Aurora, an outer suburb of Chicago, is a populous city in the state of Illinois. The estimated population of the city in 2017 was 200,965. The city has a rich arts and culture scene. The downtown area is full of historic places and architectural landmarks, such as the Venkateswara Swami Temple, an important Hindu temple in Greater Chicago. The city also has a large zoo and there are dozens of museums to visit in the city including Aurora Historical Society, The Aurora Public Arts Commission, Aurora Regional Fire Museum, Grand Army of the Republic Hall, David L. Pierce Art and History Center, Phillips Park Zoo, Schingoethe Museum of Native American Culture and the SciTech Interactive Science Museum.
The Paramount Theatre is one of the main attractions in Downtown Aurora. It is a large live performance theatre and it is featured on the US NRHP. The theatre also goes by the name Paramount Arts Center and it was constructed in 1931. The building underwent major renovations in 1978. Over the years, hundreds of comedy shows, musicals, concerts, plays, films, and other live stage acts have performed at the theatre.
Aurora Illinois Museums
One key museum in the city is the Aurora Regional Fire Museum. The museum is situated in an old Central Fire Station that was originally built in 1894. The building was used as a functioning fire station for decades until it ceased operations in 1980. The museum is preliminary an educational institution and its function is to preserve and display the history and artifacts of fire departments in the area across the decades. The museum also teaches fire safety and prevention to visitor groups. Another key museum in Aurora is The Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Museum. The venue is open to the public every Saturday from 12 pm till 4 pm.
Phillips Park Zoo
The zoo was established in 1915 and used to house exotic animals like monkeys and giraffes until 1934. In 1934, Brookfield Zoo opened and Phillip Park Zoo changed its focus to hosing native animals. The zoo has no admission charge and it is open all year. The venue is a great tourist attraction for the city of Aurora. Some of the animals you can see at the zoo include great horned owls, river otters, pygmy goats, llamas, bald eagles, gray wolves, peacocks, various reptiles and a selection of common farmyard animals. There is also an educational center on site.