First Fridays brings out the holiday spirit

First Fridays aims to bring some holiday cheer on Dec. 1.

For the fifth year, If These Walls Could Talk is hosting "Pack the Pantry," its annual art auction that benefits the Aurora Interfaith Food Pantry. Visit the frame shop and gallery from 6 to 10 p.m. at 32 S. Stolp Ave. and bid on a piece of art handcrafted by local artists out of paper grocery bags.

Also on First Fridays, two venues celebrate anniversaries. Gremlen Recording Studios, 130 W. Downer Place, celebrates 20 years. Tour the studios and listen to live music from 5 to 9 p.m.

Culture Stock, a used bookstore and community center at 43 E. Galena Blvd., celebrates its fifth anniversary from 6 to 9 p.m.

Get into the holiday spirit as Dan Becker and the Tourists "Rock Around the Christmas Tree" from 6 to 9 p.m. at Endiro Coffee, 29 W. New York St.

Aurora Fastprint, 54 E. Galena Blvd., is celebrating its 34th year of hosting the Wagon Wheel Party starting at 5 p.m.

• Visit pop up shops at Metropolitan Coworking, River's Edge Cafe, and Aurora Regional Fire Museum.

Art openings, live music, and more are featured at First Fridays on Dec. 1 at several locations throughout downtown including:

• Gillerson's Grubbery, 33 W. New York St., hosts "Mind Your Christmas" book release and signing by author and Yorkville Alderman Joel Frieders from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. 2 Fools Cider tasting starts at 6 p.m.

• Fox Art Studio, 9 S. Stolp Ave., hosts a jewelry show with three designers from 6 to 9 p.m.

• Artist Cheryl Holz is hosting her annual open studio night from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Aurora Artists Studios, 50 E. Galena Blvd. See Holz's new Eco-prints, small works, and holiday ornaments. Holz is also partnering with the Aurora Humane Society. Visit

• The ArtBar presents Deepayan Bose from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. at The Web, 134 W. Downer Place, along with two shows at Two Brothers Roundhouse, 205 N. Broadway. "The Face Show in the Cafe; "Life Goes On," a solo show featuring Lita Lu from 6 p.m. to midnight in the lounge.

• Gallery 1904, 1 E. Benton St., hosts "Artists & Community 2017," an end-of-year show through the eyes, words, and sounds of artists including Randy Benzie, Amanda Meyer, Michael Sawdey, and Susan Ward Trestrail. Original poetry written and performed by Susan Frances, Frank Rutledge, and Leo Zarko. Live music by Jim Green from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

• AKA Dance, 14 W. Downer Place, is open with a free children's dance class at 6:30 p.m. and "Polar Express" reading at 7 p.m. Children can come dance in their pajamas and stay for a reading of "Polar Express" from the conductor.

• Grand Gallery at Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., hosts its Winter Gallery Opening with new art by the gallery's resident artists from 7 to 9 p.m.

• River's Edge Cafe, 14 W. Downer Place, Suite 18, hosts pop up shops with Erica Stephan and from 5 to 9 p.m. Family-friendly carol singalong hosted by City of Light Anglican Church from 6 to 8 p.m. Free hot cocoa, while supplies last.

• Metropolitan Coworking, 14 W. Downer Place, Suite 16, hosts Wyckwood House Holiday Market. Local vendors curated by Shannon Gutierrez will set up with chic home decor, holiday gifts, and more from 5 to 9 p.m.

• David L. Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Place, is open from 6 to 9 p.m. with the Aurora Historical Society's "Holidays in Aurora" mini photo exhibit, "Aurora Story," and World War I Exhibit. The gift shop will be open for holiday gift buying.

• Culture Stock, 43 E. Galena Blvd., hosts "Respect the Mic," spoken word, at 9 p.m.

• SciTech, 18 W. Benton St., is open with demos and a look at STEAM activities for all ages from 6 to 8 p.m.

• Aurora Regional Fire Museum, 53 N. Broadway, is home to the Pop Up Shops during First Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m. Stop by and decorate a cookie sponsored by A Little Something Sweets. Vendors also include Ursula Naturals, Splinter and Things, BoogieBean Boutique, and Wheatley Design.

• Oddlots Gallery at Holbrook Mill, 121 W. Benton St., hosts "Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice," a display and sampling of classic Christmas cookies by Susan Palumbo from 6 to 9 p.m.

• Aurora Fastprint, 54 E. Galena Blvd., celebrates its 34th annual Wagon Wheel holiday party. It starts at 5 p.m.

• Indie Studio Space, 105 E. Galena Blvd., is open with 3-D pictures and live podcasting featuring Jake Kilts, Mat Astacio, Nic Astacio. First 30 people will receive a free 3-D photo by trick pic from 5 to 8 p.m.

• Community Christian Church, 78 S. LaSalle St., is serving up coffee, hot chocolate, live music, and more at its Community Coffeehouse from 6 to 9 p.m.

• Zen Loft Wellness Center, 6 W. Downer Place, offers $5 mini classes, demos, $10 chair massage, and staff performances from 6 to 9 p.m.

First Fridays maps are available at all venues. Free trolley rides run from 6 to 10 p.m. For more information, visit

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