24 unique date night ideas in Chicago’s suburbs


Repeat after us. Date nights do not always need to be dinner and a movie. There are so many other unique options to make your next date night more interesting and, well, fun! As a bonus, these are located in the suburbs, which usually means easy parking and no traffic.


Stop and smell the flowers at Chicago Botanic Garden.


Chicago Botanic Garden is always worth a visit. Take date night up a notch by attending any of their special events. One of our personal favorites is their annual Orchid Show. Did you know they even have cooking classes? The pizza and beer party sounds like a ton of fun.


Enjoy a casino night.


Feeling lucky? Try your luck at Rivers Casino in Des Plaines or Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin.


Pinkies up!


Time for tea! Sipping on tea at Pekoe & Bean in Tinley Park is always a great time. Learn and taste tea at TeaLula. There are so many other great tea shops in the Chicago suburbs, too.


Pretend you’re in Hawaii.


Don those Hawaiian shirts and skirts and visit Hawaii without leaving the area. Tiki Terrace in Des Plaines is the perfect all-weather escape with their hula dancers, lively tropical drinks and island food. During the summer, Broken Oar in Barrington holds luau shows.


Create your signature scent.


At Scentcerely Yours in Geneva, you’re invited to create your own scent. With a variety of options like brown sugar, campfire or basmati rice, you’ll bound to find the perfect one. 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 Botanic Garden


Visit Brookfield Zoo.


Really, the zoo sans kids? Yes! You can enjoy their special events like Winter Wine and Whiskey Fest (Feb. 22), Roars and Pours, where you can sample wine and spirits from around the world,(May 9), the brew-licious ZooBrew (Aug. 22) and their Summer Night Concerts.


Cook together.


Enhance your cooking skills at Cook, Cork & Fork in Palatine. They offer a variety of classes including different kinds of cuisines, knife skills, different sauces and more.


Watch some horse racing.


Cross your fingers, then cheer for your favorite horse at Arlington Park Race Track. Tip: Pack a picnic and enjoy in the designated areas.


Go bowling.


Take bowling up a notch. Plenty of places like Kings, Bowlero, PAC-MAN Entertainment and Pinstripes include food, drinks, and a fun vibe.


Visit a winery.


You don’t have to fly to Napa to visit a vineyard.  Learn about the wine growing process at Valentino Vineyards out of Long Grove or Aquaviva Winery, an 85-acre estate in Maple Park. Choose from a variety of tours including a simple tasting, or wine paired with cheeses and meats. Lynfred Winery in Roselle even offers a tasting room.

Give golf a try.


Golf skills are not needed at TopGolf, an entertaining way to practice your swing (or lack of) combined with technology. The driving range on steroids combines technology. Add in drinks and food and you’ve got a fun day out. With locations in Schaumburg and Naperville, it’s a great all-seasons date night since all bays are climate controlled.


Fly in the air.


For an exhilarating thrill, go indoor skydiving at iFly with suburban locations in Rosemont and Naperville.


Explore a small town.


Have you visited a historic town like Geneva? You’ll have a blast. Other options include Crystal Lake, Long Grove, Woodstock, Downers Grove, Arlington Heights, or Libertyville. So many options, so little time.


Play games!


Pick your favorite arcade game and challenge each other to a round or two. Because arcade games + drinks = total fun! Options include Dave and Busters, GameWorks and PAC-MAN Entertainment.


Laugh out loud.


Laugh out loud at a comedy or improv show. Choose from Laugh Out Loud Theater (Schaumburg), Chicago Improv (Schaumburg) or Zanies (Rosemont).  Heck, if you’re so inspired, you can even take comedy classes at Laugh Out Loud.

Try out mini golf.


Mini golf at Par King, is known as one of the most unique mini golf courses around. Here are some other mini golf courses to try out, both outdoor and indoor.


Create something together.


Take a glassblowing class at Peer Patterson Glassworks or make glass-infused pendants at Gallery’s Choice. Whatever you make you can take home and proudly display or wear.


Take advantage of all the snow by snowshoeing.


Trek through the snow at Lake Katherine in Palos Heights. They offer snowshoe rentals for $6 per hour. It’s a fun and unique way to spend time together while burning calories. Check your local park district or forest preserves for options as well.


Go axe throwing.


Axe throwing is the latest craze. And quite frankly, there is something liberating about throwing an axe (after you get over the safety aspect!) Plenty of axe throwing spots are popping up everywhere. Try Axeplosion (Lombard, Buffalo Grove, Orland Park, Aurora), Axe Zone Throwing Lounge (Naperville), Spartan Axe Throwing (Crystal Lake) and Throw Nation (Elmhurst), where you can also hurl footballs at bowling pins or toss a frisbee at bottles.


Have dinner at the movie….at a drive-in movie.


As the only drive-in in the area, McHenry Outdoor Theater is a blast from the past. Pack a picnic or grab carryout pizza, then enjoy munching while watching the flick.

Visit a speakeasy.


At Club Arcada at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, you’re transported back to a 1920s speakeasy. But shhh. You need a password to get in. Who would have thought a chocolate shop would also have a speakeasy? Ethereal Confection’s new location in Woodstock includes Emerson & Oliver, a speakeasy complete with a nostalgic vibe, classic cocktails, entertainment and food.


Try an escape room.


Think you have what it takes to get out of an escape room? Using clues and puzzles, figure a way out from the locked room with your partner. Pro tip: Check out Groupon for plenty of escape room options on the cheap.


Eat all the chocolate.


If you can time it right, these chocolate events should satisfy your cravings. Long Grove Confectionery Company offers tours of their chocolate factory. Woodstock’s Ethereal Confections, a bean to bar chocolate shop, is well worth a stop and also offers more than chocolates.


Get on the water.


Kayak the Fox River or Independence Grove. Prefer to have someone else navigate the waters? Take a paddlewheel riverboat tour on the Fox River.


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