Last-minute love: A V-Day Guide for Procrastinators

By / General / February 9, 2017

February 14 is just days away — here, our guide to quick and easy dates, gifts and more

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; and Music Box Theatre lets viewers find out what happened “When Harry Met Sally” (7:30 p.m., $11/person, 3733 N. Southport;

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; 


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;

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 to reserve a spot). 3164 N. Broadway;

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;


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;

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;

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;

Local influencer Corri McFadden showcased the treatment on Instagram.

Local influencer Corri McFadden showcased the treatment on Instagram.

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;

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;


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