According to a recent study, 1-in-20 travelers met a new romantic partner during their visit, which gives some hope to those of us still looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right. Plan 20 trips to Chicago and it would appear that the odds are in your favor. Whether you're making a special trip to the city or just a local looking to make plans for an unforgettable date, here are eight great ideas for celebrating Valentine's Day in Chicago.
Step aboard Chicago's premier lake cruise ship for dinner or brunch surrounded by lake and skyline views. The Spirit of Chicago is a 192-foot, four-story ship with three dining decks, dancefloors, 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 $47.90 per person. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 866/ 273-2649.
Adults (18 or older) will dine alongside gorilla babies Patty and Nayembi on Saturday, February 9, from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m., while learning about the risque side of animal dating. You might even learn a thing or two from the zoo's very own Casanova, silverback, Kwan. Cost: $75 per person ($65 for zoo members). For more info, call 312/742-2000.
Single and looking for love? This Valentine's Day, untitled's lounge area is the place to be. "Drink & Wink" by sending the hottie across the way a "Flirt-O-Gram." Buy a hand-crafted cocktail, glass of wine or whiskey and for an additional $1, you can send it with a note to your crush. Best of all, all $1 proceeds will benefit the American Heart Association, so no need to feel sour if she or he takes the free drink and makes a run for it. Once you've found the one, take a celebratory picture in the onsite photo booth and dance the night away to Rhythm Rockets followed by DJ Greg Corner.
The Local Chicago, a recently opened Gold Coast eatery, will be offering a special "opposites attract" themed menu on February 14. This is the place to go if you're a seafood-lover married to meathead, or a savory married to a sweet. The Local Chicago's variety of wines and spirits, decadent desserts and refined, all-American fare will be, whatever the preference, love at first bite. Reservations are recommended and available at www.thelocalchicago.com or by calling 312/280-8887.
The Chopping Block is Chicago's premier recreational cooking schools, 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 classes on everything from Appetizers to Put You in the Mood to A Sweetheart's Named Desire: Hands-on Romantic Cooking Class. For more info or to reserve, call 312/644.6360 or visit thechoppingblock.net.
Step out of this world with A Very Special Valentine's Nude Hope: A Star Wars Burlesque! special Valentine's Day performance on Thursday, February 14 at 9pm. Tickets are $28-35. Follow along as a sexually frustrated farmer, Luke Skywalker, rescues the luscious Princess Leia, who is being held prisoner of the sadomasochistic villain, Darth Vader. Burlesque brings out the fun in sexiness - there is no outright nudity.
A Nude Hope is Chicago theater at its most kooky best, and the smaller venue, Gorilla Tango Theater, is a cozy atmosphere that encourages audience participation and laughs. To purchase tickets visit www.gorillatango.com or call 773/598-4549. 18 and over only. After 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 parlors in the city.
Top Chef Master's Fan Favorite, Takashi Yagihashi, will be serving a special 8-course tasting menu ($110) with optional wine pairings ($60) at his namesake restaurant, Takashi this Valentine's Day. Takashi will also be rewarding diners who take the romance up a level this year: any guest who gets down on one knee and proposes while dining at Takashi throughout the month of February will receive a complimentary meal customized and cooked up by Chef Takashi to celebrate their one-year wedding anniversary at the restaurant.
Give Me Some Sugar 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 cake-decorating class for two: You and your partner will team up to adorn a 6x3-inch cake with buttercream frosting. Flash sale site Gilt City Chicago will be offering an outstanding discount on this special class ($72/couple in lieu of $150) starting February 4 at noon CST (offer will be available for one week).
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