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Aurora Museums and Heritage Sites

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To broaden the cultural experience of its residents, Aurora continues to preserve its heritage in several impressive museums throughout the area. There’s no more imaginative facility than the SciTech Center. A must see, the Science and Technology Interactive Center Museum’s interactive approach allows you to experience more than 200 hands-on exhibits that run the gamut from sound, light, weather, physics, and math to nuclear energy, electricity, aquatic animals, and astronomy. There are chemistry demonstrations, a night-vision presentation, and Meet the Scientist Night. Kids can roam the Prehistoric Playground and learn about baby dinosaurs and their environment. Kids of all ages can even take a spin on the bicycle-on-a-highwire in the Outdoor Science Park.

One of the most sought-out destinations in the Fox Valley, the internationally acclaimed Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, site of the world’s most powerful particle accelerator. Just north of Aurora, the site also features restored prairie grass areas, historic barns, self-guided tours, and an actual herd of live bison.

To truly know Aurora’s history, visit the David L. Pierce Art and History Center, home of the Aurora Historical Society and the Aurora Public Art Commission. Here you can watch the city evolve by viewing the Society’s collection of memorabilia, by examining historical artifacts, pre-historic Mastodon bones, photo exhibits, and by exploring the public art gallery. Of historical significance as well, the William Tanner House is home to The Aurora Historical Museum and offers tours of the fully furnished 1856 Italianate.

Join Aurora in honoring its fighting men and women by visiting the military memorabilia collection at the center or by touring the Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall, an 1877 landmark building. Help celebrate the African-American heritage by exploring the African-American Heritage Museum and Black Veterans Archives, which features a significant sculpture garden of African-American art and an impressive veterans’ museum.

The Aurora Regional Fire Museum’s purpose is to preserve and exhibit the artifacts and history of Aurora and surrounding area fire departments. The backbone of the Aurora Regional Fire Museum is its strong collection of more than 1,000 artifacts, 2,000 photographs, and countless volumes of historical information. Much of this collection is available to researchers by appointment.

If you’re a fan of vintage military and training planes, then the Air Classics Museum of Aviation at Aurora Municipal Airport is on your list of must-see stops. There are authentic displays of a restored military trainer, fighter, bomber, and transport planes and other aircraft, along with aviation uniforms and memorabilia. Ageless Classics, Aurora’s newest transportation museum, showcases 50 vintage, low-production autos and 19th-century bicycles, and schedules workshops and special events.

You and your family can also step back into time and go on a one-of-a-kind country adventure at the 54-acre Blackberry Historical Farm-Village. Here, you will become pioneers for a day on a real 1800s farm and village where you will take train rides, enjoy pony rides, pet animals at the zoo, enjoy pioneer craft demonstrations and participate in other special events designed to transport you back to the days of yore. Also fascinating for the whole family is the Schingoethe Center for Native American Cultures on the scenic campus of Aurora University. Here you will learn facets of historical and contemporary Native American cultures from hands-on and interactive exhibits.

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