Going to a Concert at RiverEdge Park this Summer? Here’s your Insider Guide.
Whether you are going to RiverEdge Park to see Willie or Weird Al, we’ve compiled some handy tips and tricks for you to navigate your way through downtown Aurora and the park. Have a great show!
How do I get there? If you’re a local, then biking is by far the best way to get to the park. There are several bike racks in front and on the south side of the park entrances. There’s even a bike trail behind the park. If you’re in Chicago or on the train line, then Aurora is the last train stop from Union Station. If it’s a weekend show, the weekend train pass is a steal.
I’m driving. Where do I park? To avoid any hassle, the best parking is in a city lot or along the streets in downtown Aurora. You can park for free and walk a block or two to the park. If you want to park close, then the Aurora Transportation Center has a $5 fee lot across the street on Broadway. There’s also a 10-hour lot behind the amazing Aurora Regional Fire Museum at the corner of Broadway and New York Street. Downtown has two public parking decks that are $5 max. Not bad.
I don’t have tickets, but want to by them at the show. Starting at Noon the day of the show, you can visit the RiverEdge Park Box Office located at the main entrance gate 2, open on show days only beginning at Noon. Starting one hour before gates open, you may visit any of the brown remote Ticket Booth huts located outside the four entrance gates.
How early should I arrive? That depends. Arrive early to claim a spot on the concrete to set up some chairs. Arrive at any time to stand. Arrive early to get a ticket. Entrance is a lot easier if you already have your tickets. The park is pretty casual, so just go with the flow.
I’m bringing a chair. What should I know? You can set up your chair(s) anywhere behind the standing area. The best areas are on either side of the sound stage. There is a also a grassy hill towards the back of the park, but we think that’s best for blankets so that people can see. Also, if you bring a chair, then please sit in it. If you want to stand, walk up to the standing area. Other patrons thank you.
Is the park family-friendly? Absolutely. Most families congregate on the grassy hill with picnic blankets and/or chairs. It’s common for Frisbee and other games to be happening, so heads up!
We’re making a night out of this, so where can we eat before the show? Great question! Downtown has about a dozen, mostly locally-owned restaurants. Depending on your mood and dining preference, you can enjoy a variety of choices with little or no wait. If you go early, you can enjoy a tasty burger at Gillerson’s Grubbery, 33 W. New York St., or some Brazilian goodness next door at U Samba? If you allow plenty of time, stop by Ballydoyle on New York Street for some Irish deliciousness or La Quinta de los Reyes for hits-the-spot Mexican food. Some treasures with no wait will likely be Tecalitan Restaurant with authentic Mexican food, New China Hut #3 on River Street, and Taqueria el Tio, 81 S. River St. Two Brothers Roundhouse is a perfect option with it being located right across the street from the park. Click here for more choices.
Can I bring in my own food? Yes! The park now allows soft collapsible coolers no larger than 12” W x 12” H x 12” L. The park stresses that coolers “must fit under your chair and must be stored there once the concert begins.”
Sounds good. What about beverages? No outside beverages are allowed in, with the exception of 2 SEALED bottles of unflavored water per person. Bottled water must be one liter or less.
Can I buy food and beverages at the park? Please! That’s half the fun. The park often has food trucks lined up near the east side of the park, and there is a park food counter near the main entrance serving lots of goodies (even for vegetarians). Beer and wine are available as well. Make sure you get a wrist band when you enter the park.
What about leaving the park? If you wait until the very end and then leave with everyone else, then there might be a bit of a backup on Broadway, but if you leave a tad bit early or a little after the concert ends, then you won’t have any issues. It’s also easier to leave if you park in downtown since you won’t have the backed up traffic. Keep in mind that Galena currently is under construction, so best to avoid going eastbound on Galena this summer. Benton or Downer are good westbound/eastbound streets with little traffic.
Anything else? Don’t forget to enjoy your surroundings at the park. RiverEdge Park is located next to the beautiful Fox River and sits just beyond the historic downtown that boasts amazing architecture and world-class arts and entertainment. You’ll probably want to come back for First Fridays or a show at Riverfront Playhouse or the Paramount. If you’re at a Friday night concert, then you can come back in the morning for the notable farmers market (the oldest in the state) at the Aurora Transportation Center parking lot.
P.S. That tall building that you see with the lit up star on top of it. That’s Leland Tower – the tallest building outside of Chicago and home of the blues. The historic, former hotel (now residences) housed the Sky Club where predominate blues musicians recorded and made a name for themselves.
If you want to know more about visiting the park, click here.