Whether you're hitched or blissfully unattached, Valentine's Day is all about the love--and a great excuse to make out in public. From sappy soirees to a dance party for singles, we've picked the sweetest bashes.
Change of Heart
Transit, with DJs John Curley, Martin "Boogieman" Luna, JayFunk and Goose. The promoters even claim that two weddings and three engagements have been attributed to past Change of Heart parties. So who knows? The hosted cocktail reception (10-11 p.m.) will help you work up the courage to talk to Mr. or Ms. Right.
Hearts on Fire
Part of the Fireball Festival, this industrial-themed bash has plenty of eye candy. The Eye of Newt Circus performs--think of a wild and sexy Cirque Du Soleil. Also taking the stage is Wildfire Productions, a kind of performance art with fire, costumes and power tools. DJ duo Abel and Ralphi Rosario spin. And it's all for a good cause: Proceeds go to local HIV/AIDS charities.
Valentine's Day Bash
Trendy River North hot spot Moda gives itself a romantic makeover for Valentine's Day, covering the entire club in rose petals. DJs Victor Rocah and Sativa will spin house, downtempo and dance, and professional dancers will keep the energy level jumping. Drink specials include a $9 "Moda Mosa" specialty martini, made with vodka, mango puree and champagne. Get there before 11 p.m. and you won't get stuck with a cover.
Velveeta Valentine's Party at Cans
If you and your sweetie are a nauseatingly cooing couple, this cheese-fest is right up your alley. All night long you can kick back and enjoy the sappy love songs and cheesy romance movies that'll be played. There's even a "St. Valentine's Official Kissing Booth" for some innocent canoodling. The featured drink of the evening is the naughty-sounding "Sexualitini"--Stoli Razberi, Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur and Chambord. Yum!
Legends of Love
Surround yourself with artistic visions of love at the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum--and lots of food. This second annual event has it all: appetizers from Mambo Grill, sweets from Kristoffer's Bakery, plus margaritas, Bud Light and soda and DJ Greedy spinning tunes. Revelers get a chance to see Jesus Helguera's famous painting "La Leyenda de los Volcanes," plus other museum exhibits.
Piece Valentine's Singles Party
Let couples gaze at each other over pricey French food--suckers. You can let your hair down at Piece's party for the unattached, where you can devour unlimited pizza, salad, wine and Piece brews--and maybe even meet someone new--from 9 p.m.-midnight. DJ Joan Jett Black spins '80s music all night. Did someone say "Love is a Battlefield"?
Pre-Valentine's Day Party at Le Passage
This party is all about dancing, whether with your honey or with someone else's. DJs Jernell Geronimo and Victor "Wolf" spin dance and hip-hop. They've dreamed up some Cupid-like drinks, too. The "Forget Me, Forget Me Not" is made of Stoli Vanil, Butterscotch Schnapps, Frangelico and half & half, while the yummy-sounding "Chocolate-Covered Cherry" is cherry-flavored vodka, Godiva Light Liqueur and chocolate milk. Now that's something to fall in love with.
Love on the Rocks
Feeling unlucky at love or just plain hate the holiday? Join in a kind of group therapy with others of the same mind at Bird's Nest's anti-Valentine's Day party. A $25 cover gets you unlimited draft beer and well cocktails from 8 p.m. until midnight. The festivities continue until 3 a.m.
Amanda E. Snyder is a metromix special contributor. Metromix staffers Jen Robbins, Jessica Volpe, Laura Baginski and Christine Badowski contributed to this story.