"They have the time, the time of their life
I saw a man who danced with his wife in Chicago..."
Fred Fisher Chicago (That Toddlin' Town)
Whether it's a stroll by the lake or a romantic dinner-for-two, Chicago is chock full of lovely places to take your sweetie on a fun date night, for Valentine's Day, or to celebrate an important birthday or anniversary.
Sometimes, just a few hours away together are all that's required to reignite a romance, and to remind yourselves why you fell in love in the first place.
Check out these top hot spots for enjoying a tender moment with that special someone you love in Chicago ...
1. Horse Carriage Rides Sure, it might be a cliche and old-fashioned, but there's nothing like a carriage ride to make your feel like Prince Charming and Cinderella out on the town. Chicago Horse & Carriage offers a full menu of rides including the Loop, the Gold Coast, Michigan Avenue, State Street and more from a 1/2 hour to 2 hour rides ranging from $40 on up. During the holidays, top off the evening with a hot chocolate at Ghirardelli, located right next to the carriage drop off.
2. Signature Room Fancy a room with a view? Look no further than The Signature Room at the John Hancock soaring 95 floors above Chicago. You'll both swoon at the fabulous 360-degree vistas, and wait until you take a look at the menu! Pricey and unforgettable, the Signature Room also hosts rehearsal dinners, bridal showers and, of course, weddings. Out only on a casual date? Head upstairs to the The Signature Lounge, for an expertly mixed cocktail offered up with the same spectacular view, but far easier on the wallet than the Signature Room restaurant.
3. Shedd Aquarium Enjoy being kids again at the world's largest indoor aquarium were you and your sweetie can enjoy the antics off sea lions, penguins, dolphins, and beluga whales. Also don't miss the 90,000-gallon, floor-to-ceiling Caribbean Reef exhibit in the Shedd's central rotunda. Before you go, stop by the gift shop for a plush toy sea lion to take home as a souvenir of a fun and memorable visit.
4. River Walk Take your honey for a leisurely stroll around the walkway that winds under the Michigan and Wabash bridges, providing an uninterrupted route along the river starting from Lake Shore Drive. Take in the unique views of the river as well as the city's architectural wonders, and to top off a summer's evening, stop by Cyrano's Cafe and Wine Bar on the Riverwalk at Columbus for a romantic dinner.
5. Navy Pier With so much to do and see here, it's hard to imagine a better place for a fun day out or an evening on the town. Begin with an awesome ride on the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel for spectacular views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago Skyline. Then, stroll over to the Smith Museum to be dazzled at the only museum in the United States dedicated exclusively to stained glass. As evening falls, head off into the sunset on (what else?) a Navy Pier dinner cruise.
6. A Trip to the Zoo From lions and tigers and bears - to aardvarks, exotic birds, and reptiles - the Lincoln Park Zoo is one big entertainment for kids of all ages. Follow your safari adventure with a concert at the 'Jammin' at the Zoo' summer series, or trek over to The Patio at Café Brauer where you can rest your heels in the shadow of some of Chicago's tallest skyscrapers.
7. A Night at the Museum The Museum of Science and Industry It will feel like Christmas morning when you visit 'Chicago's attic,' jam-packed with wonders including a full sized submarine, a miniature fairy castle with 2,000 furnishings, a model railroad, the world's largest pinball machine, and lots more to entertain your inner child.
8. Art & Culture - Show your love your more cultured side with tour of the city's top art museums, including the Chicago Cultural Center (free admission), the Museum of Contemporary Art (free Tuesdays); and The Art Institute of Chicago (free Thursday evenings). Only steps away from Millennium Park, the Art Institute provides the worldwide art tour with an impressive collection of Old Masters, Impressionist, American, Eastern, ancient, and modern and contemporary art. End the evening with a romantic dinner at one of four world-class restaurants on site.
9. Buckingham Fountain One of Chicago's top landmarks, the beautifully romantic Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park was inspired by the Latona Fountain at the Palace of Versailles. The fountain operates from April to October, and it best seen at sunset as 20-minute dancing water shows are accompanied by music, and beautifully lit with the help of computerized color spotlights. During the winter the fountain is decorated with festive lights and remains a beacon for holiday merry makers.
10. Ice Rink at Gallagher Way The perfect date night during the holidays, the 8,000 sq. foot ice skating rink near Wrigley Field is open from November to February, and provides lots of opportunities for giggling and hand holding -- as you glide along the ice to holiday tunes under twinkling lights. .
More about the best romantic places in Chicago around the Web:
Top 5 Romantic Attractions in Chicago, IL
The Most Romantic Places in Chicago
- Check out Time Out Magazine's survey of top places for romance including boat tours on Lake Michigan, shopping and dining, along with related tips on romantic restaurants and jazz clubs.