Arts and Entertainment in Aurora, CO

By: Robert Thomson

Aurora, the third largest city in the state and a suburban hub located just outside of Denver, is home to some of Colorado's finest and most extensive arts and entertainment programs. Visitors to the city of Denver will find Aurora, located within the municipal region, to be an easy jaunt for some leisurely dining and entertainment. As a close neighbor to Denver, visitors to either city can easily reap the benefits of both locations.

Aurora's arts and entertainment offerings include live musical performances, theater productions, symphony concerts, art galleries and historic displays, as well as a variety of rich historic sites to include on the agenda. The array of events and performances held throughout the year make Aurora a mecca for those who appreciate culture and the arts.

Musical performances in the city include those offered by the Aurora Singers, a group founded in the late 1970s, which performs a wide array of musical genres. Through their quality musical theater performances and exceptional coral ensembles, the Aurora Singers are a must-see if they're performing while you're in town.

The Aurora Symphony Orchestra offers performances of any number of other events throughout the year. Orchestral performances, wine socials, and even live murder mysteries in which guests can participate in solving the crime keep the orchestra hall jumping with activity.

Visitors seeking live theater will find the Aurora Fox Arts Center, located in the East End Arts District of Aurora to be a destination spot. Now in its 26th season, the center provides live theater experiences in the midst of busy Aurora daily life, with numerous plays performed annually by both professional stage actors, as well as the occasional play presented by The Little Foxes, the center's youth performance troupe. The theater is housed in a restored movie house, complete with neon lights and 1940s' exterior.

The Shadow Theatre which was established in 1992 presents contemporary plays, modern classics and other main stage performances, numbering 400 plus each year. The Shadow gives theatergoers another option for taking in a performance in Aurora.

Those who find the visual arts pleasing will also want to include the non-profit, kid-centered Downtown Aurora Visual Arts (DAVA) in their places to visit while in Aurora. The center provides area children with structured art programs, free after-school workshops, and job training and internships opportunities within the arts. The DAVA center periodically features themed shows of participating children's artwork, making the gallery a perfect spot for enlightening the family and particularly your children on the presence of the arts in everyday life.

History comes alive in Aurora at The Plains Conservation Center, an outdoor education facility focusing on education associated with the native, early western settlement and natural history of the Aurora area and the State of Colorado. The center, made up of two separate sites, totals nearly 10,000 acres, and offers visitors a glimpse into the past.

The combined sites give visitors an opportunity to appreciate living-history through the exploration of short grass prairies similar to those encountered by early white settlers.

Sod houses built to replicate those lived in by westward-moving settlers during early American expansion to the region offer a taste of pioneer life. A historically accurate Cheyenne tepee village is also available for exploration at the Plains Conservation Center.

The Aurora History Museum is another spot to check out while in town. A cultural center for the city, the museum offers tours, family-oriented programs, decorative arts displays, ever-changing historical exhibits, and other events throughout the year. Visitors are never without a fresh and unique experience of Aurora history and culture.

Aurora historic sites are numerous, including the American War Mothers National Memorial Home, theaters, hotels, historic business venues, and several historic school houses, all meticulously preserved and open to public viewing.

Perhaps the most notable of Aurora's historic sites is located within the Aurora History Museum. The display is a Denver Tramway trolley car which dates back to the early 1900s. It was astoundingly discovered encased in the home of an Aurora police officer during renovations to the residence. The trolley now resides at the museum, after extensive transportation and renovation efforts have made it available for public viewing.

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