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updated: 10/10/2017 6:31 AM

Aurora area features hidden gems for event venues

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  • Cort Carlson

    Cort Carlson

  • The Homestead 1854 is ideal for retreats where your team will find rest and inspiration at this peaceful Italianate villa.

    The Homestead 1854 is ideal for retreats where your team will find rest and inspiration at this peaceful Italianate villa.

  • Waubonsee Community College houses more than 10,000 square feet of academic and professional event space.

    Waubonsee Community College houses more than 10,000 square feet of academic and professional event space.

  • Planners looking to inspire wonder in their groups can organize a deep dive into the pioneering study of particle physics conducted at Fermilab.

    Planners looking to inspire wonder in their groups can organize a deep dive into the pioneering study of particle physics conducted at Fermilab.

 

While corporate office blocks and conventional meeting rooms are a good fit for some, the Aurora area is where planners can turn to find the true hidden gems of Chicagoland event venues. Anchored by the City of Aurora -- the second-largest city in Illinois -- this collection of ten communities in the Western Suburbs offers dozens of stylish, unique destinations for groups seeking outstanding amenities without blowing the budget.

Start your search in Aurora's vibrant downtown, where you can find elegant art-deco meeting space at the Paramount Theatre. Since its first year of eligibility in the Chicago theater scene's "Jeff Awards" nominating process, the Paramount has racked up a record-breaking number of nominations and awards for its breathtaking original productions of Broadway hits like Hairspray, West Side Story, Oklahoma! and Sweeney Todd. Event attendees can be treated to matinee performances during the Paramount's Broadway Series season, and enjoy the artful décor of the Paramount Theatre's Grand Gallery during meetings and receptions seating up to 550 participants. Large-scale conventions and keynotes can be held in the theater itself, with capacity for over 1,800 guests. Wraparound views of the Fox River can be found just across the street at North Island Center, where the divisible Meyer Ballroom offers well-appointed modern accommodations.

Two Brothers Roundhouse, a popular port of call for one of the Midwest's most beloved craft breweries, has carved out a niche for itself as a lively meetings and event space in Aurora. Weddings occur here throughout the year, making use of rustic-chic rooms that can hold up to 600 attendees. On-site dining includes Two Brothers Artisan Brewing Company's handcrafted range of award-winning beers in a variety of styles plus locally- and sustainably-sourced menu options out of its catering kitchen. The Tavern at Two Brothers Roundhouse hosts nightly entertainment, perfect for after-hours mixers and cocktail receptions.

At its main campus in Sugar Grove, Waubonsee Community College houses more than 10,000 square feet of academic and professional event space with cutting-edge meeting technology to boost the efficiency and interactivity of your conference.

The Aurora Area's largest facility, RedBerri Convention Center at Timber Creek Inn & Suites, is a LEED Platinum Qualified Green Hotel with a total 56,000 square feet of expo, meeting and gallery space attached to a full-service 100-room hotel.

Recharge your group and cultivate creativity at The Homestead 1854. Ideal for retreats, your team will find rest and inspiration at this peaceful Italianate villa within walking distance of the Amtrak station in Plano, Illinois. Enjoy mindfulness exercises in the outdoor courtyard and labyrinth, hold meetings under the Timber Tent, and convene for cocktail hour in the Lewis Steward Congressional Library.

The collection of top name hotels in the Aurora area offer exceptional space for small to mid-size meetings. Recent renovations and upgrades have brought new brands and a fresh look to several area hotels.

Destination shopping & distinctive day trips

The attractions and travel destinations of the Aurora Area offer your attendees an unparalleled variety of experiences. Shop from an extraordinary collection of designer and luxury brands at Chicago

Premium Outlets, one of the Midwest's premier outlet malls. This outdoor, climate-controlled location offers exclusive deals of up to 65 percent on fashion, apparel, and décor at over 160 stores.

Planners looking to inspire wonder in their groups can organize a deep dive into the pioneering study of particle physics conducted at Fermilab, a publicly-accessible U.S. Department of Energy site. Here you can tour the facilities where an international team of physicists investigate the fundamental questions of science as it's understood today. Fermilab's wild lands and natural areas can also be explored, offering pristine beauty on over 6,800 acres that includes hundreds of native prairie plants, migratory bird species, and a picturesque bison preserve.

There are also a whole host of opportunities for your guests to let their hair down after your meetings close at night life hot spots like the Hollywood Casino in downtown Aurora, home to over 1,100 of the hottest slots in Illinois as well as the state's largest poker room. Round 1 Entertainment Center at the Fox Valley Mall provides two floors of fun, including private karaoke rooms, billiards, an arcade, and a 16-lane bowling alley.

Let us help you plan your next event: The meetings and event inventory of the Aurora area features lodging and facilities with big-city amenities at a great value. Serving the ten communities of Aurora, Batavia, Big Rock, Hinckley, Montgomery, North Aurora, Plano, Sandwich, Sugar Grove and Yorkville, just 40 miles west of Chicago, we can help you house your group thanks to our excellent relationships with area hotels. To learn more about what makes the Aurora Area an outstanding destination for your next meeting or event, contact Pete Garlock, director of sales, at (630) 256-3194 or email pete@enjoyaurora.com.

• Cort Carlson is the executive director of the Aurora Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.