Southlands Shopping Center in Aurora is having a birthday – they are turning ten years old this year, which is crazy to me. Back in the day, when I had one-year-old twins and was super pregnant with another set of twins, I used to drive allllll the way down to this part of town to go shopping at Walmart for diapers and formula because we lived in a brand new development with no stores. Southlands was pretty much just a bunch of paved streets with NOTHING on them except a Walmart and a Sam’s Club, way off in the distance. As time went by, my babies started to grow older and so did Southlands. We watched stores pop up one by one, along with lighting and landscaping and wow, all of a sudden there was a big fountain to play in! It’s funny to look back at old pictures like this – the kids are teeny and so are the trees! Southlands was sparkly and new here…
HUGE contrast to present day, when I hit up Southlands to shop for their birthday presents as the oldest two are about to turn THIRTEEN!
Now, we live 5 minutes from Southlands and we are there all the time, winter and summer. Last Saturday, I spent a lovely afternoon with the management at Southlands along with a group of local influencers.
We learned all about the history of the shopping center (nothing I didn’t already know, I’m O.G!) and we had so much fun checking out the farmer’s market and all the different stores. I spent basically the whole afternoon shopping for this about-to-turn-thirteen boy and girl, and I found so many great things. First of all, Pablo has autism, which makes it hard to shop for him – his interests are often pretty unusual! I always find amazing things in Barnes & Noble, Beyond the Blackboard, and Hot Topic. Here are a few things that caught my eye that Pablo would be thrilled to open up for his birthday!
I love the staff at Beyond the Blackboard – this is a family-run store, and they take time with each customer to recommend just the right gift for every kid. They have a great selection of activities and games for kids with autism. And they gift wrap for free!
Mallory is much easier to shop for! She loves anything cute, anything with emojis, and ANYTHING from Bath and Body Works, her favorite store EVER. Here are a few things I grabbed at Hallmark, Tilly’s, and Bath and Body Works. Honestly, though, my plan is to give her a Southlands gift card and let her go get whatever she wants!
Birthday shopping is done – yippee! And look, I even found the perfect gift for ME.
I’m sure ALL my kids would agree. Right?
As if my day of shopping with my bestie wasn’t fun enough, we got to do the most amazeballs thing ever. Seriously. I couldn’t make my face stop smiling! Check this out! Southlands has a new bike shop called Pedego where you can rent an ELECTRIC bike! I took a test ride and it was SO much fun. I’ve always wanted to ride a bicycle for two, and bonus, I didn’t even have to pedal. You’ve gotta go check them out!
Hey, Southlands has all sorts of stuff going on for their upcoming 10th anniversary celebration on October 8th. They’re starting the day with a Family Fun Walk, followed by a Community Pancake Breakfast with a portion of proceeds benefiting the Aurora Family YMCA, all day entertainment in Town Square, tons of giveaways, and a concert from 3 to 5 p.m. featuring vocal rock band FACE. Information about all that is available on the ShopSouthlands website right here.
Many thanks to Southlands for hosting this blogger event and for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own, of course!