22 Things You Need To Know About Aurora, IL Before You Move There

Had to share this great article about Aurora with you from Movoto (Kristiena Sartorelli)

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22 Things You Need To Know About Aurora, IL Before You Move There

1. Aurora Can Take On Whatever Hollywood Throws At It

Moving to Aurora
Source: Deviantart user bunnyhead

Most notable as the home to Wayne and Garth in “Wayne’s World” and “Wayne’s World 2,” Aurorans have partied on since Garth and Wayne left. Since then, Aurora has been the filming location for the movies “Children on Their Birthdays,” “The Express,” “Let’s Get Harry” and most recently “Precious Mettle.”

2. Aurorans Like To Unleash Their Inner Mad Scientists

Moving to Aurora
Source: SciTech Hands On Museum Facebook

With over 200 interactive science exhibits and programs combined with exciting events like overnight stays and focused field trips, SciTech Interactive Science Museum awakens the mad scientist in us all, no matter your age.

Where else can you chase storms, power light bulbs with your legs and pretend you’re hosting the evening news? It’s also home to one of the only S.T.E.M. based curriculum preschools and kindergartens in the country.

3. The Otters At The Phillips Park Zoo Will Melt Your Heart

With a range of 41 different native species, the Phillips Park Zoo is a treat for children and families alike (and it’s free!).

There are plenty of cool exhibits to explore, but the stars of this zoo are definitely the otters. They’ve got their very own water slide. If watching these adorable furry guys slide around doesn’t make you smile, I don’t know what will.

4. Everyone And Their Grandma Owns A Pair Of Skates

Aurora Skate Center has been offering the community recreational skating since 1955. With a hardwood maple floating floor for roller-skating and an ice rink fit for both figure and speed skating, there is always fun to be had.

Come on a Monday night for an organ-music dance session with Frank Pellico, the organist for the Chicago Blackhawks, as he plays the only triple-deck Hammond X-66 pipe organ–that’s 26-ranks of pipes–in the country.

5. Two Brothers Roundhouse Is The Place To Be For A Good Brew

Two Brothers Roundhouse, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is the oldest limestone roundhouse in the United States. Though locomotives are no longer serviced here, the appreciation for great architecture, food and, of course, beer, is.

Two Brothers offers lots of history and a variety of spaces to get your grub on. From the main dining room to the music venue to the sports tavern, there truly is something for everyone. A hot spot for weddings, the patio is beautiful no matter the season.

6. Ancient And Modern Worlds Collide At The Temple Of Greater Chicago

Moving to Aurora
Source: Sri Venkateswara Swami (Balaji) Temple

The Sri Venkateswara Swami Temple was built in the 1986 to accommodate the large growth in the Hindu community and now serves several thousand devotees from all over the country and abroad.

Uniquely designed, the Temple is based on thousands of years of traditional South Indian architectural principles. Stop by for a tour if you want to see traditional Hindu rituals in action.

7. Johnny Depp Digs the Paramount Theater

Moving to Aurora
Source: Flickr user clare_and_ben

Historic Paramount Theater, opened in 1931 and restored multiple times since then, was recently named one of the Top Ten Theaters in Chicago. It’s no wonder, as it boasts beautiful and large hand painted murals and continues to provide world-class entertainment.

Still not sold? Johnny Depp was. So much so that he filmed a scene from Public Enemies” here.

8. Aurorans Were Eating Locally Before It Was Cool

Moving to Aurora
Source: East Aurora Farmers Market Facebook

With Illinois’ oldest continually running farmers market, it’s no secret that we love our local farmers, heritage and history. Running every Saturday morning from June through October, the market has everything from crafts and flowers to artisan cheese and fresh produce. You can try a deliciously fresh donut while getting your knives sharpened or just enjoy the weekly entertainment. The best part? There’s a market in every neighborhood of Aurora.

9. The Best Art Is Found In An Alley

Moving to Aurora
Source: Alley Art Festival Facebook

As an arts-focused community, it’s no surprise that grassroots Alley Art Festival has flourished since 2010. Held the last Saturday of August, it offers the community a chance to gather and meet local artists, buy their creations and eat delicious food from local restaurants.

10. You’ll Be Positively Green With Envy Over Aurora’s GreenFest

Moving to Aurora
Source: Aurora GreenFest Facebook

For the last five years, Aurorans have been gathering annually to celebrate and encourage local sustainability initiatives. GreenFest promotes social entrepreneurship, ecological balance and sustainable development in Aurora.

With cool activities like a green art show and recycling extravaganza, as well as information on alternative energy sources to reduce bills, Aurorans know just how easy it is to be green.

11. Aurorans Built Their Very Own Shrine To Laughter

Moving to Aurora
Source: The Comedy Shrine Facebook

The Comedy Shrine has delivered laugh after laugh with stand up, sketch and improvisational shows since 2006. Bringing both local and Chicago-based talent, this comedy club offers both censored and uncensored versions of shows to suit all comedic taste. They also offer classes to help you fine tune skills, no matter what level you’re at.

12. You’ll Be In For A Pleasant Shock At Culture Stock

Moving to Aurora
Source: Culture Stock Facebook

Working to promote community, culture and literature, Culture Stock is a bookstore that operates as a hub for community programs and events. With events like storytime for children and nights full of music by local musicians, this cozy, chic used bookstore is key part of downtown Aurora’s flourishing arts scene.

13. Auroran Summers Will Have Your Ears Addicted To Blues, Jams and Retro Rock

Moving to Aurora
Source: Flickr user Steve Krave

Since 1999, Aurora’s Downtown Alive! Music Festival Series has flourished. Originally a simple Friday evening concert series, it has evolved into three separate genre-themed weekends throughout the summer, all performed on the Fox River:

Blues on the Fox features legendary Blues Hall of Fame

Jam on the Fox showcased live jam bands

Retro Rock on the Fox brings past decades alive with bands like The Village People.

14. Aurora Had Electric Street Lights Before Your Town Did

Moving to Aurora
Source:Flickr user Donald (Don) Harrison

In 1881 Aurora became the first city in the country to have all electric street lights and was dubbed “The City of Lights.” In keeping with its nickname, Aurora is host to one of the largest free outdoor holiday light displays in northern Illinois.

15. Aurora’s Architecture Is Easy On The Eyes

Moving to Aurora
Source: Flickr user jalbetgagnier

Aurora is definitely a site to see, with buildings designed by famous architects such as:

  • Frank Lloyd Wright (William B Green House)
  • George Grant Elmslie (Keystone Building and Graham Building)
  • Bruce Goff (Ford House)
  • Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe (Farnsworth House)

If that wasn’t enough, it also has several Sears Catalog Houses and Lustron All-Steel Houses. Talk about ahh-mazing architecture.

Fun fact: Aurora has the most commercial buildings designed by George Grant Elmslie.

16. Aurora Brews A Good Time

Moving to Aurora
Source: Hopvine Brewing Company Facebook

Who doesn’t love a locally brewed beer?! At Hopvine Brewing Company you can dine on delicious burgers and listen to live music all while seeing their brewing process in the works through a glass window. If your curiosity about delicious hops isn’t satisfied by that display, Hopvine also offer tours.

17. The Riverfront Playhouse Theater Is Aurora’s Best Kept Secret

Moving to Aurora
Source: The Riverfront Playhouse Facebook

Founded in 1978 as a creative outlet for actors of all skill sets and walks of life, the Riverfront Playhouse Theater has produced over 200 main stage shows and a myriad of children’s theater production.

Somewhat of a hidden gem, this theater gives attendees a unique experience with its small, cozy setting (less than 100 seats) and relaxed atmosphere. The players and productions will have you laughing, crying and yearning to come back to see another play.

18. Aurorans Love Art And Fridays So Much, They Made An Event Celebrating Both

Moving to Aurora
Source: Flickr user Shanke k

First Fridays in downtown Aurora takes place the first Friday of every month, with participation from varying business and art galleries. Gather with the community and experience a night full of fun, art and music. A local favorite is the ArtBar at Two Brothers Roundhouse.

19. Aurorans Love A Good Flea Market

Moving to Aurora
Source: Louche Puce Market Facebook

A summer secret, Louche Puce is a unique European style market that is open every Saturday throughout the summer. With an ever-changing crowd, this market offers local artists and musicians a showcase while maintaining a casual, friendly environment. Whether it’s knick-knacks, antiques, rare books or simply just interesting people, there’s something for everyone here.

20. River’s Edge Café Is The Best Place To Sip Coffee And Philosophize

Moving to Aurora
Source: River’s Edge Café Facebook

Known as a place where minds meet, River’s Edge Café serves up delicious food, coffee and conversation. Dedicated to supporting the redevelopment of the downtown community of Aurora, this café provides a friendly, welcoming environment to everyone and anyone. When the weather is nice, you can sit on the patio and enjoy the view of the Fox River as you sip on a delicious coffee or latte.

21. Aurorans Like Their History Outside And Hands-On

Moving to Aurora
Source: Blackberry Farm Facebook

At Blackberry Farm, we bring the pioneer days to life with hands-on, educational demonstrations. Watch blacksmiths work on the forge, explore an authentic pioneer cabin and visit a one-room schoolhouse, but don’t worry–you won’t have any homework. This unique living museum also has an extensive adventure playground, complete with a zip line.

22. Raging Waves Is Sure To Make A Splashing Impression

Moving to Aurora
Source: Raging Waves Waterpark Facebook

Raging Waves, Illinois’ largest waterpark, has a 40-foot long waterslide, a 25,000 square foot wave pool and a giant sandbox–just to name a few of its awesome attractions. Don’t you dare miss out on riding the Tasmanian Twister, PJ’s Plummet or Kookaburra Kreek.

Feature Image Source: Louche Puce Market via Facebook

Monica Mancano

Monica Mancano

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