Don’t make Valentine’s Day plans heart on yourself

VDayFrom the Saturday, Jan. 30, editions of The Daily Journal (Kankakee, Ill.) and The Times (Ottawa, Ill.) …


By Dave Wischnowsky

It’s not quite February yet, but if you haven’t already started making plans for the 14th of next month, well, you’re liable to be left out in the cold.

Both by a restaurant – and your special someone.

With two weeks to go before Valentine’s Day, I’m here to help all you lovers – and singles – out with some suggestions, should you be considering a trip to Chicagoland celebrate Hallmark’s second favorite holiday (behind Mothers’ Day).

If you’re looking to book reservations at one of the many Chicago restaurants offering special Valentine’s Day menus, it’s best to consult (download the app). But if you’re looking to do something else romantic – or ridiculous – during that weekend then read on.

Weekend Plays
Feb. 12-14

In last week’s column, I mentioned how great the Windy City is as a theater city, especially during Chicago Theatre Week. This year, that event conveniently spans Valentine’s Day weekend with discounted shows (tickets for $15 and $30) taking place at multiple venues Feb. 12-14.

There may be no better weekend, in fact, for dinner and a show in the city. For the full lineup of shows, visit

Valentine’s Day Haunted House
Feb. 12-13

For some people, love can be scary.

And this year, that can be taken literally.

In a odd event designed more to deliver heart attacks than make any swoon, the 13th Floor Haunted House (1940 George St.) will be open from 7 to 10 p.m. Feb. 12-13, in Melrose Park, 14 miles west of the city.

To scare up a ticket, visit

Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid Show
Feb. 13

Roses are red, violets are blue … and, well, orchids are purple.

Come Valentine’s Day weekend, they’ll also be particularly popular in Glencoe as the Chicago Botanic Garden (1000 Lake Cook Rd.) kicks off its month-long Orchid Show on Feb. 13.

More than 10,000 orchids will be in bloom inside the Regenstein Center’s greenhouses and gallery with visitors having an opportunity to purchase the plants.
For more information, visit

Cupid’s Undie Run
Feb. 13

In another quirky Valentine’s Day tradition – this one for a good cause – the Cupid’s Undie Run allows the opportunity to dash through Wrigleyville in your unmentionables while raising funds for the Children’s Tumor Foundation.

Participants can earn prizes, including shirts, underwear and engraved flasks, and enjoy an after-party at John Barleycorn (3524 N. Clark St.). Last year, the event raised $3.5 million.
To learn more, visit

Screw Cupid Bar Crawl
Feb. 13

If you’re dateless for Valentine’s Day and looking for others in the same Love Boat, Chicago again is home to the 17th annual Screw Cupid Pub Crawl, taking place at five bars in Lakeview and Lincoln Park Feb. 13.

Between 8 and 11 p.m., Redmond’s, Durkin’s, Duffy’s, The Wrightwood and McGee’s will be host the event, with food buffets, drink specials and trolley transportation all included in the ticket cost.

For more information, visit

Valentine’s Day Dancing
Feb. 13-14

Finally, you’re itching for a Valentine’s Day dance then Chicago has plenty of options to fill your card.

On Feb. 13, the Athenaeum Theatre ( will be staging Dances from the Heart with 13 dynamic acts, including aerial, tap, jazz, urban fusion, Mexican folkloric, hip-hop and more.

On Feb. 13-14, the Valentine’s Dance Class at Ballroom Dance Chicago ( features hors d’oeuvres, sparkling wine and a “romantic rumba & sexy salsa class.”

And on Feb. 14, the Valentine’s Day Dirty Dancing Party for beginners at Duet Dance Studio ( is followed by an open dance that’s BYOB with appetizers.

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