If you and your sweetie (not that you’d ever call them that) aren’t the hearts-and-flowers types, but still want a Valentine’s Day date to remember, try one of these quirky alternatives to dinner and a romantic movie. Call it an anti-Valentine’s Day date, if you’re really dead-set on keeping the greeting card industry out of your love life.
Mad Mobster True Crime and Horror Expo
“Dead set” is actually the perfect phrasing for one very un-sappy V-Day option. Start your anti-Valentine’s Day early – on Friday the 13th – and spend the whole weekend at the Valentine’s Day Massacre-themed Mad Mobster True Crime and Horror Expo at the Hilton Chicago.
Instead of a double-selfie with Champagne and roses, why not snuggle up with one another and actor Kane Hodder in his Friday the 13th costume and makeup. Why gaze into each other’s eyes when you can gaze (with a mixture of horror and fascination) at Jason Voorhees? Also, what a great new profile pic.
When you’re done being chilled to the bone together on camera, wander over to the Bonnie and Clyde exhibit and check out genuine artifacts from the duo’s escapades, or sing a scary tune together at Scaraoke. The expo hosts an extensive list of horror film actors, true crime writers, film screenings, and exhibits of serial killer paraphernalia – so there’s no chance you’ll get through it all too quickly and wind up having to slow dance or anything.
Valentine’s Day Zombie Massacre Party
If you want to do something more active, but still scary, as an anti-Valentine’s Day date, you’ll have a bloody good time at Fear City Haunted House and Battle Royale Laser Tag’s Valentine’s Day Zombie Massacre Party. Battle your way through Fear City’s haunted house together, hunting and laser-tagging zombies as fast as you can. Get them before they eat you – and then dance, dance, dance like you survived the zombie apocalypse, to the pounding beats of DJ Scarecro, stopping only to refresh yourself with occasional cocktail.
And finally, if it’s a classier, more subtle thrill you’re seeking for your anti-Valentine’s Day date, your best bet is the Lyric Opera’s production of Tannhäuser. This scandalous German opera about the love goddess Venus is full of dark passions, bitter betrayals, desperate struggles with lust and debauchery, and true love. But no hearts and flowers – just bellowing tenors, sultry sopranos, and massive, Wagnerian orchestral magnificence. Opera doesn’t really get much more over-the-top than this, and it’s a date you won’t forget soon. Even if you forget what day you went on it…