Need a Break from Wedding Planning? We’ve got you covered! These Amazing Dates are the Perfect Excuse to Treat Yourselves.

We’re going to let you in on a little secret: there’s more to your engagement than just planning a wedding. Believe it or not, the year that you spend waiting to tie the knot will be filled with valuable moments of downtime. Sure, you could spend those precious Saturday nights curled up on the couch with a pack of Oreos, your fiancé, and the newest season of your latest Netflix binge, but why not take the opportunity to get out and do something new? Like most major cities, Chicago and its surrounding suburbs provide an endless supply of fun, adventurous, and romantic date nights. There’s no better way to celebrate your engagement than to try new things together, but we know how hard it can be to break out of your dating routine. The solution? Amazing dates you can enjoy without ever leaving the Chicagoland area (and without blowing through any of your wedding planning money).

Bowling & Bocce at Pinstripes.

Whether you’re a competitive bowler or you still use bumpers, knocking over pins while sipping on wine is the perfect date night for couples who don’t want to sit still. This unique and trendy venue offers all the fun and festivity of bowling and Bocce in a luxurious lounge setting. With locations in Streeterville, Oak Brook, and Northbrook, there’s no excuse to miss out on the excitement.

Take a Walk on the Wild Side at Brookfield Zoo.

No one’s too old to enjoy a trip to the zoo! Put on some comfortable shoes, pack a picnic lunch (or don’t, and enjoy one of Brookfield’s eateries), and head to one of the best zoos in the country. You and your fiancé can enjoy seasonal experiences like Boo-at-the-Zoo or Holiday Magic. No matter when you visit the zoo, it’s sure to put a smile on your face.

Soak in the City at the Willis Tower.

Nothing beats standing thousands of feet above the Windy City and getting a birds-eye-view of the gorgeous place we call home. Skydeck Chicago gives you a chance to experience the city like never before using the Tower’s famed observation deck, The Ledge.

Enjoy Edible Art at Terzo Piano.

Whether it’s brunch, dinner, or after-work cocktails, dining at the Art Institute of Chicago’s trendy restaurant is an absolute must. Spearheaded by Tony and Cathy Mantuano and located in the museum’s Modern Wing, Terzo Piano effortlessly combines the luxury of both food and art to deliver an organic and sustainably produced menu that will leave you begging for seconds.

Enjoy the Fresh Air at Cantigny Park.

Getting outside, enjoying the fresh air and strolling through the wilderness is always in season. Cantigny Park and its lush, sprawling grounds are the perfect place to stretch your legs and take an invigorating nature walk. Wander through acres of beautiful paths and if you’re a war buff, stop by their comprehensive First Division Museum and brush up on your American history.

Tour Lake Michigan with Entertainment Cruises.

There’s nothing like seeing Chicago from the water. Climbing aboard one of Entertainment Cruises’ gorgeous boats and enjoying a trip around the lake is a date night that simply can’t be beat. Whether you stay inside to take advantage of the delicious bites and bumping music or snuggle up outside and watch the waves, we promise you will be planning your next cruise the moment you step off the boat.

Escape the City at Kimpton Gray Hotel’s Boleo.

Named after an Argentine tango move, Boleo brings dramatic flavors and sultry beats to one of the best rooftops in the Loop. Relax beneath a massive retractable glass ceiling and enjoy aromatic Peruvian and Argentinian street food without the hassle and expense of jetting off to South America.

Dine on the Waterfront at River Roast.

Located right on the Chicago River, River Roast serves up dramatic city views from every single seat in the restaurant – both indoors and out. The eatery boasts one of the best patios in the entire city and has an incredible menu to match, offering an eclectic yet delicious assortment of contemporary American tavern fare. To experience a food and music pairing that showcases some of the city’s best blues artists, stop in over the weekend for the Brews & Blues Brunch.

Book a Couples Massage at Eaglewood Resort & Spa.

Planning a wedding is hard work, and you deserve to be rewarded for all that effort. The stressful side of your engagement can only be survived if you occasionally give in to the urge to “treat yourself”, and there’s no better place to do so than Eaglewood Resort’s Spa. Sign up for their signature couples massage and allow yourself to be whisked away to your happy place.

Say Cheers at Volo Restaurant Wine Bar.

Sipping and savoring has never felt so stylish. With a curated wine list and an array of unique fare, Volo brings an impressive menu and a vintage chic vibe to Roscoe Village. This wine bar is the perfect Friday evening stop and with weekly happy hours and events like the Annual French Wine Dinner, luxury date night has never been so fun.

Get Your Head in the Game at the Chicago Athletic Association.

What began as a simple billiards room has grown to become Chicago’s most famous Game Room: a competitive combination of cocktails and activities like Bocce ball, shuffleboard, chess, foosball, and more. After you’ve finished playing games and enjoyed some healthy smack talk, head next door to the Chicago Athletic Association’s Cherry Circle Room and experience one of the trendiest menus in the Windy City.

Spend a Long Weekend in Lake Geneva.

Located just over the Wisconsin border, Chicago’s beautiful neighbor Lake Geneva is one of the most well-known Midwestern vacation destinations. Whether you’re hitting the links at Hawk’s View Golf Club, touring the romantic waters of Lake Geneva with Lake Geneva Cruise Line, or enjoying sports and picturesque views at Lake Lawn Resort & Spa, you’re sure to enjoy some well-deserved R & R and return to Chicago feeling perfectly refreshed.

Get the German Experience at Hofbräuhaus.

Convincing your fiancé to sit down and look at linens might be difficult, but getting him to take you to Chicago’s most famous German beer hall should be considerably easier. In addition to amazing brews, take advantage of all the entertainment this festive bar has to offer. Test your strength in their weekend Masskrugstemmen (holding out a one-liter stein with one arm; winner keeps their stein). Make new friends with a shot-ski, a row of shot glasses attached to a ski. Stop by in October to celebrate Oktoberfest. No matter when, Hofbräuhaus will deliver a night you’ll be talking about for weeks to come.

Grab a Quick Bite in Style at Coco  Pazzo Café.

If you can’t wait until the weekend and are looking for the perfect weekday date, look no further than Coco Pazzo Café. This chic, trendy eatery on East Ohio Street serves up time-honored Tuscan favorites amid gorgeous Modigliani-style murals. If you stop by while the weather’s nice and warm, you and your amore can take advantage of the Café’s outdoor seating and dine alfresco. Saluti!