Happy Singles Awareness Day! (Plus five great dates!)

Happy Valentine's Day peeps! Tonight, A.P. is taking me out to dinner at LM Restaurant in Lincoln Square. Guess I didn't give him the memo on my perfect Valentine's in time...he made the reservation weeks ago! After dinner, I have some surprises up my sleeve for him when we get back home because I've been planning for a wee while, too. ; ) Because I'm an equal opportunity Valentine's Day celebrator, here are five great date ideas for you and your significant other OR for you and your friends. Because Valentine's Day is about love...for anybody. <3

1. Dinner and a movie

The classic is never boring if you're with the right people! If you're with someone romantic, head to The Vow. Cheesy or not, it's this year's The Notebook. Minus Ryan Gosling...and the hot sex scene at his country house. If you're single, see The Vow. You'll enjoy it more with your girlfriends anyway. They won't groan in disbelief at the cheese factor. : ) Then head to dinner at your favorite spot. So many restaurants offer prix fixe menus on Valentine's Day, you can get a 3 course meal for a steal! If you're in Chicago and haven't yet made a reservation, try one of these secret spots we always seem to have good luck with ...

El Nandu in Logan Square, Hearty Boys in Lakeview (their drinks are awesome!), and this is on my list of places to check out. It doesn't take reservations, so you figure you have the same shot of getting a table as anyone else: Davonti Enoteca in University Village.

2. The MCA (or any art museum) and drinks

Good art is good art, no matter who you're with. And lucky for you, Valentine's Day falls on a Tuesday, which is The MCA's free day. Can I get a woot, woot? If you're not in Chicago or if your local art museum is closed, try an art gallery. Taking in art makes you feel smart. After all, as one of my favorite pins says, "The earth without art is just eh." Then, head to your favorite fancy hotel for drinks. After that kind of night, dinner on the couch won't feel so lame. If you're going to the MCA, you could drink nearby beforehand to make modern art interpretation even more interesting! Nothing says downtown chic to me than drinks at a fancy hotel or restaurant.

Try: The Signature Room at the 95th (they don't call it Signature for nothing!), The Bar at The Peninsula...fancy and intimate, or check out The Roof at The Wit. It's their Roof Live night, which means you also get to enjoy live music. Sweet!

3. A night at a hotel

With your girlfriends, it's a fun adult sleepover. With your significant other, it's a fun adult sleepover. Win-win. Seriously, though, with your gal pals, you could make fancy cocktails, rent movies, and order room service. With your significant other, you could get in room massages and drink champagne. Go to work in the morning and return home the next night. You'll feel like you took a little trip out of town!

4. Ice skating and hot chocolate

Listen, folks. You might question why I'd put such a cold date idea on the list, but winter is almost over and before you know it, you'll be complaining about the heat. Why not take advantage of the fact that it's not freezing cold out and enjoy ice skating. If you're in Chicago, Millenium Park is fun and The Rink at Wrigley is a novel idea, too. Hot chocolate is up to you, but of course my favorite place in Chicago is still the aptly named Hot Chocolate in Wicker Park. Homemade in front of a fireplace is always nice, too. Just so long as it has marshmallows. : )

5. Stay In, Eat Great Food, Make Fancy Drinks, and Watch Episodes of Your Favorite TV Show

This is for you if you're feeling lazy, tired, or don't want to make a big fuss. Because at the end of the day, Valentine's Day is about hanging out with the people that you love, whether you do something fun, romantic, or simple. Make it a little different from every other night, though, by going above and beyond with the dinner and drinks. Martha Stewart has several menus up and French martinis are always a good pick for today. Pop in a DVD of your favorite TV show and watch some episodes. You won't feel bad if you miss a few moments discussing your day. My picks would be Friends, Freaks and Geeks, or Mad About You.

What are you doing tonight? Anything special? Will you be hanging out with a significant other or girlfriends? Whatever you end up doing, Happy Valentine's Day!!

(Heart Socks via PetraO; Drive in Movie photo via Free People Blog; Ice Skaters via Art of Manliness; Lazy Sunday photo by David Urbanke via Flickr)


  1. We totally went and stayed in a hotel one night this weekend as our pre-Valentine's day date! We bought some fancy chocolate and wine, ordered take-out, cuddled up and watched a movie on cable. It was a blast!

    Have fun tonight! :)

  2. I opt for a picnic (weather permitting). Find a nice quiet spot in the country for just the two of you. No distractions and no need for a reservation 6 weeks in advance. (^_^)


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