With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, you may be thinking about ways to celebrate. Fortunately Chicago has a lot to offer for date night ideas any time of year, and we have 10 for you right here:
Ice Skating. In the winter, at least, ice skating is a fun outing for couples (or even friends). In Chicago, there are a couple different options. At Millennium Park, skating is free and open to the public (plus $12 if you need to rent a pair of skates, and a little more to rent a locker). Wrigley Field also offers ice skating in the winter, which might be a bit more appealing if you’re planning to hit the ice with a Cubs fan. Admission is free for children under 12 and $5 for everyone else, and skate rentals are an additional $10. For hours and more information, check their website.
Adler After Dark is one of the highly recommended date night activities in the city. The Adler Planetarium opens up after hours for a 21+ crowd once a month, so you can grab drinks and move around the planetarium and check out the “last frontier.” This February’s program (the day after Valentine’s Day, in fact) is “Mars or Bust.” More information available here.
Horse Drawn Carriage Ride. For an old-fashioned date night idea, you can’t do much better than a horse drawn carriage ride. Chicago Carriage even lets you customize your route, and they’ll make sure your proposal goes off without a hitch (if that’s what you’re up to). For the safety of the horses (and humans), rides are not offered during extreme weather or temperatures below 15 (or above 89 if you are considering this for warmer months).
Visit Margie’s Fine Candies. If you or your date has a sweet tooth, a trip to one of the oldest Chicago businesses is probably the way to go. Share some candy or a sundae with your date- sometimes it’s okay to skip dinner for dessert! Visit Margie’s Fine Candies online here.
Promontory Point. If you want more of a date day than a date night, perhaps strolling around Promontory Point is a better way to spend some time with each other. There are plenty of coffee shops and restaurants nearby in Hyde Park. Plus, the view of the Chicago skyline from the point makes it a popular wedding venue in the city.
Garfield Conservatory. Another fairly popular date idea is visiting Garfield Conservatory, the “urban oasis” in Chicago. Stroll through the rooms of plants, from palm trees to ferns to sugar plants and much more, and feel like you’re in a different world altogether.
Visit a Fireplace Bar. It turns out there’s no shortage of bars with fireplaces in Chicago. Any one is a great option for a night out that’s still cozy (and involves drinks). Check out Thrillist’s list of the best fireplace bars in Chicago to get inspired.
Ferris Wheel Ride on The Navy Pier. The Navy Pier is open year round, including the Ferris wheel. Like a carriage ride, you’ll have the advantage of conversation revolving around your surroundings (which is always helpful on a first or second date), but there won’t be too much going on (like at a movie or concert) that you can’t enjoy each other’s company. Check out The Navy Pier website for hours.
Chicago Pizza Party. February 10th, the Chicago Pizza Party is the perfect way to get out in the city (especially since as a city, we are famous for our pizza). Twenty different restaurants will be there competing. What better way to spend the night than testing some slices (and grabbing drinks, if you go to the later session). Tickets and more information available here.
Frost Fest. On February 24th-25th, the annual Frost Fest is back with heated tents, live music, and of course, craft beers. For more information on the festival and tickets, visit their website here.
So whether you have a first date coming up or are going to take out your sweetie you’ve been with for over fifty years, try something new, local, and romantic!