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The 'oh, shit' guide to last-minute Valentine's Day plans

Valentine's Day is this week and you haven't bought your sweetheart a gift or planned anything yet? Consider your ass saved
Heart-shaped macaron from La Boulangerie
Photograph: Martha Williams Heart-shaped macaron from La Boulangerie

In case you've managed to ignore the red and pink candy displays at every convenience store in the city, we're here to remind you that Valentine's Day is right around the corner. It's happening on Saturday, in fact. Haven't made a Valentine's Day dinner reservation? Still haven't bought a gift? Don't panic—these ideas for things to do on Valentine's Day and Valentine's Day gifts won’t reek of last-ditch efforts.

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Last-minute Valentine's Day suggestions

Flowers from
Photograph: Martha Williams

Make a grand gesture

Procrastinators, rejoice: Even if you wait until Valentine's Day to buy your gift, you can still knock it out of the park. As long as you order from floral service Kalla before 11am Saturday, your sweetheart will have no idea you bought this beautiful package of flowers, chocolates and sparkling wine with seconds to go on the clock. The pictured arrangement costs $210, including delivery.

Heart-shaped macaroon from La Boulangerie
Photograph: Martha Williams

Treat your sweetheart (and yoself)

Any bakery worth its salt (sugar?) will be offering beautiful treats on Valentine's Day, from heart-shaped tortes to pink and red cupcakes. La Boulangerie in Lakeview is the place to get the adorable (and delicious) heart-shaped macaron filled with dark chocolate ganache pictured here (order by Friday to get it personalized), and Bittersweet, just down the street from La Boulangerie, is pulling out all the stops with a full menu of Valentine's Day sweets, including a Champagne sabayon tarte, opera cake with a personalized message and all kinds of macarons. For more ideas, check out our list of the best bakery treats in Chicago.

Photograph: Jaclyn Elizabeth Rivas
Shopping, Flower shops

Pick up a bouquet

Your sig o will appreciate that you hit up a local store for that gorgeous arrangement. And you'll appreciate not having to pay exorbitant delivery fees when you just go to the store yourself rather than buy from an online chain. These are our picks for the best Chicago flower shops.


Say it with doughnuts

There is no better gift than sugar and butter, and doughnuts have those ingredients in spades. You last-minute gifters will appreciate that if you want freshness (and you do), you need to buy your Valentine's Day doughnuts the day of. Doughnut Vault is offering a special chocolate softie doughnut with red sprinkles and Firecakes has a lovely strawberry mascarpone doughnut as well as a "Donut-Gram" service for next-day delivery. But to really blow it out of the water, and if you can manage to make this purchase by Feb 12, you can order the $14 16-inch-wide vanilla ring doughnut pictured here from Glazed and Infused, customized with your choice of message, sprinkles and glaze, for $10 delivery (order must be placed by 2pm, 48 hours before requested delivery time).

Shopping, Jewelry

Go for the gold

Look, you very nearly screwed up Valentine's Day by not getting a gift yet. Maybe you need to go big. Like, gemstone big. Or statement watch big. These jewlery stores in Chicago will hook you up.


Show you're sweet on her

Put down the Whitman's Sampler and run straight out of that CVS, Casanova. Your valentine deserves way better than waxy chocolates with foul fillings. For something truly special, head to these top candy stores and hand-select sweets to make your sweetheart swoon.


Make a last-minute dinner reservation

Finding a reservation at a restaurant other than the Olive Garden on Valentine's Day is about as impossible as a warm day in February. But as of Tuesday evening, these top restaurants still had seatings for your procrastinating ass. Mfk.: reservations available at 5pm, 9:30pm. Punch House: 6:30pm for larger parties and bar seats; quite open 9:30pm on. Tete Charcuterie: 10:15pm and 10:30pm. Slurping Turtle: 5pm and after 8:30pm. The Winchester: 9:30pm and 10pm.

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