Aurora Film Society looks for members...

A local group is aiming to bring more films to downtown Aurora. The group of Aurora residents formed Aurora Film Society (AFS) this September to accomplish that goal. AFS was formed to serve as an educational, social, and local resource that provides a shared cinematic cultural experience based in the city center. The film society will offer monthly screenings of curated films as well as special events such as single screenings and festivals that focus on genres such as documentaries, animation, children’s film, and music. Karl Nicholas is the board president. Board members include Jeanne Norris, Kyle Reeves, Vicki McCoy, Karen Nicholas, and Helen Ratzlow. The group seeks to hold screenings in 2018 at the movie loft at the Aurora Regional Fire Museum, 53 N. Broadway. The loft seats approximately 60. “These screenings will be held downtown so as to avail ourselves of local restaurants, pubs, and bars for post-screening discussion. Our special events and film festivals will draw patrons from the wider region, with the likely result of more patronage to downtown businesses,” Norris said. AFS is holding their first fundraiser and membership drive on Saturday, Dec. 9 at Gallery 1904, 1 E. Benton St. Tickets can be purchased here. The evening will include a silent auction and live jazz by Dan Pierson Trio. To vote on movie screenings for 2018, visit AFS’s website...

First Place window design goes to …...

Tim Frederick and Jen Rauch teamed up to get creative with their downtown window display this year. The business partners and owners of If These Walls Could Talk at 32 S. Stolp Ave. have installed clever displays in years past, but they never were able to snag the coveted glass Winter Lights award for outstanding window design. This year, Frederick made sure to take the extra steps needed to polish the frame shop’s window design. Naturally, a frame maker and woodworker, Frederick utilized his skills to craft the Ball Stacker 3000, a snowball-making machine. Frederick even made it appear that the machine connects from one window to another via clear plastic pneumatic tubing. No detail was spared and Rauch added her own ideas and suggestions, as well. In one window, it appears that snowmen are dressing behind opaque glass dividers. Judges for the Winter Lights window decorating contest awarded Frederick and Rauch first place for their creativity. The annual contest encourages downtown businesses to decorate their storefronts for the holidays in time for the Winter Lights event held on the Friday before Thanksgiving. View several storefronts in downtown Aurora that are decorated for the holidays including AKA Dance, All Spoked Up, River’s Edge Cafe, SciTech Hands On Museum, Pure Skin Solutions, Do or Dye Designs, and...

First Fridays on Dec. 1: ‘Tis the season to be merry with art and cocoa...

First Fridays aims to bring some holiday cheer on December 1. For the fifth year, If These Walls Could Talk is hosting “Pack the Pantry,” their annual art auction that benefits the Aurora Interfaith Food Pantry. Visit the frame shop and gallery from 6 to 10 p.m. at 32 S. Stolp Ave. and bid on a piece of art handcrafted by local artists out of paper grocery bags. Also on First Fridays, two venues celebrate anniversaries. Gremlen Recording Studios, 130 W. Downer Pl. celebrates 20 years. Tour the studios and listen to live music from 5 to 9 p.m. Culture Stock, a used bookstore and community center at 43 E. Galena Blvd. celebrates its fifth anniversary from 6 to 9 p.m. Get into the holiday spirit as Dan Becker and the Tourists “Rock Around the Christmas Tree” from 6 to 9 p.m. at Endiro Coffee, 29 W. New York St. Aurora Fastprint, 54 E. Galena Blvd. is celebrating its 34th year of hosting the popular Wagon Wheel Party starting at 5 p.m. Visit pop up shops at Metropolitan Coworking, River’s Edge Cafe, and Aurora Regional Fire Museum. Art openings, live music, and more are featured at First Fridays on Dec. 1 at several locations throughout downtown including: Gillerson’s Grubbery, 33 W. New York St., hosts “Mind Your Christmas” book release and signing by author and Yorkville Alderman Joel Frieders. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. 2 Fools Cider tasting starts at 6 p.m. Fox Art Studio, 9 S. Stolp Ave., hosts a Jewelry Show with three designers. 6 to 9 p.m. Artist Cheryl Holz is hosting her annual open studio night at Aurora Artists Studios, 50 E. Galena Blvd. See Holz’ new Eco-prints, small works, and holiday ornaments. 5:30 to 8pm The ArtBar presents Deepayan Bose...

Santa on Broadway: Dec. 2, Dec. 9, Dec. 16...

Come see Santa on Broadway in downtown Aurora this December. Santa is stopping by shops along Broadway on the first three Saturdays of the month. Children can enjoy a visit and pictures with Santa from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. A variety of activities will also be offered at the different locations that Santa will be visiting. On Saturday, Dec. 2, Santa will visit the old tavern at 24 N. Broadway. Children can complete holiday coloring pages, and enjoy light refreshments courtesy of La Quinta de Los Reyes. On Saturday, Dec. 9, Santa will stop by PME Cake Decorating, 35 N. Broadway. Visit Santa at the corner of New York St. and Broadway for a cookie decorating party. Each child gets one free cookie donated by La France Bakery and La Central. While supplies last. On Saturday, Dec. 16, Santa will be at SeguroMex Insurance, 31 S. Broadway. An optional make and take ornament for $7 per child will be offered. The event is free. It is sponsored by Broadway business owners with assistance from Aurora alderpersons and Aurora Downtown, a non profit organization of business and property owners in downtown. Families are encouraged to bring their camera or phone for photos with Santa. Children will also receive a free candy...

Shop Local for the Holidays in Downtown Aurora...

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? NOM NOM NOM 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? BEAUTIFUL THINGS 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...