Not only is summer the best time in the city to get outside in Chicago, it offers opportunities to charm that special someone with unique, warm-weather dates.
If you’re looking for love in the Windy City, try one of these summer-only date ideas. Get outside together now before snuggling up indoors together for the winter.
- Dinner and a Movie
Chicago has plenty of indoor theaters where you and your sweetie can escape the heat, but why not pack a picnic and enjoy a movie night outdoors – for free – at parks across the city? From a film under the arches of Millennium Park, to finding a spot in front of the screen at your neighborhood park, you’re sure to find romance under the stars. Check out the full schedule here.
- Down on the Farm
Support local growers with your sweetheart! If you’re looking for a date idea, get together early on a weekend morning and head to Green City Market – or any of the city’s outdoor markets, which are often open through September. Take your treasures to nearby Lincoln Park or one of the city’s beaches for a lunchtime picnic.
- Take to the Lake
The Windy City may not be on the edge of an ocean, but Lake Michigan offers lots of date spots. Be trendy and take your date for a stand-up paddleboarding lesson while it’s warm. Rentals can be found at Chicago Paddle Co. in Edgewater or at places such as Diversey Harbor at Chicago SUP.
- Roll Down the River
If SUP isn’t your thing, try something a little calmer on the water. Take your date on a sunset stroll along the newly developed Chicago Riverwalk. After you’ve worked up an appetite, enjoy a meal or a drink at one of the area’s waterfront bars or restaurants. If you’re feeling adventurous, rent at kayak and float away together.
- Get jazzed.
Who says the venues such as the Shedd Aquarium are just for kids? On Wednesdays through Sept. 14, the fish house hosts Jazzin at the Shedd, an adults-only, after-hours party with live jazz, cocktails, a view of Navy Pier fireworks, and of course, a look at all the sea life.
- Peruse the Zoo
Much like the aquarium, Lincoln Park Zoo also offers date night events for adults during the summer. The upcoming Adults Night Out on Sept. 8 gives you and your sweetie a chance to stroll the zoo with a glass of wine or frosty beer in hand.
- Find Some Harmony
Pack a blanket, grab a bottle of wine and hop on the Metra to Ravinia in Highland Park. The outdoor concert venue – and the train ride there – gives you and your date lots of get-to-know-you time. Don’t wait, when summer ends, so does the music.
- Take a Spin
Make date night pop with a free fireworks show at Navy Pier. The venue offers free fireworks shows eachWednesday (at 9:15 p.m.) and Saturday (at 10:15 p.m.) from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Before, after – or even during – the show, take a ride on the new Centennial Wheel to see the city from above.
- Hit the Roof
Summer goes fast. Spend at least one date night wining and dining each other at one of the city’s countless rooftop bars to get a good glimpse of the city – and each other. There are downtown options such as Cindy’s rooftop overlooking Michigan Avenue to trendy new vantage points such as London House– and many more.
- Step Out
Waltz over to Grant Park with your date and take part in Summerdance. On Fridays through Sundays through Sept. 11, the park’s Spirit of Music Garden hosts free dance sessions with live bands. Got two left feet? No problem. Arrive early for no-cost dance lessons from the experts.