Five Sciencey Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day in Chicago


In a city like Chicago, it seems there are a million activities to choose from on any given day. I often find myself lamenting the fact that I can’t try every restaurant, see a show at every theater, and browse the galleries at every museum.

But, somehow, on Valentine’s Day I seem to forget about the host of city activities and default to the traditional dinner and a movie. So, for those who are feeling adventurous, here are a few non-traditional ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a little science on the side!

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum’s Family Valentine’s Day Dance

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is an oasis for Chicagoan’s eager to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. This 3rd annual event gives families an opportunity to dance the night away, and “get up close with all of [the museum’s] friendly critters.”

The event takes place the week before Valentine’s Day on February 7 from 5:30-7:30pm. And, the ticket includes dinner, a visit to the Butterfly Haven, swag bags for all kids and Valentine’s Day card crafting.


Adults (members/nonmembers): $40/$45
Children 4-18: $20
Children 3 and under: $10

For more information click here

The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Orchid Show

The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Orchid Show opens on Valentine’s Day this year, providing the perfect opportunity to forget about the bleak winter weather. The Regenstein Center Greenhouses and Galleries will boast trees draped in more than 10,000 orchids of different colors and varieties.

There will also be orchids for sale, and experts from the Illinois Orchid Society to answer questions. The show runs through March 15, so you’ll have plenty of time to visit if you can’t make it for the opening.


Adults (members/nonmembers): $8/$10
Seniors 62+ (members/nonmembers): $6/$8
Children 3 to 12 (members/nonmembers): $6/$8
Children 2 and under: Free

For more information click here

Geek Bar’s “Nerd Lurve” Singles Valentine’s Day Mixer

If you’re a proud nerd like me, you’ve probably already heard of Geek Bar, currently in beta, at 1941 W North Ave.  Now, I confess, I actually have not been. The last event I tried to attend was cancelled due to Polar Vortex-esque weather earlier this month. So, it’s at the top of my list. But, many of my friends are regular customers.

So, if you’re looking to meet other nerds with a passion for all things geeky, this Valentine’s Day Mixer is a perfect opportunity. The event is on February 14 from 3:00-5:00pm. And, the entry fee gets you snacks, one drink ticket and open tabletop gaming.

Cost: $25

For more information click here

Kendall College’s Couples Cooking Class

If you’re into food science, this class at Kendall College is an opportunity to try your hand at culinary creations in a professional kitchen.

You and your cooking partner will create a brunch that includes tangerine pink grapefruit juice, tart cherry ginger scones, chocolate filled crepes with strawberry grand marnier sauce, bacon cheddar strata, and fresh fruit with dark chocolate fondue and mimosas.

Now, I imagine the delicious food in front of you might distract you from digging into the dishes’ underlying molecular properties, but who’s watching?

Cost: $80/per person

For more information click here

The Field Museum’s Adopt a T.rex

Ok, so this isn’t exactly an activity, but I wanted to include it because I find it amusing. The Field Museum has a unique alternative Valentine’s Day gift for those who are struggling to find something other than the traditional dozen roses.

For this Valentine’s Day, you can “adopt” a plush T.rex that comes complete with a carrier crate, fact sheet, certificate of adoption, official species tag, sticker and invitation to The Field Museum Members’ Nights.

It’s perfect for any dino-enthusiast or budding paleontologist.

Cost: $39

For more information click here



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