Millennium Park Ice Skating Rink
It doesn’t matter whether you know how to ice skate or not, just rent a pair of skates and go have fun under one of the best skylines in the world. Skating at night is great under all the city lights, if it’s snowing, even better. Make sure to bundle up, but if you get cold, grab a hot chocolate at the Park Café and drink it while gazing up at the Bean only steps above the skating rink.
Michigan Ave. and Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602
Navy Pier Ferris Wheel
Looking to achieve new heights in your relationship? Hop on the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel, open all year round, and take a seven-minute spin on the ride modeled off the very first Ferris Wheel at the Chicago’s 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. You’ll have views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan from 150 feet high. At night, the ride’s 40 spokes light up in a dazzling array of lights.
600 E. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 312-595-PIER (7437)
Ticket price: $6
(Make sure to call ahead as the Ferris wheel is all year round, weather permitting and is subject to close for maintenance.)
Horse Carriage Rides
There’s nothing quite fairytale-ish and nostalgic like an old-fashioned horse carriage ride. In the colder months, carriages have covers and many offer blankets to keep you warm and make the atmosphere cozier. Enjoy the city lights at night down Michigan Avenue and along Lake Shore Drive as you snuggle up and enjoy the clomping of the horses down the streets.
Antique Coach & Carriage Co.
Chicago Horse & Carriage Ltd.
Noble Horse Carriages
The Signature Room at the 95th/Signature Lounge at the John Hancock
It’s so romantic here that they have an engagement package on their website including presenting the ring in a champagne flute or a chocolate ring box. If you’re willing to spend a little more for dinner and get amazing views of the lake and city, then this is the place to go. From 95 floors up, you can see for endless miles. If money might be a little tight with the economy but you still want to treat her to a great time and still get dressed up, head one floor up to the Lounge and just order drinks and appetizers – the views are just as fabulous.
875 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
In the middle of winter in Chicago, it’s cloudy and overcast, there is a lack of sunshine and especially missed opportunities to go stargazing at night. To make up for our lack of starry skies, wander over to the Adler Planetarium to catch one of their five shows about the cosmos in one of their three full-size theaters. Enjoy the likes of stargazing without having to step out into a cold winter’s night because as Ella Fitzgerald used to sing, baby, it’s cold outside.
1300 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
Rachel Azark is a writer and lives on Chicago’s northwest side. Read more of her work on her blog parksandpancakes.com.