Summer (and mostly free) fun in downtown Aurora...

Are you wondering what you’ll do with the kids this summer? Grab the kids and go enjoy these great, local activities in downtown Aurora, IL. Free fun at Culture Stock, 43 E. Galena Blvd. Kids enjoy crafts and stories at an event at the used bookstore. Culture Stock hosts activities and summer camps. Visit them on Facebook for more info. 1. SciTech. It’s a fun and educational place for the kids. You can also make a day of it and do lunch in downtown Aurora. Super SciTech Saturdays are free for kids with adult admission on the last Saturday of the month. If you’re downtown during First Fridays in Downtown Aurora, it’s free for the whole family to get in. Whee! 2. Swimming Stones. Across from SciTech on Benton Street are fabulous swimming stones that are kinetic and wet. Wonderful fun for free. 3. Saturdays in downtown Aurora. They’ve never been more fun. There’s the Aurora’s Farmers Market every Saturday morning (June to Oct) with kids crafts and more; there’s Summer Second Saturdays on the second Saturday of the month from June thru Sept at Millennium Plaza on Stolp Ave; and the last Saturday of August is Alley Art Festival – fun for the whole family on August 26. 4. Aurora Public Library. Check out the website and find lots of kids activities including storytime, Lego Club, crafts, and more! If you’re looking to meet other parents, the library is the BEST place. You can meet great friends there. (The Bookmobile parks at the Aurora’s Farmers Market on Saturday mornings.) 5. River’s Edge Cafe. They will save your life with their awesome kid-friendly play corner. Grab a latte and rest for a few minutes. They also have a beautiful deck with a river view that rivals Venice. There’s also Endiro Coffee – try their real juices in their comfy basement. Two Brothers Cafe has great pastries (scones!) and...

Downtown museums welcome Harry Potter fans on July 30...

Looking for something to do during Aurora’s Harry Potter Festival? Did you miss out on tickets? Sunday, July 30 welcomes wizards of all shapes and sizes to downtown Aurora. Aurora’s Harry Potter Festival is SOLD OUT and a magical spell won’t help you to get in; you’ll need a special wrist band to enter the festival, but don’t run under the stairs and hide in your tiny room. Check out these fun and magical events that do not require a festival ticket for entrance. Aurora Regional Fire Museum, 53 N. Broadway Noon to 5 Stop by the Aurora Regional Fire Museum from 12-5 pm on Sunday, July 30 for demos, activities, a Muggle Museum, Pop Up Vendors and more! The best part is, they are open by donation to all Muggles and Wizards! Admission: Donation SciTech Hands On Museum, 18 W. Benton St. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Join SciTech for a magical Fantastical Astronomy Fair! Hosted at SciTech Hands On Museum and only steps away from ‘Diagon Alley’, the Fair will captivate guests with lessons and magics of the sun, moons, and stars. Cost is $9 3/4 ($9.75 in advance/$15 at the door). THIS IS A SEPARATE EVENT WITH SEPARATE TICKETS! Admission: $9.75 in advance; $15 at door Aurora Historical Society, Tanner Museum 1 to 4 p.m. The 1857 Tanner House Museum, 305 Cedar Ave., will be open free of charge from 1-4 pm on Sunday, July 30 during the Harry Potter Festival in Aurora.  Both the Tanner Museum and David L. Pierce Art and History Center (The DLP at 20 E. Downer) will be featuring treasure hunts for innovations that are considered unremarkable or even quaint today but which seemed like magic at the time they were introduced in the 1800s and early 1900s.  Correct answers...

Victorian Tea Room comes to downtown Aurora this fall...

Downtown Aurora will soon be the home of a unique new hangout spot. A Victorian tearoom. A local business owner, Tanya Barkdoll of Lincoln Avenue’s Calla Lily Salon, is opening a the new Victorian Tea Room on LaSalle Street by early fall. Barkdoll hopes to bring an authentic tea room experience to Aurora. She previously apprenticed with a tea room owner in England. Her experience doesn’t end there; Barkdoll ran Calla Lily Victorian Tea Room in Montgomery, Ill. before relocating to Aurora. Barkdoll intends for her tea room to serve traditional English high tea as well as a more casual afternoon tea, functioning similarly to English tea houses. Though the tea room is based on foreign customs, Barkdoll has been working closely with local businesses for supplies. The tea blender is a Naperville native while the honey served in store will come from an Aurora beekeeper. The tea room will function like a complete restaurant, serving sandwiches and other finger food as well as more interesting options like honey tea infusions and tea pairings with desserts and such. Barkdoll says that though the tea room is open to everyone, she wishes for it to be a place for women to congregate and for it to feel like “lounging and relaxing at Grandma’s”. She said that the former Montgomery tea room felt like a dainty women’s club, which she wants to bring to Aurora because she thinks it is a place for women to “relax and kick back and not feel rushed or hurried”. She added that the tea room will continue to host bridal and baby showers as well as women’s groups after hours like the previous location did. The tea room will fit in well with Aurora’s culture since it has already been...