Aurora's First Fridays continues hot cocoa tradition on Dec. 2

  • A music duo performs at Wyckwood House during last year's Cocoa Crawl during December's First Fridays in downtown Aurora.

    A music duo performs at Wyckwood House during last year's Cocoa Crawl during December's First Fridays in downtown Aurora. Courtesy of Amy Nelson

 
 
Updated 11/30/2022 11:32 AM

It's time for Aurora Downtown's annual Cocoa Crawl in conjunction with the downtown group's monthly First Fridays event on Dec. 2.

The popular seasonal event offers more than 40 holiday activities throughout downtown including photos with Santa, holiday shopping, live music, and more.

 

To participate in the Cocoa Crawl portion of First Fridays from 5 to 9 p.m., an official Cocoa Crawl mug and button are needed. Mugs are now sold out, however buttons are still available for those who have Cocoa Crawl mugs from previous years.

With a Cocoa Crawl mug and button, visitors to First Fridays will be able to sample hot chocolate of different varieties including nondairy options and one hot cider at about 30 participating locations.

"It's our fourth year hosting the annual Cocoa Crawl. It's always a fun, festive time with everyone walking around downtown with mugs in hand. This year, we have even more to do at First Fridays with Christkindlmarket nearby," said Marissa Amoni, manager of Aurora Downtown, a nonprofit group of business and property owners.

Amoni added, "Everyone is invited to enjoy the many First Fridays activities happening, and there are more than ever this year."

The Food Truck Food Court will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. at Water Street Square across from city hall with Strawberries BBQ, Holy Pierogi, Home Run Hot Dogs and Lemonade, Burritoville, and Tapville Social with a beer garden. Vendors are subject to change.

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Throughout downtown, the First Fridays event lineup includes more than 40 activities for all ages.

• Aurora Public Art, 20 W. Downer Place, will be open for the Winter Garden of Youth art showcase on the first and third floors. Aurora Historical Society will have hot chocolate and the gift shop will be open with gifts and 2023 Aurora calendars plus the Aurora Story exhibit on the second floor from 6 to 9 p.m.

• Compton Law Group and Latino Immigration and Legal Center, 22 E. Downer Place, will be open with Gerardo R. Madrigal's solo art show and hot chocolate from 5:30 to 9 p.m.

• The ArtBar at Two Brothers Roundhouse, 205 N. Broadway, will feature Jason Essex and Jessi Buzzkill-Cox with art by Pierre Lucero from 6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

• Artesan Lofts Art Gallery, 2 S. Stolp Ave., will host "Magic in the Night," a holiday photography series by Nattaya Worrakitpoonpol from 6 to 9 p.m.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• Gary Brown Art Gallery & Studio, 7 S. Broadway, will be open with "Art and Vintage Holiday Bonanza," featuring antique and artistic gifts by Gary Brown and Mark Radina from 6 to 9 p.m.

• French 75 Gallery and Lounge, 56 E. Galena Blvd., will be open with new works by Hope Ashworth and Jake Beltran. They will also feature a Hot Apple Cheer Cocktail from 4 p.m. to midnight.

• Nuna Ceramics, 77 S. Lake St., will be open with holiday ceramics, a raffle, and wheelthrowing demonstrations from 5 to 8 p.m.

• Holz Fine Art, located upstairs at Aurora Artist Studios, 50 E. Galena Blvd., will showcase affordable painterly gifts for the art or nature lover in your life from 5 to 9 p.m. Most $20 or under.

• Santori Public Library, 101 S. River St., will host an evening of live jazz from Petra van Nuis. Families are invited to get a sparkling snowflake tattoo, take home a cocoa cone, enjoy a green screen photo op, and enjoy the Holiday Celebrations in Many Lands exhibit from 6 to 8 p.m.

• Altiro Latin Fusion, 1 S. Stolp Ave., will feature live Spanish Rock by Damián Rivera from 6 to 8 p.m.

• Tavern on Broadway, 24 N. Broadway, will host live music from 8 to 10 p.m.

• Aurora Tap House, 134 W. Downer Place, will be open late with karaoke.

• McCarty Mills Taproom, 140 S. River St. Ste 108, will host a pop up food vendor, DJ Rogue1TBA and champurrado until 11 p.m.

• Kathryn's Place, 61 S. Stolp Ave., will be open from 5 to 9 p.m.

• G.A.R. Museum, 23 E. Downer Place, will host "When the War is Over," a traveling exhibit from the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, detailing government programs developed after the war to care for soldiers and their families from 5 to 9 p.m.

• Aurora Regional Fire Museum, 53 N. Broadway, will feature "Holiday Fun." Stop by their special Watch Office gift shop to check out new holiday merchandise. The first floor of the museum will also be open from 5 to 9 p.m.

• Wyckwood House Boutique and Cocktail Bar, 80 S. River St., will be open with live music, a hot cocoa bar, and holiday shopping from 5 to 9 p.m.

• Zen Loft Wellness Center and I of the Angeles, located upstairs at 6 W. Downer Pl. will feature a Songwriter Showcase benefiting Mutual Ground, $1/min chair massage, $10/mini-tarot readings, hang in hammocks, shop local vendors, and live music by Mo Pippy from 5 to 10 p.m.

• All Spoked Up, 14 W. Downer Place Suite 10, will host their Santa Toy Ride: Bring a toy for Toys for Tots and come ride bikes to Philips Park holiday lights from 6 to 9 p.m.

• Pure Skin Solutions and you+ Medical Aesthetics, 26 S. Stolp Ave., will be open with a stocking stuffer booth from 5 to 9 p.m.

• Superjumbo, 102 E. Galena Blvd., will feature a VHS Sale from noon to 8 p.m.

• Alive Center for Teens, 78 S. LaSalle St., will host a Santa photo booth from 5 to 8:30 p.m.

• Amy Morton's Stolp Island Social, 5 E. Galena Blvd., will offer a special cocktail: Cocoa Cocktail with a twist from 5 to 10:30 p.m.

• Endiro Coffee, 29 W. New York St., will be open for First Fridays from 5 to 9 p.m.

• The Cornucopia Tea & Gift Shop, 63 S. Broadway, will host "Teas from Around the World." Learn about the world of teas, health benefits, how to brew loose leaf teas, and enjoy in shop discounts from 5 to 9 p.m.

• The Perch and Aurora Business Center, 31 W. Downer Place, will offer free refreshments plus holiday shopping. The Perch will offer gifts focused on mindfulness, self-love, and connection from 5 to 9 p.m.

• Waubonsee Community College, 18 S. River St., will be open with a Ceramics Club holiday pottery sale, silk screen printing, live music featuring the college jazz combos, chorale, and more from 5 to 9 p.m.

• La Quinta de los Reyes, 36 E. New York St., will host a balloon artist, live music, and ponche con piquete/hot punch with liquor from 6 to 9 p.m.

• Alice's Corner, 37 W. New York St., will be open from 5 to 9 p.m.

• Tredwell Coffee, 14 W. Downer Pl., will host Tredwell's Winter Wonderland: Live music by Stephanie Su and Marcus Jefferson from the Jade Moon Jazz Band along with Buho Candle Company, and a children's coloring station from 5 to 9 p.m.

• Warehouse 55 and Blissful Blooms, 55 S. Lake St., will be open with Winter Wonderland: Enjoy Christmas cookies and shop for the holidays.

• Society 57, 100 S. River St., will be open from 5 to 9 p.m.

• Christian Science Reading Room, 34 S. Stolp Ave., will be open with a take home art project for kids from 6 to 8 p.m.

• Ballydoyle Irish Pub, 28 W. New York St., will feature their award-winning Winter Lights window display from 5 to 9 p.m.

• FNBO Mortgage, 140 S. River St. Ste 112, will be open from 5 to 9 p.m.

• Community Christian Church, 78 S. LaSalle St., will host a free picture with Santa from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

• Renew Salon and Spa, 160 S. River St., will offer holiday shopping, dessert charcuterie cups, and grazing boards from 5 to 8 p.m.

• Hoof & Horn, 14 W. Downer Place Suite 16, will be open with a Holiday Bake Sale Pop-up featuring Aurora pop-up chef YudyCooks from 5 to 9 p.m.

• Yetee Station Arcade, 11 N. Broadway (next door at Public Access), will host Vintage Wonderland: Curated vintage by Offbeat Thrift and Ruby Retro. Center your seasonal intentions with a tarot reading from Huge Witch from 5 to 9 p.m.

• The Cotton Seed Creative Exchange, 64 S. River St., will host Fresh Gems, artist Fundamental who will be customizing holiday artwork, and Closer Fragrances with handmade oils from 5 to 9 p.m.

• Chupacabra Puerto Rican Kitchen, 31 N. Broadway, will host Aroma Roots Holiday Market featuring handcrafted bathand body products and clothing from 4 to 9 p.m.

For more information and a complete map of First Fridays and Cocoa Crawl participating locations, visit www.auroradowntown.org.

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