CHICAGO — If you want to do something for Valentine's Day but didn't make reservations, you're in luck! Skip the cheese factor and stay close to home. After all, it is a school night.
Want to go old school with dinner and flowers? Brasserie 54 is serving a three-course Valentine's Day dinner for $36 a person, and you can pre-order a boutique arrangement of flowers along with your table reservation. Tonight through Feb. 16, 5420 N. Clark St. $45-$99 for flowers.
When all Valentine's Day plans fail, you better be armed with a gift. Jewelry, sweets and cards are just a few options offered by nearly 100 merchants at Andersonville Galleria, a 7,000 square foot, three-level neighborhood staple. Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., 5247 N. Clark St.
V-Day in a South Side field house? Why not? You can always bring that special someone to Armour Square Park just north of The Cell for a family-friendly "heart and crafts" event to create personalized valentines. 6 to 7 p.m., 3309 S. Shields Ave. $5
At Maria's Community Bar, DJ extraordinaire Joe Bryl spins a special set of lovey-dovey music inspired by Burt Bacharach and Scott Walker, two artists he said "have personally explored and musically envisioned the wide range of our modern and ever-shifting connection to the subject of love in all its manifestations." 8 to 11 p.m., 960 W. 31st St. No cover.
Is your babysitter tied up with his or her own Valentine's Day adventure? Have no fear, Bucktown's Easel Art Studio at will be hosting a four-hour class Thursday. Drop off the kids, and they will take part in an evening of activities including art, dance, stories and dinner. 5 to 9 p.m., 1911 N. Milwaukee Ave., $45 per child, ages 4 and up.
Josephine's Cooking hosts a "Sweetheart Steppers Lunch and Dinner" featuring a Valentine's Day dinner special and Josephine's beloved including fried shrimp, fish and filet mignon. Noon to 10 p.m., 436 E. 79th St., $38.50 for special.
The 50 Yard Line is hosting a Valentine's Day party — but you can only get in if you're 25 or older. 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., 69 E. 75th St., no cover.
Got a manly man to impress this V-Day? Woo him with a trip to Jack Schwartz Importer in the Loop, where he can sample cigars from around the world and go home with a custom collection of top-of-the-line stogies. Situated in the lobby of the Chicago Board of Trade since it opened its doors in 1921, the old-world feel will delight. Open 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 141 W. Jackson Blvd.
Opposites may attract, but different palates can make it tricky to enjoy a tasting menu. The Local Chicago has a special "Opposites Attract"-themed menu for Feb. 14 that includes his-and-hers cocktail options and dishes perfect for the mild-mannered and their spicy companions. Open 6:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., 198 E. Delaware Pl.
There's no such thing as a free...dinner? Work for your meal at Mercadito's special Valentine's Day event, where chef Patricio Sandoval will lead guests in a cooking demonstration to walk through his favorite romantic dishes. The per-person admission price includes Sandoval's lesson, and the four courses and four holiday-themed cocktails he demonstrates. Two sessions from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and from 8:30 to 11 p.m., 108 W. Kinzie St. $75.
The University of Chicago is hosting a week of sex talk around Valentine's Day. Sex Week kicked off Monday and runs through Sunday with readings from porn scripts, discussions on polyamory and a talk with Rev. Jeffery Lee on gay marriage in the Episcopalian Church. The full schedule of free and public events is available here.
Cuddle up on the curb on Valentine's Day for a little president and the first lady role play. Share a Hyde Park kiss at South Dorchester Avenue and East 53rd Street over the plaque commemorating Barack and Michelle Obama's first kiss.
Film and music geeks can head to the Music Box Theatre for its annual "Casablanca" Sweetheart Sing Along. Before a screening of the classic black-and-white film, the screen fills with lyrics from love songs like "You Are My Sunshine" and "Bicycle Built for Two." Sing along with your sweetie and the Music Box organ. 7:30 p.m., 3733 N. Southport Ave. $11
Those in need of a good laugh on Valentine's Day can head to the Laugh Factory's "My Funny Valentine" show. The club decorates itself to theme, and comedians Mike Young, Bill Bunker and Ali Clayton will be performing stand-up. 8 p.m., 3175 N. Broadway Ave. $20 with two drink minimum.
One word: Dessert. Hit up Bittersweet Pastry Shop for an intimate date with the shop's special Valentine's Day selection, including chocolate dipped red velvet heart cakes or a sweetheart raspberry tart. Open until 7 p.m., 1114 W. Belmont Ave.
Celebrate Valentine's Day with your pup at The Copa in Lincoln Park, where dog treats and plush toys are on the house. Dogs are welcome inside the cocktail lounge. There are $4 Dogfish Head drafts and $3 greyhound cocktails on special. 8 p.m., 1637 N. Clybourn Ave. Free.
For the flower fans who fail to receive a bouquet on Thursday, check out the Lincoln Park Conservatory’s annual spring flower show. The free event features some of the descendants of the great Azaleas from the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., 2391 N. Stockton Dr. Free.
Join long-time Chicago burlesque producer Michelle L’amour and a host of other performers at the Park West when she celebrates her 10-year-anniversary with Big Sexy Show. The performance features The Chicago Starlets, Mr. Gorgeous (NYC), The Amazing Tomas and Sonya The Bellydancer. 7 p.m., 322 W. Armitage Ave. $30.
You could pick up a box of chocolates for your sweetheart from Walgreens. Again. Or, might we suggest putting in a little effort and moseying on over to Amy's Candy Bar. Amy's has these cute little heart-shaped boxes you can fill with chocolates. The shop also specializes in handmade caramels and hand-dipped chocolate strawberries. Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., 4704 N. Damen Ave.
Apologies to Captain and Tennille, but love won't keep us together. Taylor Street's Three Aces is throwing a "Love Will Tear Us Apart" party, with music curated by WXRT-FM's Marc "After Dark" Alghini and Old Crow whiskey shot specials. 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., 1321 W. Taylor St. No cover.
Hate Valentine's Day? You're in luck! The Chicago Reader is throwing its annual anti-Valentine's Day party at the Logan Square Auditorium featuring the Hood Internet, music by SloMo DJ Tess, a dance performance by the Fly Honey's and best of all, breakup stories that will make you feel better about your life. 8 p.m. , 2539 N. Kedzie Blvd. $14.
Nothing says love like a liquid dinner. The Whistler is offering a 3-course prix fixe cocktail menu, including a liquid amuse-bouche and two craft cocktails — not to mention candlelight and romantic music. 6 to 8 p.m. or 9-11 p.m., 2421 N. Milwaukee Ave., $85 per couple (includes gratuity).
Need a good cry? Grab Bobtail ice cream and Revolution brews in the Logan Theatre's renovated lounge, and then settle in for a special screening of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." 10:30 p.m., 2646 N. Milwaukee Ave. $7.
What what (in the Valentine's Day). Internet star Samwell will perform his viral video hit and more at Township. 9 p.m., 2200-2202 N. California Ave. $8. Must be 21+.
Couldn't afford to take your Valentine to New Orleans for Mardi Gras? Martyr's brings the Big Easy to you. Vaud & the Villains, a 19-piece 1930s-style New Orleans orchestra and cabaret show is set to play the club Feb. 14. 9 p.m., 3855 N. Lincoln Ave., $17.
Lonely on V-day? Cuddle up to some delicious tater tots at Skylark Bar. Get a basket with three sauces for $3.50 and, unlike men and women, fried food won't let you down. Toss down a craft beer or two and you'll be kissing the Hallmark holiday goodbye. 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., 2149 S. Halsted St., No cover.
Still feeling lovey-dovey the day after Valentine's Day? The Musical U, which does group piano classes in the West Loop, has a special “Candlelight & Wine Couples Piano Class” — a 75 minute group beginner couples piano lesson on Feb. 15. By the end of the class, you will know all the notes on the piano and be able to form all the major and minor chords on the piano. 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., 345 N. Loomis St., $100 per couple.
Piece Pizzeria & Brewery's Swingin' Singles Party promises to bring a roomful of singles together for pizza, draft beers, half-priced bottles of champagne, special Piece "love potion cocktails" and plenty of karaoke. The intrepid can try their hand at The Dating Game and win prizes, too. 8 p.m., 1927 W. North Ave., no cover.
Sweethearts planning for an unpredictable Valentine's evening just might become part of the show at "An Unscripted Romance," an improv show at Uptown's Annoyance Theatre. The Annoyance cast will blend "the real-life relationships of its audience members into a two-act story." 7 p.m., 4830 N. Broadway. $15.