Avoid the Black Friday crowd. Shop local in downtown Aurora. We have blocks of fun and unique shops. Here are just some of the things you can fill your bags (or stockings) with at businesses located right in downtown Aurora. Did we mention the free parking and river views?
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If you have foodies on your list, then downtown Aurora — with around a dozen eateries — is a great place to fill up on gift cards, gift certificates and more. Here is a sampling of tasty options:
Gillerson’s Grubbery. Located at 33 W. New York St. along Restaurant Row, this fun burger joint does up burgers right and was recently featured on WGN’s Chicago’s Best for its Rebel Duck burger. Gillerson’s also features a cozy bar with tasty cocktails and an impressive craft beer selection.
River’s Edge Café. A favorite lunch spot in downtown, River’s Edge Cafe offers fresh baked scones, muffins, brownies, and muffins – perfect for filling a holiday gift basket. Gift certificates are the perfect gift for teachers, hair dressers, and others who deserve a treat.
Leland Legends. Newly opened on the ground floor of the historic Leland Tower, this blues infused restaurant is welcoming with its decor and its comfort food.
Endiro Coffee Right along the river sits a cozy 2-story cafe full of community. Pick up a t-shirt, a mug, a bag of coffee, or stay for delicious waffles or a portabello sandwich. Visit www.endirocoffee.com/.
Other foodie options: Ballydoyle Irish Pub & Grill, Doughballs Pizza, U Samba?
Wardell Art Glass Studio. You might not need stained glass, but Wardell Art Glass Studio has a small gift shop in front of the large street level workshop. Ceramic art tiles, gift cards and other unique gift items are available. 28 S. Stolp Ave.
The Museum Shop. The David L. Pierce Art and History Center is a great place not only to soak in some art and culture, but also to shop. A gift shop to the left of the entrance is filled with handmade jewelry, gift cards, historical Aurora items and books. Check out the new Andy Aurora and Goddess of the Dawn ornaments. Aurora Historical Society puts out a popular calendar available at the end of the year, too. 20 E. Downer Pl.
Glanze Boutique. Shop for stylish women of all ages in downtown Aurora. 40 E. New York St.
Delgado Jewelry, Bella Jewelry and Aurora Jewelry. All located along our fantastic Broadway Mercado District, these local jewelry stores will make the holidays sparkle. Located on Broadway.
Paramount Theatre. Make someone really smile with tickets to entertaining performances, tours and concerts on the grand stage of the historic Paramount. If you want to be thanked for the next 10 years, buy them tickets to this season’s remaining Broadway Series shows: “ELF,” “Cabaret,” and “Once.”
Riverfront Playhouse. The Riverfront Playhouse along Water Street Mall in downtown Aurora is a treasure that keeps on giving. Every year, the small local theater puts on quality plays that are worth seeing and telling friends about. Since they don’t have regular box office hours, call 630-897-9496 for tickets or order them online.
THIS AND THAT
If These Walls Could Talk. Shadow boxes of jerseys, memorabilia, or just a sweet framed family photo could be just what you’re looking for this holiday season. Don’t forget to check out their award-winning holiday window display. 32 S. Stolp Ave.
Pop Up Shops at First Fridays. Stop by River’s Edge Cafe, Metropolitan Coworking, and Aurora Regional Fire Museum during First Fridays on December 1 and shop until you drop. Dozens of vendors will have one-of-a-kind creations for sale. Visit artist Cheryl Holz’ open studio at Aurora Art Studios, 50 E. Galena Blvd., for unique artisan jewelry and a chance to win a collage piece benefiting the Aurora Humane Society. Fox Art Studio at 9 S. Stolp Ave. will also have jewelry on display.
Aurora Fastprint. Grab some fun notepads, or make personalized cards or calendars at downtown’s print shop. 54 E. Galena Blvd.
La France Bakery and La Central Bakery. A box of cookies or a delicious cake makes great gifts for neighbors or Aunt Pam. 118 E. Galena Blvd.
ACTIVE & FUN
All Spoked Up. Bikes for everyone will make the holiday bright. Or a gift certificate for bicycle repair or accessories. 14 W. Downer Pl. Ste. 8
Rocktown Adventures. It’s on everyone’s bucket list to kayak or do a little stand up paddle boarding. 107 Spruce St.
Zen Loft Wellness Center. A yoga class, a relaxing massage, or how about aerial fun? It’s all good here. 6 W. Downer Pl.
QT3 Body Systems. Get in shape after the holidays or just stay in shape through the holiday dinners. 2 W. Downer Pl.
OUTSIDE THE BOX/INSIDE THE TOY CHEST
Aurora Regional Fire Museum. Looking for toys and things that are shiny and bright? Stop by Aurora’s one-of-a-kind fire museum in downtown Aurora and peek in the gift shop. You’ll find great toys, books and other fun gadgets that are perfect for the good boys and girls on your list. 53 N. Broadway
SciTech Hands On Museum. A yo-yo will make anyone smile this Christmas. Visit SciTech’s gift shop and pick up stocking stuffers that bounce, spin, and roll. You’ll be amazed by the creative selection, and kids will love the STEM present. 18 W. Benton St.
Visit Aurora Downtown on Facebook for more downtown shopping ideas. We have salons, resale shops, boutiques, bakeries, and more. Shop small and local in downtown Aurora!
Is Giving Tuesday more your style? We have several non-profits in downtown Aurora. Consider giving a monetary donation to one or more of the following worthwhile local organizations: Paramount Arts Centre, Aurora Regional Fire Museum, Aurora Historical Society, The Light of the Heart Art Therapy, Triple Threat Mentoring, Aurora Public Library, SciTech Hands On Museum, Fox Valley United Way, and Culture Stock.