So it’s Memorial Day weekend when we Aurora parents start planning (or freaking out about) what we will do with all those beautiful summer days ahead.
I've seen Top 10 Aurora Lists before, but here’s my list of Aurora Bests with Small Children:
1. Fox River Traill: Stroll along the river and look for ducks or ride for miles with your bike trailer. Ride about 6 miles north to Red Oak Nature Center & Lippold Park (also top favorites, but not technically in Aurora, so omitted from official list).
2. Splash Pads: I know of 3, McCarty Park, Phillips Park and Eola Road Community Center. All free! My kids are too little for the pool, but I hardly miss it with all the splash pads.
3. Phillips park, Aurora IL: This place has it all. Movies in the Park on Friday nights, the aforementioned splash pad, a tram, the gardens, the zoo, and one of the few shaded playgrounds around. Go for an hour or stay all day, it’s all free!
4. Blackberry Farm: Not free, but there are lots of free days coming up in the summer. It’s basically Aurora’s Disney World: pony rides, a carousel, a train, hayrides, paddle boats, playground, animals, and all the historical exhibits. The kids will nap well after a morning at this place!
5. Aurora Public Library, Illinois: We haunt the Santori branch story-times, and there is one almost every day of the week for little kids this summer. We just got the new brochure in the mail so check it out!
6. SciTech Hands On Museum: Fun children’s museum right downtown. It’s not free, but there are free Fridays once a month. We get in with our DuPage Children’s Museum membership. My kids are not so gifted that they understand all the scientific concepts the exhibits are demonstrating, but they like to run around and touch stuff which is pretty much what a children’s museum is for.
7. Aurora Regional Fire Museum: There is a “suggested donation” (so not free) but if you have kids who love fire trucks, check it out. Also lots of hand-on exhibits for littles. Bonus: a fire safety video starring Timon & Pumba!
8. Aurora's Farmers Market: This is our Saturday morning staple. Start with the donuts, eat samples all the way down the booths, and leave with your produce for the week and lots of other random swag.
9. Deri Delite: Treat yourself to the best soft-serve in town. The owner is the nicest guy you will ever meet and often gives my kids free kiddie cones. The food is yummy too! Honorable Mention: La Chicanita on the corner of Jackson & Benton, also delicious & a delightful owner.
10. Neighborhood Play Groups: Our is weekly on Thursday mornings starting. We have oodles of bikes, a sand box, chalk, bubbles, a pool & and a freezer full of popsicles. Come over and play with us or start your own neighborhood group and enjoy the amazing people of Aurora. Message me for details.
Friend of City of Light, Diana Soerens, is a teacher, a mom of two young children, and like us is a huge fan of life in Aurora!