Dates can wear a hole in your pocket. One economist estimates that the average date costs $250 — a significant chunk of cash. But is true love free?
In Chicago, the answer is yes. The Chicago Loopster scoured the city for the best romantic date ideas and found several great options.
So read on lovers and ask out that special someone — it won’t cost you a dime.
Stroll through the Lincoln Park Zoo
Start of your date with a stroll through the Lincoln Park Zoo, open from morning till early evening. You can chat about your favorite animals and take pictures near canoodling chimpanzees. Photo by dotpolka.
You save $28.
Sketch a drawing at Lurie Garden
Take your sketchpad and pencils to Laurie Garden in Millennium Park. You can find a bench and draw seasonal flowers in bloom or maybe sketch the interesting people who walk by. Photo by Senor Codo.
You save $10.
Learn a new dance together
The city hosts free dance lessons in the summer every Thursday through Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m. Swing, waltz, salsa and cha-cha will get your heart pumping, so glide across Grant Park’s open-air dance floor with your sweetie. Photo by Ben Ostrowsky.
You save $30.
Watch the light show at the Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park
After dancing, cool down at the Buckingham Fountain, just a little south of the dance floor. After dusk the Fountain puts on a water show and lights display with accompanying music every hour on the hour for 20 minutes. The Fountain was designed after the Latona Basin in Versailles, France. The French, of course, know what’s up with love. Photo by Pink Aura.
Wishes cost a few pennies, but fountains are always free.
Fireworks show at Navy Pier
End the night with the Navy Pier fireworks display, which is held every Saturday at 10:15 p.m. and Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. Color, lights and music will make for an explosive end to an inexpensive date. Photo by mrhayata.
Fireworks are always free (unless you buy your own).