Banana Split Inc for a sweet treat!

I am on my way to Aurora, IL. Do you have any recommendations on things to see?

Yes, as you make your way to Aurora, IL, there are several things you must see. The Phillips Park Zoo is a must-visit, with exciting exhibits like the American River otters. The Aurora Historical Society offers a fascinating insight into the city’s past, and the Aurora Family Fun Center provides indoor play areas for the kids. For a unique experience, RSVP for live music at the Aurora Tap House.

What are some fun things to do in Aurora, IL?

Aurora, IL is full of fun things to do. You can visit exciting places like the Phillips Park Zoo or the historic Aurora Historical Society. Mish Mash Adventures offers an interactive environment for science and technology enthusiasts, while the Aurora Family Fun Center is great for children with its indoor play areas. For those who love live music, take advantage of the Aurora Tap House.

What are the top things to do in Aurora, IL?

In Aurora, IL, the top things to do include exploring the historic Aurora Historical Society and the Phillips Park Zoo, which hosts unique exhibits such as the American River otters. The Aurora Family Fun Center has various indoor play zones and games for a fun-filled day out. Music lovers should check out the live performances at the Aurora Tap House.

What are the best activities in Aurora, IL?

The best activities in Aurora, IL, range from visiting living history sites like the Aurora Historical Society to exploring the entertaining exhibits at the Phillips Park Zoo. The Aurora Family Fun Center offers various play areas and games for those looking for a fun indoor activity. And if you’re interested in live music, the Aurora Tap House is the place to be.