Skip to main content

A Guide to Valentine’s Day Events in Chicago

Meredith Francis
A man holding in his hands a bouquet of white tulips flowers against the background of Chicago skyscrapers
Credit: FTiare / iStock

Whether you plan to spend the day with a loved one, with the kids, with the girls, or with your dancing shoes – or if you plan to shun the day altogether – there are endless options to get out of the house during the week of Valentine’s Day in Chicago. We’ve compiled a list of ideas to get your planning process started.

For the lovers

If you’re looking for a romantic date night with your partner, you’ll have no trouble finding Valentine’s Day events. There are countless dinner deals around the city. If you have a favorite restaurant, chances are they have a special deal for two. For one example, Kindling, a restaurant located in the Willis Tower, is partnering with SkyDeck for a romantic dinner at the highest spot in the city. Or, enjoy the skyline from a different perspective and have a meal aboard City Cruises. Michelin-starred fine dining spots like Esmé, which we’ve written about, have special tasting menus for the weekend before Valentine’s Day and the day of. We recommend checking with your neighborhood’s chamber of commerce to see what restaurants are offering deals. You can also get take-out treats, like the Valentine's Day-themed chocolates and pastries that will be available at local spots like Good Ambler or Katherine Anne Confections.

Consider taking a food-and-drink-centric class together, too. Various Chicago area restaurants and bars offer cocktail-making classes, like this one at Lost Never Found in Wrigleyville. Or learn how to make your own bouquet with a flower arrangement workshop, like this one hosted by Time Out Market Chicago. You could also do a classic dinner and a movie date night. The Music Box Theater is playing The Princess Bride for a special Valentine’s Day showing. Other theaters typically show classic romantic comedies for Valentine’s Day, too, so be sure to check the listings.

For the haters

Hey, we get it. Valentine’s Day can be a bit of a bummer. Consider an event that has a sense of humor about all that corny romance, like this free event for people 25 and under at the National Museum for Mexican Art in Pilsen on February 9. Called Anti-Valentine’s Day, it allows you to roam the galleries, get some food, and have fun in a photo booth. The Douglass Library is also hosting an event for teenagers who are not into the holiday, complete with games and karaoke.

For the dancers

If you’re in the mood to move, dance studios all over the Chicago area offer special Valentine’s Day classes. Duet Dance Studio offers multiple class times, with salsa and a nod to the “Dirty Dancing” routine at both their Wicker Park and Countryside locations. You can also learn how to tango at this BYOB event. The Chicago Park District is also hosting a family-friendly dance at Lake Shore Park.

For the whole family

The Chicago Park District and branches of the Chicago Public Library have lots of events that are great for families, including storytimes, crafting, cooking classes, skating, and more. Places like Junior Chefs Kitchen in Lincoln Park and Beatrix in Oak Brook are hosting a cookie class where kids can learn how to bake cookies from scratch and decorate them.

For the gals

If you’re in search of “Galentine’s Day” options for you and your friends, you’re in luck. Some spots, including RPM Events, are hosting a brunch just for the girls. Go shopping at a pop-up market, like this event in Skokie that will feature women-owned businesses. Consider a candle-making class, like those hosted by Edgewater Candles, or get outdoors in Will County, where the Forest Preserve is hosting a BYOB Galentine’s Day campfire event with s’mores and other activities. Or, get crafty and make your own Valentines with a group of friends and a bottle of rose at this event hosted by a home decor shop.