5 Great Dates

You book the babysitter and head out for that one blissful evening a week: date night. But is it really a date, or just a night without the kids?

Break the cycle of dinner/movie/dinner/movie and make your date night an actual date. Something new, out of the ordinary and fun.

You love chocolate, but you’re tired of raiding the leftover holiday candy while you sit in front of the TV …

Go for a walking Chicago Chocolate Tour
Lisa and Sam Grill of Wilmette recently went on a tour and loved it. “They took us to places we’d never heard of and everything was delicious,” Lisa says. They chose the Magnificent Mile tour and spent a relaxing couple of hours walking and chatting, and, of course, eating chocolate. Lisa confirms that the portion sizes are small, so all the tastes end up being just enough, rather than too much.

Chicago Chocolate Tours
500 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago | 312-929-2939 | chicagochocolatetours.com
$40 per person

Date night dinner recommendation: Try The Purple Pig, also just off the Mag Mile.

You spend too much time in the car pool line and not enough time revving your engines …

Race at Chicago Indoor Racing
The go-karts only go 25 to 30 miles per hour, but feel faster because you’re not in your minivan handing out juice boxes! You can race your husband and then when you beat him, go again. (Let him win the second go-round.) Refreshments available, but no brewskies until the racing is done.

Chicago Indoor Racing
301 Hastings Dr., Buffalo Grove | 847-941-9400 | chicagoindoorracing.com
$10 mandatory license/$25 per 20-lap race

Date night dinner recommendation: Head up Route 3 to Mundelein and visit Karma.

You can’t remember the last time you laughed until you cried …

Hit a comedy club
Kathy Paleczny, who lives in Northbrook, suggests three suburban clubs, in addition to those in the city: Improv Comedy Club and Laugh Out Loud Theater, both in Schaumburg; and Zanies in Vernon Hills. Also, the Wilmette Theater and Metropolis in Arlington Heights frequently book comedians. And don’t try this double date with anyone from your church. Go with a group that doesn’t mind an occasional f-bomb, and enjoy.

Date night dinner recommendation: What goes good with comedy? A burger and a beer.

You’re both really stressed at the end of a long week and tempted to just pop in a Netflix video …

King Spa & Sauna

There are two main sections in this super clean, bright and unique facility. The spa area is single-sex with massages, scrubs and pools for soaking. The sauna area is co-ed and everyone wears light cotton outfits provided by the spa. You lie on bamboo mats in any of the nine saunas, each one lined with a therapeutic substance: charcoal, amethyst crystals, gold, salt, etc. The crowd is multi-cultural and you’ll hear Korean, Polish and English voices quietly chatting in the various rooms. Relaxing and refreshing— not nap-inducing.

King Spa & Sauna
809 Civic Center Dr., Niles | 847-972-2540 | kingspa.com
$20 per person, massages and scrubs extra (but very reasonable)

Date night dinner recommendation: at the spa, there’s always the affordable Korean food court. If you’re ready to change out of your spa clothes, you can head over to Hal Mae Bo Ssam.

You need some exercise, but don’t consider the gym a date …

Learn to play paddle tennis

You can start with some duo paddle lessons for you and your mate and then try out one of the popular round-robin nights. Most private clubs in the area offer paddle, but if you don’t do the country club thing, you still have options—check with your local park district. (The Winnetka and Lake Bluff Park Districts offer paddle, for example.)

Date night dinner recommendation: After you and your date have vanquished the competition, you’ll need a drink and some food while you review strategy for the next match. If you’re playing on the Winnetka courts, head to Avli and for Lake Bluff swingers, Inovasi will warm you after your game.