Chicago Valentine's Day 2012: Ten Ultimate Valentine Dates in Chicago from $15 to $100,000.

Chicago Valentine's Day 2012: Ten Ultimate Valentine Dates in Chicago from $15 to $100,000.

Chicago, Tuesday, February 7, 2012.  Can money buy love? You can find out on date #9--billed as the ultimate way to say "I love you" for $100,000.  Or if you are a fan of free love, go for the almost free date #3 for $15.   Find out if your Valentine is true blue...or would rather put you in the red (not bed).  Below are ten unique ideas to get you started--just in case you are feeling Valentine-challenged.

1. Take a Walk on the Wild Side...
Lincoln Park Zoo is offering something a little "naughty" for grown-ups this year--a literal lesson from the birds and the bees.  Bring out your inner animal with "A Walk on the Wild Side"--a special event that combines champagne and chocolate with the inside scoop on the risqué side of animal courtship. Regenstein African Journey.  Choose from two sessions, 5:30-7 p.m. or 7:30 to 9 p.m., February 14.  Reserve your spot at Lincoln Park Zoo or 312 742 2000. Tickets are $45 each, $40 members.

2.  Love is...
River North Dance Chicago, critically acclaimed for their athletic, sensual and dynamic repertoire, unveils two world premieres for Valentine's Weekend.  It's your chance to discover what “Love is…” at the Harris Theater.  The weekend engagement will feature two world premieres: “Contact-Me” is the first U.S. commission from Mauro Astolfi of Italy’s premiere Spellbound Dance Company and “The Good Goodbyes” is a collaboration between RNDC Artistic Director Frank Chaves and Josephine Lee, the Artistic Director for the Chicago Children’s Choir who composed an original score and will be playing the piece LIVE on Friday. On Saturday evening a special "Love is ...Celebration," for an additional $25 will follow the performance with artisan dessert and decadent drink parings from some Chicago top spots. Tickets to the Harris Theater engagement are $30-$75.   (312) 334 7777.  205 E. Randolph Dr.

3. My Funny Valentine.
Valentine’s Day comes a day early to Millennium Park when the popular series, Cabaret with a View returns to the climate-controlled stage at Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Actress and singer E. Faye Butler will present  “My Funny Valentine.”  The show will  feature classics from the great American songbook with Butler along with Jeremy Kahn on piano and Eric Schneider on saxophone. Tickets are $25, which includes seating at cabaret tables on the Pritzker Pavilion's stage level and two complimentary drinks, or $15 for seats in the Pritzker's choral balcony.  Tickets are available online or at  (312) 742 TIXS (8497).

4.  Symphony Center Presents Passion World.
Kurt Elling, one of the most recognizable voices in contemporary jazz, returns to Symphony Center on February 14 for an  enchanting performance with Passion World, a journey through love songs from around the world. This special Valentine’s Day concert also features famed jazz violinist Regina Carter  and innovative clarinetist and saxophonist Anat Cohen. 220 S. Michigan Avenue.  Complete the evening with dinner at nearby Rhapsody Restaurant with a special Valentine menu for $55 Pre-fixe; or order a la carte or from the lounge menu. 65 E. Adams.

5. Valentine's Cruise.
The Odyssey, Chicago's most luxurious cruising vessel docked at Navy Pier is offering four special Valentine packages a Weekend Dinner, Sunday Brunch or Sunday Dinner Buffet. February 10, 11, 12 and 14.
The Spirit of  Chicago is offering two Valentine cruises featuring dinner, a DJ, entertainment, dancing and "strolls beneath the stars". Dinners include a complimentary champagne toast and a single rose  per couple. February 11 and 14.

6. Geja’s Café’s – Eleven Day Valentine’s Festival Celebration.
Geja’s Café, named over and over as Chicago's most romantic restaurant is planning what they say is the most romantic Valentine’s Day celebration in their 46 year history.  You can decide for yourself  from now through Wednesday, February 15th, at the renowned “Restaurant of Romance”.  Valentine’s Dinner Package includes:  Geja’s creamy Gruyere cheese fondue, a glass of   champagne, Geja’s salad with tangy Dijon vinaigrette, entrée fondue of Beef Tenderloin, Lobster Tail and Jumbo Shrimp, flaming chocolate dessert fondue with coffee.  $105.  Valet parking is available.   (773) 281 9101, 340 W. Armitage,

7. The Sky's the Limit.
For those with unlimited funds The Signature Room at the 95th is offering the Ultimate Romance Dinner starting at $2000. The Ultimate Dinner package includes a gourmet candlelit dinner with exclusive butler service in a private dining room  set for two, a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne upon arrival, one dozen red roses in a vase  to take home, private musical entertainment and more. 875 N. Michigan Avenue.

8. Back Down to Earth.
The Signature Room is offering a more down to earth Valentine’s Day option for $95 per person.  The $95 menu includes gourmet appetizers, a choice of homemade soup or fresh salad, an exceptional entrée, and either individual housemade desserts or one spectacular sweet ending to share.  Saturday, February 11th and on Tuesday, February 14th. 312-787-9596

9. More Sticker Shock.
Fairmont Chicago presents their Ultimate Way to Say “I Love You” experience.  For a mere $100,000 their Romantic Getaway Package offers guests ""everything your heart desires."  A rose petal red  carpet will greet you and your date upon arrival. From there you will be whisked to the Presidential Suite where you will indulge in a lavender-infused bubble bath. The experience does not end at the hotel, as a  $10,000 shopping spree and a beautiful diamond and sapphire necklace create an unforgettable  romantic getaway. The package also includes your own private butler, in-room massage, dinner at aria, breakfast in bed and more. 200 N. Columbus.

10. Get UP for Sex, Love and the Second City.
Hit Chicago's hot new UP Comedy Club for Sex, Love & the Second City: A Romantic Dot Comedy. From legendary comedy theatre The Second City comes a play about relationships in the age of  social networking. There are plenty of fish in the sea, but can we all live in eHarmony? Or  are our lives too much of an open (Face)book? Find out more in this hilarious new show.

Bonus...
For Lovers Only...Come to the Cabaret at BET.
The recently opened new space at Black Ensemble Theater (4450 N. Clark Street), will be the scene for the special one night-only Valentine’s Day event featuring the most famous love songs of all time performed by Black Ensemble Performers Rick Stone, Dawn Bless, RaShawn Thompson, Lyle Miller, Melanie McCullough, David Simmons, Theo Huff, Katrina Miller, Lawrence Williams, Rueben Echoles, Carrie Abernathy, Stori Johnson and Daryl Brooks.  February 14, 2012,  7:30p.m., Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center.  Tickets, $125 per couple; $65 single.  The evening also includes champagne and desserts. Tickets are available online or at (773) 769-4451.

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  • These are great. I recommended the Signature Room as well, yet not for the $2000 date! Instead I wrote about the free architecture sights Chicago offers. Just a recommendation to those with not so much to spend! http://blog.chicagodetours.com/2013/02/chicago-architectural-spaces-and-landscapes-to-kiss-your-valentine/

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