Parental Unit Date Night in Chicago?
December 2, 2007 5:58 PM   Subscribe

My sister and brother-in-law moved to greater Chicago (Lake Forest) about a month ago with my 3-year-old niece. Need ideas for a night out for them when I go visit at Christmas.

As part of their Christmas present, I'd like to give them a night-of-babysitting, and gift certificate(s) for activity/ies in Chicago. About them: Early 30's, not big partyers, don't get to go out much because of my niece, no family/friends within 800 miles. I'm thinking something like dinner and a show of some sort (comedy, perhaps?), but I've never been to Chicago, so that's perhaps the least imaginitive idea available. I've checked out previous Chicago and Date threads, but none of them had quite what I was looking for. Super-bonus-points if I can order the gift certificates/tickets online and bring them with me at Christmas.

posted by um_maverick to Human Relations (9 answers total)
Every year we get tickets to Second City, which are great fun. What about Blue Man Group? There's always Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, as well. Perhaps a show at the Steppenwolf?
posted by sugarfish at 6:10 PM on December 2, 2007

Lettuce Entertain You restaurants are varied and overall pretty good. You are a queen, just the babysitting is an ENORMOUS gift.
posted by MiffyCLB at 7:36 PM on December 2, 2007

Maybe they'd like dinner and a film? Any type of food that they would like? Do they want to get into Chicago or stay north? This movie theater is pretty close and seems to have a nice selection of arts/foreign films.

I would post something on Chowhound's Chicago board to get some advice about a good spot for dinner.

Current Chicago happenings can be seen on Gaper's Block. You might find a couple of cool ideas there.

Good luck in implementing this thoughtful gift!
posted by zerobyproxy at 7:58 PM on December 2, 2007

Jim Lovell, of Apollo 13 fame, has a restaurant in Lake Forest which I've only ever heard good things about, both for the food and the overall dining experience. It's called Lovells. It's not, like, space-themed or anything, but Captain Lovell is usually there, as far as I know, circulating and greeting guests. I've never been, but my parents (who live in a nearby suburb) went a while ago and loved it. There's a section on their website about gift certificates (you have to call it in, but maybe they'd be able to mail them to you?). It could be a special dinner, especially since it's a non-chain restaurant (rare in the suburbs), without the hassle of downtown driving/parking.
posted by Meg_Murry at 8:19 PM on December 2, 2007

haha great, I went to Lake Forest College for my freshman year and what an experience that was. Lake Forest is one of the more wealthy towns (read: stuck up towns) in the United States... so get ready for that. Buy them dinner at the chicago chop house downtown, it's quite possibly the best steak in the world.
posted by pwally at 8:42 PM on December 2, 2007

Lovells is an amazing restaurant. I have a number of friends who live in the Lake Forest area and it is generally considered the "Date night" or "special night" restaurant. That'd be a great recommendation if you don't want to send them to downtown Chicago (it takes 30-40 minutes to get downtown, especially on a Saturday night).
posted by MeetMegan at 7:04 AM on December 3, 2007

Thanks for both of the Lovells recommendations - the menu looks great. Are there any non-movie options for stuff-to-do in the area up there?

Thanks again!
posted by um_maverick at 7:53 AM on December 3, 2007

Musical theater? Try Light Opera Works, Marriott, (both of which are suburban, and therefore might appeal) or if you've got big bucks and they won't mind going all the way downtown, Broadway in Chicago.

All are pretty much Broadway roadshow quality shows. Light Opera Works (don't be put off by the name), and B-in-C are all surrounded by top quality restaurants, Marriott's got restaurants in the hotel complex.

Parking abundant and cheap at Light Opera Works and Marriott. Parking abundant downtown, but pricey.

Light Opera Works has a New Years Eve show that's pretty fun-- the cast comes out and sings Auld Lang Syne with the audience, and downtown Evanston has a huge NYE party with lots of free stuff and fireworks. Just in case you're a saint and plan to do this for NYE.

All options have tickets available on line. Light Opera Works has restaurant recommendations as well. What do I get with my bonus points?
posted by nax at 3:32 PM on December 3, 2007

For a really great steak without driving all the way downtown, I LOVE Wildfire. There's one in Lincolnshire about 15 minutes away from Lake Forest, just south of 22 and Milwaukee. And it is in the Lettuce Entertain You group. They'll need reservations. The filets are amazing. Or they could use the giftcard for Lettuce Entertain You for Maggiano's at Old Orchard-- nice italian place. But I'd definitely recommend Wildfire first. There's also a movie theater in the same plaza, so they could see a movie out (which is pretty exciting for new-ish parents).
posted by orangemiles at 6:52 AM on December 14, 2007

« Older Help me name a program for children with disabled...   |   The value of an old tv Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.