5 off-the-wall anniversary date ideas

Photo Credit: Chicago Helicopter Experience


When I was a spry young lass in college many (many…many…many…) years ago I would call late spring and early summer the “moneymaker months.” The weather would change and suddenly every couple with kids would suddenly remember they had gotten married on a weekend a certain number of years ago. Ask those of us who needed to restock our shelves full of “fresh” packages of ramen to watch their children for that evening.


Now that I am on the other side of the equation (i.e., old lame person looking to fund somebody else’s ramen shelves and/or bar tabs) our late-spring anniversary is creeping up and I find myself wanting to do something for our anniversary that’s a little more off-the-wall than the typical “dinner and maybe some drinks but also maybe do you want to go home and watch the latest episode of Handmaid’s Tale and go to bed?” date night fare.


But, coming home to stream an excellent show and go to bed is a great option. You do you, old-people-funding-young-people’s bar tabs. You do you. If you find yourself also wanting to amp up your anniversary date day/night this spring/summer, here are a few ideas I found.


Helicopter Tour


If there is one thing Chicagoans love more than looking at our incredible city from below, it’s looking at our incredible city from great heights. We debate endlessly about which tall building has the best view of other tall buildings. We know which approaches into O’Hare and Midway give amazing views of the city skyline. It only makes sense to take this one step further and take to the skies with a helicopter tour. You’ll get to see every one of the great Chicago sights from a new angle, get some memorable pictures and a little bit of an adrenaline rush to boot.


Stand Up Paddleboarding


Sure, donning a bathing suit after the winter-that-would-never-end isn’t the most appealing thing in the world, but I beg you to stay with me. Stand up paddleboarding is not only a way to get some movement into your day, but a way to get some laughs and try something new with your significant other. Whether you get lessons and then go on your way or just try it yourself, you’re bound to get great views of the skyline, a good story to tell and perhaps even a new hobby to boot. Rentals and lessons are available at almost any major Chicago beach.


Trapeze School


Whether you’ve always dreamed about flying through the air with the greatest of ease or, you know, have never dreamed that, Trapeze School New York offers flying trapeze classes that offer harnesses, nets and every safety gear imaginable to get you soaring. Currently, classes are offered indoors but in the summer move to Belmont Harbor where you not only get an adrenaline rush while you’re learning to run away with the circus, but some great views and fresh air to boot.


Cooking Class


Have you ever heard that joke by comedian Demetri Martin about how swimming is confusing, because sometimes you do it for fun, but other times you do it to not drown? When I’m caught in the day-to-day grind of cooking meals for my family, I often feel like I cook to “not starve” and forget that cooking can be “fun.” There are many places to take a couples cooking class in the city, but I have a personal affinity to The Chopping Block in Lincoln Square. This small shop is filled to the brim with helpful staff, but also offers immense types of cooking classes for any interest, from knife skills to Korean BBQ. You can view a detailed schedule of their classes and events here.


Adler After Dark


There is no shortage of articles detailing the immense awesomeness of our very own Adler Planetarium. This is because those articles are all onto something. However, if, as a parent, you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to see a museum at your own pace, not worried about the next snack/potty/nap break…and perhaps with more adult beverages involved…Adler has you covered there, too. Adler After Dark offers adults ages 21+ an opportunity to have a great exclusive, fun, experience every month with a different theme. Buy your tickets ahead of time and enjoy the experience and each other, too, as you decide, once and for all, that the best view of the city might just be here. Or in the helicopter. Or from the John Hancock. But also maybe from the boat tours. Maybe we can just agree having this pretty of a city is a quality problem to have, folks. Enjoy it this anniversary season. To us!


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