One of the best Christmas gifts you can give the person you love is a trip away for just the two of you. When you’re looking for a place to reconnect and recharge, check out Chicago, a city with a long list of events and restaurants from which to choose. There’s something for every taste, timeline and budget.
Slip tickets for a Chicago sightseeing cruise into a pair of new gloves and surprise your sweetheart with a getaway and see the Windy City from a boat on Lake Michigan. Get in some cuddle time while you decide where to go after the cruise. If you love art, jot down a tour of the Art of Institute of Chicago on your to-do list or just explore the art around town, such as the Picasso Statue. No matter what the season, there’s usually a gathering at the base of it in Daley Plaza. The statue is just one of Chicago’s pieces of public art in the Loop, an open-air museum of sculptures. During the approximately 2.5-mile Loop Art Tour, you can enjoy artists’ work, see many of the city’s sights and enjoy a long walk together. The best part? It’s free.
You’ll build up an appetite and there’s no shortage of good food in the Windy City, thanks to its 77 neighborhoods filled with a variety of ethnic foods in Greektown, Chinatown, Little Italy and Pilsen, to name a few.
For a quick lunch, try some deep-dish pizza, a Chicago staple. The pies come in a deep, round pan filled with cheese and other toppings, and the tomato sauce is on top. Or try a Chicago-style hotdog, an all-beef frankfurter topped with yellow mustard, relish, tomato wedges, chopped onions, a pickle spear, hot peppers and celery salt all on a steamed poppy seed bun.
If you dine on local faves and street vendors while exploring Chicago, you can save enough to treat yourself to a special place for dinner, such as the Signature Room at the 95th. At the 95th floor of the John Hancock Center, you’ll enjoy the 360-degree views of the Chicago skyline while dining. To save money and still enjoy the view and ambience, consider eating there for brunch.
After dinner, dance the night away in a club. Chicago nightlife includes jazz and blues clubs, among others. If you need a good laugh, head to the Second City for sketch comedy and improv, the place that launched the careers of Saturday Night Life stars Bill Murray, John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd.
You could also plan a 2014 trip to Chicago and give it as a Christmas gift. You’ll have time to purchase tickets to a play or musical at one of the many theatres, 200 or so, to be exact.
Perhaps your significant other is a sports fan. You’ll find a baseball, football, basketball or hockey game to enjoy in Chicago, home to the Cubs, White Sox, Bears, Bulls and Blackhawks.
And if shopping is a sport to you, Chicago is home to the Magnificent Mile, a mile-long stretch of stores and malls along North Michigan Avenue, between the Chicago River and Oak Street, that rivals New York’s Fifth Avenue and Beverly Hills’s Rodeo Drive. Don’t forget to check out the boutiques and smaller venues for one-of-a-kind finds.
Whether you want to get away for a weekend or a week, regardless of your budget, Chicago has something for every couple.