City Cast

Inside Aurora's Rich Entertainment Scene

Sidney Madden
Sidney Madden
Posted on August 23
A vintage Aurora postcard from the 1940s

A vintage Aurora postcard from the 1940s. (Found Image Holdings / Corbis / Getty)

Ready to soak up fall art? Consider heading out to Aurora to enjoy the west suburb’s rich entertainment scene.

Aurora was once a robust manufacturing center until many factories closed in the ‘80s. The shift spurred development like riverboat casinos, mixed-use business parks, and residential communities.. As the second most populous city in Illinois, the “City of Lights” also has a large Latinx population.

Jim Jarvis is vice president of programming and sales at RiverEdge Park, an Aurora concert venue. Also emceeing shows at the park, Jarvis is a familiar face among west suburbanites. He shares his recs.

Something to Eat

Hit the family-owned Alice’s Corner Bolivian Cuisine for salteñas (empanadas), stuffed arepas, and Peruvian Inca Kola. Both the food and the family have become Aurora favorites.

Something to See

Park your car, and walk through downtown Aurora to take in the murals created by local artists. Stop in at one of seven galleries to take in the different styles and to talk to owners about the pieces.

Something to Do

Poi Dog Pondering, a popular Chicago band on WXRT in the ‘90s, is playing at RiverEdge Saturday. Go to Howling Wolfe Paddlesports to rent a kayak or canoe and breathe in the tranquility of the Fox Valley from the water.

Performers onstage at night at RiverEdge Park in Aurora

RiverEdge Park. (Courtesy of RiverEdge Park)

+ Want to help pen a guide for your neighborhood or suburb? Let’s chat!

Hey Chicago

Want to know what's happening in Chicago? Sign up for our free newsletter, Hey Chicago. Packed with local news, curated event recs, local life hacks, and more, it's your daily toolkit for getting the most out of the city you love.