Conveniently located 35 minutes West of Chicago
Serving: Naperville • Oswego • Montgomery • Geneva • St Charles • Yorkville • Aurora • North Aurora • Batavia • Sugar Grove

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year…in Aurora

If a visit to Aurora during the holidays isn’t part of your holiday tradition yet, pencil in a trip for 2022! To put together a weekend of merriment, choose to attend one of these special events and then add visits to the season-long events, all happening in or near Aurora.

Special events in the Aurora area

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year…in Aurora

Winter Lights

Friday, November 18, 6 pm

Aurora kicks off the holiday season with a parade, tree-lighting and fireworks display downtown. Streets begin to close at 6 pm, and the parade route runs along Downer Place from Water Street to River Street. The parade steps off at 6:30 pm, led by Santa and Mrs. Claus joined by reindeer, elves and other holiday faves. Situate yourself at the east end of the Downer Place bridge for the best view of the tree lighting and fireworks display along the banks of the Fox River. The event features costumed characters, festive photo-ops, food trucks, artisan vendors and musical entertainment at Millennium Plaza.

Celebration of Lights Festival

Sunday, November 27, 5 – 7 pm

Just north of Aurora, Batavia ushers in the holidays with a slate of festive activities along the downtown riverwalk. Event highlights include the mayor’s tree-lighting ceremony, hayrides, a community sing-a-long, a performance by The Batavia Community Band, a story hour, holiday crafts and photos with Santa. Don’t miss Santa’s arrival at 5:45 pm, and be sure to stroll Christmas Tree Lane, featuring 25 holiday trees decorated by local organizations and businesses.

Oswego Christmas Walk

Friday, December 2, 4:30 – 8:30 pm

Just south of Aurora, the village of Oswego hosts the Christmas Walk along Main Street at Rt. 34, with holiday-themed food, games and live entertainment. Event highlights include a visit with Santa and the colorful Silent Light Parade.

Season-long events in Aurora

Paramount Theatre Shows

Sound of Music
November 9 – January 14
Tickets: Starting at $28

The hills will come alive in this Broadway show at Aurora’s acclaimed Paramount Theatre.

Second City’s Holiday Revue
November 25 – December 23
Tickets: Starting at $38

Chicago’s famed improv and sketch comedy troupe brings side-splitting, holiday-themed laughs to the Paramount’s Copley Theatre.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year…in Aurora


November 18 – December 24, Thursdays – Sundays
Free admission

Did you know Christkindlmarket Chicago actually has three locations – and one of them is RiverEdge Park in Aurora? Nominated one of the top 10 Holiday Markets by USA Today in 2021 and named after the Christkind, who is the German Bearer of Gifts, Christkindlmarket is a traditional European outdoor market that is sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Wander through the market while sipping mulled wine or hot chocolate, snacking on pierogies and crepes, and browsing for gifts from pottery to felt ornaments.

Festival of Lights Phillips Park

November 25 – December 26, Daily
Free admission

Fire up some holiday tunes on the radio, put the kids in their pajamas, pick up a cup of hot chocolate for the road, and drive to Aurora’s Phillips Park for one of the largest free outdoor drive-through holiday light displays in Northern Illinois. Delight at the twinkling snowflakes above the trees and sing along with the 20-foot singing and dancing Christmas tree!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year…in Aurora

Holiday Express

December 1 – 16, days and times vary
Tickets: $8

Bring the kiddos for a visit to see Blackberry Farm transformed into the North Pole, complete with thousands of twinkling lights, festive holiday decorations, happy holiday music, rides on the Holiday Express train and a hay wagon, crafts and stories, a reindeer food bar, and of course, a special visit with Santa.

If you’re looking to plan a trip that will bring all-ages joy to everyone in your group, check your calendar and schedule a trip to Aurora for the holidays.

Plan Today!

Start planning your trip to the Chicago, Naperville and Aurora area... book your perfect hotel stay today with Hampton Inn & Suites Aurora!

The hotel offers elegantly decorated, comfortable accommodations to suit every visitor’s need. For a romantic getaway for two, consider the King Suite with bar sink and under-counter refrigerator, or choose the Kids Suite for the family, complete with bunkbeds and a Playstation 4! The indoor pool, whirlpool and kiddie pool will please everyone, as will the delicious breakfast “on the house.” No time to sit for breakfast? No problem – the friendly front desk staff has you covered with “on-the-run” breakfast bags to take with you.

For those who are traveling to and from “the other big city” in Illinois, the hotel is conveniently located close to I-88 with easy access to Chicago.

Related Reads...