date dinner elgin il

15 Best Date Ideas in Elgin, IL (Fun & Romantic)

Known as the ‘Jewel of the Midwest,’ Elgin is a beautiful historic city. It’s no wonder that many date ideas in Elgin, IL, involve historic architecture and outdoor exploration.

From romantic restaurants and historical sights to breweries and action-packed adventures, Elgin has something for everyone.

Date Ideas in Elgin, IL

1. Catch a movie at the Marcus Elgin Theatre

Cost: $30-$60
Best for: First date
Location: 111 S Randall Rd Elgin, IL 60123

If you have met someone on an Elgin, IL dating app and want to meet in person, the Marcus Elgin Theatre is a great spot.

The reclining leather seats mean you relax and enjoy the latest blockbuster together. A movie theatre is a good first date in Elgin, IL, because you can ease into getting to know each other.

The drinks and popcorn are pricey, so bring your wallet or plan to meet for a meal and cocktails before the movie.

2. Stroll Around the Elgin History Museum

Cost: $3 per adult
Best for: Unique date
Location: 360 Park St Elgin, IL 60120

If you are looking for a cheap date idea in Elgin, IL, the Elgin History Museum is a great choice. 

Not only is this a unique date idea, but an educational one. The Elgin History Museum has seven permanent exhibits that tell the history of Elgin. 

It is perfect if you are tired of the same old restaurants and movies and are looking for something different for a date. 

Elgin is known for its historical architecture, and The History Museum building is no different, having been built in 1856. 

3. Have Dinner at Lounge 51

Cost: $50-$100
Best for: Romantic date
Location: 51 S Grove Ave Elgin, IL 60120

If you want an upscale restaurant with delicious cocktails, then this romantic restaurant in Elgin, IL is the spot to try. 

Lounge 51 makes a perfect date night restaurant in Elgin, IL; after browsing the Farmers Market, and you can enjoy the swanky interior and intimate ambiance. 

This romantic restaurant is ideal for light bites that you can share before exploring more of downtown Elgin together. It is a popular spot, but the service is quick, and the food is delicious. 

4. Fisher Nuts Store

Cost: Free
Best for: Quirky date
Location: 1701 N Randall Rd Elgin, IL 60123

Elgin is the home of Fisher nuts, so why not visit the Factory Store as a fun date idea in Elgin, IL. 

Although it is free to go to the store, you will want to have cash on hand to take advantage of the delicious nuts at bargain prices. You can even create your own trail mix and other goodies.

This is definitely a unique Elgin, IL date idea and one that is sure to make an impression.

5. Have a Picnic at Lords Park 

Cost: Free
Best for: Cheap date
Location: 325 Hiawatha Drive Elgin, IL 60120

If you are looking for a fun date idea in Elgin, IL, Lords Park is full of interesting options. You can see the historic pavilion, visit the zoo, or have a picnic. 

Visiting Lords Park is a cheap date idea in Elgin, IL, and your date would never even know it. This is the perfect spot if you want to spend time talking and getting to know each other.

There is even a museum and nature trails, so you can make it a whole-day affair.

Related: 15 Best Singles Bars in Elgin, IL (to Meet & Mingle)

6. Work Together in an Escapade 360 Escape Room

Cost: $29 pp
Best for: Fun date
Location: 77 S Riverside Dr Elgin, IL 60120

A fun Elgin, IL date idea is Escapade 360. You and your date can bond over some exciting scenarios, and you try and get out of an escape room. You can have up to 8 people in a room, so this could be a fun way to go out as a group.

Be there 10 minutes before your session starts, and you can enjoy protecting the Mona Lisa, saving Sherlock Holms, saving a candy factory, or finding Santa. 

7. Create a Signature Scent at Sincerely Yours 

Cost: $20-$100
Best for: Sentimental date
Location: 211 West State St Geneva, IL 60134

Visiting Scentcerely Yours is a romantic date idea in Elgin, IL, because you can create your own signature scent. This can be used in a candle, body wash, lotion, or diffuser.

You get to choose 3 scents from over 100 to create your own signature blend. You could make a candle or create a line of signature products for your home.

This is one of the best date ideas in Elgin, IL, because you leave with more than memories.

8. Take a Boozy Art Class at Pinot’s Palette

Cost: $20-$100
Best for: Fun date
Location: 100 W Higgins Rd Ste H-80 Barrington, IL 60010

Date night in Elgin, IL doesn’t have to mean dinner and a movie. Why not try your hand at boozy art classes?

Pinot’s Palette lets you and your date create beautiful artwork while enjoying their well-stocked bar.

This is also a great first date option because it encourages you to get out of your comfort zone together.

The blacklight painting classes are particularly popular, so book online for this date night idea in Elgin, IL.

9. Enjoy Retro Arcade Games at Underground Retrocade

Cost: $15 pp
Best for: First date
Location: 121 W Main St West Dundee, IL 60118

If you are looking for an Elgin, IL date night idea for a first date, look no further than Underground Retrocade. 

With over 200 original arcade and pinball classics, you are sure to find a way to break the ice and have a fun evening.

The $15 ticket offers unlimited play and limited re-entry, so you could pop out for dinner nearby.

Underground Retrocade is one of those date attractions that never gets old.

10. Have a Beer at Scorched Earth Brewery

Cost: $25-$50
Best for: Casual date
Location: 203 Berg St Algonquin, IL 60102

Scorched Earth Brewery is one of those casual date spots in Elgin, IL where you can enjoy a delicious craft beer.

They regularly host Trivia Nights and Brewery Tours, which would be ideal for a double date. In the Tap Room, you can enjoy a game of shuffleboard while looking at the specialist equipment they use to brew their beer. 

Although they don’t serve food, you can order in from your favorite restaurant and have it delivered.

11. Go for a Walk Along Fox River Trail 

Cost: Free
Best for: Active date
Location: 319 N River St East Dundee, IL 60118

If you are looking for active things to do in Elgin, IL, then try the Fox River Trail.

You can run, walk, or bike song a scenic trail as you get active and enjoy each other’s company. You could even turn it into a breakfast date in Elgin, IL, because the trail winds through the restaurant district.

It is a long trail that also goes through Fabyan Park Forest Preserve, Batavia, where you can enjoy the Chinese Gardens and the Fabyan Windmill.

12. Get Competitive at Paintball Explosion 

Cost: $30-$100
Best for: Group date
Location: 601 Dundee Ave East Dundee, IL 60118

Paintball Explosion is an Elgin, IL date idea that is perfect for a group date. Whether you want to play paintball, airsoft, or laser tag, this spot has you covered. 

You need to book for your group online and arrive on the day to enjoy the numerous fields. They offer free WiFi, lockers, and free parking.

Not only that, but there are a number of concession stands with a grill so you can get food as well.

13. Do a Wacky Walks Scavenger Hunt

Cost: $22 pp
Best for: Fun date
Location: 179 E Chicago St Elgin, IL 60120

Wacky Walks Scavenger Hunt is the best date in Elgin, IL. Not only is it a unique way to see the city, but Wacky Walks has a hunt designed just for couples.

The date version, which you can select online, gives you additional challenges. These will help you and your partner bond and learn about each other.

This is a fun game that is done on foot and you are guided by a virtual guide through an app. It takes about 2 hours to complete the game.

14. Look at the Butterflies at NENA Butterfly Garden 

Cost: Free
Best for: Coffee date
Location: 303 Brook St Elgin, IL, 60120

If you are looking for romantic dates in Elgin, IL, grab a coffee and head to NENA Butterfly Garden.

This community garden is free and has been designed by locals to be a beautiful space for the neighborhood and the butterflies to enjoy.

Stroll along the paths and admire the butterfly varieties and attractive planting scheme or have a picnic in a secluded spot.

NENA is ideal for a quick but romantic lunchbreak date.

15. Downtown Elgin Farmer’s Market 

Cost: Free
Best for: Casual date
Location: Spring Street between Chicago Street and Fulton Street

Who would have thought the Farmer’s Market would make a great Elgin, IL date night?

Open every Friday from 3-7 pm, the Downtown Elgin Farmer’s Market is a great place to visit as you gear up for the weekend.

You can sip and shop with delicious drinks from Lounge 51 and Al’s Cafe and Creamery. Many local businesses participate in the Market After Hours which means you can stay for dinner.

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