Housed in a restored factory circa 1902 in River West, Aire Ancient Baths Chicago offers a multi-sensory journey via ancient Roman, Greek and Ottoman bath experiences. The signature bath experience includes six thermal baths including a hot bath, ice and cold plunges, a warm pool, saltwater flotarium and a jet pool. The hot and cold plunges boost circulation, promote flexibility, may enhance immunity and provide a nice endorphin rush. Kind of like love. February 12-15, 2021, AIRE Chicago offers a special couple's experience (that will be the only service available during those four days). Other days, there are choice couples' treatments like the Wine Bath Experience for Two which submerges you in antioxidant-rich Spanish red grapes followed by an hour-long massage with grapeseed oil. If it's possible to chill any more, get to the relaxation area to loll on warm marble stone and sip a selection of teas.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: There are spas galore in Chicago, but AIRE provides a physical and mental melt you can only get in Turkish hamam or ancient Rome.
Jacky's expert tip: Here's your chance to "Be Present" so leave the cellphone, chatter and idea of Instagramming this sensual, relaxing experience behind.
If you've spent any time in a European city, you know that townsfolk don't park in front of the tv after dinner, they stroll, talking, walking, laughing, and hand-holding. Since we're Americans, we may feel the need to jog, bike or skate our way along the 18.5-mile lakefront path, but it's beautiful and a lovely way to kindle romance. Expect congestion in the downtown area on summer weekends but it offers unmatched views any time of the year. With the Chicago skyline on one side and Lake Michigan on the other, you'll spy some famous landmarks, including Buckingham Fountain, Navy Pier, Soldier Field, Lincoln Park Zoo and the Adler Planetarium. The gardens and park near Northerly Island add more pastoral elements and dog lovers will want to stop by the beach near Irving Park Road. Who says love has to have a price tag?
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: It's Chicago's beautiful backdrop, it's free and can be a casual, unpretentious date.
Jacky's expert tip: For a great skyline view, sit on the rocks at North Avenue, or at a small peninsula between Belmont and Irving Park Road.
If you thought dreaming up a romantic date was an effort in years past, what in the world can you do when museums, restaurants, clubs and venues are shuttered? Ring up M&M Limousine Service which offers fun date night packages designed especially with CoVid safety in mind. A professionally-trained chauffeur picks up the two of you with a chilled, complimentary bottle champagne waiting in your sleek carriage. A driver partition keeps everyone safe allowing complete privacy. There are pre-planned itineraries which to choose: revel in the the city lights of Chicago from your own toasty, stretch limo; order take-out from your favorite restaurant that is picked up while you are on board; listen to your favorite music through a sophisticated sound system. Other experiences include a Carry-Out Curbside Tacos & Margaritas Tour; Carry-Out Curbside Pizza Tour; and a limo and Viceroy Hotel Chicago date night.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: M&M Limousine Service offers fun date night packages designed especially with CoVid safety in mind.
Jacky's expert tip: No worries - all vehicles are completely disinfected before pick up.
Two brilliant businesses, The Publishing House and Monteverde restaurant, collaborate for a 2021 Valentine's weekend affair. Indulge in Chef Sarah Grueneberg's ethereal Italian cuisine served in-room, snooze in a chicly appointed room you won't want to leave and awake to an impressive cooked-to-order breakfast. The Monteverde private dinner includes a welcome glass of sparkling wine and snack: three-course, family style menu; and a bottle of specially paired wine. Each course will have two dishes. Cost for the B&B overnight is separate. With just 11 private rooms inspired by Chicago literary references, Publishing House elevates the traditional bed and breakfast experience by offering stylish interiors, impeccable service and a freshly cooked breakfast each morning. Housed in a 110-year-old building, Publishing House's common area features an inviting double-sided fireplace (for an always appealing snuggle in the winter), 12-seat dining tables, lounges and a baby grand piano.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Despite the pandemic, Valentine's couples can still get thrilled with award-winning cuisine and an exceptional overnight experience.
Jacky's expert tip: Book the room first and the B&B will send a link for the dinner ticket purchase in a follow up email.
Your childhood fantasy of spending some time in a show globe should be on your adult romance agenda. Notable Chicago restaurants, such Bucktown's The Bristol and Formento's in Fulton Market make it possible. Both venues' private "snow globes" contain a personal heater, ionizer for air purification and a bluetooth connected speaker for your tunes. At The Bristol, choose from the a la carte or chef's prix fixe menu. Try trendy milk bread to slather with Normandy Butter; pillows of gnudi, with chicken thigh, Pistachio pesto and Perigord truffle; caviar service; and hearty mains. Formento's is a sure thing in terms of luscious Italian cuisine, from a Frutti Di Mare risotto to painterly presentations of fresh fish and meat entrees. Formento's even has a kids' menu (the globes seat up to four) so you can bring the offspring along. Reserve any of the globes on Tock (www.exploretock.com).
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: The snow globes at Formento's and The Bristol offer a private, safe and personalized dining adventure.
Jacky's expert tip: To elevate the experience further at The Bristol, choose a curated hot winter-themed cocktail for enjoying in your snow globe.
Open in July, 2020, Nobu Hotel Chicago beckons with its tranquil space, signature Nobu restaurant and bar, rooftop with stunning city views and indoor serenity swimming pool. Take the opportunity to treat your loved one to an intimate staycation rife with lovely touches. The Love Nobu package includes: accommodations for two; a lavender bath salt courtesy of Chicago's skincare line, Scratch Goods;"Split" bottle of Veuve Clicquot or Moet & Chandon Champagne; and a confectionary bento box of chocolates to enjoy in your sophisticated room. Early check-in and late check-out is subject to availability and the package is valid for travel between February 11, 2020 â" February 15, 2021. Situated in Chicago's West Loop, Nobu Hospitality was founded by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Here's your chance to indulge in Nobu's Japanese influences, ultra-modern design and luxe appointments - with your favorite someone.
Jacky's expert tip: A lavish Valentine's Day dinner from Nobu Restaurant is on the menu for takeout and in-room dining on February 14, 2021, too (separate from the hotel package). Call for details.
Cross country skiing and snowshoeing are not only affordable in this neck of the snowy woods, they are stellar calorie scorchers; a hushed activity you can either learn together or practice; and both help reduce stress (and who doesn't need that this year)? The ski and snowshoe rental season at The Morton Arboretum runs from January 15 to March 21, 2021, when there are four or more inches of snow. Cross-country skis (includes boots and poles) rent for $18 or snowshoes for $13 - all day use! Expect superb skiing trails across the Arboretum's 1,700 acres on the rolling Valparaiso moraine. Try snow shoeing - the only qualification is the ability to walk so there's no learning curve, just outdoor quiet time with your partner.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Enjoy fresh air, quiet time with your partner, a low impact but significant workout and charge some endorphins.
Jacky's expert tip: Call the Visitor Center Information Desk at (630) 968-0074 before your visit to confirm rental availability.
At least a half-dozen James Bond films feature the invincible spy skiing in exotic locales, avoiding everything from assassins to avalanches. Forget the challenging terrain and just hang out at Bandit's Apres Ski Lodge and/or Bar Siena's Chalet for a romantic night out this winter. Both heated and covered dining areas offer a special menu of exclusive winter dishes and cocktails. Bar Siena's Chalet menu was hand-crafted by Chef Fabio Viviani so that every dish serves two. Try Quattro Formaggi Fonduta, served with housemade polenta bread; Truffle Mushroom Risotto; and a Deconstructed Cannoli. Bandit's menu features large-format (for two-plus people) winter favorites like beer cheese fondue and tableside s'mores. Warm cocktails complete the sexy picture: a Cozy Old Fashioned, mulled cider or wine, and Irish coffee among the steamy choices.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Have a sexy ski chalet adventure minus the heavy gear and high cost of lift tickets at two of Restaurant Row's fun dining and drinking spots.
Jacky's expert tip: Both heated, covered, outdoor dining areas are open Tuesday through Sunday and reservations are required.
The Langham may be the best luxury hotel in Chicago exuding British elegance and modern sophistication tucked into an historic Mies van der Rohe building, the last designed by the renowned architect. Consider "Bespoke Valentine Experiences" at the luxe property. The River Romance room package includes breakfast in-room, Champagne and a bath amenity. Cupid Visits Club beckons you to celebrate your love in the Langham Club located on the uppermost floor of the hotel with sweeping views of the city. Enjoy a private dinner for two; exchange vows; or celebrate a wedding anniversary. Cooking with Love is a private cooking class for two with The Langham, Chicago's Executive Chef, Damion Henry. Both experiences include an overnight in a one-bedroom suite, welcome amenity and much more. Call for pricing and inclusions.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: If you lean towards a chic, understated and luxurious romantic experience to remember, The Langham, Chicago will capture your heart.
Jacky's expert tip: Indulging in a soak in one of The Langham's granite tubs, which are in front of large picture windows, is simply unforgettable.
Images of Van Gogh's vibrant and textural paintings adorn everything from dorm room walls to AARP tote bags and if there's one of the Dutch master's works in a museum, you can count on a crowd around it. The U.S. premiere of the spectacular digital art experience, Immersive Van Gogh, promises to be a new way of experiencing art, surrounding viewers with the brilliant work of one of the greatest painters in history. And doesn't that sound romantic? The hour-long walk through experience features more than 50 projectors illuminating over 14,000 square-feet, encircling visitors in Van Gogh's brushstrokes along with original mood-setting music. The uniquely mesmerizing experience is housed in Old Town's historic Germania Club Building with Victorian era architectural details, 35-foot-tall walls and multiple levels. Ticket prices start at $39.99 with timed and flexible ticket options for viewings Feb. 11 - Sept. 6, 2021.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Opening Feb. 11, the experience begs for first dates and proposals amid Van Gogh's sunflowers.
Jacky's expert tip: Expect touchless ticket-taking; temperature checks upon arrival; hand sanitizer stations; and social distancing markers prominent throughout the venue.