East Aurora feels locked in time. From Vidler’s 5-and-10 to the Aurora Theatre to the Roycroft Arts & Crafts movement, the early 1900s are alive and well on Main Street US-20A and ready to enjoy.
If you love those heartwarming Hallmark holiday movies, then you must watch A Prince For Christmas, which was filmed throughout East Aurora. You’ll recognize Vidler’s, Knox Farm, and the Roycroft Inn to name a few.
Suggested Itinerary for Your East Aurora Getaway
Take a look at these day-by-day ideas for your three-day East Aurora getaway, with plenty of other options below. You could take this plan and use it as your own, or let it serve as inspiration.
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Spend a few hours at Vidler’s 5 and 10 before doing anything else! There’s so much to see, you may wish to absorb it all now and stop back in before you head home again.
Here are some ideas to fill your day with memory-making adventures!
Stop in to Elm Street Bakery for coffee and a delicious assortment of pastries.
Or for a hearty, sit-down meal, head for Charlie’s Diner.
Spend the morning exploring the village. A walk down Main Street will show you everything the village of East Aurora has to offer. You’ll find unique boutiques, restaurants, and historic sites worth stopping for along the way.
For example, the Millard Fillmore House is the only home still standing that a president built with his own hands.
The Roycroft Campus and Elbert Hubbard Museum around the corner will give you insight into one of America’s most successful Arts and Crafts communities. The Campus contains nine of the original fourteen structures including the Inn, the Chapel, the Print Shop, the Furniture Shop, and the Copper Shop.
If you want to extend your walk, head up Riley Street to the Fisher-Price Toy Store. Kids or no kids, it’s a playful place for everyone! Fisher-Price was founded in East Aurora in 1930, and is still headquartered here today.
Enjoy lunch at Riley Street Station, a beautiful repurposed commuter train depot.
Or a take a less adventurous hike along a one-mile boardwalk loop trail through Major’s Park along Cazenovia Creek, which also flows through Cazenovia Creek Nature Sanctuary.
Enjoy a fine meal at The Roycroft Inn, and explore the Arts and Crafts movement decor throughout the historic building and grounds.
Enjoy sunset from the Mill Road Overlook.
Make the most of your time here this morning. Plan on seeing a few sites, and enjoying a great lunch before you head for home.
Stop by Taste Bistro & Coffee Bar
Head home on US-20A and spend the afternoon at Hidden Valley Animal Adventure.
I hope you grabbed a delicious frozen entrée from Mr. Pot Pie before you left East Aurora! Pop that in your oven for an easy meal after your adventures.
These are the top things to do around East Aurora.
Vidler’s 5 & 10
Founded in 1930, Vidler’s is the largest “5 & 10” variety store in the world. At least, that’s what their website declares! You could spend hours wandering around the store’s four connected buildings and still won’t see everything!
You’ll appreciate their entertaining and quirky commercials on YouTube if you’re looking for more reasons to go! The “Vidler on the Roof” has been in place since 2009.
Knox Farm State Park
Situated on a former country estate, the park’s 633 acres are comprised of a variety of habitats, including 400 acres of grasslands (pastures and hayfields), and 100 acres of woodlands, ponds and several wetland areas.
This extraordinary park is managed by the Friends of Knox Farm.
The Roycroft Campus is the most complete complex of buildings remaining in the country of the guilds that evolved as centers of craftsmanship and philosophy during the late 19th century.
Founded by Elbert Hubbard in 1897, it is often considered the birthplace of the American Arts & Crafts Movement.
The Campus, designated a National Historic Landmark district (NHL) in 1986, contains 9 of the original 14 structures including the Roycroft Inn, the Chapel, the Print Shop, the Furniture Shop, and the Copper Shop.
The Elbert Hubbard Roycroft Museum is just two blocks away.
Take a Hike
In addition to Knox Farm, there are several excellent parks and preserves to explore off the beaten path.
Great options for breakfast, lunch and dinner, or a tasty beverage along the way.
Here are the best options for a place to spend the night during your East Aurora getaway.
Inns and B & Bs
East Aurora’s Main Street is packed with shops!
These are either great times to visit or dates to avoid when planning your East Aurora getaway depending on your comfort level with crowds.
Borderland Music Festival
A grassroots music + art festival featuring 22+ bands across 3 stages, NYS Craft beer, plus craftsman and vendors located at the pastoral grounds of Knox State Park.
Celebrate the Annual Christmas Carolcade on Main Street in front of Vidler’s. A beloved East Aurora tradition, it started with some girl scouts singing carols at the store.
Today, nearly 2,000 singers from near and far come together to sing traditional Christmas carols, enjoy hot cocoa courtesy of Vidler’s and to see East Aurora’s historic Main Street decked out for Christmas.
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How will you spend your 3-day East Aurora getaway?
Please share your thoughts and stories with us in the comments. Your insight and experience are invaluable!