7 geeky date ideas for Valentine's Day in Chicago

Love it or hate it, Valentine's Day is barreling toward us. I've always liked the holiday- and this is coming from someone who didn't really have a boyfriend until college. When I was single, I'd throw parties for all of my loner friends. In times of commitment, I'd try to make Valentine's Day interesting with gimmicks or themes. My husband and I enjoyed an Avatar: The Last Airbender V-Day a few years back.

This year doesn't really get a theme. The geek guy and I will be premiering our audio book project at a convention. I should start evaluating how many holidays I'm willing to give up for conventions in my adulthood, but, ah- that's for another day.

Today, I'm bringing you date ideas if you're a Chicago-area geek, still in need of plans. Only a few of them require a significant other. So, keep reading- even if you're single.


1. See some sexy burlesque. ($15-$28) - Chicago is, in my opinion, the best city for nerdy burlesque shows. Plan 9 Burlesque is currently presenting Bawdy Bedtime Stories each Thursday at the Public House TheatreGorilla Tango's Game of Thrones parody, Game of Thongs, opens on the 13th. These shows combine sensual with zany, and are perfect for dates, groups, or even solo outings. ...Just make sure your date is comfortable seeing boobs. ;)



2. Invent some gelato. ($150 per couple) - If your inner geek is sort of a foodie and also a scientist (MINE IS,) head for Black Dog Gelato. At their Belmont location on V-Day ONLY, couples can invent their own gelato flavor. The class is 2 hours, and includes drinks and appetizers. Participants will get to take their creations home, of course! E-mail catering@blackdogchicago to reserve a spot.

Promotional banner for Black Dog Gelato making class


3. Visit Capricon. ($15-$70)This sci-fi convention, in its 35th year, is where I'll be spending the weekend. (At this moment, I pause my writing, hearing my husband singing the theme to Space Jam across the apartment.) Ahem. Anyway, Capricon. It's actually a nice convention for getting to know a significant other. The environment is laid back. Together, you can listen to live music in the cafe, browse art, and see panels. I have a panel at 7PM on Valentine's Day, all about audio book production... because obviously, your dream date involves meeting my husband and me.

Capricon 35


4. Meet Cary Elwes from The Princess Bride. ($26)- I challenge you to find a romantic tale more loved by geeks than The Princess Bride. You can't. The movie is incredible, the book even more so. Now, Chicago-area fans can meet The Man in Black. Cary Elwes will in Naperville on Valentine's Day, with his new book, As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride. Purchasing the book from this website earns 2 tickets to the event. So, you can bring a lover OR a friend to the suburbs to sigh over Westley. Twoo wuv...

As You Wish book


5. Buy books and comics, get 'em signed. ($15) - Are you planning on spending Valentine's Day alone, catching up on comics? Are you part of a relationship that buys and reads comics together? Either way, Friday's event with the Chicago Humanities Festival shouldn't be missed. Scott McCloud (Understanding Comics,) Lynne M. Thomas (Chicks Dig Comics,) and Lyra Hill (Brain Frame) will be at the Art Institute, discussing "life in and outside of comics." The event is in celebration of The Sculptor, McCloud's new graphic novel. A signing will follow the show.

Comics writer Scott McCloud


6. Get to Geek Bar Beta, if you haven't yet. ($25-$180)Geek Bar is still in its Wicker Park "beta" location. That hasn't stopped the place from pumping out events. C2E2, the Chicago Nerd Social Club, Our Fair City, the Geek Girl Illuminati, and many other Chicago organizations all converge at Geek Bar. While I cringe at terms like "geek love," "nerd lurve," "geekgasm," etc., I respect Geek Bar for holding both singles and couples events in one night. A singles mixer starts on V-Day at 3PM. Six-course dinners (reservations only) commence at 5:30 and 9.

Geek Bar Beta logo


7. Stay in and watch YouTube. My favorite Valentine's Days have been spent at home. My geek guy and I skip the city rush. He makes a nice dinner, and we watch something fun on TV. There's usually wine. If that's your plan, consider tuning in to Space Happens. This upcoming, sci-fi web series premieres on the 13th. Its story follows Joy Jones and the crew of the HMS Janeway. The cast is full of strong females. The Janeway is made of gold LEGO bricks. Best of all, Space Happens is 100% made in Chicago.

Promotional banner for Space Happens


Choose wisely, gentle reader.

How are you spending your Valentine's Day? Post below!! I'll hopefully have one more Valentine's Day article before the holiday arrives.


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