Stretching across four separate counties in the Chicago metropolitan area, Aurora, Illinois, is a popular spot for folks who want a taste of the big city hum without combating downtown Chicago’s packed, hectic streets. Here in Aurora, you can enjoy all that Illinois city life offers at your own pace!
Read on to learn more about some of the most fun things to do in Aurora, Illinois that will help you make the most of your time in this classic city.
Family-Friendly Activities in Aurora, Illinois
1. Blackberry Farm
Open seasonally from May to October, Blackberry Farm provides an all-day adventure for families of all sizes and kids and adults of all ages! On Blackberry Farm, you’ll find such fun attractions as a carousel, hayrides, train rides, paddle boats, and pony rides; a gift shop, kitchen, and concessions for hungry visitors; historical and museum sites dating back to the 1800s for those interested in history and learning; and so much more.
This fantastic farm truly has it all, making it an excellent spot for education, entertainment, and recreation. Blackberry Farm is sure to be a place your family will remember for a long time as one of the best things to do in Aurora!
2. Philips Park Zoo
For the animal lovers in your family, Philips Park Zoo is a must-see! This fantastic little zoo is home to various animals not often easily found in Midwest zoos, including wolves, elk, pygmy goats, mountain lions, and so many other fantastic critters! The zoo also offers scavenger hunts and word searches to help kiddos make the absolute most of their visit, learning and having fun visiting the different enclosures and exhibits throughout the zoo.
Philips Park Zoo is a great outdoor animal adventure you and your family won’t want to miss!
3. Fox Paintball
Ideal for families with older kids and teenagers who don’t mind a physical challenge and some spirited play, Fox Paintball boasts a daring obstacle maze for a thrilling paintball experience. Offering gear rental and a field decked out for immersive fun, Fox Paintball is the perfect place for letting out all your energy in a rigorous environment that will fully engage them all day long!
(NOTE: Adult supervision is required for paintballers ages 10 to 15 years old.)
4. Kiddy Club
If you’re on the hunt for something fun and engaging with your energetic little ones, Kiddy Club was made specifically for you regardless of the weather! This indoor playground was designed by a pair of mothers visioning a place for their children to play, regardless of the inclement Illinois weather. Welcoming walk-ins and offering full-day admission, Kiddy Club provides a variety of fun activities, from jungle gyms to an enormous indoor sandbox and a dance floor, to party areas and more.
There’s no doubt that your kiddos will have the time of their life letting all their energy out at Kiddy Club’s many fun indoor play areas!
5. Splash Country Waterpark
Water lovers, don’t miss out on this—Splash Country Waterpark is the place to be! This popular water-based recreation park offers unparalleled amenities, including a zero-depth pool with six lanes and children’s play features; the second-largest lazy river in Illinois; several water slides; two regulation sand volleyball courts; food and beverages; interactive activities for kids under 48 inches tall; and so much more. Splash Country also offers lap swimming and swim lessons at designated times.
You can’t go wrong with a trip to Splash Country Waterpark—it’s of the most fun things to do in Aurora during the summer months!
Restaurants in Aurora, Illinois
6. Two Brothers Roundhouse
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind place to enjoy classic brewery-style food and entertainment, Two Brothers Roundhouse is the restaurant! Hailed as a trendy supper club restaurant, Two Brothers Roundhouse boasts a beautiful beer garden, café, beer bar, live music and entertainment venue, and banquet space. On the menu of this dinner-focused location, you’ll find lots of classic favorites such as wings, spinach and artichoke dip, prime rib, pasta, filet, burgers, and so much more!
More than just a place to eat, Two Brothers Roundhouse is an experience you won’t want to miss if you’re looking for memorable things to do in Aurora, Illinois!
7. Double Yolk Pancake House & Restaurant
Offering that perfect sensation of hometown, homestyle eating you crave from places like Dennys and IHop, Double Yolk Pancake House & Restaurant has great, all-day eats specifically tailored toward carryout. Even the pickiest eaters will find something they love on Double Yolk’s wide variety menu. Everything from eggs benedict to burgers to wraps and salads available—and, of course, delicious, indulgent desserts!
Double Yolk brings that hearty feeling you can’t get enough of from a homestyle eatery. With quick service and so many delicious options, this restaurant is an excellent option for individuals, couples, families, and groups to enjoy!
8. Basil’s Greek Dining
Praised as a “little taste of Greece,” Basil’s Greek Dining offers delicious, classic Greek food in a beautiful and welcoming environment. Enjoy popular starters such as saganaki, tzatziki, or skordalia. Indulge in an entrée selection from Bail’s various pasta, lamb platters, gyros, seafood, delicious meat cuts, and much more. Finally, finish off the meal with your choice of baklava, galaktoboureko, or one of Basil’s other tasty dessert options.
Atmospheric and delicious, this restaurant is an excellent option for folks who are fans (or first-time diners!) of Greek food and are looking for unforgettable dining experiences!
9. Jake’s Bagels & Deli
Offering a genuinely delicious menu of unique eats, including bagel-wrapped hot dogs, an open coffee bar, and more, Jake’s Bagels and Deli is a solid favorite to visit in the Aurora area! Jake’s is a family-friendly establishment perfect for the youngest to the oldest customers; with indoor and outdoor seating, a bright, welcoming atmosphere, and a wide variety of bagel-based items on the menu, there’s sure to be something every eater will enjoy.
With this location sporting a solid 5-star rating overall, visiting Jake’s Bagels and Deli might be one of the best things to do in Aurora, Illinois!
10. Enduro Coffee
On the hunt for a spot where you can enjoy a delectable, responsibly sourced coffee and something to eat at any time of the day? Look no further than Enduro Coffee! Friendly to folks of all different dietary lifestyles and needs, including vegan and vegetarian. Enduro Coffee offers signature drinks and classic coffees, tasty and unique breakfast burritos, toasts, platter options, and lunch and dinner varieties. Such as melts and wraps, cold drinks, juices, and teas that anyone can enjoy at an affordable cost!
Enduro Coffee is a great place to stop for a java boost and something delicious to eat that fits perfectly into your budget and eating lifestyle!
Educational and Recreational Activities in Aurora, Illinois
11. Paramount Theater
For folks fond of live stage performances under dazzling lights, Paramount Theater is a location you have to visit! It boasts a classic stage theater feeling, with comfortable seats and stylized architecture, and it plays host to some of the best-known Broadway shows of all time—including The Sound of Music, School of Rock, Dreamgirls, Into the Woods, and much, much more!
Whether you’re looking for tickets for yourself or the theater lovers in your life, you absolutely can’t go wrong with a season pass for the Paramount Theater.
12. Chicago Premium Outlets
Ready to shop ’til you drop? Look no further than at the Chicago Premium Outlets! This much-loved mall is home to some of the most popular designer labels and brands, boasting discount outlet prices you won’t find anywhere else.
Once you’ve shopped your heart out, drop in at one of the restaurants scattered among the outlets, such as Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen, Rise Pies Handcrafts Pizza, MBurger, Dippin Dots, or Starbucks, to enjoy a bite or a drink before you hit the shops again!
Chicago Premium Outlets is a great place to fulfill all your shopping needs at once; there’s something at Chicago Premium Outlets that every shopper is sure to love.
13. Aurora Regional Fire Museum
For those intrigued by history and architecture and with a particular love for learning about all things firefighting in the past and present, the Aurora Regional Fire Museum is one of the top things to do in Aurora, Illinois!
This fascinating museum showcases artifacts and displays rich with firefighting’s local and broader history. They have permanent and temporary exhibitions and exhibits that landmark some key moments and aspects of firefighting over the years. Complete with a discovery room for children, the Aurora Regional Fire Museum is a great visiting location for folks of any age who have an interest in firefighting and want to learn more about this noble and valuable profession.
14. Phillips Park
Phillips Park is the premier place to visit in Aurora for those on the hunt for all kinds of recreational activities that can be enjoyed solo, with groups, families, or even with their four-legged friends! This location has been called the crown jewel of parks in Aurora, IL, offering a zoo, golf course, dog park, aquatic center, skate park, sunken gardens, trails, boat dock, and more. There’s something that everyone of every age can enjoy at Philips Park, from exercising to relaxing to exploring and beyond.
This park is a fantastic place to visit on a sunny weekend day at any time of the year, with many activities that individuals or groups can happily experience. Make sure you stop at Philips Park on your visit to Aurora!
Are you excited about everything there is to do in Aurora, Illinois? The fun doesn’t stop here! Check out our other Illinois posts to find out more things to do and see in this beautiful Midwest state.