The window has closed on getting resos at the most romantic spots, but dinner dates are overrated anyway. Try one of these alternatives.
Catch a classic rom-com: On Feb. 14, Adam Sandler and Emily Watson fall in “Punch-Drunk Love” at Thalia Hall (screenings at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., $10/pair, 1807 S. Allport; Thaliahallchicago.com) and Music Box Theatre lets viewers find out what happened “When Harry Met Sally” (7:30 p.m., $11/person, 3733 N. Southport; Musicboxtheatre.com).
Turn your home into a spa: It may be too late to book a service at the top spas around town, but with apps like Zeel (couples massages start at $233; half price if you sign up for membership in February) and Soothe (duos start at $198) — both free in the App Store — you can have a top-rated masseuse come to you. Light some candles to set the mood, and they’ll take care of the rest.
Pull an all-nighter: Looking to make a grand gesture? The Waldorf Astoria Chicago’s Love, Luxe & Fire package is a guaranteed arrow to the heart. The booking includes a bottle of Veuve Clicquot and dessert by the in-room fireplace, a complimentary movie and discounted spa services, plus add-ons like rose petals or a candlelit bath. Starting at $425, 11 E. Walton; Waldorfastoriachicagohotel.com
Indulge in the finer things: Chocolate and wine should be their own food groups — at least on Valentine’s Day. City Winery highlights the best of both at a tasting party curated by pastry chef Chon Reynoso and beverage director Rebekah Mahru. 7 p.m., $45/person, 1200 W. Randolph; Citywinery.com
Get your grape on: Stop into Lakeview’s Winehouse on V-Day (5-9 p.m.) for a mini vino tasting, or put your celebration on hold until Feb. 23, when the beverage haven hosts a tongue-in-cheek Wine 101 class dubbed “Talk Nerdy to Me” (7 p.m. $10; email Melissa@chicagowinehouse.com to reserve a spot). 3164 N. Broadway; Chicagowinehouse.com
GIFTS IN A PINCH
If you haven’t ordered anything yet and cringe at the thought of overnighting charges, pick up one of these items — all available in store at press time — and look like you spent weeks choosing a gift. (Click any image below to open the gallery.)
Quick and easy, chocolate is always a good choice. Forgo the drugstore box for one of these fresh takes.
Floriole Café & Bakery: The Lincoln Park bakery pays homage to Parisian romance with French-inspired desserts — chocolate ganache and heart-shaped tarts and more — all month long. 1220 W. Webster; Floriole.com
Portillo’s: The Chicago staple gets romantic with a heart-shaped version of its famous chocolate cake, available through Feb. 14. A portion of the proceeds benefit the American Red Cross. $14.99, 100 W. Ontario; Portillos.com
Vosges Haut-Chocolat: Chicago chocolatier Katrina Markoff is at it again with a delicious collection for V-Day 2017. Our favorite? Bapchi’s Caramel Toffee Heart box ($15). 951 W. Armitage; Vosgeschocolate.com
These quick pick-me-up treatments take less than 30 minutes, and will have you looking gorgeous before your date arrives.
Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold hair mask: Skip the salon and try this at-home deep conditioning treatment. Complete with a bonnet that hooks up to your blowdryer, it revitalizes your mane in 15 minutes. $75, Sephora, 605 N. Michigan; Sephora.com
Golden Girl Express Tan: Book an early appointment for an express spray tan — it takes just 20 minutes — and you can shower away the excess product in 3-4 hours (rather than the normal 8-9), giving you the perfect non-sticky glow by dinner time. $60, 529 N. Milwaukee; Goldengirltanning.com
Express Facials at Ulta: The in-store salon offers super-quick treatments using Dermalogica products. Brand-new is the 10-minute FaceFit Express Facial that has you in and out in a snap, but if you have a little more time, try one of the 20-minute MicroZone treatments, designed to instantly repair or clear skin or add glow. $10-$27, 1107 S. Delano; Ulta.com