Exciting Date Night Ideas in Chicagoland

Spice up your next date night with these fun activities.

As busy parents, we deserve a night out every now and then without the kids. And when you finally have a babysitter, it’s time to have some fun!

Resist the urge to catch some much-needed shuteye in a parking lot, make a Target run or do the boring old dinner and a movie routine. Chicagoland has so many sensational options for unique date night experiences!

We’ve rounded up our favorite local events and activities to make your next date night extra special. Don’t have time to go out? Check out these at-home date night ideas instead.

Local events

Photo credit: iStock/monkeybusinessimages

Pixar Putt at Navy Pier

July 21-23, 2023

Pixar Putt is a pop-up, open-air mini-golf experience made up of 18 fun and interactive holes inspired by Pixar films.

Tacos y Tamales Festival

July 21-23, 2023

Come to experience the best (and most authentic) tacos and tamales Chicago has to offer, plus handmade tortillas, local art Installations, merchant vendors, authentic Mexican chefs, Latin music and dance performances. 

Taste of Lincoln Avenue

July 21-23, 2023

Enjoy a main stage with local and regional entertainment, food and more. 

Bags, Brew and BBQ at Wilder Park

July 22, 2023

Parents can enjoy a game night in Wilder Park for adults. Grab a drink and bring out your competitive spirit with bags and supersized editions of classic games. For ages 21 and up only (state or federal ID required).

Dining in the Dark: An Elegant Blindfolded Dining Experience at The Sofitel

July 22, 2023

Parents can enjoy Dining in the Dark at The Sofitel, where they can immerse themselves in a mysterious and interactive experience.

Movies in the Parks at Brooks (Oscar) Park

July 22, 27, 2023

Head to Brooks Park for a showing of Black Adam on July 22 and Thor: Love and Thunder on July 27. Movies begins at dusk.

Movies in the Parks at Rosenblum (J. Leslie) Park

July 22, 2023

Head to Rosenblum (J. Leslie) Park for a showing of The Wiz. The movie begins at dusk.

Lincolnwood Fest at Henry A. Proesel Park

July 27-30, 2023

This fest features live music, carnival rides, games, BINGO, classic car show, arts and crafts and more.

The GooRoos at Venue 1012 

July 27, 2023

Feel like you’re at an old school rock concert when you come out to Venue 1012 to see The GooRoos in this free concert.

Wicker Park Fest

July 28-30, 2023

  • Address: Milwaukee Ave. between Damen Ave. and Ashland Ave., Chicago
  • Cost: $10/suggested donation

This event returns to Wicker Park and features over 50 local bands, over 200 participating small businesses, local food vendors and more.

Art at the Glen

July 29-30, 2023

See the art of more than 140 juried artists from across the country. Artists will be available at their booths to give demonstrations and one-on-one conversations about their artistic processes.

Movies in the Parks at Lake Shore Park

July 29, Aug. 15, Sept. 8, 2023

Head to Lake Shore Park for a showing of Jungle Cruise on July 29, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever on Aug. 15 and Grease on Sept. 8. The movie begins at dusk.

Concerts in Your Park: Scarlett’s Fire at Tall Grass Park

July 30, 2023

Enjoy a Sunday evening live concert in the park.

Movie in the Park: Spider-Man No Way Home at Tony Bettenhausen Recreation Center Band Shell

Aug 3, 2023

See the film, Spider-Man No Way Home at Tinley Park District’s Thursdays in the Park summer series. Bring your own blanket and chairs. A small concession stand will be available.

Movies in the Parks at Berger (Albert) Park

Aug. 5, 2023

Head to Berger Park for a showing of Indiana Jones and the Raiders and the Lost Ark. The movie begins at dusk. 

Movies in the Parks at Oz Park

Aug. 5, 26, 2023

Head to Oz Park for a showing of West Side Story on Aug. 5 and The Wiz on Aug. 26. Movies begin at dusk.

Southern Accents: Tom Petty Tribute Band at Venue 1012 

Aug. 5, 2023

Enjoy this Tom Petty tribute band called Southern Accents, formed by elite musicians from Nashville.

Titan Walls Festival at District Brew Yards

Aug. 7-12, 2023

Check out Chicago’s largest mural festival and spread art across the city. It will feature incredible mural artists from around the world. A fusion between art, culture and community, you’ll be able to experience live-painting, immersive activations and so much more!

Movies in the Parks at Bartelme (Mary) Park

Aug. 9, Sept. 7, 2023

Head to Bartelme Park for a movie. Begins at dusk. Top Gun: Maverick is on Aug. 9 and Million Dollar Arm is on Sept. 7.

Live @ Lighthouse Summer Concert Series: Lenny White, Cyrus Chestnut and Buster Williams at Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago

Aug. 10, 2023

Enjoy a summer concert series at Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago featuring acclaimed classical and jazz artists. Aug. 10 is Lenny White, Cyrus Chestnut and Buster Williams

Starry Night Champagne Dinner

Aug. 10, 2023

Join Sofitel Chicago for an evening sipping Dom Perignon champagne under the stars. Experience their first ever pop-up dinner on La Terrace.

Lincolnshire Art Festival

Aug. 12-13, 2023

Lincolnshire Art Festival showcases the work of more than 80 juried artists from around the world in a variety of mediums. There’s also live music, a selection of beers, festival food and more.

Movies in the Parks at Loyola Park

Aug. 12, 19, 2023

Head to Loyola Park for a showing of Top Gun: Maverick on Aug. 12 and Spider-Man: No Way Home on Aug. 19. The movies begin at dusk.

Northalsted Market Days

Aug. 12-13, 2023

There will be music on five stages, food, drinks, DJ’s and over 200 unique vendors at this annual.

Broadway in Chicago Summer Concert at Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park

Aug. 14, 2023

Head downtown and hear selections from MJ, Hamilton, the pre-Broadway Chicago premieres of A Wonderful World and The Wiz, Boop! The Musical, which has its World Premiere in Chicago this fall, Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Tony Award-winning musical revival Company and Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas The Musical. More shows to be announced.

Movies in the Parks at Commercial Club Playground of Chicago at Commercial Park

Aug. 17, 2023

Head to Commercial Club Playground of Chicago at Commercial Park for a showing of Top Gun: Maverick on Aug. 17. The movie begins at dusk.

Second Hand News: Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band at Venue 1012

Aug. 17, 2023

Enjoy a free concert to see Fleetwood Mac tribute band, Second Hand News at Venue 1012.

Evanston Art & Big Fork Festival

Aug. 18-20, 2023

Shop from over 130 juried artists from around the country at this annual event. For three days, art lovers will have the opportunity to see the masters at work with live art demonstrations along with one-on-one booth chats.

Movies in the Parks at Calumet Park

Aug. 18, 2023

Head to Calumet Park for a showing of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. The movie begins at dusk

Phil Wickham and Brandon Lake on the Summer Worship Nights Tour at NOW Arena

Aug. 18, 2023

Phil Wickham and Brandon Lake on the Summer Worship Nights Tour is set to be a powerful night of authentic worship and prayer.

Movies in the Parks at Kells (George) Park

Aug. 22, 2023

Head to Kells (George) Park for a showing of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The movie begins at dusk.

Movies in the Parks at South Shore Cultural Center/Fieldhouse Park

Aug. 23, 2023

Head to South Shore Cultural Center/Fieldhouse Park for a showing of The Wiz. The movie begins at dusk.

Movies in the Parks at Hermitage Park

Aug. 25, 2023

Enjoy seeing Black Panther: Wakanda Forever at Hermitage Park. The movie begins at dusk.

Taste of Greektown

Aug. 25-27, 2023

This annual event returns for its 33rd year. It features Greek food, music and entertainment, including Greek bands, artisans and games and more.

Movies in the Parks at Churchill Field Park

Aug. 26, 2023

Enjoy a showing of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back on Aug. 26. The movie begins at dusk.

Live @ Lighthouse Summer Concert Series: Billy Hart, Yotam Silberstein and Omer Avital at Lighhouse ArtSpace Chicago

Aug. 31, 2023

Enjoy a summer concert series at Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago featuring acclaimed classical and jazz artists. Aug. 31 is Billy Hart, Yotam Silberstein and Omer Avital.

Silent Movie Series at Indian Boundary Park

Sept. 1, Dec. 1, 2023

See A Buster Keaton Short Film Festival is on Sept. 1 and Son of the Skeik, starring Rudolph Valentino on Dec. 1.

Art Fair on the Square in Historic Lake Forest Market Square

Sept. 3-4, 2023

This event features 120 exhibitors work in a variety of disciplines including glass, wood, fiber, ceramics, digital art, jewelry, metal, drawing/pastels, graphics/printmaking, painting, photography, sculpture and mixed media.

Harry Potter: Magic at Play at Water Tower Place

Through Sept. 4, 2023

Enjoy 30,000 square feet of hands-on magical interactivity including games, exploration, sensory activations and more that celebrate Harry’s own journey in discovering the wizarding world.

Pompeii: The Exhibition at Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

Through Sept. 4, 2023

See this immersive, educational museum exhibit, “Pompeii: The Exhibition.” You’ll be transported back in time to learn about Pompeii and see more than 150 historical artifacts.

Movies in the Parks at Eckhart (Bernard) Park

Sept. 6, 2023

See a showing of Grease on Sept. 6. The movie begins at dusk.

Sid Sriram at NOW Arena

Sept. 8, 2023

See Sid Sriram at the All Love No Hate Tour 2023 when he performs live at NOW Arena.

Andy Warhol Portfolios: A Life in Pop at Cleve Carney Museum of Art

Through Sept. 10, 2023

This exhibit allows visitors to experience Andy Warhol’s life through interactive exhibits, recreations and videos created exclusively for this exhibition.

Lauren Daigle: The Kaleidoscope Tour at NOW Arena

Sept. 16, 2023

See two-time GRAMMY Award-winning singer-songwriter, Lauren Daigle and she brings the Kaleidoscope Tour to NOW Ar

More date night ideas

Photo credit: iStock/sturti

Splurge on a chef’s tasting at Roka Akor

Individually curated, multi-course seafood, steak and sushi meals dazzle the eyes as much as they delight palates at Roka Akor. Chef’s tastings are fun to try, especially when they’re capped off with dessert that looks like a work of art.

Play a round of mini golf Puttshack

There’s a new mini golf bar and restaurant at Oakbrook Center. While families are welcome during the day, you can make it a date night since only ages 21 and older are welcomed after 8 p.m.    

Catch a magic show at Chicago Magic Lounge

Chicago Magic Lounge aims to bring the lost art of close-up style magic back to its birthplace in the Windy City. This incredibly designed space features a hidden entrance in the middle of a laundromat. Once inside, magicians will dazzle you and your date behind the art deco inspired bar.

Make a wooden sign at Board & Brush

  • Various locations in Chicagoland

Bring your Pinterest board to life by working alongside your date to make a custom DIY decor piece for your home. Board and Brush features hundreds of personalized farmhouse-style signs, coat racks, clocks, and more that look great in any space. Most Board & Brush locations are BYOB.

Craft your own cocktail at Hollow Leg

If your only specialty is a vodka cranberry, it’s time to up your bartending abilities. Hollow Leg offers private and group mixology courses that’ll teach you the art and science behind making the perfect drink. Find and discover the unique flavor profiles of your date.

Channel your inner lumberjack at Bad Axe Throwing

Experience the thrill of throwing an axe directly at a target. No prior knowledge of the sport is needed, as coaches brief participants on safety rules and provide thorough demonstrations before letting you run wild. Insider tip: Given the number of things that could go wrong if alcohol were involved, it is prohibited.

Feel like a kid again at Lucky Strike Social

As a parent, you’ve probably been to your fair share of arcades and bowling alleys. Lucky Strike Social recreates the entertaining atmosphere for adults by enforcing a 21 and older age policy after 9 p.m.

Create your signature scent at Scentcerely Yours

With a variety of options like brown sugar, campfire or basmati rice, you’ll bound to find the perfect scent. Choose from a candle, lotion, scrub, and more, then gift your creation to the other. Pro tip: You’ll need at least 90 minutes for a candle to set. Lotions can be made quickly.


 

Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Since 1984, the Chicago Parent editorial team is trained to be the go-to source for Chicagoland families, offering a rich blend of expert advice, compelling stories, and the top local activities for kids. Renowned for their award-winning content, the team of editors and writers are dedicated to enriching family life by connecting parents with the finest resources and experiences our community has to offer.
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