Whether you’re a hopeless romantic or just heading out of town for a long weekend with the kids, Chicago offers a wonderful setting to celebrate the Valentine’s Day holiday. From Friday, February 10 through Sunday, February 19, the city offers more than a week of Cupid-inspired experiences, from special performances and dinner dates, to outdoor fun and picturesque photo-ops.
Couples looking for a romantic rendezvous can steal away for a quiet moment with a stroll through Millennium Park and its winter blooms in Lurie Garden or cozy up with a carriage ride amidst the Magnificent Mile’s sparkling lights. Families will enjoy a lively getaway with stops at Navy Pier for sky high views from the Ferris Wheel – or Lincoln Park Zoo for a glimpse of lovebirds in their natural habitats.
With so many value-added hotel packages and dining deals to choose from, treat your loved ones to an unforgettable Chicago experience this Valentine’s Day. For additional event and attraction details, visit the city’s official tourism website www.ExploreChicago.org.
Sex, Love & the Second City: A Romantic Dot Comedy presented by UP Comedy Club
Now through February 29
From legendary comedy theatre The Second City comes a play about relationships in the age of social networking. There are plenty of fish in the sea, but can we all live in eHarmony? Or are our lives too much of an open (Face)book? Find out more in this hilarious new show!
Valentine’s Weekend Engagement presented by River North Dance Chicago
February 10, 11 and 12
This annual Valentine’s Weekend Engagement will feature the U.S. debut of Mauro Astolfi, Artistic Director of Italy’s Spellbound Dance Company. The showcase, presented at Millennium Park’s Harris Theater, will combine athletic and emotive contemporary dance styles. Frank Chaves joins forces with conductor/composer Josephine Lee, Artistic Director of the Chicago Children’s Choir, who will compose an original piano suite for his World Premiere.
My Funny Valentine presented by E. Faye Butler
Valentine’s Day comes a day early to Millennium Park when the popular series, Cabaret with a View returns to the climate-controlled stage at Jay Pritzker Pavilion with the acclaimed theater actress and singer E. Faye Butler in “My Funny Valentine.” The evening will include a night of romance, laughter and song by one of Chicago’s favorite leading ladies and will feature classics from the great American songbook. Butler will be joined by Jeremy Kahn on piano and Eric Schneider on saxophone.
Symphony Center Presents Passion World
Kurt Elling, one of the most recognizable voices in contemporary jazz, returns for an enchanting performance with Passion World, a journey through love songs from around the world. This special Valentine’s Day concert also features famed jazz violinist Regina Carter and innovative clarinetist and saxophonist Anat Cohen.
Love Songs and Lights (FREE)
Now through February 19
Enjoy the sights and lights of State Street and the sound of love songs when the Chicago Loop Alliance presents “Love Song and Lights” as part of Lightscape, a multisensory experience. Visitors are encouraged to submit love songs dedicated to their loved ones through Twitter, text messaging or the Lightscape website. The winning song will be chosen at random and will play with a romantic-themed colored light show.
Skating in the Sky – John Hancock Observatory
Now through April 8
Take in awe-inspiring views of the city and beyond while twirling on a surface made of synthetic ice at the world’s highest skating rink on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Observatory. Located 1,000 feet off the ground, the rink will be open for skating daily from 9am–11pm. Last skating ticket is sold at 10pm.
Odyssey Valentine’s Weekend Dining Cruises
February 10, 11, 12 and 14
Nothing is more magnificent than a Valentine’s Day Weekend celebration on the water aboard Odyssey, Chicago’s most luxurious cruising vessel. Choose from dining options that include a Weekend Dinner, Sunday Brunch or Sunday Dinner Buffet.
Luminous Field Lights Up Millennium Park (FREE)
February 10–20: Fridays & Saturdays 6-10pm, Sunday-Thursday 6-9pm
Come see Millennium Park transformed into a digital canvas of light and geometrical form with its first-ever site-specific video and sound installation by the Chicago-based artistic ensemble Luftwerk. Created specifically for Millennium Park, the installation will illuminate Cloud Gate – known by many Chicagoans as “The Bean” – and its surrounding AT&T Plaza with dramatic images and colors set to music composed by Owen Clayton Condon, of the local avant-garde classical ensemble, Third Coast Percussion.
Winter Dance (FREE)
February 11: Dance lesson 5–6pm, open dancing 6–8pm
Enjoy dance lessons at this indoor dance party in an indoor heated tent before heading out to see Luminous Field, the outdoor site-specific art installation by Luftwerk. Dancing is preceded by a one-hour lesson led by professional instructors from the American Tango Institute. Admission is free, food and beverages by Park Grill will be available for purchase.
Spirit of Chicago Valentine’s Weekend Dinner Cruises
February 11 and 14
Chicagoans are invited to make a romantic memory aboard the vibrant and festive Spirit of Chicago and treat loved ones to a bountiful buffet, engaging DJ entertainment, dancing and strolls beneath the stars. On the warm and cozy climate-controlled decks, this special day will be one to remember. Dinners include a complimentary champagne toast and a single rose per couple.
Wine & Wildlife: Animal Attractions – Lincoln Park Zoo
Those who are wild at heart can woo their loved ones at the zoo on Valentine’s Day. This adults-only event will take place inside Regenstein African Journey, with champagne and chocolates being served as participants get the inside scoop on the risqué side of animal courtship—the wild lives of wildlife.
Polar Adventure Days – Northerly Island (FREE)
Bundle up and head out to this annual event that celebrates a love of nature. Experience the outdoors through animals, crafts and live music. Dress warm, grab hot chocolate and watch as ice blocks transform into sculptures. Get into the action by snowshoeing when weather permits.
Valentine’s Day Cooking Class – Kendall College
February 10 and 12
Hosted by Kendall College, Valentine’s Dinner Date Night and Couple’s Brunch creates a unique romantic experience for couples to share. Have fun creating a delicious meal with the freshest seasonal ingredients and share the experience with your significant other.
Making “Whoopie” at The Ritz – deca RESTAURANT + BAR
February 11 and 15
The deca team will lead a hands-on cooking class instructing couples how to make the latest “it” dish, whoopie pies, in a variety of flavors. In addition, guests will enjoy passed hors d’oeuvres along with a glass of champagne before the class.
“From the Heart” Cooking Class – World Kitchen
Indulge in decadent dishes and sweet treats, made “From the Heart” and perfect for sharing with friends, family, or your special Valentine! This culinary class is part of the World Kitchen Series, which explores Chicago’s diverse cultural heritage through ethnic cuisines and focuses on culinary skills and techniques.
Sing or Swing with Your Sweetie – Old Town School of Music (FREE)
Spend Valentine’s Day learning a step or two at the Old Town School of Music. Classes in dancing and duets allow visitors to share their love of music and dance with their significant other.
Art Institute of Chicago’s Terzo Piano
February 11 and 14
Warm your hearts with a romantic evening at Terzo Piano. Enjoy a four-course dinner featuring the signature cuisine of Chef Tony Mantuano, cocktail service, a live band and one of the best views in the city.
Feb 10–14, dinner only
Chef Derek Simcik’s Valentine’s Day experience was inspired by the glamour and romance of the roaring 20’s. Housed in the historic Hotel Burnham, dinner guests are invited to take a flavorful journey back in time with dishes reminiscent of those served to the flappers and gentlemen of the era.
Chicago’s Downtown Farmstand
This year-round market, which offers edible local products all produced within 250 miles of Chicago, has everything you need for a romantic weekend brunch: Great River Milling waffle mix, Wee Bee Jammin’ crepe mix and preserves, Burton’s maple syrup, Seedling Orchard cider, TJ’s Free Range eggs and turkey sausage, Spice House hot cocoa mix, Tomato Mountain Farm Bloody Mary mix, Quince & Apple preserves and more!
Geja’s Café’s – Eleven Day Valentine’s Festival Celebration
Geja’s Café will host its most romantic Valentine’s Day celebration yet. For eleven days, the renowned “Restaurant of Romance” will be elegantly decorated and feature lavish decorations, “Love Note Wednesday”, live flamenco and classical guitarists, photo keepsakes and delicious sizzling hot fondue cuisine.
Chicagoans and visitors are invited to eat their hearts out with Giordano’s heart-shaped, signature stuffed pizzas. Diners can order varieties to their hearts-content—Giordano’s Heart-Shaped Pizzas are available for any stuffed pizza combination at all Chicagoland locations for dine-in, carryout, delivery and shipping nationwide.
The Signature Room at the 95th – Ultimate Romance Dinner
Throughout February, take romance to a new level with an Ultimate Dinner package which includes a gourmet candlelit dinner with exclusive butler service in a private dining room set for two, a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne upon arrival, one dozen red roses in a vase to take home, private musical entertainment and more. Minimum cost is $2,000 plus gratuity.
Kiss & Tell Romantic Getaway Package – Affinia Chicago
Rates from $134/night
Guests will enjoy an upgrade to a suite, a list of recommended romantic spots to kiss, Affinia signature “Kiss Me” mints and “Kisses Goodnight” Turndown with Hershey Kisses and a split of bubbly.
Stupid Cupid Deluxe Package – Essex Inn
Rates from $159/night
Looking for a way to sweep your other half off their feet? The Essex Inn has taken care of all the details from a red rose with a special note to a gift card and gift bag from the 900 Shops. End your night with a sip of Moet & Chandon champagne and mouth-watering chocolates.
Fairmont Chicago’s Ultimate Way to Say “I Love You”
Fairmont Chicago has created a once in a lifetime Valentine’s Day experience. The $100,000 Romantic Getaway Package offers guests everything their heart desires. A rose petal red carpet greets guests upon arrival as they are whisked to their Presidential Suite and indulged with a lavender-infused bubble bath. The experience does not end at the hotel, as a $10,000 shopping spree and a beautiful diamond and sapphire necklace create an unforgettable romantic getaway.
Suitehearts Package – Hotel Monaco Chicago
Indulge in a romantic three-course dinner before taking in gorgeous views from the plush, oversized window seats, then unwind in a soaking tub for two. This package includes luxurious accommodations in a Riverview Suite, complimentary champagne and strawberries, a three-course VIP dinner at the adjoining South Water Kitchen, served personally by the chef, and a late 2 pm checkout.
Celebrate Love at the JW Marriott
Want to relax this Valentine’s Day? The JW Marriott Chicago has a Romantic Spa reservation waiting for you. The indulgent spa package offers couple’s massages, luxurious accommodations and breakfast for two at The Florentine restaurant. The relaxing experience does not end at the spa. Couples are treated to a drawn bath accompanied with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne and strawberries delivered to their room.
Ooh Là Là Romance Package – Omni Chicago Hotel
Rates from $261/night
Enjoy sparkling wine, petit fours, French macaroons and more, all specially arranged by Cupid (Omni’s concierge) to make everything just perfect. This package also includes daily breakfast for two in the hotel restaurant or in-room dining, standard “romantic” turndown service including robes, music and lighting.
DO NOT DISTURB Package – Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago
This decadent package includes a one night stay for two in a Deluxe King Guestroom with a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries awaiting your arrival. Later that night, return with a romantic turn down that includes a love poem, rose and bottle of Kamasutra Chocolate Body Paint. The next morning, enjoy continental breakfast for two, as well as a complimentary 2 pm late checkout based upon availability.
VISITOR INFORMATION RESOURCES
Visitors and Chicagoans planning to entertain out-of-town guests can receive trip-planning assistance and information by visiting www.ExploreChicago.org. Brochures and information on Chicago’s exciting events and activities are also available at the Visitor Information Centers. Friendly Visitor Representatives can answer questions and assist in planning an unforgettable itinerary. The visitor centers are located in two of the city’s most popular areas: across from Millennium Park in the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph Street; and at the historic Water Works pumping station, 163 E. Pearson Street at Michigan Avenue.
For daily alerts about fun and FREE things to do in Chicago, follow Explore Chicago on Twitter at twitter.com/explorechicago and on Facebook at facebook.com/explorechicago. Discover fun itineraries on our blog at explorechicagotourism.com, and on Foursquare at foursquare.com/explorechicago. Get answers to your Chicago questions on the go, restaurant recommendations, and travel tips via the FREE Twitter Concierge Service @explorechicago.
The Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture is dedicated to promoting Chicago as a premier cultural destination to domestic and international leisure travelers, providing innovative visitor programs and services, and presenting free world-class public programs. For more information please visit www.ExploreChicago.org.