You’ve bought the candy for the kids, husband, wife and special valentines for the class party. You’ve booked the babysitter, made plans for date night and maybe there was a little money left over for a day of pampering. If your Love Day budget has already been spent, and it’s not even Valentine’s Day yet, we’ve got you covered. Chicagoland merchants are offering free options for kids on Valentine’s Day, enough to be admired by you and your wallet.
For the 15th year, Big Smile Dental will open its doors at 9 a.m. and provide free dental care to kids ages 18 and younger (with a parent). That means exams, cleanings, fillings, x-rays, pain management and extractions. Your child doesn’t have to be a current patient, but be aware, care is done first-come-first-served.
Big Smile Dental, 2833 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago; bigsmiledental.com.
McAlister’s Deli is promoting Family Date Night, letting kids 12 and under eat free on Valentine’s Day with the purchase of an adult entree. The offer is good for two meals with each adult meal, so big families are encouraged to enjoy dinner together.
At Qdoba, kiss someone you love (like your kiddo) and receive one free meal with the purchase of another.
McAlister’s Deli participating locations: Deerfield, Gurnee, Mount Prospect, Naperville, Niles, Orland Park and Vernon Hills.
Qdoba locations: Chicago, Wheaton & Schaumburg.
If your family hasn’t taken advantage of a free day at a Chicago museum yet this year, Feb. 14 is a prime time to show some love to local landmarks. The Field Museum is free all month long, and there is also free admission for Illinois residents at Shedd Aquarium and The Art Institute of Chicago. Lincoln Park Zoo, Elmhurst History Museum and Wilmette Historical Museum are always free, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is always free for kids 18 and under.
The rink at Millennium Park is free to skate on and the surface at Gallagher Way is free for kids 12 and under. The whole experience is free if you have your own skates (rental is $12-$15). The Gallagher Way rink closes for the season on Sunday while the area prepares for spring events, so this is the last time you’ll have to skate on the North Side this winter. At Maggie Daley Park, the ribbon opens at 10 a.m. on Fridays.
Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph, Chicago; Maggie Daley Park, 337 E. Randolph, Chicago; Gallagher Way, 3635 N. Clark, Chicago.
If you’re already wishing spring has arrived, check out the opening of the Spring Flower Show at Garfield Park Conservatory. Free every day (though the park requests a donation), the new show, Golden Hour, will celebrate the lights of dawn and dusk with flowers that are partial to spring weather. Your family can be among the first to see it as the show opens Feb. 14 and runs through May 10.
Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave., Chicago
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