While in a driveable distance to the city boutiques of Chicago, Edgelawn offers plenty of shopping options to keep residents browsing close to home. West Aurora Plaza serves as the closest shopping center, with over 15 stores including various restaurants, furniture and jewelry shops.
Avoid the drive to Chicago and shop the small specialty stores offered downtown Aurora, located only a short distance from Edgelawn Randall. Stop in Glanze Boutique to browse trendy designer clothing and custom women's attire designed individually for specific clients. The shop also provides alteration services and custom designs to suit each customer's needs.
Unique to the area, check out Out of the Attic Antiques for some bargain deals on vintage antique items. Set aside most of an afternoon to get lost in this maze of treasures; the store fills a total of 10,000 square feet of space with 75 different dealers of antiques and offers specials throughout the year.
Located just to the north of the Edgelawn neighborhood, Cermak Fresh Market provides fresh produce, meat and other grocery options for the area. The store's selection contains many unique products, with an evident slant toward Hispanic cuisine.
The Aurora Farmers Market West located in West Aurora Plaza provides a diverse offering of local and regional produce from springtime through early September.
Edgelawn Randall holds a draw for those seeking cheaper rent rates and a slower pace of life than the big city of Chicago. The average rent for a 1-bedroom
apartment is $953, with most apartments ranging between $500 to $1000 per month. Compared to the rest of the state, the area's cost of living averages almost 2 percent cheaper. In general, expenses amount to much less than those of Chicago residents. Prices for groceries, restaurants and entertainment remain cheaper in the area than in the big city. However, residents of Edgelawn Randall may end up spending more money on transportation, depending on the distance of their commute.
As a quiet, suburban neighborhood, most residents of Edgelawn Randall travel daily by car. However, Edgelawn provides another option. Many locals utilize the public-bus system, though the routes run less frequently than most cities. The nearest Amtrak station lies in downtown Aurora, providing about an hour commute to downtown Chicago via train. Expect trains to come through this station every twenty minutes.
Don't count on hailing a cab in this neighborhood. The closest taxis mainly frequent the central Aurora area, so be sure to call ahead if you need a lift. Uber also provides service to the area as an alternative to traditional cab services.
If you are a car owner, you shouldn't have any trouble finding public parking on any given day. With most houses and apartments having designated parking spots and plenty of neighborhood streets, parking remains fairly prevalent. The edge of the neighborhood borders Interstate 88, so access to the highway is both close and easy to find.
This area proves walkable only for the purpose of a nice stroll or walking a dog. Many establishments, such as restaurants and stores, span across different areas and are separated from the residential section. Biking remains a casual recreational activity for most residents; bike lanes are available but uncommon. However, cycling through residential areas remains safe, with an abundance of stop signs and sidewalks paving the way.
The area of Edgelawn Randall takes pride in its safe and fun outdoor activities for families and children of all ages. Randall Park acts as the areas most central and largest park. With a baseball field, basketball court and fully equipped playground, Randall Park is exceptionally kid-friendly. For pet-friendly
outings, the open lawns make for a great area to play Frisbee with a furry friend. In addition, the park provides plenty of parking spaces for visitors.
If you are willing to drive a bit further, Phillips Park presents a whole days worth of fun activities. Boasting a wide variety of amenities, Phillips Park contains plenty to do within its 325 acres of land, including a swimming pool, water park, baseball field, tennis court, volleyball court and skate park. Highlights of the park include an animal zoo, the scenic Sunken Garden, a 28-acre fishing lake and an 18-hole golf course. If the farmers market closer to Edgelawn Randall doesn't provide enough options for you, Phillips Park hosts a larger farmers market every Saturday morning during summertime.
Residents of Edgelawn Randall have their choice of a variety of local restaurants located just to the south edge of the neighborhood. While many of the best restaurants in the Aurora area are located in central downtown, there remains a few noteworthy places that don't require traveling too far from home.
If you're craving brunch food, go to Mother's Pancake House & Restaurant for a local take on American breakfast and lunch cuisine. Specializing in Southern specialties such as biscuits and gravy, skillet chicken, hash browns and pancakes, this home-style restaurant has built a reputation for having stellar customer service and big portions of food. For those with a sweet tooth, order the cinnamon roll French toast with cinnamon butter and frosting for a full on dessert-for-breakfast experience.
Hounds Blue Moon serves as a well-reviewed spot for traditional American pub food with a gourmet twist. The best part about Hounds Blue Moon proves to be their nightly specials. Tuesday night's are a crowd favorite, serving up the famous stuffed-burger specials. Go on a Wednesday to take advantage of the weekly $1 taco deal or on a Friday night for an all you can eat fish fry.
A short drive from Edgelawn, downtown Aurora is the place to be for live music and entertainment. RiverEdge Park hosts live concerts throughout the warmer months, with multiple food and drink stands offering a taste of local cuisines. Featuring an elevated stage for optimal views, the lawn is open seating, so bring a picnic blanket or lawn chair to claim your spot early for the best view of the band. Each year brings in both large and small acts, from local bands to nationally recognized groups such as Lady Antebellum.
If you're looking for low-key dining experience, head over to Ballydoyle Irish Pub in downtown Aurora and grab a Guinness with a few friends. With an extensive beer list on tap, this Irish-style pub captures the authentic Emerald-Isle feel, with Whiskey barrels as tables and an outdoor patio. Try their fish-and-chips special, and stop by on a Wednesday night to hear local talent on Open Mic Night, or check out the Tuesday Trivia Night and drink specials.
The area surrounding Edgelawn Randall has a history of progressive ideology and big manufacturing. The land initially belonged to Native Americans, but was settled by the McCarthy brothers in 1834 after the Black Hawk War. However, with the Fox River running through the heart of the land, the west side of town, what is now Edgelawn Randall, was sold to another family. With this geographical split also came an ideological split, and West Aurora and East Aurora found themselves at odds on various issues of government and business.
Eventually, the towns joined once more as the central point of business was built on the Fox River, right in between the two areas. For most of the 20th century, Aurora acted as a manufacturing and industrial powerhouse with plenty of railroad and factory jobs available. Once the railroad shops closed in the 1970s, unemployment rose to a record 16 percent in the area. However, the construction of Hollywood Casino in 1993 brought new business to downtown and a new focus on consumer services over manufacturing jobs.
Edgelawn has a history of continual diversification, and some notable personalities to have lived in the area include Michael Bowden, pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, and Ed Clayton, a comic writer and illustrator who attended West Aurora High School.
Downtown Aurora contains multiple museums for residents to browse the art, history and science of the area. Located on an island on the Fox River, the Aurora Historical Society displays exhibits portraying the history of the area since the building's opening in 1906. The museum also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including the July 4th Ringing of the Bells and December Holiday Celebration.
For a fun day filled with discovery, check out the SciTech Interactive Science Museum located just one block away from the Aurora Historical Society. This museum features family-friendly exhibits that encourage interactive learning for both children and adults. This budget-friendly weekend destination has an admission cost of $8 to the general public, but children 3 years or younger get in for free.
Of the events that occur annually, Downtown Alive draws the biggest crowds for three weekends every summer. The festival hosts live music performances throughout the days with food booths lining the streets. The Aurora Art Walk, occurring once a quarter, sponsors local artists and grassroots art organizations by displaying local art in the streets of downtown for a day.