With Valentine’s Day less than two weeks away, tension mounts as you decide to plan the perfect date for your significant other. No matter what phase you are in your relationship, this is the day you want to show the person you love how much they mean to you. Dinner at a fancy restaurant and expensive gifts may be the way to certain people’s hearts, but sometimes doing a fun activity and spending time with each other can be just as romantic, fun, and most of all – memorable. Here are some ideas on how to enjoy Valentine’s Day as a couple without breaking the bank:
Make a romantic dinner at home. I know, it may not sound very exciting; you and your significant other probably eat dinner at home all the time together. So, how can this be “romantic”? Well, add some candles, play some sultry music, and have a fun dessert, like chocolate dipped strawberries. And, if you choose to drink, a nice red wine or champagne would pair well with a delicious steak dinner. Watch a romantic comedy at the end of the night while you rest your full bellies. A night at home can be even more romantic and intimate than dinner at a busy restaurant on Valentine’s Day.
Go to a comedy show. There are so many places in Chicago to see cheap comedy, and if you and your honey like to laugh, then this could be the perfect date! Places like the Laugh Factory and Zanies in Chicago have some great deals as low as $10 per person, and even I.O. and Second City have some cheap improv shows starting at $10. Sometimes, the way to a person’s heart is through laughter, after all!
Spend an afternoon ice skating. Sure, the weather in Chicago may not always cooperate, but if the sun is out, 30 degrees in February doesn’t feel so bad. Ice skating in Millennium Park, on the Maggie Daley Ice Ribbon, or going to the new WickerICE in the Wicker Park neighborhood, could be a fun way to spend an afternoon, along with hot chocolate and sprained ankles. Even if ice skating isn’t really your thing, and you may be even horrible at it, falling into each other’s arms while on the ice can make you feel closer as a couple, and if you’re both horrible skaters, something you can bond over.
Go on a museum adventure! As a Chicago resident, you can get discounts on museum day passes. You can even visit each museum in one day! The Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and the Adler Planetarium are not too far from each other, and it’s a nice way to experience a little bit of culture. Especially with Valentine’s Day being on a Sunday this year, take advantage of some museum hopping while you can.
Take a class together. Whether it be a cooking class to learn how to make each other some yummy meals, or a BYOB painting class, experiencing and learning something new is a great way to bond as a couple. Places like The Chopping Block offer couples culinary classes, as well as Bottle and Bottega offer public painting classes.
Spending Valentine’s Day doing activities instead of buying pricey dinners or gifts is a great way to celebrate, as well as grow as a couple. However, if you do decide to go out on Valentine’s Day make sure you have your reservations made plenty early (like, today) to avoid the embarrassment of a full restaurant. Nothing says poor planning like being turned away from a romantic night because you forgot to make a reservation!
Post written by: Tracey Fuller, It's Just Lunch Chicago