Where to Propose in Chicago

Chicago is a vibrant city of opposites; cutting edge modernity alongside passionately preserved history, and luxurious indulgence colliding with hard working realism. From the glass-like beauty of Lake Michigan to the architectural glamour of the Magnificent Mile, there are plenty of memorable places to propose to your girlfriend in Chicago. Here are some ideas for iconic proposal locations and places where you’ll get a great view of the city while you pop the question, as well as green spaces for a more private proposal.

Iconic proposal locations in Chicago

One of the best known icons of Chicago has to be the Wrigley Building, a sparkling white office block located on Michigan Avenue on the north bank of the Chicago River which has become the symbol of the city. If you’re thinking of proposing in front of the Wrigley Building, wait until nightfall so you can take advantage of its spectacular lighting.

Another symbolic location with fabulous night time lighting is the Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park. Give a decadent French flavor to your proposal as the fountain, built in 1927 in the rococo style, was inspired by the fountains at Versailles, near Paris. It is one of the largest fountains in the world and operates from April to October. There is a water show every hour, on the hour, between 8am and 11pm, and at night the show is timed to music and lights.

The Chicago Water Tower is an unusual choice if you’re looking for a taste of old Chicago. One of the few buildings to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, this beautiful landmark is located on the Magnificent Mile, and you can use the City Gallery exhibitions it contains as an excuse to visit it.

For a more modern location of significance in Chicago, check out Cloud Gate, affectionately known as The Bean, located in Millennium Park and completed in 2006. Cloud Gate offers a unique mirror image of the Chicago skyline, and when you walk underneath it has unique reflective properties, ideal for getting some unusual engagement shots once you’ve popped the question.

Finally, the Field Museum of Natural History might not seem like the obvious place to propose, but they do have a very novel proposal package which might be worth considering. At the updated Grainger Hall of Gems, which houses diamonds and gems from all over the world, you can place your engagement ring inside a dedicated exhibition case within the gallery with a personal message and special lighting. You can then celebrate at the museum with a champagne toast.

Proposing with a view of the city

There’s no better view of Chicago, and a lot more besides, than from the Skydeck at the top of the Willis Tower. You can propose with the city literally at your feet if you step out into one of the glass balconies that extend from the top of the third tallest building in the world, and on a clear day you’ll have a view that includes four states. Sunset is a fantastic time to visit the tower, but don’t forget it closes at 8pm in the winter and 10pm in the summer. Contact the Skydeck team in advance if you’d like to make special arrangements for your proposal.

Those of you that aren’t too keen on heights don’t need to go to such lengths to get an amazing view of the Chicago skyline. North Avenue Beach is a fantastic proposal location as it gives a beautiful view of both the city and Lake Michigan, especially if you venture out onto one of the beach’s piers. Another beach with superb views is Ohio Street Beach, which faces North rather than East as it juts out into the lake.

Green spaces to propose in Chicago

Lincoln Park is the largest park in Chicago, following alongside the shore of Lake Michigan. While there are plenty of beautiful locations to propose within the park, many couples are attracted to the Lincoln Park Zoo, which is one of the oldest zoos in the country and has a particular charm, especially if the two of you are animal lovers. The bridge over the South Pond at the zoo provides a secluded and peaceful place to propose. If you’re planning a Spring proposal, consider the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pond, also within Lincoln Park, a beautiful example of prairie-school landscape architecture.

The Chicago Botanic Gardens are an excellent choice for an outdoor proposal. Whatever season you choose you can be sure to find beautiful locations within the extensive gardens. The Japanese garden is a romantic choice, or Evening Island is spectacularly lit every night at twilight and can be accessed by two bridges over the water.

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