Getaway to Aurora, Missouri

Located about 45 minutes from Springfield, Aurora is worth visiting anytime, but autumn attracts throngs of visitors to its corn maze, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

By Juliana Goodwin

Oct 2023

Coffee at the Garden Exchange in Aurora MO
Photo courtesy The Garden ExchangeThe Garden Exchange’s fall coffee flight is the perfect way to sample all of your favorite flavors of the season.

What was once a lead mining town in Lawrence County is now a charming day trip. From small town shops and a drive-in theater, put a trip to Aurora on your list.

Aurora's Maze

20591 Lawrence 2200, Aurora, 417-498-6071
Open now through Oct. 28 with a corn maze; Zombie Harvest, a paintball shoot for all ages; and courtyard attractions such as a crazy slide, cow train, hayrides, farm animals and more. Activities abound from karaoke to making s’mores. You can even reserve a bonfire to warm up on those chilly October nights. For brave souls, explore the Field of Screams, a haunted maze.

Hog Tide Bar-B-Que

22020 S. Wolfe Rd #1200, Aurora, 417-308-3525
This small city has big time barbecue at Hog Tide Bar-B-Que. Pitmaster Drew McNatt won the 2013 World Championship for his Brisket, has 30 grand championships to his name and has competed at all the nation’s most prestigious competitions including The American Royal. Barbecue has been a family tradition for the McNatts since the 1930s.

The Garden Exchange

22 E. Olive St., Aurora, 417-440-4054
The Garden Exchange started with a love of flowers that blossomed into a farm and eventually a full time business. At this quaint spot, you’ll find a delightful coffee shop, floral arrangements and mums and pumpkins for sale in the fall. This is a community-focused business that offers weekly family activities like bingo or craft days.

Sunset Drive-In Theatre

1601 E. Church St., Aurora, 417-678-6609
Remember the good old days of drive-in movies? Sunset Drive-In Theatre takes you back in time and it has been in business since 1951 with various owners. There are features on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tune into the radio, and enjoy concessions while you watch a flick from your car. This is a cash only operation.

Sublime Hippie Bistro

1510 A, S. Elliott Ave., Aurora
For smoothies, sandwiches, decadent cookies and customizable shirts, try Sublime Hippie Bistro & Marketplace, where you can eat and shop. They have everything from funny to quirky shirts in stock, including some Halloween options. The owner has a partnership with Tull House Cookies, aka “the cookie lady.”