Whether you're making a special trip to Chicago or you're a local looking to make plans for an unforgettable date, here are eight great ideas for celebrating Valentine's Day.
Set sail into the sunset on the Spirit of Chicago
Step aboard Chicago's premier lake cruise ship for dinner with unbeatable views. The Spirit of Chicago is a 192-ft., four-story ship with three dining decks, dance floors, bars and panoramic windows. On Valentine's Day weekend, both the dinner and brunch cruises offer grand buffet-style dining, DJ entertainment, a complimentary champagne toast and a rose for each couple. The cozy and climate controlled decks mean that you won't freeze your socks off. Pricing starts at $100 per person. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 866-273-2649 or by visiting spiritofchicago.com.
Enjoy a romantic cooking class
The Chopping Block is Chicago's premier recreational cooking school, offering demonstrations and hands-on cooking and wine classes at its two locations (The Merchandise Mart Plaza and at 4747 N Lincoln Ave. in Lincoln Square). Check out the February class calendar, where you'll find romantic foodie classes with fun themes such as Under the Tuscan Moon and Latin Lovers. For more info or to reserve, call 312-644-6360 or visit thechoppingblock.net.
Celebrate the fun and sexy side of love at a burlesque show
You might just fall in love with the fabulous Gorilla Tango Burlesque Geek Girls, who will be performing original Valentine-themed solos and group numbers at their special holiday show "I'll Do Anything To See Boobs Tonight: A Valentine's Burlesque Cabaret" on Saturday, February 14 at 11:59 p.m. at Gorilla Tango Theatre Bucktown (1919 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago IL 60647). Tickets are $28; 18 and over only. To purchase tickets visit www.gorillatango.com or call 773-598-4549. 18 and over only. Before the show, head over to Margie's Candies (on the corner of Armitage/Milwaukee/Western), a block away from the theatre, and share a sundae at one of the best ice cream parlours in the city,
Bake a sweet cupcake together
Give Me Some Sugar (2205 W. Belmont Ave., 773-281-3154) is the premier cake decorating studio in Chicago. Located in the Roscoe Village neighborhood, the studio offers classes on everything from basic cake decorating to cake pops. Celebrate Valentine's Day with a BYOB cupcake-decorating class for two - you and your partner will team up to adorn cupcakes with buttercream frosting and learn some tricks of the cake decorating trade, too.
Explore the 50 Shades of Grey in your relationship
In celebration of Valentine's Day and the release of "50 Shades of Grey," guests who visit the Lobby Lounge at the ShowPlace ICON Theater on Thursday, February 12 through Sunday, February 15 will enjoy themed drink specials for $12. The 50 Shades of Grey Goose, the BDS Martini with Bacardi, the Sparkling Spanking or the Control Freak (Hennessy VS, Canton Ginger, ginger ale) are sure to put you in the mood pre or post-show.
Strike a (yoga) pose together
The "Yoga For Lovers" package at the Hotel Palomar offers couples a chance to bend, stretch and strike a pose together. Upon check-in, you'll be greeted with bubbly and a $50 in-room dining credit for dinner or breakfast in bed. You'll enjoy a Zen Partner Yoga and Thai Yoga Massage class followed by wine hour in the evening. Wake up the next day with Zen's Morning Recovery Yoga and mimosas before you check out. Rates start at $344/night. hotelpalomar-chicago.com
Enjoy wine with a side of dirty dancing
Eduardo's Enoteca (1212 N. Dearborn St.) will morph into a mini-movie palace this Valentine's Day when it screens the 1987 romantic film, Dirty Dancing. The movie will be shown four times throughout the night; 5 p.m., 7 p.m. 9 p.m., and 11 p.m. Upon arrival each patron will receive a Coca Cola-inspired cocktail and truffle parmigiano popcorn to snack on while they enjoy the movie. A four-course meal follows and includes a bottle of Prosecco to-go. The cost of the event is $55 per person (not including tax and gratuity). Call 312-337-4490 to save your spot.
Share the love
Nothing says love to a Chicagoan better than a heart-shaped, deep-dish pizza pie. And in the spirit of Valentine's Day, Gino's East will be donating a portion of proceeds for every deep-dish, heart-shaped cheese pizza purchased between Friday, January 30 and Sunday, February 15 to Mended Little Hearts of Chicago, a non-profit organization supporting families impacted by the #1 birth defect in the U.S., congenital heart defects. Gino's East Chicago restaurants that are offering "The Giving Heart" campaign are The Original Gino's East at 162. E. Superior St.; Gino's East River North at 500 N. LaSalle St; and Gino's East South Loop at 521 S. Dearborn St. For more information visit www.GinosEast.com