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.

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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 yummy coffee inside the Roundhouse. They do offer crayons and coloring pages, which is a plus.

6. Al Fresco dining. Park your bike behind Endiro Coffee at 29 W. New York St. and enjoy their scenic and European patio. Cross the river and enjoy chips and homemade salsa and guacamole on the patio at La Quinta de los Reyes on New York St.

7. Biking trails. The Gilman Trail and the Fox River Trail are your friends. Hop on the bike (perhaps a Zagster) with a picnic packed and you’ll have serenity now!

8. Pokemon. We’ve got battles. We’ve got raids. We’ve got stops. Downtown Aurora is Pokemon friendly.

9. Water Street Mall. Enjoy the peaceful and serence tree-lined pedestrian walkway between Galena Blvd. and Downer Pl. Pack a picnic, throw a party, skip, sit in the grass. Enjoy it!

10. Fish. Downtown is a great place to catch some fish! Cozy up to the beautiful Fox River and cast a line. For more information on water safety, visit Rocktown Adventures on Spruce St.

11. Culture Stock is probably the best place to hang on a rainy day or just a mellow day. A kid-friendly book corner will entertain them, and a couch and cup of coffee are calling your name! Visit their Facebook page for more events, like weekly storytime.

12. Downtown museums. Your whole family will fall in love with Aurora Regional Fire Museum, 53 N. Broadway, and their new kid space on the second floor. The second-story “Aurora Story” exhibit courtesy of the Aurora Historical Society at the David L. Pierce Art and History Center is a must see for all ages. New this summer, there’s Aurora Museums After Dark at the Fire Museum and SciTech from 5 to 8 p.m. on June 8, July 13 and Aug 10.

13. Concerts at the plaza. It’s a night of free, outdoor fun along the Fox River with 10 weeks of Wednesday night concerts from June 14 to Aug 16 at Wednesdays at the Plaza. Or visit on a First Fridays from May thru Sept. for some of the best music in the valley.