5 Perfect Plans for Galentine’s Day Dates in Chicago

5 Perfect Plans for Galentine’s Day Dates in Chicago

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, which means that in addition to that romantic rendezvous with your S.O., it’s time to grab your girlfriends for the ultimate Galentine’s dates around Chicago. From painting and baking to meditation and magic, here are five of the most exciting ladies-only outings to try now — and the best restaurants to check out before and after.

The activity: A professionally led painting class — with wine

All season long, Bottle & Bottega

Enjoy some vino while channeling your creativity at this BYOB art studio, where guests are encouraged to unwind and tap into their expressive side through guided painting lessons. Upon arrival, settle in and start socializing — then see where your talents take you. For Valentine’s Day, make your mark on wine glasses, mason jars, or wine pallets to gift to the ladies in your life.

Where to eat: Tied House

Check out locally sourced comfort fare at this Lakeview restaurant, which boasts modern interiors that are as striking as the food itself. James Beard award–winning chef Debbie Gold helms the menu, a medley of flavor-packed offerings like sea scallops with saffron risotto and black olives, braised short rib with black garlic and potatoes, and smoked red beets with balsamic and pea sprouts.

Begyle Brewing

The activity: Yoga and a beer tasting

February 17, Begyle Brewing

Grab a mat and your girls for a Sunday morning vinyasa flow at this North Center brewery, which hosts one-hour classes on the weekly. Post-meditation, raise a glass to the group with one of the venue’s brews — an on-the-house perk that accompanies the event.

Where to eat: Band of Bohemia

Ladies big on beer can keep the party flowing with a visit to this brew-focused restaurant, which is the first brewpub to earn Michelin-star status. At least five beers are made in-house at any given time, all of which are meant to pair perfectly with the kitchen’s thoughtful, elevated plates, including wild boar agnolotti with truffles and chestnuts or charred octopus with quinoa and pickled grapes.

The activity: Valentine’s Day treats for your ladies

February 10, Read It & Eat

Round up the squad for this sweets-centric cooking class, which will guide participants through the basics of cooking sugar, rolling dough, and crafting chocolate. Instructor Kelly Dull will help students make a collection of Valentine’s Day candies, including caramels, chocolate truffles, marshmallows, and candy hearts — a guaranteed hit gift for gal pals.

Where to eat: Blue Door Farm Stand

Following class, hit up this Lincoln Park gem for a lively brunch crowd, charming décor, and bright interiors (making it a must for photo fanatics). Opt for favorites like the chilaquiles and City Ham Benedict — and at least one round of cocktails. The Market Sangria, with white wine, Campari, and rosemary, is a surefire group hit.

The activity: Sarah Brightman concert

February 14, The Chicago Theatre

Girlfriends can bond over the bold, empowering lyrics and vocals of this English singer-songwriter, who first rose to fame in her role as Christine Daaé in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera. Expect the same soaring soprano skills in this solo show, for which she’ll be performing works from her latest album Hymn.

Where to eat: Katana

Ready all Instagram handles for dinner at this Japanese restaurant, which is known for its robata-grill specialties, high caliber sushi cuts, and seriously cool vibes. Find some friends to fill one of the low-slung, circular booths, and then get to work on some of the house favorites: truffle edamame, ribeye-wrapped asparagus, and spicy tuna on crispy rice followed by rolls like the Tsukiji (with salmon, tuna, and yellowtail wrapped in cucumber). Do save room for dessert — the Carnival (a peanut butter and jelly parfait engulfed in a cotton candy dome that is flambéed tableside) is every bit as video-worthy as it sounds.

The activity: A night with The Magic Penthouse

February 15, Kimpton Hotel Palomar Chicago

Spend an evening discovering over-the-top tricks at this monthly magic extravaganza, which brings together some of the city’s best magicians for a showcase of personalities and styles. Bring your top plus ones to enjoy these theatrics along with live music, catered light bites, and an open bar.

Where to eat: Sable Kitchen & Bar

The magic continues at the hotel’s lobby-level restaurant, where chef Amber Lancaster serves a variety of crowd pleasing plates, from roasted bravas chicken with spiced tomato and kohlrabi to ricotta gnudi with chanterelle mushrooms and smoked butter. Be sure to try the cocktails from beverage director Jenee Craver, whose carefully crafted cocktail lineup includes classics and original concoctions alike (try the War of the Roses, with Pimm’s, Broker’s Gin, elderflower, and mint).

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