Last-minute Valentine's Day ideas

Valentine's Day plans to match any style of relationship -- or lack thereof

  • Frontier in West Town
Frontier in West Town (Lenny Gilmore/RedEye )
February 08, 2013|By Samantha Nelson | For RedEye

Valentine's Day is less than a week away: Where are your plans? Whether you've been procrastinating because you just started seeing someone/you're flying solo/you just completely forgot, there's no excuse not to celebrate with the number of last-minute options out there. It's not too late to give yourself or your significant other some love, whether you revel in traditionally romantic gestures or you'd be more likely to eat hearts than give them. All events are Feb. 14 unless otherwise noted.

UNATTACHED
Meet up with friends for The Look of Love at Maria's Packaged Goods & Community Bar (960 W. 31st St. 773-890-0588) in Bridgeport, where DJ Joe Bryl will pay tribute to the classic love songs of Burt Bacharach and Scott Walker with a no-cover set from 9 p.m.-2 a.m.

Just the ladies? Bring your gal pals to no-cover "Sex and the City" trivia at Bull & Bear (431 N. Wells St. 312-527-5973) at 6 or 8:30 p.m., where your knowledge of Carrie and company's antics could win you prizes. Sessions start at 6 and 8:30 p.m. and will get you in the mood to tune into The CW's recently debuted prequel "The Carrie Diaries."

If your single status puts you more in the mood for some serious partying, a pub crawl is in order. The 14th annual Screw Cupid Pub Crawl features trolleys running between six Lincoln Park and Lakeview bars including Wrightwood Tap (1059 W. Wrightwood Ave. 773-549-4949) and Redmond's (3358 N. Sheffield Ave. 773-404-2151) from 7 p.m. until 2 a.m. The $5 ticket (buy online at bar1events.com) nets you drink specials such as $3 Cupid's Punch. Or save the revelry for Friday night with Chicago Sport & Social Club's sixth annual Cupid's Crawl, which tours six Wrigleyville bars from 7 p.m. to midnight on Feb. 15 (RSVP online at chicagosocial.com).

JUST MET
Your new relationship seems promising, but you're not sure how things will be shaping up by V-Day. There's no pressure at City Tavern (1416 S. Michigan Ave. 312-663-1278), where you don't need a reservation to dine. From 5:30 to 10 p.m., the South Loop eatery offers its everyday menu along with specials such as cote de boeuf for two ($56) and maple-glazed quail ($15).

If you're still in the let's-meet-for-drinks phase, try for a seat at super-tiny Charcoal Bar (702 N. Wells St. 312-988-7864), the newly opened lounge below Sumi Robata Bar in River North. The plush high-backed chairs near the entrance would make for an especially intimate rendezvous.

ROMANTIC
You're smack dab in the middle of the sappy-as-can-be honeymoon phase and you don't care who knows it. Surprise your sweetie with a candlelit small-group piano lesson for couples at The Musical U (345 N. Loomis St. 312-380-1490), a new BYOB music studio in the West Loop. Valentine's Day proper is already booked, but there's still plenty of room in the 6, 7:30 and 9 p.m. classes on Feb. 15 ($100 per couple). Book the class online (themusicalu.com) and bring a bottle of bubbly to sip while you play alongside the crackling "flames" of TVs appropriately tuned to the fireplace channel.

OFFBEAT
Last year, West Town restaurant Frontier (1072 N. Milwaukee Ave. 773-772-4322) bypassed heart-shaped food and instead served a multi-course menu featuring actual hearts—and it brought out so many adventurous diners that chef Brian Jupiter is repeating it this year. For $60 a couple, devour four courses including sugarcane-skewered duck hearts and cured beef heart with grilled hearts of palm. Call the restaurant to snag a res.

RELAXED
You've been together forever and, let's be honest, you have nothing to prove on Valentine's Day. Avoid the crowds and try a new resto without leaving home by ordering carryout or delivery from Chicago's first location of Michigan-based cult favorite Jet's Pizza (2811 N. Ashland Ave. 773-857-2080). As an added bonus, dining at home means you can catch up on all those "Downton Abbey" or "The Bachelor" episodes lurking on your DVR.

ACTIVE
You finally found a partner who loves kicking ass at the gym as you do. Share your obsession for fitness by taking a 45-minute cycling class ($25) together at Flywheel Gold Coast (710 N. State St. 312-624-8485) and you'll have a reward waiting for you when you're done: A two-for-one voucher for a burger at nearby bar 25 Degrees (736 N. Clark St. 312-943-9700).

GOOFY
Get competitive with your date by playing games such as Jenga, dominoes and Dance Dance Revolution at Gold Coast hotel Public Chicago (1301 N. State Parkway 312-787-3700). The no-cover party kicks off with a screening of the classic rom com "Say Anything" with free popcorn and candy at 7 p.m. and continues with music from DJ Galvin and a menu of champagne cocktails ($18) until 2 a.m.

For a fun romp in the snow, singles and couples are welcome to sign up for the Love Bus Sled Trip hosted by Bucktown pub Lotties (1925 W. Cortland St. 773-489-0738) at 5:30 p.m. Tickets ($40 per person at lottiespublive.com) buy you a seat on the bus to go tubing at Villa Olivia in the west 'burbs, plus hot chocolate during the ride.

>>Find more Valentine's Day dinner options on Metromix.

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