Chicago’s gray winter weather doesn’t exactly scream “fun!” but there’s still plenty of excitement to be had around the city during the cold months. And since you’re definitely due for a date night after the holiday craziness, we have a few suggestions for where to sneak in some alone time with your partner. Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day or just taking a break on a random weeknight, you’ll have your love to keep you warm.
Solve the dreaded “Where should we go to dinner?” dilemma by hitting up the new 50,000 square foot food market from the culture experts at Time Out Magazine. Boasting 18 unique eateries on three different floors (plus three bars and a hidden speakeasy!) the space is basically a food lover’s dream come to life. From delectable dumplings at Bill Kim to mouthwatering charcuterie at The Purple Pig, you and your sweetie will find no shortage of good eats. FYI: If you’re expecting an intimate atmosphere, you may be disappointed — the market doesn’t take reservations and it’s made up of large communal tables. Still, it’s a fun way to enjoy multiple eateries without having to travel all over the city. Make sure to hit up the year-round rooftop bar, Tony’s, or seek out that tiki-themed speakeasy, Secret Sound, before you head home for the night.
916 W. Fulton Market, Chicago
Practicing a new skill together is a creative way to mix up date night, and what better place to learn than culinary epicenter Eataly Chicago. Take a pasta or bread-making class, watch a vegetarian cuisine demo or sample some new cheeses and wines at La Scuola di Eataly. Events are held on both weeknights and weekends, so there’s plenty of chances to book a class you’re interested in. And, of course, you’ll need to explore the market while you’re there (and grab some cannoli or gelato for the road!).
43 East Ohio St., Chicago
Spend V-day indulging in a little vino at this hip wine tasting on the Godfrey Rooftop in River North. The tickets include four hours of champagne and sparkling wine tastings, passed apps, a dessert table and giveaways. Just make sure to book your babysitter ASAP since Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year!
127 W. Huron St., Chicago
Seeing a show in the city can be expensive, so Chicago Theatre Week is one of the best times of the year for parents on a budget. Taking place Feb. 13-23, you can score tickets to your choice of more than 100 performances for $15 to $30 at venues all over Chicago. Shows include dramas, musicals, improv and more at local theaters like Steppenwolf, Goodman and The Chicago Theatre.
Various locations in Chicagoland
When’s the last time you and your partner truly relaxed? One visit to Aire Ancient Baths will rejuvenate both your mind and body (not to mention pamper your dry, winter skin). Designed to resemble a traditional Greek or Roman bath house, Aire features dreamy exposed brick, wooden beams and imported stone fountains. The space is lit by candlelight, adding to the romantic atmosphere. Enjoy the warm and cold baths, salt pools, saunas and jet tub, along with luxurious extras like massage or salt scrub. No worries if you feel uncomfortable shedding your clothes around strangers, either: Aire requires guests to wear bathing suits in all of their tubs.
800 W. Superior St., Chicago
If you’re in need of a taste of spring while the temps are sub-zero, look no further than the Botanic Garden. Starting Feb. 8, visitors can peruse 10,000 orchids displayed in dramatic art installations; from chandeliers to sweeping arches and towering kaleidoscopes. Want to squeeze in a little extra one on one time? Grab brunch at The Garden View Cafe when you’re done checking out the blooms.
1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe
You don’t have to be a coffee lover to enjoy a trip to the new five story Starbucks Reserve Roastery, located on the Mag Mile. Featuring a coffee bean “scooping bar,” roaster and giant cask sculpture, the stylishly designed building does give you an up close look at the art of coffee-making, but there’s also an Italian bakery and upscale cocktail bar for those who choose to pass on the java. During the warmer months, the fifth floor roof terrace is the perfect place to take in skyline views.
646 Michigan Ave., Chicago
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